You didn’t ask for it, but it happened,
let’s not go into detail how, there it is.
Do what you will with that life (do no harm);
despite what some people will tell you,
you (mostly) choose how to live it.
One, two, one, two, three
Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!
Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!
Struggled with faith in food love or food miracles (miracles) uh!Never wanna put my heart/stomach on the line, uh!But swimming in your Phenylethylalanine is something spiritual (spiritual) uh!I’m born again every time your flavonoids spend the night, uh!
‘Cause your Tryptophan takes me to paradise
Yeah your Seratonin takes me to paradiseAnd it shows, yeah, yeah, yeah
‘Cause you make me feel like,
I’ve been locked out of chocolate heaven
For too long, for too long…
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh!
Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, uh! I grant Bruno Mars and his writing team weren’t talking about chocolate, but feel free to go with the original lyrics, my chocolatified version, or add your food/beverage fav, I dunno, just off the top of my head: Wine, Pierogi, coffee, scones, fried chicken, brownies, Butter Tarts, Kevin Bacon (cook at more than 6 degrees), corn dogs, cotton candy, tea, Pumpkin Spice Girls latte, crumpets, snow cones, rice, cereal, funnel cakes, Sir Alec Guiness beer, martini (shaken not stirred), pizza, John Candy, B-52, Som tam, Injera, dumplings, smoothies, eggnog, Dosa, Bagels, doughnuts/donuts, Superman, Black Panther, Captain America, Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Loki, Aquaman, Thor, Star Lord, Deadpool, Spiderman, Black Widow, Iron Man, Batman, Captain Marvel (seriously, you can have Marvel and DC Comics cocktails – please don’t drink and hero), Fudge, Bonbons, Lauren Graham crackers (crunch super-fast), cake (https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/09/16/you-had-me-at-cake/), Butter Chicken, tacos, Poke, Wagyu beef, paella, French toast (with ketchup) kebabs, Champ, Bannock, Corn on the cob, Potjiekos, Basil Rathbone, lobster, Baklava, Christina Applegate (haven’t watched “Dead To Me” on Netflix? Give yourself a summer treat), Philly cheese steak, Dim Sum, Samosas, Ty Cobb salad, Caesar salad (Veni, vidi, vici), Waldorf salad (or The Big Salad), Pad Thai, Bologna (m-m-m-my Bologna!), Rosemary Clooney, Bratwurst/Sauerkraut, Chicago Deep Dish, Spanikopita (I should say I love you more often), kale, New York peppermint patties, honey, broccoli, BBQ, Sean Bean (One Does Not Simply Eat Beans the Musical Fruit because the more you eat…), Tandoori, Masala, Vindaloo anything (would make a shoe taste good), pineapple (you know that’s right), Fusion (don’t jump to the conclusion these foods suffers from confusion), Piri-Piri chicken, Brandy (you’re a fine girl), chorizo, Darryl Strawberry Shortcake,
Biryani, Peameal/Back bacon, salmon, Sugar Ray Leonard, spaghetti and meatballs, marshmallows, chocolate syrup, candy canes, candy corn, Pop Tarts, maple syrup (spaghetti with maple syrup?), Nanaimo bars, Tim Tams, Peaches Geldof, steak, eggs, olives, spring rolls, summer rolls, California rolls, egg rolls, buttered rolls (causing rolls?), avocados, chocolate chip cookies, Beavertails, Oysters Rockefeller, Heather Graham crackers, onion rings (‘Cause if you like it, then you shoulda put an onion ring on it), Bubble and squeak, Moose tacos, Beef Stroganoff, chicken, Gyros, crab, Meat Loaf (2 out of 3 ain’t bad), Vegemite, fajitas, Naan, shrimp, Toad-in-the-hole (no toads were harmed in the making of this dish, but frogs are fair game for food…run Kermit, run!!!), Jello, pot stickers, Buffalo wings (I get how they might fly, but how do they land?), chocolate/candy bars, Ginger Rogers, fish’n’chips, Christmas pudding, Poutine, chocolate pudding,Pho, pita, Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch, enchiladas, Bloody Mary (Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary), grasshoppers (to each their own, if you cover them with chocolate…), Sourdough bread, Saffron Burrows, Chop Suey, Croissants, chocolate–covered almonds, muffins, Sloppy Joes, Brioche, Banana bread, Twinkies, Arnold Palmer, wontons, Tater tots (not made out of real tots), Carrot Top, hot dogs, hamburgers, Jajangmyeon, rye bread, Souvlaki, Munster cheese (found at 1313 Mockingbird Lane), Kobe beef, yogurt, snails (meow), Alison Brie Larson, turnovers, strudel, Beef Wellington, Gumbo, Kung Pao Chicken, Churros, Alyssa Milano cookies, nachos/salsa, ice cream, Soufflé, snake, Harvey Milk, Sushi, Irish stew, Vanilla Ice (Ice Ice Baby), crepes, Souvlaki, Blinis, mac n’cheese,
Bangers and Mash, Halston Sage, gnocchi, Chow Mein/Lo-Mein (just ‘mein’ line that stuff right into my veins), Kofta, chips/crisps, Chocolate milkshakes, Coq au Vin Diesel, I Am GRoot Vegetables, chili, Pastitsio, Matzo Ball soup, chicken noodle soup, tomato soup…soup there it is (no soup for you!), Pop/Soda/Soda Pop/Soft drinks, Tim Curry, cheesecake, lamb (“What do you mean, you don’t eat no meat? [the entire room stops, in shock]…That’s okay. I make lamb.” Hilarious line, only Andrea Martin could have pulled it off; My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Sandwiches, bacon, peanut butter and banana sandwich, New York-style pastrami, pickles, clam chowder, Knish, Fiona Apple pie, cream pie, Cherry Jones pie, infinite pi? Halle Berry cobbler, stromboli, Baked Alaska, haggis, Kugel, tamales, Beef Bourguignon, calamari, pancakes, caviar, Waffles, Salmon Mousse, Cawl, Chuck Berry crumble (Roll Over Beethoven), French Fries, deep-fried ice cream, cannoli (leave the gun), hummus, lasagna, Reuben, popcorn…Sorry, I think I just fell into a food fantasy spiral…Anyway, yeah yeah yeah yeah ’cause I really think food could bring us together, think of it babe whenever, some foul-talking jerk comes along trying to divide us, you gotta stay strong…Look in your heart
and let food keep us together…whatever.
I will, I will, I will
I will be there to share forever… I recently tried to break free from my chocolatemania…not cold turkey (of course).Just weaning myself down. As long as stress stays away (with Fibromyalgia and life, sounds reasonable), I’m sure the chocolate craving will as well (ha!). Speaking of First World Problems ‘stress’ (https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/), you may have noticed WordPress (can’t you just pretend to be nice? https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/06/10/cant-you-just-pretend-to-be-nice/) with it’s new Gutenberg Editor has riddled posts and comments (https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/05/03/very-me/) with ADS, as far as I’m concerned, stealing our creative voice. Unless you pay the greedy blog gods a ransom fee to remove the malware (aka ads). Why does society put up with greed, lies and corruption, even making excuses for it? Could be we feel powerless, maybe we’re just so used to being lied to, we’ve got consumer Stockholm Syndrome.Whatever the reason, it’ll only get worse. In The Game of Life (https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/03/25/welcome-to-your-life/) you encounter obstacles, but at least there’s a chance to win; who thinks in this checkered world, the game is permanently fixed?
