Tag Archives: Blog

Journal – No sound of crickets here

 

Yesterday was my birthday. Since my birthday is a national holiday, quite a few people were allowed to stay home. Instead of working I chased my nephew and nieces around outside, sat in front of a fire, and had a nice dinner.

The kids had erected a steep five foot slide out of the snow, with no stairs. It was packed slick from many kid butts, so the only way to really use it was to throw yourself facefirst over the side wall and then slide down on your belly like a penguin. The kids managed to sled down it, go down on their knees, all kinds of tricks. I was just happy to be able to manage the penguin thing.

For my birthday present, I made my sister buy me cricket powder. Then we made cricket crackers (the cricket-eating community like to call these “chirps” instead of chips) and her whole family was forced to eat them with dinner. It was all that I could have asked for and more!

We learned that crickets taste odd. Very earthy. They’re little earth golems, so they taste like dirt, cocoa, mushrooms, strange buggy overtones, and the occasional tiny gravel crunch that makes you stop chewing and go… what part was that? All in all a very brown flavor.

I could get to like them. They’re healthy, sustainable, and a source of protein in many other cultures. But it’d take some training, some mental gymnastics, and a lot more cricket powder. It’s too expensive! And why should I work so hard to train myself to enjoy a food which would just further cull me from the herd?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Journal – How to be Cool at the Boba Tea Place

I’m all out of (good) poems, so here’s a story from my day.

 

 

Cowdog Creatives and I went to our favorite boba tea place yesterday.

320px-bubble_tea

I don’t think everyone has had boba tea before (please correct this ASAP), but when they give you the tea at this place, they give you a clear plastic cup, and they laminate a plastic film over the top instead of popping on a conventional lid. You are also handed an oversized, stabby-ended straw. Then you get to stab your beverage. This part alone worth the four dollars.

Being whatever the fuck I am, one day I decided to order an avocado flavored one. It came to me vivid green and unsettlingly viscous. I commenced the drink stabbing ritual. But the cup was flimsy, and I hadn’t supported it correctly. The film was only partially perforated by my action. Instead, all of the pressure I applied went into crumpling the cup, which in turn pressurized the contents, which ejaculated out of the hole I’d made and coated the counter and floor in neon green avocado flavored boba tea. As a final indignity, the cup fell over lamely, spilling more.

This was of course hilarious. Cowdog Creatives and I laughed ourselves weak. I grabbed a handful of napkins to mop up the mess, not noticing the little ceramic napkin weight on top of the stack. It got hefted and landed hard with a teeth-gritting clank, but did not, by some miracle, break. So that was just more awkward.

I realized, after we’d inexpertly wiped up the mess, that the nice Asian clerks, usually ineffably kind and patient, hadn’t lifted a finger to help us. They just sort of pretended we weren’t there.  Was this penance? Or perhaps this was the polite thing to do in their minds?

It turned out to be a stroke of luck that I spilled much of that blasted drink, because it turned out to be weird, rich, heavy, regrettable.

 

Yesterday we were in the same shop. There was a guy next to us with three friends, and he did the exact same thing. He failed to quickly and humanely execute his beverage. It bled out two-thirds of the contents all over the floor, an even bigger mess than my own epic one.

I told him not to feel bad, I’d done the same thing once. They asked the clerks for paper towels and a roll was passed over the counter to them. Once again, the guests ended up cleaning the majority of their own mess. The cashier actually did come out with a mop this time, but too late, the mess was already gone, along with the entire paper towel roll.

As we were leaving, we overheard the guy say, “why is everyone in here helping me clean this up, except my own girlfriend?”

She alone sat placidly sipping her drink, unconcerned by his public outing of her behavior.

 

The moral of this story is, go drink boba tea, but support the walls of your cup if you want to perform a clean execution. It tastes better without the shame, manual labor, or avocado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Deep down, we’re all like-and-follow whores

A friend asked me about getting more likes and followers, and I drafted this in response. It’s a little summary of things I’ve picked up since I started blogging.

I figured it would be worth sharing with you all, too. Maybe there’ll be something in this list that you never knew.

