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Category Archives: anniversary

The things I do when I’m not here: secret winners and very impressive artworks

I’ve been supremely lazy the past couple of days, to the point of seriously not wanting to do anything but sleep. But! Important things need to be discussed, dammit! So I am DISCUSSING them! THEN I will sleep like the DEAD! Well, except of course I will wake up. Dead people don’t often do that. Except maybe zombie-people.

First, thank you all for making the royal rumpusness of my second bloggiversary week a rousing success. Two years! Huh. That’s impressive, right? And kind of scary.

I wanted to do SOMETHING for my readers for my bloggiversary but I am out of oomph. My oomph up and left. My oomph hit the road, Jack. Left me a Dear John Amy letter on the counter and hiked it on outta here. One could, I suppose, keep waiting for one’s oomph to return, but that doesn’t seem likely. So I suppose the only fix is to go around oomphless. Or do things DESPITE the lack of oomph. Kind of as a big eff-you to that dastardly leaving-me-high-and-dry oomph.

Dammit, oomph. Why you gotta hurt me like that, yo?

Dammit, oomph. Why you gotta hurt me like that, yo?

SO, I conducted an unbeknownst-to-you top-secret giveaway over the past week. I KNOW! How tricky was THAT? I didn’t even tell sj. And I tell sj almost EVERYTHING. (Not everything, though, because sometimes I want her to be surprised, and sometimes I do embarrassing things that I don’t think she needs to know.)

Everyone that commented on any of the posts over bloggiversary week got entered into a top-secret drawing. Well, no. FIRST, you all got put on a LIST. Then I wrote everyone’s name on that list into that randomizer website that people use when they want to do giveaways like a grownup.

(I realized after I did this I probably should have taken screenshots because I always get at least one person who’s all “YOU CHEATED! Ha ha just kidding” but I don’t think they really are. I believe the technical term for a comment like this is “passive-aggressive.” The technical term for what a comment like this makes me is “stabbilicious.” But I didn’t, because I was very tired and not feeling the best and did I mention I HAVE NO OOMPH? OK, great, just in case you missed that paragraph, awesome.)

So, the randomizer (which apparently randomizes based on the earth’s atmosphere or something, I don’t know what the hell) did its work and TA-DAH! We had a WINNER! Out of the 21 people who commented all week, A WINNER!

(Now don’t you lurkers feel bad about not commenting? You should. You could be entered in secret giveaways and NOT EVEN KNOW IT!)

Our winner is…drumroll please…

HEATHER FROM BECOMING CLICHE!

WHOO-HOO!!!

WHOO-HOO!!!

Now, before I totally embarrassed myself and Heather by writing this whole post, I of course had to contact her, congratulate her on winning a contest she didn’t even know she’d entered (that makes me sound like one of those spammers that sends you an email that you’ve won the U.K. Lottery, doesn’t it?) and see if she was down with giving me her address so I could send her a prize.

WHEW! She totally was. She loves secret giveaways. I’m so glad Heather didn’t think this was all a scam so I could either stalk her or get her bank account in order to drain it of all the cash moneys and go to Aruba.

ARUBA BABY!!!

ARUBA BABY!!!

I have a secret prize all picked out for Heather. It’s not going to be as oomphy as last year, because as stated, NO OOMPH. However, it is going to be awesome, and I know she will love it (and I ran the idea past sj, and SHE knows Heather will love it, as well.) I cannot tell you all what it is because what it will ruin her surprise-factor, but once it arrives, either she will tell us, or I will. YOU WILL BE KEPT IN THE LOOP!

Thank you for accepting the winnership of the secret prize, Heather! I’m so glad you were excited! I hope (KNOW!) you will love it when it arrives!

OK, next, who wants to see art-time? Oh, you all know you do. Art time was ALWAYS the best part of elementary school.

So sj and Susie are having a contest. It is a zombiecorn contest. If you write a short piece of zombiecorn fiction, you can win any one of a plethora of prizes. A PLETHORA I TELL YOU!

(I think sj spells it zombicorn. I randomly throw that extra e in there. That’s the way I roll.)

A zombiecorn, by the way, can either be a zombie that is a unicorn or a unicorn that is a zombie. It’s totally up to you.

Anyway, I was in charge of the third-place prize. Originally, I was going to draw a zombiecorn, but I realized about a week into that plan I can’t draw worth a shit. I can draw trees. That is all I can draw. Obviously, a zombiecorn is not a tree.

However, once upon a time, I was playing with collage work. Once upon a LONG time ago. And I wasn’t terrible at it. So if I couldn’t draw a zombiecorn, I could maybe collage one.

So I went to the weird Christian craft store and I got a plethora of paper.

PLETHORA OF PAPER!

PLETHORA OF PAPER!

Oh, you know you want a closeup.

Ooh, aah!

Ooh, aah!

Then I had to sketch out a unicorn. As mentioned: I can’t draw. So I hit the interwebs and found this site where they teach you how to draw a unicorn.

I don't know why it's half-gray, ignore that.

I don’t know why it’s half-gray, ignore that.

Read that text at the top. “You must get it PERFECT in order to get a unicorn!” Well, that’s scary as shit.

I did my level best.