You’ll die. I’ll die. None of us gets out alive. We didn’t ask to be here. Hopefully we had some good times along the way, but we’re all going to die, one way or another. Don’t have to like it; there it is. Someday you’ll blow out the last candle on your birthday cake. Answer a door to a Mister Death, something about the reaping. Go gentle into that good night or rage against it, but don’t just kill time getting there. Until then, hope you have the time of your life.
I had too much to dream last night…again.
I feel like I’m suffering from a dream hangover.
I woke from my confusing, at times, exhilarating Dickens’ A Christmas Carol -like dream (with Muppets), and again, filled with revelations. I was visited once again by Donald Trump who told me 3 others (the best 3 others) would visit that night. It was terrifying, he still wore the chains of greed, intolerance, and suffering he’d forged link by link…it seemed like there was more of the hairspray than grave about him.
When Colin Firth showed up as my Ghost of Christmas Past in the white shirt from Pride and Prejudice (you know the one, ladies), I thought, bring it on, this dream just got X-tra special. He reminded me that all things past are actually always still with us…
My Ghost of Christmas Present (what a gift) turned out to be my own insecurities, about: writing, parenting, weight (with all that weight I fear I may have lost my sense of humour…), and blogging mostly because WordPress gave me a gift for my blog anniversary/Christmas – less than half of you who asked for notifications to my posts are getting them and I’m not receiving a lot of yours either – oops; “Likes” aren’t staying Liked; and they ‘Unfollowed’ a bunch of you that I Follow – I think I have you all back, I hope. Don’t take anything personally and please, look out for my posts on social media –
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m endlessly baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The desert where I wander: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
I am here!
I am here!
I am here!
1. Christmas songs play everywhere but we need more Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsman. Peace on Earth, goodwill, and about how even the worst of enemies can put aside their differences, if only for a little while…we sure need more of that.
2. Even on a crummy morning a gingerbread man still makes his bed with cookie sheets.
3. Christmas is about giving. Though broke and obscure I still believe in giving to others and weirdly, sometimes you get stuff back.
4. Not waiting in line for some guy in a red suit to make me promises, I’ll make some to myself and try to keep them.
My Ghost of Christmas Future was Norman Reedus, well, actually Daryl Dixon, (because it’s my dream and it gets better, he’s holding a cat reminding us to Shop Cruelty Free https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ – that goes for people as well, cruelty-free)…and he showed me…
5. Christmas could be a little late this year, instead of making toys, Santa and the elves are already lined up to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi (I haven’t seen it, but I’m guessing it has to do with a Jedi).
6. The Christmas feeling could be there, even without the gifts, the lights, the decorations, chocolate (this one is iffy), turkey and toys, even without the Christmas.
7. Ordinary rules of time and space don’t apply to Santa or The Doctor (Doctor Who Twice Upon A Time – I’m not ready for Peter Capaldi to go and I’m still missing David Tennant), but they do apply to us, we only have so much time in this world.
Happiness and success can be measured by the joy and comfort we bring to others. Remember the good times, the fun times, the laughter, the kindness, the little moments.
If you don’t see me around here for a bit, I’ve checked myself into Clementine rehab (I can quit anytime I want) – one day at a ‘clementime’.
Merry Christmas to all and sweet dreams!
“Making your way
in the world today
takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from
all your worries,
sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like
to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
knows your name,
and they’re always
glad you came.
You wanna be
where you can see,
our troubles are all the same….
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” (Cheers)
Yup, that’s blogging in a nutshell – bloggers from around the world gathering at a local establishment to share our joys, sorrows, fears, woes, hopes, wisdom, jokes, dreams, and hopes.
And I get it, blogging isn’t curing cancer.
Blogging won’t solve devastating problems: world hunger, disease, poverty, climate change, drought, unemployment/underemployment, etc.
Blogging probably won’t overcome the horrors of: war, terrorism, racism, prejudice, sexism, crime…
It’s still not ok for WordPress to use bloggers as lab rats (it’s also not ok to use rats, or any living things as lab rats). I’m already in their bad books https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ WordPress, change your motto, “If it ain’t broke, break it” to “Let it be”.
Step right up! Come and see! Things your eyes and ears won’t believe! Welcome to the blogging/internet circus!
See the clowns (only some are scary)!
See the boy raised by wolves (Trump wasn’t raised by wolves? I’d just assumed…).
See the living skeleton (Oops, sorry, that’s a model).
See the Spineless Wonders (we can overcome the lies…and stop using the Hitler card!).
See the bearded lady (The joys of menopause?).
See the Strong Man/Woman (Anyone who believes facts, not alternative facts).
See the trolls (Hired and those that do it for kicks).
Welcome to blogging, like dancing in the dark, while eating cotton candy with your toes on a Ferris Wheel, in the rain, as someone shoots darts at you. Are you ready bloggers, start blogging…
1. Blogging works best if you have a blog, if not, start a blog.
2. Write ‘posts’ aka string together a bunch of words you hope (desperately) make sense. Maybe add some images. TADA!
3. Don’t forget to add tags. Not skin tags or sales tags; tags letting people know what is in your post.
4. Think you’re done? Press the button (Not the red button!!!), the publish button. A crucial step, otherwise you’ll think your blog is very unpopular.
5. Big, bright, and beautiful! Way too much food! Rip-off games! Tunnels of Love! Dicey ‘rides’! Mistreated animals (so wrong)! Chocolate-covered everything! Haunted Houses! Welcome to the Circus Internet Maximus!
6. You’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you. Don’t stress, readers won’t always get it or agree. You have choices: keep going, change, or stop.
7. Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Blogger’s Doors…Interact, comment, like, share on social media: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Reddit…
8. Forget all the advice you’ve heard, only you know what works for you.
April is Autism Awareness month. I’m lucky to be the Mom of an amazing son (also happens to have Autism/Asperger’s). I sincerely believe most people are ‘aware’ of Autism by now.
Disagreements swirl and rip around Autism, causes and treatments, but what we need, for everyone in the world, is compassion, hope, and engagement.
In the blogworld as in the real world, our choices are many, let’s make good choices, not just on Earth Day, but everyday.
So come have some happy times in these seemingly unhappy times, where everybody knows your name…Cheers to dancing in the dark!
Sometimes, you just have to run away to the circus...or your local blog.