 

  • Content
    1. Find the thing you enjoy writing/posting the most, and stick with it. Whatever you want your site to be, there will be an audience for it somewhere. If you enjoy writing it, it’ll be an enjoyable read. The thing that comes easiest to you is most likely your strength.
    2. Honesty is key. People respond to the humanity of others. People love to read about people.
    3. Titles should be succinct, searchable, intriguing.
    4. Tag your posts with every possible search term. It’s OK to go ballistic on this, especially if you choose to hide the tags so they don’t clutter your site.
    5. Brief content is more quickly read and processed, and gets more likes. You can spam the hell out of people with one-liners, and they don’t seem to mind.
    6. When you create a website, you are fostering a little culture of your own. Whatever your content, likeminded people will follow your site. Whether or not you write weightier content or fluffy content is up to you; go with your gut. You’ll make weightier or fluffier friends, so choose wisely what you want your friends to weigh.
  • Consistency
    1. Post consistently. This is major. Consistent readers want consistent writers, and you want consistent readers. It doesn’t matter if it’s every day, every week, or every month, so long as you deliver on the same day each time.
    2. Write consistently. Choose a theme for your site and stick to it. Your readers get more comfortable once they know what to expect. If you have a variety of interests, consider organizing them into a consistent pattern. For example, you could do a real life post on Monday, a song post on Wednesday, and a quote on Friday. If your interests are too disparate, consider maintaining different sites for each.
    3. It takes time to build an audience. Don’t give up, don’t slack off. Schedule posts ahead of time if you need a break.
  • Marketing
    1. The more links there are to your content, the more searchable your work will be online. This means the more time you spend being active online (commenting, tweeting, FB group posting, etc) the more people will find you.
    2. Comment on other pages. If you consistently give feedback, you’ll make friends, and they’ll come back to your blog and comment back. This is especially rewarding, but you will find yourself investing a lot of time in reading others’ posts. It’s a question of what kind of an effort and reward you’re looking for. You get back whatever you put in.
    3. Take advantage of writing contests, prompts, word-of-the-day, etc. Readers who are curious about responses to the prompt will be driven to your site.
    4. Search for websites related to your favorite topics and make comments on their pages too. Don’t pander for likes, but an informed, thoughtful, or witty comment followed by your URL might get some attention.
    5. Follow the trends. If you truly want your site to be big, then take a look at which of your posts got the biggest responses, and lean your content that way. Be very careful with this tip: if you follow the trends too closely, you could end up a successful blogger, spend all your time blogging about blogging, and lose your soul.
  • You don’t want to be popular anyway
    1. The popular kids are the ones who don’t care about being popular, right? It’s a catch-22. If you don’t want to be popular, and don’t try to be popular, then people will be drawn to your confidence. You’ll post what you want, and your work will have integrity for it, and people will be drawn to that, too.
    2. Have FUN! There’s no point if you don’t have fun. Odds are you won’t be famous. But you will learn lots, and you’ll make friends, and you’ll have a creative outlet to be proud of. If you’re good, might get your site to pay for itself. If you’re downright amazing, you might get your site to pay for your sandwiches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Journal – How to be Cool at Parties

I promised to tell you my awkward adventure from Thanksgiving break last week.

It started first thing in the morning. I was on vacation from work, so I slept in, and when I oversleep, my dreams sour. I dreamed I was back in college, and I forgot to wear my shirt! How did I miss that? I tried to play it off like I was just a really confident free-the-nipple nudist type, and pretended I wasn’t bothered by the awkward awareness of those around me. When class ended, I tried to get the fuck out but promptly got lost in the building. The changing corridors and endless room after room was like Hogwarts or a dungeon, except with postmodern decor and architecture. Then a teacher found me and engaged me in a long conversation about an assignment, while both of us tried our hardest to act like I was fully clothed NOTHING WAS ODD HERE.

I woke up feeling like something that got dug out of the mud. I hadn’t had a dream with such bad confidence in ages.

I checked my phone and saw that my nice neighbor, with whom I have a budding and fragile friendship, was having a party today so that everyone could help her put hair in dreads (apparently it’s a very labor intensive and time consuming process). I wanted to go so badly but was really disgustingly sick, with full-on sinus drainage and coughing my way through contagious phlegm walls. I decided it was most polite not to go to her house and spray-sneeze mutant germs on her adorable toddler. Also, she might not appreciate having a disease permanently knotted into her dreads as I worked my dried-snot fingers through her hair strand by strand.

So I sent her a text explaining why I couldn’t come and said I’d pop by real quick just to see the finished result. She never answered, I figured she was busy with her friends. I waited until an hour after the time she’d said the party would be over, put on human clothes, sanitized myself as best I could, and knocked on her door.

She answered the door, silky-haired, not a dreadlock in sight. I stared at her confused, and said, “were you not… um… getting your hair done… today?”

It was her turn to look confused. She sort of turned toward the inside to address someone else and it dawned on me, dodo that I was, that this wasn’t the girl I knew. It was her sister.