(My unicorn was fatter. He’s a chubbicorn. But I was super-impressed with his most prestigious mane, and I think it’s the best part of the sketch. Maybe I could get a job sketching manes for a living.)

Then I started to put paper on the unicorn in various combinations based on the outline.

At first, I wanted to do a lot of different colors. But I didn’t like how this looked once I did it. (But I DID like the shiny rainbowy horn.) Luckily, I hadn’t glued anything down yet.

My second attempt was MUCH more pleasing.

All I kept, as you can see, is the horn, mouth, and eyebrow. I had this pretty pearly paper. It seemed more unicorny. Also I decided to use all the different colors in his mane. He’s kind of a punk unicorn. He’ll be a zombie later. (That sparkly paper is the bomb, yo. I got a whole lot of that stuff.)

This is him done, without any flair. He has skulls for hooves. And he’s pretty badass, no? But wait til he gets his FLAIR. (He doesn’t like to talk about his flair.)

DONE! He has ALL the flair now. Bloody flayed places. Blood coming out of his mouth. A skull tattoo on his…um…I don’t know, what’s a horse’s hip. His flank? Rhinestones all up in his business. And he’s FLYING THROUGH THE AIR, YO! I know that’s a pegasus thing but you don’t know what zombiecorns can do.

And here it is framed and hanging on my wall that looks like a barn wall. No, I don’t know why I have a wall that looks like a barn wall, either.

You totally know you want to win this and have it in your very own house, right? RIGHT. It looks scary, but it would totally protect you from all sorts of bad juju. It wants to belong to you. Also, I signed it so it’ll be worth a billion dollars when I’m murdered by the clown in my closet.

And, in news of sometimes my life surprises me with the awesomeness, I might have the opportunity to do one of these things for someone for a larger audience for…gulp…money. Yes. This is a thing that randomly happened to me the other day. I KNOW. I’m not going to talk much about that until it’s done, because a., it’s not my thing, as much as it is the person who’s paying me’s thing, and b., that reeks of chicken-counting to me, you know? But I’m fairly sure if I got paid for doing art, it would make me an artist. And when I told Dad tha, he laughed and said “YOU WILL HAVE A  GALLERY SHOW OF YOUR VERY OWN!” Hee! Yep. Of zombiecorns and ghost dogs and possibly robot wildebeests.

OK, I could ramble more, but I’m sleepy, yo, and I should get some sleepy-time in. I have a long post in draft-mode that I’m hoping like hell to have up for you tomorrow if all goes well. Have happy Thursdays, all. Write some zombiecorn fiction, and who knows, you could be the proud owner of your own protective badass zombiecorn. I think you could even name him Larry if you wanted, but I’d ask him what he thinks about that first. He might be more of a Raoul. And if you DON’T win, well, I might be well on my way to being a fancy artist now, maybe I could make you one. You never know what might happen. My life is filled with utter adventure at every turn, really.

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Time to Rumpus Most Royally!

Well, here it is officially June 10, and two years ago, bored at work because everyone was off at a conference or something and I was left to man the phones, I started this foolish blog, knowing nothing about blogging whatsoever. I started originally on Blogger, but quickly got frustrated when the formatting would randomly go wonky, the photos would disappear with no warning, and when I’d schedule posts, they just wouldn’t post. WordPress beckoned and I answered the call and haven’t looked back.

Two years, you guys. That’s a long time. So much has happened over the last two years. Things that I could never have imagined when I was sitting at the reception desk of my office looking for something to do to make the hours go by more quickly and thought, “Well, you could start a blog.” I’ve met some of the world’s most amazing people. I have friends in my life I’d never have met without my blog; friends that I was meant to know, and without my blog? They wouldn’t be here. I’d have never met them. The thought of that breaks my heart, because my life would be such an emptier place without them in it.

Today’s advice to you? Well, I of course saved the best for last. Did you doubt I would?

The most important thing I’ve learned over the past two years of blogging?

Ignore all the advice. Write.

I know, right? Totally bait-and-switched you.

Hee, I love that the first thing to pop up in Image Seach for "bait and switch" is Lucy and her football. Fortuitous!

Hee, I love that the first thing to pop up in Image Seach for “bait and switch” is Lucy and her football. Fortuitous!

Listen. You can read a million how-to-blog articles. How long your posts should be. When you should post. How frequently you should post. How you should or shouldn’t market your blog or yourself. Your use of social media. What you should write about. What you SHOULDN’T write about. There are plenty of places that will give you advice – sometimes conflicting advice – until you’re so confused you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off, all squawky and discombobulated. Also, it is very hard to count chickens with their heads cut off. All that blood makes for incorrect chicken headcounts.

But the way you’re going to learn all these things, the best way, the way it’s going to stick with you, is to just DO it. To sit at your computer and write out the words in your head, whatever those words might be. Are you going to fail? I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Yes. You are probably going to fail. Probably more than once. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to do things you’re not proud of, looking back on them; freshman mistakes, I suppose you could call them. These things happen. They’ll continue to happen. Even when you’re no longer a freshman. It’s life. Life’s one long learning experience, so take the lessons as they come.

Just like the Game of Life. With the little pegs and shit. Learn your lessons, chickadees.