Life is choosing. Choosing to be happy or sad. Nice or mean. Hopeful or hopeless. Among the mass of expectations, concepts, beliefs, abstractions, and stereotypes swirls millions and millions of choices. We’re not always going to make the right choices. Sometimes we’re mean and feel sorry, sometimes we’re sorry we’re not more mean.
I recently rewatched Josie and the Pussycats, the movie, although I loved the cartoon also – https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/09/i-miss-saturday-morning-cartoons/ – it reminded me:
1) It’s hilarious, even 15 years later, maybe more so;
2) It’s wise and relevant, especially about how we’re brandwashed, er, brainwashed;
3) The words to the song keep echoing through my head, “Can’t you just pretend to be nice, can you at least pretend to be nice, if you could just pretend to be nice, then everything in my life would be alright.”
For me, people who pretend to be nice are pretty much as annoying as meanies. “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”- Dave Barry Yet there are still tons of genuinely nice people…but we’re designed to notice danger, it’s for survival. We notice loud stuff, outrageous stuff, bad stuff – it was meant to help us notice danger, pay attention to danger, to keep us safe and to keep our loved ones safe, but now, sigh, there’s the internet, you know the internet, like your neighbourhood gossip on steroids, virally, digitally frothing at the mouth.
Texts, tweets, memes, video, posts, gifs, statuses, chats, comments, updates, etc., blaming, blaming, blaming – basically blaming everyone – immigrants, women, social assistance recipients, minorities, religions, etc., well, that won’t get you a job, or make the rich stop screwing you (without consent or foreplay). Just as spewing vitriol won’t change your economic or socioeconomic status, or get you something you want, or bring back those you love. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, sorry Mom and Dad, your famous, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is stone cold dead. We’re all quickly learning you’re entitled to your own opinion and your own facts – just ask The Incredible Trump.
Maybe it’s easier to lash out than look in. Is it easier to yell at a clerk? Or scream at a receptionist (by the way, no one was paying any attention to your information until you screamed)? Or sharpen your claws: ‘You’re so brave to wear that shirt.’ Brave, really, I’m not running into a burning building to save babies and puppies, oh I see, you’re being catty. Than to just be nice?
When I asked an ex (note the word ‘ex’, for many, many reasons) why he couldn’t just be nice, his answer was, ‘it’s too much work’. Really? Could that possibly be it? Is it just easier to snark, snarl, sneer? Easier to mock, mimic, moan? Is meanness, ridicule, viciousness, derision a form of laziness?
Bad guys, bad boys, charismatic anti-heroes are cool on TV, in movies and books https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/06/charming-savage-events/ but in real life, not so much.
Then again, if you’re not: molesting, abusing, being racist, getting all mass murdery, killing serially or non-sequentially, making human skin coats, terrorizing, stealing, lying, raping (yes, creepy, horrible Stanford rapist and any other rapists, no still means no and to clarify, unconscious also means no; not difficult to understand), you probably still qualify as ‘nice’, but hopefully we can try to raise the bar way, way higher.
Speaking of nice, I’m thrilled (thank you kindly) to be one of the winners of the Blogger’s Pit Stop and The Pinterest Game – please drop by, visit, share, it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and lots of fun.
Julie http://juleskalpauli.com/bloggers-pit-stop-27/ featuring: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ and https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/01/04/so-youve-ruined-your-lifenow-what/
Get out there, be a shameless social media self-promoting bloghussy (like me), most of all, enjoy!
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Endlessly baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The desert where I wander: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google, not nearly as fun as it sounds: https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no standardized testing for ignorance, intolerance, meanness, or unhappiness yet, but I’d buy stocks in that future booming business. Be nice, you don’t know what people have been through or are going through.
Is it too late to say sorry? ‘Cause I’m missing more than just your bloggy. Yeah, I know-oh-oh, I want to be a good neighbour bloggy (ok, perhaps I’m not going to be rapper anytime soon). I know it’s a busy time of year, but drop by whenever, dears, my blogdoor is always open. Please leave links in the comment box. Drop by often. Enjoy the virtual cake, chocolate, cupcakes, tarts, pies, cookies, and er, liquid refreshments. Meet and greet other bloggers. Introduce yourself. Be kind. Be nice. Have fun. Obvious now I’m from Canada, eh? Sorry.
Through the blog storm,
we reach the shore
We give it all
but they want more
And we wait for views
With or without you
Can’t blog with
or without views
And you blog yourself all day
And you blog, and you blog
And you blog yourself away.
If this had audio you’d know I sang it just like Bono of U2, it’s like we’re twins, ok, maybe closer to the Swedish Chef from The Muppets, but it’s all good.
Blogging is a lot like cooking. Some people do it instinctively. A pinch of this. A dash of that. Somehow they know just the right blend. Others follow a precise recipe.
1. First thing you need to decide, what kind of cooking, I mean, blogging do you enjoy? Home-cooked, formal, informal, sugar-free, spicy, sweet, sour, no artificial flavours or colours, grilling, gourmet, fusion? Do you want to indulge your readers with moist, sweet chocolate brownies (my secret, melt the butter, let it cool then slowly add it to the mixture) or spicy chipolte chicken taco with guacamole (drooling)…
2. With blogging, like cooking you need an appreciative audience. Those who don’t just eat to live, but live to eat. Those who don’t just like blogs, but love them.
3. Posts can fill up our email like a meal can fill up our stomachs, but too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, sometimes a snack is the way to go.
4. Processed food, junk food, fast food, sure, they call themselves food, but really, food by any other name is not always food…same goes for blogging.
5. The blogging community is family style dining, so just dig in, reach over, around, share, like, join in, engage! Don’t just invite others to your table, sit at theirs too! Eat up! Even indulge in blog parties…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Elena – http://blogsharelearn.com/blogsharelearn-linky-party-may-1316/
Niki – https://therichnessofasimplelife.wordpress.com/
Shawna and Shareen #LinkYourLife – http://honeyquill.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Carolina – https://yesterdayafter.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
Pop Down Under – https://amommasview.wordpress.com/
Janice and all the lovely ladies that give us
Friday Blogger’s Pit Stop and Inspire Me Monday –
6. Don’t think if people will: Like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, agree, disagree, hate you, be a troll under your blogging bridge, or if you’ll end up looking like Mr. Bean with a turkey on your head. Just do what you want to do…that turkey looks good on you.
7. When you don’t have time to prepare a meal, aka a post, or you need some comfort food or a comfort blogging advice post…
8. Sometimes you slave over a hot stove aka computer, plate your hopefully tasty content, and serve it up….you wait for readers to gobble it up, but sometimes they never come to the table, even when called repeatedly. Maybe they’re busy, after all, when they open their email, it’s like a giant buffet has been served up, how much can they possibly eat? Maybe they’ve already eaten or are dining elsewhere. It happens. Try again.
9. Get out there, be a shameless social media self-promoting bloghussy (like me), most of all, enjoy!
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Endlessly baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The desert where I wander: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google, not nearly as fun as it sounds: https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
10. You can tell someone how to cook or blog, but that doesn’t mean they can do it, or do it like you. Or should. Cook what you want, blog what you want, eat what you want. Taste life.