I am bad with faces. Really bad with faces. Like, really, clinically bad. I think I’ve got a strain of Asperger’s in me somewhere. I should have known her face. I’ve been to her house two or three times before, she’s been to my house at least once, I’ve seen her drawings, we’re friends on Facebook. I had NO excuse. Granted, her sister looked a bit like her, same hair, similar features, but not similar enough.

I was mortified. There was a stunned moment while the sister realized my mistake, and I realized my mistake, and then she let me in. There may have been additional dialogue where I apologized in embarrassment and explained I was bad with faces, but I can’t remember the exact dialogue, only the trauma ricocheting through my soul. I walked in the door and was immediately faced with six of her family and friends, most of whom were wrist deep in her hair (three hours, five people, and it was only about halfway done, yeesh), all of whom had witnessed my blunder. Gaawwwwd.

Then came a round of introductions, and all I could think was, I am carrying Plague. Everybody here will curse my name in snot and misery in 48 hours. Blah blah name, sister. Blah blah name, other sister. Blah blah name, sister’s boyfriend. Blah blah name, friend and dread expert.

Hello, hello, hi, I say. Nice to meet you oh Jesus so many people where I expected none, howsooncanIleave?

I smiled at the toddler. The toddler smiled at me and presented me with a Barbie hairbrush. I wanted to take it to show her what her hospitable gesture meant to me, but I didn’t want to infect and kill this sweet child, the only person here with whom I actually felt comfortable.

“Well,” I said weakly. “I didn’t expect all these people to be here and I have a cold and I just wanted to see your hair real quick… maybe you could pop by later and show me when it’s done…”

“I can do that,” she said pleasantly, being the paragon of a gracious and polite hostess that she is, as well as twelve times my superior in matters of real life and social niceties and parties and facial recognition.

So I calmly left the house and shut the door. Then I hurried back across the lawn to mine… no. I fled. I ran like the most awkward party moment I’ve encountered in my adult life was nipping hard at my heels. I ran like a fucking deer. I raced to my door, skidded to a stop on the welcome mat, well, not so much skidded to a stop as skidded out entirely. The cheapass $3 welcome mat which I’ve had for ten years, the least welcoming household item I own, which looks like filthy hell and is utterly incapable of meeting any of the expected welcome mat functions, took my momentum as an opportunity to escape with my life in tow. My feet went sideways, and my ass went straight down.

I skinned my big toe and scraped my knee. Grownup injuries are different from kid injuries. When a grownup gets an injury, you can’t just cover that shit with a gentle kiss and a Little Mermaid band-aid. You need three fistfuls of wadded paper towels to mop up the dripping body fluids, and you have to get down on the floor and track yourself through the house to find and scrub out lost droplets and toeprints.

So that’s how I scraped my knee and toe. My adventure was so lame, I was literally lamed by the end of it.

 

P.S., She didn’t visit but she texted me a selfie and she looks super cute and she doesn’t seem to judge me, so I might still have a small, brittle hope for a future friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Husk. Also my brother is amazing

Allow me a moment to brag on my big brother. He’s got a blog too, actually, on financial freedom.

https://goldengooseguide.com

He’s been blogging for a year and only had about twelve posts total but he’s already gone viral. WTF Josh. Of course he’s engineered it well with the social media, the eye-catching titles, and original well-thought-out content. He’s the oldest so he does everything well. It’s fascinating to me that no matter how similar we might be in genetics and values and upbringing, our blogs turned out to be nearly complete opposites.

I would feel competitive with him, but he’s so far beyond my limits that I just give up say, good for him. I love him tremendously, so I must be happy for him. And it helps to know, in my heart of hearts, that I can always move into his basement.

Welp, time to air my insecurities again.


 

 

There was a while there

When I wrote gold

I spun golden threads from flax

I wove silk from cotton

I was an unstoppable force

What happened?

I ran out

I spent myself

Now I’m just a husk

Remembering her glory days

A husk

So dry

So dry.

What is a husk?

Was I once a bright and sweet ear of corn?

What else has a husk?

Mummies are husks

Many plants have them

And so am I

 

My seed is gone, germinated

And all that is left

Is this husk

A reminder

That once here was life

That once

I too was human

And vibrant

And full

Pregnant with life

With ideas

With words

Words like you’d never heard before

I had rhymes

I had every kind of poem

All that I touched was given power

With language alone

I animated the minds of others.

Now this.

This husk.

This weak and tired

Crispy

Dry

Thing.

It’s fall

I’ve been harvested.

Nothing left in me

Until next spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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