Just like the Game of Life. With the little pegs and shit. Learn your lessons, chickadees.

You’ll know when it’s working. It’s something you feel inside; this click, this feeling of rightness. You’ll know because you’ll start building a community. Your words will resonate with others. You’ll start…I don’t know how best to explain this. Ripples. You’ll start creating ripples. And those ripples reach others. And on and on and on and you connect, and you have this whole network around you. All these points of life. All these people whose lives you’ve touched, whose lives you touch. It feels very good. It feels very safe. And you did this. You did this with your words and your work and putting yourself out there.

You can read all the advice; you can even follow some if you want. Yes, you’ll get less hits if you post on a weekend. Yes, it’s good to network with other bloggers. Yes, a presence on social media is a good thing.

But mostly? Just get out there and write. Take the words inside you and get them out of you. Share them with the world, where they can take root and grow and touch others and on and on and on it goes.

It’s the start of a grand adventure. It’s your own royal rumpus. The only thing I know for sure is that your life will never be the same for it.

Thank you to everyone who’s come along with me on my royal rumpus over the last two years. Everyone who’s read a post, who’s commented, who’s shared something I’ve written, who’s been here. Thank you to my friends, who I found along the way and who are so precious to me, so dear, I don’t even have the words.

Thank you. Just, thank you.

Now, finally, my top post for the past two years. Some of you might have already guessed this, I think, and if you haven’t, it’ll make sense once you see it.

Top post in the past two years!

With 3,490 hits – almost 3,500 hits, you guys, is that not insane? – in the past three months…

You’re gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time

Freshly Pressed did a lot of that, and you guys did the rest, with your comments and your shares and your reblogs. You’re a glorious group of people. A brave, strong group of people, who feel things deeply, who connect deeply with things, who want to make a change in things that are broken in the world.

I’m glad this post connected with people; I’m glad this post helped people connect. I’m glad Freshly Pressed decided to share it with a larger audience so more people could see it. I’m glad you were all here for it.

Thank you for the past two years, my most beloved little chickadees. I don’t know what the next year will bring; that’s the joy of the future. It’s as-yet unwritten. It’s a shiny new blank journal, waiting for you to start your chicken-scratching.

Off I go to start chicken-scratching all over my shiny new year.

I hope you come along. It wouldn’t be the same without you.


Royal Rumpus, Day Six: stopping (starting?) the presses and those pesky people you may or may not know

Happy Sunday, everyone! Whew, Saturday was BUSY. Well, I stayed up way too late into the wee hours of Saturday morning, which was my own damn fault, but when I can stay up late, I tend to overdo it. Then I slept in, which was very nice and very decadent of me. But THEN, when I got up in the morning, WHEW ALL THE RUSHING! Because Saturday was K.’s wedding shower, so I had to get all fancied-up! And go to a COUNTRY CLUB! I know, right? Me at a country club. It’s like the opposite of a diamond in the gutter. This place was NICE. We wedding showered and friend K. got many gifts and I did not win any of the prizes for the games because I was terrible at them, even bingo (WHO CANNOT WIN BINGO FOR THE LOVE OF PETE) and we had some delicious foodstuffs and then I went to the (shudder) mall.

Argh, mall. You are my nemesis.

Argh, mall. You are my nemesis.

I know. I hate the mall. With the stores and the people and the crowding and the escalators one could very likely get stuck on and then tumble to one’s death or get grinded to one’s death, take your pick. But I really, REALLY needed shoes. And was only halfway successful, because I wanted at least one pair of black shoes and one pair of brown shoes and only could find black shoes. WHY NO BROWN SHOES? Is there something you’re not telling me? Has there been a run on brown shoes? Also, there were a lot of patent leather – or at least fake leather – shoes. Shiny shoes? Really? Those get scuffed. Bad news. Who designs these things? And THEN, since I was in the mall anyway, I ran to the store for clothing and again had a little luck but not all the luck and what happened at the store is a story for another day.

WHEW! All the things. When I got home, Dumbcat was all “MOM WHEAR HAEV YOU BENE.” And I collapsed collapedly.

But! You are not here for True Tales of What Amy Did on Saturday. Well, I would assume. You are here for our daily dose of bloggiversary goodness, right? Right. Well! What will we talk about today? What have I learned that I will share with you, from the goodness of my kindly heart, hmm?

Getting Fresh

I know a lot of bloggers dream about getting Freshly Pressed. And it’s a very good dream, and, overall, it’s a very good thing. And (shockingly, still, months later) I can barely believe it happened.

So here’s what happens when you get Freshly Pressed. You write a post. Within a few days, you get an email from WordPress telling you it’s been selected to be Freshly Pressed. If you’re a normal person, you probably think, “Oh! Well! What a deserved honor that has been bestowed upon me! As I am a grand writer!” If you’re me, you start breathing funny, and you squeak like a mouse caught in a trap, then you wonder if you’re being tricked, and you think a mistake has been made.

Punk'd. Just like Justin Timberlake, baby.

Punk’d. Just like Justin Timberlake, baby.