My best advice about blogging and cooking? Don’t miss the donut by looking through the hole. Dear readers, any favourite blogging tips or recipes you can’t live with or without? Bon Appetit!
The sounds of the city
sang their strange song.
The sights pilfered
A Grecian effigy with no arms, but a whimsical flowered spring bonnet.
A tank incongruously set among the budding flowers with a background of lawyers and pizza; lots of cheese and hot grease –
oh, and on the pizza too.
I past my old doctor’s office, now a frat house. I smiled, remembering Dr. Shearer who raised sheep and around the corner lived members of the band, Sheep Look Up (ewe can’t make this stuff up, sorry, that was baaad)
I wish to go back, for a visit, in a time machine (preferably with David Tennant as The Doctor; come on, Doctor Who fans, who would you travel with?). I’d tell myself how little I knew. Be nicer to some. Apologize to others. Tell others to go to h-e-double hockey sticks (it’s Canada, eh, and they deserved it). Maybe see Prince in concert singing Purple Rain, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, 1999, The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, etc. once more. #RIPPrince
I smiled as a big RV chugged by, making me think of the latest installment of the Vacation movie series. Campy? Maybe even glampy! Cheesy? More than the aforementioned lawyers and pizza. Tacky? I expect nothing less. Might’ve watched it sooner if I’d known it had Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers, The Huntsman stuff) and Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead). Small parts (bet no one says that often), but memorable, if creepy. I may never look at them the same again. Oh, who am I kidding?
I glimpsed a bank turned into a restaurant and vice versa, hmmm, wonder which saw more money? Shuddering, I thought of The Big Short. Awesome cast (Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, Selena Gomez)…
Snappy writing, but an altogether terrifying horror film. Versions of Eve of Destruction – Barry McGuire, The Turtles (not ninja), Johnny Thunders, The Pogues, D.O.A, The Dickies, and Public Enemy blared in my brain as the obvious soundtrack for this film. Why worry about nuclear threats, terrorists, natural disasters, and disease when assuredly the scourge of greed and corruption will wipe us out first?
I’d left plenty of time for myself, better early than late. Cars whizzed past, buildings blurred, making me curious, how many were Turo and Airbnb? Would you, dear readers, rent your car and/or home?
Finally there, I folded myself into the 3 foldy gown…I had better luck than the full moony older gentleman, thankfully an attendant helped him; laughing at old or infirm people isn’t good sport. With two Donnas there, I got ‘Donna P’ (say it out loud…there you go). Tests done, I started back. I waved at a tabby cat reclining regally on a window ledge who obviously didn’t feel I was worthy of his time. Correct, the bird swooping past, more fascinating by far.
Home again, I happily listened to my son’s monologues. I knew what my doctor would say – not urgent (doctor code for: it’s not cancer), but I need to see you soon; kind man, he’s happy when he can actually help me. I was spot on.
Nora Ephron’s words drifted into my mind, “everything is copy” (check out the documentary of the same name). Inspired me to write this and think, wow, my blog was on the edge of 200,000 views (now over). Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined so much blog love. Thank you all.
And thanks for taking this walk with me, you made it easier. Also, Happy Earth Day!!!
Some of you, dear readers, may have noticed I changed my tagline, “Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure”. Why? I’m trying it out, after all, I feel not quite as obscure, my meanderings a tad less vague, ok, this post wasn’t the best example of that…although I’m still broke, despite the unused donate button, lol.
I thought, “Wish you were here” worked better because, well, I do.
Decisions. The average person now makes more decisions in a day than most did in weeks, months, even years. Decisions can engulf us. Haunt us. Overwhelm us. Interrupt us. Even stalk us in our dreams, ummm, a Nightmare on Choice Street? Choices are great, but too many can make it difficult, or almost impossible to make and trust decisions. Then comes the morning after, littered with “Did I make the right choice?”, “What did I do?”, “Can I return this?”, “What was I thinking?”.
Even in blogging there are so many decisions. At first, it felt frightening, like I was that boy in Jurassic Park, when Dr. Grant was explaining how Velociraptors kill.
Now I’m more like Chris Pratt, on a motorcycle, riding with the Velociraptors in Jurassic World, which for me was an all-out, action-packed cheesefest (in a good way), but a noticeable lack of Jeff Goldblum.
And yes, we’ve all made the wrong decisions, like someone thinking it was a good idea to make a certain theme park ride that shall remain nameless, ok, Tomorrowland, into a movie. It had its moments, mainly involving George Clooney and Hugh Laurie – I do so enjoy when Laurie’s given a chance to rant.
Even after years of blogging I still have trouble making some decisions, and have more blank-I-just-can’t-make-this-decision-moments than would seem humanly possible..but mostly it’s much, much more like It’s A Small World After All.
Blogging has taken me to places I might never have gone:
2. Hopeful places…
Thank you, Mary Smith http://www.marysmith.co.uk/ for your riveting novel, No More Mulberries and equally entrancing non-fiction offering, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women. Reminding us that so much of the stereotypes, drama, and propaganda are fabrications – to sell products, news, and government policies; that strength, compassion, and hope still blossoms, especially in the hearts of the oppressed.
4. Complex places…
Ever wonder what happened after? You know, after Darcy and Elizabeth, after Jane Eyre and Rochester? Some authors take up the challenge and continue the classic stories. It’s awfully daring, foolhardy, or just cashing in. In the case of Luccia Gray http://lucciagray.com/ – I’m going with daring. As a reader, I didn’t feel this was just to piggyback on the fame, but because Gray loves the enigmatic character, and wanted to continue Eyre’s story through her Eyre Hall Trilogy. The first book, All Hallows at Eyre Hall draws you in, and by the second, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall you’re on tenterhooks, awaiting more.
6. Even racey places…
Not in a tangible sense, but maybe that’s me, because my idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day is the return of The Walking Dead. Who knows? Love is a mystery.
If you’re a writer, film, art, whatever, contact me at: email@example.com I do reviews, honest opinions only.
One way or another, we’re all busy.
Finding blogs we enjoy is challenging enough, but making time to read them is daunting.
Why not put all the awesome blogs in one place?
I promised you a blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/24/take-it-easy/
Here it is!
1. Mix and mingle, refreshments to your left beside the archives (what do you think of the new theme?).
2. Please leave your blog link or post link in the comment box below along with any introductions. One link per comment, but come back as often as you’d like.
3. Please reblog to spread the word or like, share on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, etc. Like, share, reblog, tell your family, friends and blogneighbours.
4. I will visit and respond asap (at the snail’s pace I’m moving these days, the next Star Wars film could be out before my asap…kidding ).
5. Have fun, it’s a great way to find bloggers and have them find you.
Thank you for coming to the party and for supporting my blog…You’ve made blogging a decision I’ll never regret.
