29 August 2009

Shoutout: 5 Ways to {Blank} Your Blog

I bought Deb Rox's book "5 Ways to {Blank} Your Blog on Amazon the other day and this I can say: it is the very best book in all the world.

Well, at the very least, it is the very best book in all the world to mention both me and my blog (she said, with just the slightest hint of self-absorbtion).

Yes, indeed, right there on page 63, under "5 Ways to Become Iconic With Your Blog," #1 is:
I can't see a Red Stapler without thinking of Suebob's blog and Flickr collection. Posing with her Red Stapler is the Holy Grail of Blogging. You've not made it big til you have caressed the red metal.
You read it here first. The Holy Grail of Blogging, people!

In other news about the book but not so much about me, it is, like Deb, hilarious. She has 5 ways to do everything with your blog from 5 Ways to Swear in Your Blog Like A Sailor Getting a Tattoo (#5: "Tell your mom your blog address. You have no idea how much you already swear until your mom or your in-laws find your blog") to 5 Ways to Make Money With Your Blog (#3 Close your blog and get a part-time job. Seriously. This is the best way to make money with your blog.")

It is tremendously fun to read and contains nuggets of real wisdom. If something has been done on a blog or could ever be done, this book has a list about it.

Deb, in addition to writing at Deb on the Rocks, is a Professional Marketing Genius-type person. She proves it by filling her cute little book with mentions of almost every blogger who lives. I'm sure that she wanted to share examples of good ideas from blogs she knows and loves - but somewhere in that Marketing Genius brain, she might have had an inkling that many of the bloggers she mentions in the book MIGHT just mention getting mentioned.

I think you had better buy it and see if you got mentioned.

Dang, she's GOOD! Somebody hire that woman!

26 August 2009

Just not smart

School has started again and I can already tell it's going to be another replay of last year: not good.

My teacher is saying the same things I always hear. I have to "concentrate." I need to "stop being so distracted." I should "try to pay attention." But it is hard when I stink at every single subject.

First of all, we dance two hours a day. I used to like to dance. But in this class, we have to memorize routines and since I can't tell left from right, I am always turning in the wrong direction and then I get all mixed up and embarrassed and I never quite catch up again. Everyone always makes fun of me for bumping into them and for tripping over my feet.

And then there is Spatial Relationships. We are supposed to take these puzzle pieces and build these three-dimensional objects. I am so bad at this. My objects always come out with a couple pieces left over and they look NOTHING like the sample. Sometimes the teacher puts up slides and we have to say what the object would look like if it were flipped over. I get almost all of those wrong.

The teacher says if I would study harder, I would be better at that. But I'm telling you I can study for all night and I still manage to mess those up! She gives me these looks like she doesn't believe me. She even rolled her eyes at me yesterday.

Mechanical Aptitude is a bad one for me too. We have to learn to operate all kinds of machinery. When the levers and knobs are labeled, it isn't a problem, but this year we are supposed to be able to operate the machines with no labels, just by memory. I am always pulling the wrong switch so things clash together and make terrible noises.

Musical Performance is hard. I am trying piano this year since I could never figure out drums last year. I practice for hours, but my fingers just don't seem to find the right keys and all the notes sound alike to me. No one believes this. They say I should work harder.

I wish we had more literature and spelling. But there have been cutbacks, so we only get an English teacher for an hour every two weeks. They say we are supposed to be studying the essentials, not spending time on luxuries like reading and writing. But that is the only thing I am good at, and that hour is the only time I ever, ever feel happy at school.

I wish I weren't so stupid. I wish people didn't make fun of me. I hate school. I don't know why I have to go.

I'm not considered learning-disabled. I'm good at English and Math, so school was always easy for me. I tried to imagine what school would have been like for me if they focused on subjects I wasn't good at, which is what school is like for dyslexic kids every day - even though they may have amazing talents in other areas.

25 August 2009

All I Want is a Cup of Coffee

Given that I have already established how difficult it is to get a cup of coffee at McDonalds, when I was up in Ojai the other day watching Queen of Spain and Undomestic Diva decide on their latest tattoos, I decided to visit a locally owned coffee shop for my iced coffee.

Java & Joe. That should have been a tip-off. Java AND Joe? Aren't those both nicknames for coffee? Why AND? Why not either Java OR Joe? But no.

Being an excellent, ecologically conscious-type person, I sat my stainless steel togo cup on the counter and ordered my iced coffee from the stocky blonde woman.

"That's a 16 ounce cup," I said, helpfully. I always try to be helpful. Because I am so excellent.

"Looks like 18 ounces to me!" said the lady, turning to get my coffee.

I stared at her back in disbelief. This coffee wench was busting my chops over two ounces of coffee. It wasn't like I brought in a 64-ounce Big Gulp and insisted it was six ounces.

"Well," I said with my voice all clipped and tight. "It says 16 ounces on the bottom of the cup, so that's what I have always gone by. Bitch." (Ok, I didn't say "bitch," but it was definitely implied and right there below the surface.)

So what did she do? She PICKED UP my cup and looked at the bottom. To check on me. Over TWO ounces of coffee.

The bottom of the cup is black rubber and the 16 oz. mark is tiny and dang, she looked like an idiot peering at it.

She gave me my coffee. Then the kicker.

Over the years, the rubber grippy thing around the cup has slid up, and it ain't coming down. It is tight on the cup and immoveable to me.

"The rubber thing on your cup is in the wrong place," said Blondie. "It REALLY bothers me."

You know what bothers ME? Bad customer service! Like questioning your customers over two ounces of coffee and shaming them over a stupid coffee mug! But hey, thanks for this excellent experience! Next time, I'll be at one of the eight other coffee places in town!

What a world, what a world.

23 August 2009

One of my more unbelievable posts, if you know me

CC got me to go see a small community production of "Tommy" last night.


Those who know me are aware of how much I hate musicals. And of how much I hate psychedelic-era anything beyond tie-dyed t-shirts.

(A note on why I hate musicals and why I love opera: in opera, the people can sing and they sing everything, so it is all of a piece. In musicals, you get action, then the action is interrupted with song and dance in such a weird phony way. Plus they do that yelly singing. Ick. No, I do NOT want to go see "Wicked," with you.)

So CC kind of had to drag me to see Tommy. My friend Jim went too, also reluctantly.

We had a great time.

It was fun in a "Let's Put on a Show," kind of way. These local people, mostly young, all talented, found a performance space, rehearsed, made costumes, put together a multi-media kind of thing...and it was really great. The place was packed and everyone in the audience knew someone who was performing.

At the end, there were flowers tossed and lighters and cell phones waved รก la a real rock concert, and goodwill flowed like wine.

It's always interesting to me, the things we need almost as much as food and water to keep us alive. Art. Drama. Literature. Music. Beauty. People will die for these things, literally. Something in us is fed by these crazy, abstract things we do. What feeds you?
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