Once your post goes up on Freshly Pressed, you have 24-48 hours where you pretty much need to turn off the notifications on your phone. Because it’s going to be going off ALL THE TIME. You’re going to get a ton of likes, and a ton of new followers, and probably a ton of comments, which, if you’re anal like me, you’re going to want to reply to. Your stats for the day or two are going to shoot through the roof. It’s exhausting, but it’s also exhilarating. Because, listen, I know it’s not nice to mention in polite society, but, well, we’re not polite society here, so I’m safe – I don’t think there are too many of us bloggers that don’t like being the center of attention. Otherwise, why are we here? I think, if given the option, even the blogger who says, “Oh, no, I’m glad I have a small readership, I’m glad no one pays that much attention to me” would immediately sell their soul for a celebrity-level readership. Because, when it all comes down to it, we’re attention whores. Some of us are just a little less shameless about it than others, is all.

You will probably get some trolls. I didn’t get too many, but I did get a few. I just deleted them. I didn’t even let them see the light of day. A lot of the people following you will not be real blogs. I checked out most of the blogs who followed me and a lot of them were placeholder blogs with nothing on them or spam blogs selling male-enhancement pills or, strangely, fake luggage and/or handbags, as if these people are selling things on the streetcorners of New York City. (Lately, this has been happening a lot – I would assume this is happening to most of you WordPress bloggers? Our followers counts are no longer reliable, because most of the followers aren’t real. WordPress knows about it, but says it’s not a problem. I find it shady, but I suppose it’s not really a problem, mostly just an annoyance. I do wish there was a way to make it stop, though. I like to know how many real people are reading my blog, not just weird fake handbag purveyors.) You will also get a lot of people who comment or like once and never come back. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Or at all, actually. Bigger things to worry about in the world, you know?

In-between selling purses on the streetcorner, Antonio blogs most bloggily!

In-between selling purses on the streetcorner, Antonio blogs most bloggily!

After the furor of the few days dies down, things will be back to normal. You might keep some of the people you found (I still have some of those people – hi, people!) but for the most part, those people fade back into the woodwork. You were the flavor of the week. You get a sassy banner for your blog, if you put it up, and you can tell people you were Freshly Pressed, and there you have it.

Is it cool? Hell, yes. Does it change your WHOLE LIFE? Nope. It’s a couple days of awesomeness and then it’s business as usual. It’s nice to be validated. It’s nice that the people at WordPress noticed you. Is it something you should want? Yes. Is it something to be so upset you haven’t gotten? Well, no. And I’ll tell you why. WordPress is looking for something in particular, and very few blogs have it. Follow their Freshly Pressed page for a while in your reader. You’ll see the pattern. The posts are usually short, usually have some sort of pretty graphic or photo, usually are broadly relatable, usually are either something people will argue about or something people will squee over. If you are Freshly Pressed, it is probably not going to be for a post that represents what you usually write about or how you usually even write, which brings in a lot of readers who expect you to write like that all the time and are sorely disappointed. The same people do tend to get Freshly Pressed multiple times. It’s because they know what WordPress is looking for, and because they’re on WordPress’ radar. You can cry foul all you want, but it’s WordPress’ game to play as they wish.

So, yeah. It’s cool. I continue to be pleased it happened. I appreciate that it did. I am always pleased to see it happen to someone whose blog I read and whose work I love and who I care about, because I love that they got that validation. But I also see the flaws in the system, and I hate to see bloggers trying to hard to get Freshly Pressed and getting so depressed when it never seems to happen to them.

Keep writing. Keep doing your thing. If you get Freshly Pressed, awesome. If you don’t, please don’t think it’s a flaw in yourself. It most absolutely is not.

OK, let’s get down to it. So what’s the second-most read post on Lucy’s Football? What’s your guess? Ideas?

Oh, I’m not going to keep you hanging. It’s a beautiful Sunday, you probably want to go play in the sunshine or something.

Aw. Like these kids. You totally want to play like these kids.

Aw. Like these kids. You totally want to play like these kids.

My second-most popular post…in the past two years…

…with – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS INSANITY? – 1,922 hits in the past seven months, I don’t even, I DO NOT EVEN, that is TWICE AS MANY AS THE THIRD MOST POPULAR POST, is…

An Open Letter to Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature.

This post isn’t that funny, or well-researched, or anything but me being peevish when I saw an ex pop up in my “people you may know.” There. That’s your daily glimpse at the man behind the curtain. I wrote this because I was peevish. I am often peevish. Most days I am able to tamp it down and go about my day. This day, I wasn’t.

The stats are so insane on this post because I get hundreds, literally, LIT-rally if you’re Chris Traeger, hundreds, of searches a month from people who want to know things like “how to turn off the people you may know feature” and “people you may know has disappeared” and “there are people I don’t know in the people I may know” and it is UTTER LUNACY.

Listen, I know the Facebook help section is useless. And if you ask stupid questions like this there, you’re not going to find answers. The thing is? I’m going to give you some tough love, here. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ASININE. I will tell you ONE MORE TIME. People you may know on Facebook IS NOT GOING AWAY. It’s just THERE. IGNORE IT. I know you can do this. Put on your big-kid pants and IGNORE THAT SHIT.

IGNORE ITTTTT.

IGNORE ITTTTT.

Or, you know, just keep clicking on the post. I never said I wasn’t an attention whore.