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The dark hole where I lose hours of my life: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google (seriously, not nearly as fun as it sounds): https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
Another place to BlogLove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637
Maybe I didn’t blog love
Quite as often as I could
Maybe I didn’t treat posts
Quite as good as I should
If you felt like second best
Sorry, it’s just lack of time
You were always on my mind
(you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind
Well I’m a-runnin’
(ok, walking quickly)
down the road,
tryin’ to loosen
I’ve got seven
on my mind
Four million that want to own me, two that want to stone me, one that could be a friend of mine.
Take it easy, take it easy.
Don’t let the sound of your own words drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy…
Whether in blogging, work, love, parenting, friendship…The Eagles (goodbye Glenn Fry) had it right – take it easy.
The sound of your own wheels (the ones turning in your brain) aka the sound of your own words – spoken, written, or even in your head can drive you crazy.
Instead, I want to Take It Easy, to celebrate – despite the war and strife, the Canadian dollar sinking faster than the Titanic (the ship, not the movie)…
rising food prices (wait, how many were going to eat cauliflower in January anyway? Eat in season, or frozen), Star Wars mania, lack of affordable housing and healthcare, loss, illness…but at least there’s no zombies, and I still have all of you – my readers and other bloggers!
You make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know, dears, how much I love you – thank you, thank you, thank you for being here!
Friday January 29th we’re going to beat the January blahs, the winter ennui, the snow woes with a knockout blog party!
I was trying to get it together for this week, but seriously, The X-Files is returning, my hold of Season 3 of Orphan Black came in at the library, my son has a Pokemon thingie, schoolwork, housework, workwork, lifework, adulting, decisions, snow, cold, snow, cold (repeat)…I think I’m catching a cold, oh, and did I mention The X-Files is returning?
And some of you may have noticed I’ve been trying out new themes. Turns out choices are limited for mobile-friendly themes in the ‘Free’ category on WordPress, but I will choose in time to expose it (oh my!) for the celebration!!!
Come back Friday January 29th and join in the fun! It’s easy, leave your blog link or a link to an old post, new post, red post, blue post in the comment box (one link per comment, but come back as often as you like).
Introduce yourself, wander around, eat some cake, be astonished at the size of my archives (oh my!), and mingle with the other bloggers. There will be virtual cake, blogging advice, and who knows what else! It may take awhile, but I promise I’ll read, visit, and reply to everyone!
One thing I’ve yet to regret (but the day is young) is blogging. I’ve virtually met some words-cannot-express-how-awesome people here who’ve welcomed me with open arms into their blogging family.
And I get swag! Really, my mail carrier randomly hands me treats! Like books (my drug of choice), or chocolates from Chicago I won from the enchanting Cher https://thechicagofiles.wordpress.com/ a delightful friend, blogger, and ex-pat Canadian. Yes, I got a box of chocolates delivered to my door just for reading a blog post! I love blogging! Those poor chocolates didn’t make it through the night – next of kin was notified…then eaten.
It may seem like the internet is a giant virtual haystack and we’re just tiny needles, but we can find each other with blogging parties and thanks to the tireless efforts of amazing and generous bloggers like:
Suzie, creator and hostess of the trending #SundayBlogShare on Twitter speaks at http://suzie81speaks.com/
Jason/OM shares and helps us share at http://aopinionatedman.com/
Danny is a blog dream-maker at http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Vicky let’s us Weekend Blog Share every weekend
Elena throws weekly off-the-hook linky shares #BlogShareLearn http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Janice offers us a place to pause at Blogger’s Pit Stop http://mostlyblogging.com/
Angie helps food addicts (I prefer devotee or aficionado) at Fiesta Friday http://fiestafriday.net/2016/01/08/best-fiesta-friday-100/
And so, so many more!
Please come back on Friday January 29th, 2016, in this case, size matters, the more the merrier!
Let’s be that lovely bit of blue sky in each others day!
Turns out, being an adult is hard work.
Adding blogging to that and anxiety, well, it could be the proverbial straw.
When it’s quiet here on my blog, I have time to think.
Why am I really doing this?
Should I be doing this?
I have so much else to do, is this a distraction?
Or is blogging just another version of chocolate, sappy movies, wanting to cry, desperately wishing a time machine would materialize in my living room to whisk me back to a time when the biggest decisions I had to make were: what to wear to school, who to hang out with, what to listen to…Probably shouldn’t go back, I might scream at myself to quit wishing to grow up and just enjoy growing up.
Some days I feel like blogging is more Hotline Blog (I’m assured Drake will drop this as a follow-up to his famous Hotline Bling)
You used to like me on my blog post
Late or early when I needed blog love
And I know when that hotline pinged
It could only mean one thing…
But these days, you’ve become a ghost
Wonder if you’re out there forgettin’ about my blog post
Doing other things, maybe making cinnamon toast
But blogging isn’t all about Likes, it’s about enjoying each other…
Learning. Teaching. Laughing. Crying. Smiling.
I try to imagine what my blog would have been if I blogged as a child, you know, before I knew:
1. I’d have a computer, in my home.
2. I’d use this computer to tell perfect strangers (well, maybe not perfect) stuff about my life.
3. My worst recurring nightmare wasn’t fear, it was the fear of fear.
4. Bacon would become both hero and villain.
5. Everyone lied to me about stuff, including but not limited to: Santa, this won’t hurt (it did), The Tooth Fairy, being “almost there” (we weren’t), there was no more chocolate (there was), and that I’d use math in real life…
6. Life is less Game of Life and more Monopoly.
7. Power is a commodity, not necessarily the one that lights up your home.
8. What skin tags are, let alone having them.
9. The world is crawling with serial killers, if TV is to be believed.
10. Some people will still be mean, even as adults.
11. I’d use numbers from a fortune cookie for lottery tickets.
12. My body would be my worst enemy.
13. I’d look more like Jessica Fletcher than Jessica Alba.
14. I’d still be watching Doctor Who, Monty Python, and so would my teen son.
15. I’d lose hours of my life to a mysterious world that delivers weird yet amusing things to me right at home (yes, including pizza and Amazon).
16. I’d ever tire of Christmas (well, the commercialism of Christmas).
17. I’d try figgy pudding…get out there – try, visit, read, comment, share, take part in something different.
18. I’d let zombies into my home at least once a week…and love it.
19. You can’t eat all the cake, you have to share it, same goes for blogging.
20. I’d have many families – the one I was born into, the ones I found and found me, the ones I’ve made, and this amazing blogging community.
So get out there, hakuna matata – visit some blogs, enjoy each other, and never forget, you’re not alone.
I was working
on my blog,
late one night
When my eyes
an eerie sight
For my post
from its slab,
began to rise
to my surprise
It did the mash,
it did the Monster Meet and Greet Mash!
A monster blogger mash, it was a graveyard smash!
It did the mash, it caught on in a flash…
It did the mash, it did the monster blog mash!