Happy Sunday, people of the internet. One more day, and we reach the END OF BLOGGIVERSARY WEEK! Ok, well, maybe there will be a TEENY bit more the next day but I promise it won’t be as annoying. Have happy Sundays. Relax. Rest. Read. Enjoy life. *smooch*


Royal Rumpus, Day Five: Selling crazy somewhere else and what, exactly, I’ll do for pageviews. No, not that. Ew.

Well, we made it to the weekend. We ALSO made it to the LAST THREE DAYS OF BLOGGIVERSARY WEEK! Whew, home stretch now, kiddos. Deep breaths. Deeeeep breaths.

I am very pleased with the weekend ahead of me. No part-time job; wedding shower for friend K. tomorrow; shopping and writing and reading and staying up late and sleeping in and television-watching and all good things. It’s my last full weekend off until the end of July so I’m living it up, baby. Also, I’m totally going to buy some cute shoes. LIKE A GIRL. But they will have no heel and be practical. LIKE A GROWN-ASS WOMAN. I’m an enigma. Don’t try to pin me down!

This is the type of shoe I favor from April to October every year, pretty much. Practical yet cute. Yep. That's me.

This is the type of shoe I favor from April to October every year, pretty much. Practical yet cute. Yep. That’s me.

(Side note: when I told Dad I was going shoe-shopping, he said, in a horrified tone, “You’ll be sure they’re not SLIPPERY shoes, right?” “What are you implying, beloved father?” I asked him. “Um. Just that…well, you in shoes that are slippery…could be catastrophic…because of falling…” “I’m a walking disaster zone. Just say it,” I said. “Well. Maybe a little,” Dad conceded. I assured him that every pair of shoes I’d ever purchased in the past ten years, no matter how cute and girly on top, had very practical rubbery/sneakery soles. “That’s smart,” Dad said. “Yes. I know my limitations,” I replied.)

So, what shall we talk about today? What sarcastic wisdom shall I pass down to you, oh readers of the Football?

Today, gleaned from two years of blogging goodness, let’s talk about…

Here Be Crazies

And also dragons. Also maybe dragons. One can never tell, on the interwebs.

And also dragons. Also maybe dragons. One can never tell, on the interwebs.

OK, you know how old people are all, “You’d never catch me on the intertubes. Because of the crazymurderers. That’s where the crazymurderers hang out. They would stab you in the eyeball if you talked to them.” (It doesn’t have to be crazymurderers. It could also be sexmurderers or pornomurders or stabmurderers. It’s usually something velcroed to “murderers,” though.)

Well, I’m happy to report I have not yet met a stab/crazy/sex/pornomurderer yet on the interweb. I think that might be a little old-person overkill. Just a little. Plus it doesn’t help that there are all those Dateline and 20/20 episodes about people being sex-trolled or killed by internet denizens. Old people get scared by such things. (Hell, *I* get scared by such things, if I watch them right before bed. I always imagine there’s a stabmurderer in my closet. *shudder* It’s mostly the announcer’s voices that get to me. They’re all rumbly bass and creepy as shit like a horror movie.)

However, there are a lot of people on the internet. And, just like in real life, some of those people you’re going to connect with, some of those people you’re not going to connect with, and some of those people are…um. Well, some of those people have…what I would nicely describe as a tenuous grip on reality.

Hi. Hi. HI. HI HI HI HI HI LOVE ME LOVE ME HI HI HI HIIIIII!I!I1

But here’s the thing. THEY don’t think they’re holding onto reality by finger- and toenails. They think they’re FINE. And when you don’t engage with their particular brand of…whatever it is they’re doing…they don’t take the rejection well. No, not well at all.

I’m not going to go into personal detail, because a., that’s tacky, and b., I know for a fact that some of these people still read my blog and make passive-aggressive comments about me elsewhere. And you know what? Cool. That’s cool. If that helps you sleep at night, go to. I know I sleep better at night knowing I no longer engage with your particular brand of lunacy all up in my face on a regular basis; so if for whatever reason you feel the need to blast about me on the internet, have at it. Once and a while I see these things and I have a momentary flash of “I SHOULD DEFEND MYSELF!” but it passes. Because hanging onto that for this long…well, it’s not healthy. But you know what? It’s cool. I can’t say I wish you well, but I can say I wish you to get well.

As a blogger, you put yourself out there. You make friends. That’s the good part. You make honest, true friends. Real friends. People who would, at a moment’s notice, go to the mat for you. Without a second thought. I’ve been humbled time and again by the selfless actions of some of my friends I’ve met through blogging. You also build a community – maybe not close friends, but allies. Like-minded individuals. The crazy people are few and far between. And you meet them in real life, too. It’s just on the internet, they’re a little more concentrated. And they don’t seem to know when to stop.

They seem to have a little Bachmann-crazy going on. Very avid. Worrisome.

They seem to have a little Bachmann-crazy going on. Very avid. Worrisome.

Andreas and I talked about this when we met in New York in March. Up until that point, we had both been just internet people, you know? Albeit very close internet people. We discussed the craziness on the interwebs, as we know some of the same people. “People are very lonely,” Andreas said, very wisely. “And they don’t know how to relate to people. And they don’t realize how they’re coming across. I mean, we’re all a little weird. But some people are a little…well, MORE weird.”

(Andreas has the best advice and/or observations, seriously. He’s my go-to when I need someone to set me straight on something. Well, let’s be honest, he’s my go-to for just about everything, because he’s one of my dearest friends in all the world. But when it comes to advice, he’s pretty unparalleled.)

It all boils down to this. You’ll relate to some people you meet online; you won’t relate to others. You cannot take this shit personally. Unless they start making it personal, of course – trolling you, threatening you, being way too personal and/or creepy with you – anything that makes you feel uncomfortable – none of that is ok, and of course that’s personal. If it’s a low-grade annoyance, just cut it off and let it go. If it’s a bigger scale thing – well, still cut it off. Still let it go. Do it as well as you can. The other person is not likely to take it well; that’s a risk you run. However, it’s either that, or that person is in your life, well, forever, and maybe you can be BFFs for LIFE with this person, which I think you can agree is not the best option? So it’s best to end it, whatever way you need to do that. Just try to be classy, if you can? Classiness is best. Always. Except for when you’re eating ribs. Then it’s every woman for herself.

Om nom nom.

Om nom nom.

(Also, and this might be just me, but if you hurt one of my friends, you’re pretty much dead to me. I just want to put that out there. My friends are very important to me, and I’m very loyal to them. If you aren’t careful with their heart? I no longer want to know you. Sorry. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule; if I’m friends with members of a couple separately before they get together, and they break up, I could potentially stay friends with them both after the breakup. But those exceptions are few and far between. So be as careful with my friends’ hearts as you are with mine, current and potential friends. Warning delivered.)

And of course watch out for the stabmurderers in your closet, because what a way to go that’d be, right?

OK, let’s see. THIRD-most popular post on the Football, here, over the past two years. This one was where I did something PERSONALLY PAINFUL for HUMOROUS RESULTS. No, not the time I blogged about going to see the gynecologist. Although that was not funtimes, either, for me OR my ladybits.

So! The THIRD-MOST POPULAR POST…

…over the past two years…

…with 884 hits in the past little-less-than-a-year…

Yep, you got it. It is “Truly, I am a marionette, and he is a master puppeteer.”

OMG THIS IS A THING MY EYES MY EYEEEESSSSS

OMG THIS IS A THING MY EYES MY EYEEEESSSSS

I totally suffered through the first book in the 50 Shades trilogy for you guys. And look, apparently it was ALL WORTH IT! It’s ALL FOR THE INTERNETTY LOVE, BABY!

(Yet, not enough to read the other two books. Sorry, guys, apparently I’m slightly masochistic, but not masochistic enough to force myself through two more books of that garbage.)

Apparently, this post made you guys laugh. A lot. And I do so like to make you laugh. So, thanks for that. It made suffering through “arghs” and inner goddess monologues and “laters, baby” totally worth it.

Well, mostly.

Back tomorrow. What WILL our top two posts be? Are you totally on pins and needles here? If so, get off those, you’ll get tetanus. Happy Saturday, my little cheese doodles.


Royal Rumpus, Day Four: Livin’ in Beverly Hills on your blogging millions. Also, thanks, you guys.

OK, I have to be quick like a bunny tonight. I went shopping and took WAY TOO LONG in the craft store. Like, insanely long. I’m a goofball. See, I had to buy craft supplies for the thing I’m doing for the Zombiecorn fiction contest? Which you’re all going to totally enter, because you want a piece of artwork by me in your home, correct? And then I’d get distracted by things like this…

I think this is for scrapbooking? Or maybe for a bumper sticker, I don’t know. Why’s it so huge? There were a lot of God things. I was just informed that religious people own Hobby Lobby. I only went there because it’s new and really big and I thought it might have a better selection of unicorns and zombies and skulls and rainbows. The answer is, it had none of those things (no, I take that back, it had some awesome skull stickers that I snatched up), but I found a workaround, so whoever wins this prize is really going to be super-impressed and they’d better put a photo of the most epic piece of artwork ever to grace their home on the interwebs, is all that I’m saying.

ANYWAY, today is day FOUR of the seven-day bloggiversary extravaganza, and my head’s not really in the game today. I’ll try to shake it around a little for you like a Magic 8-Ball or something. TRY AGAIN LATER, says Amy’s brain! Dammit.

I feel like a lot of days are Outlook Not So Good days, to be honest. I should probably get a tattoo of this somewhere.

I feel like a lot of days are Outlook Not So Good days, to be honest. I should probably get a tattoo of this somewhere.

What will we talk about today? You will be pleased to know I actually wrote down some ideas here on a post-it for what to discuss. You will be less pleased to know I spilled frozen dinner on it tonight so it’s sticky. Gravy, if you must know. I spilled gravy on it. I never said I was a gourmet chef, and I was in a hurry. ALSO, I was totally going to treat myself to new shoes tonight but my shoe store I always go to closed. Dammit. I think that’s because no one ever went there but me and I buy shoes every three years or so. But that’s why I LIKED it. Because it was always QUIET and I could shop in PEACE. Sigh. Now I have to go to the damn mall and I hate the mall.