The zombies and bloggers were having fun,
The blog party had just begun…
The scene was rockin’, we were digging the shares,
Some were commenting, well, those who dared
So add your link and des-crypt-ion, girls and guys,
Then suddenly to your surprise…
You can mash, you can monster blogger mash!
While I often say the best part of blogging is ‘meeting’ other bloggers, readers, etc., it’s been too long since we hung together, so welcome to the party, please, feel free to leave your blog name, a link to your blog or favourite post(s), and a des-crypt-ion. And pass it on: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, LinkIn, or reblog, so others can dig it too…
For some special treats, drop by some of the other blogs and Suzie’s Blog Party on Halloween http://suzie81speaks.com (fabulous British blogger and creator of Twitter’s popular #SundayBlogShare). I’ll check back, enjoy the snacks, but I have some busy times ahead, including preparing something completely different…Hopefully I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew-ie and end up as blaster fodder. May The Force be with me.
Yes, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
People dressing as ghosts, goblins, and ghouls,
Celebrities, minions, villains, and fools
Filled with fun, food, and fear
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With trick or treat greetings and candy meetings
Friends and strangers coming to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
My happiness project is kinda sputtering, as it turns out, a year is a really, really loooong time. Here’s where it all began: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
And more…Week 18
I don’t have to keep track of every little thing to be happy.
I finally fully understand more but better…maybe.
Too tired to decide if actually happy, or merely exhaustedly happy.
Internally screaming could become real screaming if I keep hearing about how many weeks until Christmas, before we’ve had Halloween and in Canada, Remembrance Day! Aaaarrrggh! https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/02/christmas-comes-after-remembrance-day/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/11/03/lest-we-forget-to-shop/
Annual library book sale! Books! My precious! They sold you to me!
You think the storm will never pass, but it does. Until then, enjoy the show.
1. Turns out, weight loss isn’t one size fits all.
2. Still waiting for my own epic-everytime-I-enter-a-room-music-a-la-John-Williams.
3. Rewatched Edward Scissorhands https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/edward-scissorhands/ and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/stuff-i-learned-from-its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/19/religion-politics-and-the-great-pumpkin/ Now that’s entertainment.
4. Black cat crossed my path. Way too adorable to be bad luck, um, right?
5. Since Christmas is bleeding into Halloween anyway, why not combine the music – Carol of the Hells?
6. Maybe I’ll dress up as an author for Halloween. Treat or trick, publish my book! 😉
7. Halloween over for another year, you know what that means…chocolate on sale!
Keep calm and blog on…
There never seems to be enough time
to do the things you want to do,
but there might be,
if I stopped blogging…
But I like blogging…
Yet it’s time-consuming…
Once you’ve let that blogging genie out of the bottle, there’s no turning back. I keep trying to get away, but blogging keeps pulling me back in.
I also like making people laugh, I might be the one during the apocalypse: “Knock Knock.” Random guy, “Who’s there?” “Zombie.” “Zombie who?” Me running, yelling, “Zombie, behind you, run!”
Then again, too much time isn’t always good, when I have time to think, I often feel like an alien in this world. Not the rubbery, gray, tall, skinny aliens, more like the ET-hey-I-landed-on-your-planet-I need-to-phone-home-wow-your-long-distance-plan-sucks-at-least-the-snacks-are-yummy-does-this-dress-make-me-look-fat-type alien.
Going out on a limb, I’d say I’m not the only one who’s ever felt they’re waiting for the mothership to take them back to their home planet.
If only I’d arrived with an instruction manual. I know my parents wish I did.
Time runs by us, screaming like a babysitter in a horror movie. And as another Halloween creeps up, let us pay our last respects to things gone, but not forgotten…maybe they’ll return someday (hopefully not as zombies):
1. Hairspray, you once permeated every part of our lives, especially our lungs…guess we’re kinda grateful big hair is dead.
2. Mixed tapes have gone to join the choir invisible – mixed emojis?
3. Adieu giving up your seat to someone elderly or disabled or pregnant; apparently now they must fend for themselves, Game of Thrones-style.
4. Farewell phones, attached to a cord, instead of our hand or head.
5. Once loved and adored, held up on a pedestal, billboards, race cars, own section in the grocery store…poor little gluten, now dead to many, a social pariah.
6. RIP, ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’, and ‘You’re Welcome’, now ghosts of civilities past.
7. Quiet time, without tweets, updates, texts, and emails has kicked the bucket…Remember? Probably not, with all the digital amnesia…
8. Showing up at your new neighbours with baked goods has shuffled off this mortal coil; no friendly greetings, just pepper spray, the police, and/or speech on food allergies.
9. Bereft of life are ‘Thank You’ notes, but I’m still thankful to people who say cardshark instead of cardsharp, so I can picture a shark playing poker.
10. Talking to plants is now pushin’ up the daisies, can’t we just text them, telling them 2 gro?
11. Not asking for gifts and money has kinda bought the farm – #gimme is society’s new hashtag.
12. Wobbly inside-out pools hidden under threads of Egyptian cotton; waterbeds gone to their watery grave.
13. Patience is at death’s door, but really, there’s nothing you could possibly have to do (or explain to a judge) that’s worth putting children at risk, on Halloween, or any time.
Please pay attention while driving, I promise that absolutely fascinating tweet, update, text, or email about:
how porcupines mate without stabbing each other,
the shape of dog’s poop,
a divine fat, gluten and dairy-free no-bake cheesecake recipe (can that still be called cheesecake?),
cats robbed of their dignity via the internet,
if Bon Jovi’s hair is still real (see #1),
which Kardashian is getting married or divorced (all of them),
if Taco Bell is health food (it’s not),
finding out who died on The Walking Dead (hint hint, no one, they’re actors),
Justin Bieber’s private parts (what part of private is hard to understand, Justin?),
discussions about Donald Trump’s IQ (rich doesn’t equal smart)…
I guess we make time to do the things we want to do, so I’ll save every blogging day ’til blog eternity passes away, just to spend them with you, dear readers.
October conjures images of:
Fall leaves, crisp nights… pumpkins and pumpkin spice…Halloween, candy, black cats…sexy Hunger Games costumes, yeah, I’ve stopped asking why at this point…
Apparently, scary is definitely different for different people.
For some scary is:
The dark – where all the known and unknown creep.
Horror movies that make people hide their eyes, but have to peak.
The price of groceries or hydro (both terrifying).
Trying on bathing suits (could turn your hair white).
Dating, parenting, love…
Loss of those we love.
Christmas or any holidays with in-laws.
Elections, wars, politicians.
Loss of cellphone reception (The horror! The horror!).
Running out of chocolate (now that’s horror!).
Liars, vampires, aliens, monsters, sparkly vampires, zombies…
I started blogging to relax, reignite my love of writing, and to be rich/famous (not necessarily in that order) – 555 posts later, well, two out of three ain’t bad. No one warned it could be so scary!
Life doesn’t come with instructions, we have to grope our way through this at times terrifying funhouse – long strips of goodness, gooey badness, melty magnificence, and squishy horrors – blogging is pretty much the same.
1. You want the blog truth, you can’t handle the blog truth! By the flickering computer light and hum, something wicked this way comes…really, Shakespeare how would thou deal with: endless emails, trolls, glitches, and ghosts in the machine?
2. First, you find your way through the woods (aka the internet) to an old mansion (aka WordPress) where you start your blog. Soon, strange things start happening – stuff moves by itself, stuff disappears, and you find yourself alone, in the dark, and still, you hear the click, click, click of the keyboard…
3. Come up with a cunning plan, overly elaborate with, as a random example, a dog with a speech impediment; a drug-addled vegetarian with a groovy van; narcissistic metrosexual; frumpy geek girl who needs contacts; and constantly kidnapped drama queen.
4. Your loved ones look at you oddly as you repeatedly type: All work and no play makes Donna a dull girl…They complain you’re hunched over your shining computer, or using them for…inspiration.
5. Read aloud from online posts, only to realize, you’ve freed some ancient vengeful Babylonian deity…or worse, a telemarketer! Who you gonna call?
7. Pop over to Pinterest for a ‘minute’ to find an image or inspiration…later you’re found wandering through the desert and learn you’ve been missing for 7 years and still didn’t find the right meme.
8. Fall asleep at your computer and wake up in a dream where a serial killer is hunting you, or worse, you’ve lost all your followers!
9. You decide to take a break from writing and take a bath or shower, you know better, but it’s been a long day.
10. You ask for books to review, but then …One, two, writers are coming for you. Three, four, publishers knock at your door. Five, six, who do you pick? Seven, eight, accept your fate. Nine, ten, never sleep again.
11. You turn to run from the glowing ooze on your keyboard, but there’s a evil clown or worse, housework behind you…your furniture is moving on it’s own, but it’s not getting dusted…Why? Oh why?
12. Through a series of unfortunate events, you find out your blog is built on an old cemetery and an ancient burial ground where rituals were performed. You could run to another platform, but that’s a lot of work.
13. So I will think of blogging not as a horror movie, but more like a community garden. We all work together to grow something remarkable. There will be ups and downs, but in the end, we’ll all be part of something amazing…as long as nothing comes alive to eat us.
If you are reading this blog there’s a good chance you’re not just a reader, you could also be a blogger yourself…or one of my family or friends (Hi family and friends!).
What I mean is, many people who read blogs are also bloggers who send their creativity out there, into the universe, in one form or another, through an intricate web.
Yet too often, The Phantom of the Blogging Tips (er, Blogera? No? That’s not a thing?) is inside your mind, telling you how to blog instead of letting you find your own voice.
So before you’re past the point of no return:
1. Don’t second-guess yourself, there are literally millions of others out there willing to do that for you. Go with your instincts.
2. Before you post you may stop and think: will my readers like this, hate this, be offended, not press ‘Like’, will Unfollow, or what if they send an army of robot ants to carry me off in my sleep? Let me help, the answers are: Hopefully. Possibly. It’s a distinct possibility. Maybe. Hopefully not. And it’s the internet, stranger things have happened.
3. You’ll do a post you think is amazing, you’ll press publish (very important step, many bloggers forget this one) and tumbleweeds will roll across your blog and you’ll wonder, what did I do wrong? Probably nothing, most likely it was WordPress..again.
4. Your posts could be awesome, but people are busy and there’s an infinite amount of information out there…or they just can’t find your posts. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ Get out there and be your own Number One Fan (but not in a creepy Stephen King way).
5. You may never be Freshly Pressed https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ or gets tons of Likes, or receive awards, or become an overnight sensation…don’t compare yourself to others, it will suck the joy out of blogging (and life).
6. Don’t be afraid to try something new or different. Tell us about a movie, a book, something you cook, draw, paint, build, remember, did, crafted, give us advice (we might not take it, doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear it)…anything, but it’s your voice we want to hear, authentic, not copied, or some regurgitated whatchamathingies we’ve read everywhere else.
7. Even if aliens are stealing your likes, keep trying, they’ll give up at some point or move on to another planet.
8. Expect the unexpected, roll with it then work it into a post, like the other day I heard two guys whispering, ‘I’d tap that MILF’ – naturally I looked around to see who they were talking about, then realized it was me. The feminist side of me was appalled and outraged, but the feminine side of me was all-Southern-belle-I-do-declare-swoony. Then they ruined it by adding, ‘Or is she GILF?’. I so don’t look old enough to be a granny! OK, but maybe a cool one. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/01/30/revenge-of-the-nouns/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/26/coulda-woulda-shoulda-2/
9. Keep a good sense of humour, balance, and if you can, relax, it’s just your diary you’re letting the whole world read, ok, when I say it like that it does sound kind of terrifying. But remember, when in doubt, chocolate out!
10. Find your own style, your own groove, your own path, your own magic. Cookie cutters are for Christmas, be yourself.
11. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This applies in blogging too.
12. So ignore all The Phantoms of the Blogging Tips, even me. You can do this.
To me, blogging is
a version of the
in a bottle.
The blogging world
is a vast ocean,
we throw our
message out there
and hope against hope
someone finds it.
Some of us are trying to
connect, share, find others,
teach, or maybe even
send out an SOS.
So how do you start
your own ‘message in a bottle’
and make it reach others?
1. Don’t think about if your readers will love what you write or you’re going to be discovered, just make sure you love it, then hopefully, they will. If not, there’s always chocolate.
2. Remember as you send these bottles out, those you’re trying to reach are never far from the madding crowd (hearing people mispronounce the title, Far From the Madding Crowd is actually more fun than the book/movies, is that wrong?). People are busy, so when they open their email to see a hundred billion bottles washed up on their shore, it can be overwhelming.
3. In this same vein, posts can be vampires, sucking away time. Or maybe sometimes a vampire is just a vampire.
4. Posts can also be zombies, shuffling into our readers or mailboxes, taking bites out of the day. I don’t know if I Fear The Walking Dead so much as opening my email, in other words, know your audience…it can be a grave error to write long or many posts if your readers don’t have time to read them. You make your readers snooze, you lose.
5. Adding images to posts amuses me, makes me laugh, makes a point, or just makes me happy. Hopefully they resonate with others.
6. Sometimes readers won’t get what you’re saying or don’t agree. Sometimes your jokes fall flat. Maybe they haven’t read the same books, watched the same movies or TV shows…Some are trolls, actively dislike you, perhaps even use your Gravatar at which to throw darts – the internet is built on people being offended, appalled, shocked, and downright grumpy. Just do what you do.
7. How can you expect people to have a deep relationship with a shallow person? Be real, write your own stuff, if that makes people think, learn, laugh, smile, cry, or even spit their coffee out…they’ll want to read more.
8. Like it or not, successful blogging has a degree of popularity. Let’s jump back to vampires, they depend on brooding, pouting, sparkling, hotness, intensity, and overacting with a penchant for black clothes, especially black leather, but blogging can’t all be about flash and no substance.