Today, in our continuing series of things I have learned in the last almost 730 days of my life (that’s two years, aren’t you so proud I figured that out all on my own?) of blogging, is…

Don’t quit your day job, jellybean. (Although you might get fired from your day job.)

Blogging’s not going to make you your millions. I was recently reading the blog of a woman who purported to have been able to quit her job (come to find out she was downsized out of it) and makes a living blogging. But a little digging (I’m a digger, me, I think I have some mole in my bloodline) led me to find out that she’s not making a living just BLOGGING. She also freelances, sells a bunch of shady ads, solicits endlessly for donations (begging “please, if you like what you see, Paypal me some money!”), writes “books” (I say that in quotes because they’re not very good so they’re really, in my estimation, only books in that they have pages and words on them; they seem to be a self-help series that she wrote in about a week, and it shows)…it’s not like she magically started getting a paycheck for blogging. (I unfollowed her blog. It was a lot like reading a sales pitch every day. It was off-putting.)

It's ME, you guys! I AM THE PRODUCT BUY ME LOVE MEEEEEE! *unfollow*

It’s ME, you guys! I AM THE PRODUCT BUY ME LOVE MEEEEEE! *unfollow*

Yes, some people get paid for blogging. Again, I’ll invoke The Bloggess. She makes money blogging. By selling ads, mostly, I think. But she also wrote a best-selling book, and writes freelance articles, and does a lot of other things on the side, and I think that’s all part of her “blogging” paycheck. I think Dooce makes a living blogging now, I don’t read her blog, but someone recently bemoaned the fact that her blog’s nothing but ads and shilling. I never much liked her writing, so I can neither confirm or deny that, and I don’t care enough to research it. If she’s making a living blogging, it sounds about right.

If you go into blogging expecting a fat paycheck…well, you’re going to either get really hungry or really depressed, depending on whether or not you quit your job. There are ways to make a LITTLE money from blogging, but they take work, and not all of them leave a good taste in your mouth. (Ew. I just realized I made it sound like you have to give blow jobs in order to make money from blogging. Please know that was not an intentional euphemism, although it is a very funny and a very good one, and that I don’t advocate you prostituting yourself for blogging revenue.)

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, sell yourself to this guy for blogging revenue. You just know he'd pay you in shoe insoles or old shrimp or something weird.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, sell yourself to this guy for blogging revenue. You just know he’d pay you in shoe insoles or old shrimp or something weird.

I’ve been blogging for two years. Over those years, I’ve made…drumroll…$125. I’ve spent probably $100-ish on the domain and the custom blogging package and what-have-you, so really I only made $25 and I spent that almost immediately on my cell phone bill. Oh, shit, and then I did a giveaway and there was postage so, yeah. I’m in the red. IN. THE. RED. (I have a friend that can’t remember if “in the red” is good or bad and always has to ask me so the other day I told her “it’s like a stop light. You don’t drive when it’s red, right? Because red is bad. Also if a teacher gives you a test all marked up, what color do they use? Red” and she was super-impressed with my helpfulness.)

Well, bloggers, anyway, I think. Not ALL of us. Some of you might have some money, what do I know?

Well, bloggers, anyway, I think. Not ALL of us. Some of you might have some money, what do I know?

How did I make that money? Ads. Those ads you see at the top (and I think bottom? or side? I don’t know, I have an ad blocker, and I recommend everyone get one, even though it cuts down on my revenue, it’s the best) of my blog get me a few pennies every time you open my homepage (and a few MORE pennies every time you click on them.) Once I get to $100 or more, WordPress Paypals me the money. It took almost two years to get that money. Yep. I know. I’m fancy.

There are ways to get more money, however. And goods. And services. I do get free books/ebooks for book blogging (but one could argue I’m doing them a service, so it’s not so much a gift, but a trade – their book, my writing about it.) I’ve also gotten numerous shady emails from companies that want me to do sponsored posts. They’ll send me goods, I write about how much I love the goods. They never say, “You try the goods and write an unbiased review,” like publishers do. It’s always, “We’ll send you the goods in exchange for a sponsored post telling your readers how much you love them.” So far, I’ve been offered free sunglasses (which I can’t wear, as I wear glasses); free bumper stickers (I don’t approve of putting propaganda on my car); free business cards (fine, but you can buy those for like $6, and I think my soul is worth more than that); and, my most favorite, SOMETHING I WAS NOT INFORMED ABOUT. She was from a travel company and wanted me to work with her client but said “please note, we are not offering free travel.” Well, shit, what ARE you offering? I’d totally travel and blog about it for you if you were offering, but if it’s NOT free travel, what, you want me to pay for my travel and THEN write about how much I like your client? I don’t see that there’s a win for me here.

(Except not. Not at all free.)

(Except not. Not at all free.)

Otherwise, I hear you. “BUT AMY!” you’re asking. “HOW CAN I MAKE MY BLOGGING MILLIONS?”

Well, first, I think you either have to have a husband or wife with a lot of money to support you while you don’t have a revenue stream for a while, or at least a fat bank account. Do you have that? What? No? Hmm. This is going to be tough.

Then I think you have to get a massive following, because you’re going to market to these people. I don’t care how you get it. Write posts that you know will get in readers. Don’t believe in anything you say. Never write anything that will piss anyone off! You can’t afford to lose a single one of those potential consumers! Write things that are middle-of-the-road and that everyone can relate to. Read up on search engine optimization. You see a lot of things about SEO, right? DO THAT. Write about shit everyone’s searching for that day, even if you find it personally repugnant. Do you think same sex marriage should be legal? Well, you’ll get a lot more hits if you say it should be ILLEGAL! So you know which one you need to do! YOU NEED THOSE HITS! Be #teamfollowback on Twitter, that seems to bring a lot of people in, I mean, it’s not like you care about quality.

I know, it's going to be tough, but you're the one who wants to make blogging millions, so step it up, buckaroo!

I know, it’s going to be tough, but you’re the one who wants to make blogging millions, so step it up, buckaroo!

Then, once you’ve hook, line, and sinkered those people in, start marketing to them. Sell so many ads that you barely have room on your blog for text. Because listen, text’s not paying the rent. Put a huge, egregious Paypal donate button on your blog. Not one that you have there because you’re raising money for a charity or for a crisis; one that you’re relying on to pay your rent. Beseech your readers constantly to give you money. Partner with a lot of shady companies and write sponsored posts about how much you like Cream of Wheat, vibrators, and Polident (or all three at once, what the hell.)

The money’s going to start ROLLING IN. You can just backstroke along on it like Scrooge McDuck.

What? What’s that? You don’t want to do this because you think it sounds cheap and dirty and like you’re whoring yourself out and no one will take you seriously and you’d lose both cred and friends?

WHAT DID I TELL YOU AT THE TOP OF THIS SECTION.

You’re not going to make a living from blogging. Not and be happy about the result. Yes, Dooce and The Bloggess might have, but think of all the bloggers there are out there, and I can only think of two who’ve really made a living from it (and I’m pretty sure Jennie works her ass off with all of her projects – I don’t know anything about Dooce, but I can’t imagine she sits around all day and eats bonbons.)

You write because you love it, because you love the community you’ve created, and because you can’t NOT write. And that’s that. If you make a little money from it here and there – well, that’s just a happy side-effect, is all. Buy yourself a happy new hat or something.

(Also, you can get fired for blogging. Dooce did. I did – although I’m pretty sure they wanted me gone and saying it was for blogging was just the excuse they decided to go with because “we hate you, you hate it here, and this is obviously a terrible fit for all of us” isn’t really the way you fire someone, not unless you want to pay unemployment – and I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there with similar stories. I don’t do anything blog-wise from work anymore; I barely mention my job on here anymore. Did I wise up? Eh. I don’t know if I so much “wised up” as I like my job now and would like to keep it a good long time. I was kind of purposely sabotaging myself at the old one, I think, because I knew I’d never have the courage to quit. Nice job, subconscious! So if you blog, and you do it about/from work? BE CAREFUL MY LITTLE LADYBUGS!)

FIRED! Be cautious, unless you want to eat popcorn and water for dinner for a while. What? Is there butter on the popcorn? NO OF COURSE THERE ISN'T!!! You can't afford BUTTER!

FIRED! Be cautious, unless you want to eat popcorn and water for dinner for a while. What? Is there butter on the popcorn? NO OF COURSE THERE ISN’T!!! You can’t afford BUTTER!

OK, this is getting ranty-long. So before I fall asleep and/or you lose all interest, let’s talk about my FOURTH-MOST POPULAR POST OF ALL TIME!

Guesses? This one makes me proud as hell of you guys.

Fourth-most-popular post, with 807 views in just three months (you all shared the hell out of this one, and I appreciate that)…is…

An Open Letter to Jane Doe, the Victim of the Steubenville Rape Case (Trigger Warning)

It took me longer than it should to get to the point where I could write this post. A lot of other people had already written posts about this. A lot of other people had already written AMAZING posts about this. But I just couldn’t let it go. I saved an article from the New York Times when the story first broke for the longest time, trying to build up the courage to write the post. I drafted it in my head a number of times. I talked myself into, then out of, writing it, over and over.

But when the verdict came down, and it seemed that the loudest voices were not supporting the victim, but bemoaning the lack of a bright potential future for the convicted rapists…

Well, there are things I keep quiet about because I don’t think I’ll do them justice, or because I think they’ve been done to death, or because I tend to jump on the bandwagon once it’s already full and I tumble right off the back. But this girl. This brave girl. We were doing a disservice to her. She stood against an entire town, amidst death threats, and told what she remembered to have happened to her; I at least owed her a post. It was the least I could do.

And your response was more than I could have hoped for. I thank you all so much for that. Every comment, every share, every private message about it – thank you. It’s a subject very near to my heart, and I can’t thank you all enough.

OK. To bed with me. It’s Friday! And I get the whole weekend off! Because Saturday I’m going to a wedding shower so therefore I can’t work and that means I actually get a weekend this week! OMG IT IS UTTER INSANITY!!!

Happy Friday, everyone. And if any of you DO make your blogging millions, and you want to throw a little my way, I wouldn’t turn you down. I could use some new shoes, and the really fancy chocolate, you know, the kind that even TASTES expensive? Yum.


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