9. Get out there, enjoy other blogs, find those messages in bottles and answer them, don’t be timid about liking, sharing or commenting – let others know you’re out there. Make them feel like they’re not alone in being alone.
10. Most of you are part of a large, sprawling, at times dysfunctional, human race family, so you’ll be part of the blogging family. Like vampires, family can sometimes be a pain in the neck, but still we hunger for the connection.
11. When the unexpected or unwanted happens, say, your computer breaks, you have a dental emergency, you can’t get a song by The Police out of your head; out of town company; Fibroflare; anxiety about a coming event; a sinus infection and the list goes on…um, write a blogging advice post?
12. Wow, that advice is bloody awesome…or terrible, depending on your point of view. Forget all of it, just do whatever feels right to you.
And I hope that someone gets your…I hope that someone gets your message in a bottle. Here’s mine.
It’s been 2 years since I started blogging and I feel like I’ve won the lottery…accept without any of the money, so yeah, I’d still like to win an actual lottery.
I’m so thankful for your support, likes, comments, shares, advice, encouragement, comfort, and more. I’m also thrilled and privileged to be able to read and view your works. Thank you all.
So come on, I’m talkin’ to you, help me Shout! Shout! Let it all out to celebrate my 2 year blog birthday by leaving your blog address or a link to a post in the comment section below…please!
Now to play catch-up. I’ve fallen behind on my Changes for Happiness project, not the doing, just the writing about it. Will a weak, ‘it’s been hot’ explain the lapse?
Here’s the first 5 weeks:
1. What happens at Costco stays at Costco.
2. Looked at some old photos, I cried, but remembered to be happy it happened, not that it’s gone.
3. Watched something I wanted to watch, but didn’t feel I had time.
4. Bit the bullet (not literally, high dental bills) and made that appointment.
5. Tore up that shirt I loved, to use as rags – it lived a full life.
6. Craved a burger – If I liked it then I should have put an onion ring on it.
7. This was the birthday of my friend of 30 years, Rose, who recently passed away; she would have wanted there to be music and cake.
1. Cleaned first…then checked emails.
2. Decided on 3 fun things and did them (within the limits of time, budget, circumstances, etc.)
3. Broke a bad habit, snapped it over my knee (not that knee, the other one).
4. Don’t like to go shopping, don’t do it often…going to do it even less.
5. Time is flying…going to catch a ride.
6. Added 15 minutes more exercise, Tai Chi and yoga per day.
7. Hell On Wheels is back – I was frontiered and I liked it.
1. Rewatched Jaws – that shark was a handsome devil, wasn’t he?
2. Picked up a random book (eyes closed) from the new release section of the library.
3. Was it weird the random book ended up being Stephen King’s Finders Keepers?
4. Tried again to learn how to juggle.
5. Remembered why I don’t juggle – kept ice on my cheek.
6. Sang Shout! by Tears for Fears at the top of my lungs (received odd looks).
7. My hair is edging toward the Mary Tyler Moore look, unless I’m planning on wearing a hat and tossing it in the air – I need to think about getting a haircut.
1. Kept writing that book.
2. Tried to accept the idea of Ben Affleck as Batman – isn’t doing the impossible good for the soul?
3. Wrote down 5 things that make my life tough…tried to eliminate or mitigate their effects.
4. What would I do for those Klondike ice cream cones on sale? Don’t ask, don’t mmmm, ice cream.
5. Tried to go cold turkey to stop binge-watching Haven…mmmm, stuffing and gravy and biscuits.
6. Wrote about Haven, sadly it didn’t work it out of my system.
7. Rewatched Clueless – wow, Paul Rudd is now Ant-Man, 20 years can really be harsh. Whatever.
1. Little brown bird landed on my shoulder as I was walking, then flew off (and no poop) – briefly like Snow White.
3. Dreamed about sleeping in.
4. Noticed that it’s my 2 year Blogiversary/Blogaversary/Blog Birthday on WordPress, since I’m having company for the weekend – invite everyone to the party early!
5. Pack up a box of stuff and give it away.
6. Trying to accept that some people will never change…and would I trust them again, even if they magically did?
7. Deep breathing. Note to self, don’t do this while calling people.
Thank you for dropping by to celebrate with me – you realize, of course, all of the above involved chocolate, right?
In the summer, readers run away from blogs like swimmers running out of the water away from the shark in Jaws (We’re going to need a bigger blog).
So what do you do in a blogging slump? Post more? Less? Write longer or shorter posts? Add more pictures of cats? More tweets, likes…eat more chocolate? Or just accept it and take a break for the rest of the summer? Acceptance is such a strange thing, isn’t it? It can be positive – you accept a gift, get accepted into a club, accept an award, or it can become something you feel forced to do, such as compliance or acquiescence.
I accept The Imitation Game was a brilliant film starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who apparently can’t be anything but astonishing) about WWII. I don’t accept it’s completely factual, clearly they took certain liberties such as Cumberbatch portraying Turing as though he had Asperger’s Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s Hollywood pretending everyone who’s a genius has Autism, or because they wanted Cumberbatch to play Turing more like Sherlock.
Joan Clarke (played with dazzling brilliance by Kiera Knightley) wasn’t recruited by Turing, crossword puzzle or otherwise, but was engaged to him.
They did concede Turning’s machine was based on a Polish cryptologic machine (the Polish broke the Enigma code years before), but that he’d built a better, faster machine for the more sophisticated code.
This is Hollywood. They add drama.
Unlike previous films about the Enigma code, this film didn’t cause international snits like U-571, or put us to sleep like Enigma (despite a stunning performance by Kate Winslet, wait, wasn’t she in another famous historically inaccurate film, something about a ship?).
I don’t take umbrage to movies that play with history. Most of history is changeable, written by the victors and those who want to cast themselves in a positive light. I read history books and watch documentaries, but even those should be taken with a grain of salt. Movies, TV shows, and books, even those based on real-life people and events, those are for entertainment.
This delightful movie wasn’t actually about the war or codes, it was about acceptance. Alan Turing was a gifted mathematician and cryptographer and yet, in the end, it didn’t matter if he saved millions of lives or gave us the basis for modern computers, it mattered that he was gay. He was only 41 when he committed suicide after being forced to endure chemical castration. His future work, his life, all lost because no one could accept he wasn’t their definition of ‘normal’.
Fear and discrimination are the real enemies. People refusing to accept the differences of others. Differences should be encouraged, supported, celebrated. Different isn’t less, most often, it’s more.
As for the blogging, who knows, maybe this is a good excuse to write that book I’ve been putting off.
So plan to be spontaneous today, here’s some, er, blogging advice to hold you over.
And snap out of it, WordPress, you’re driving bloggers insane (perhaps a short drive, but still a waste of gas).
Anyway, this was rather delightful excuse to post lots of pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch. You’re welcome.
That’s not always a good thing.
Read some of my stuff, comment, critique, praise, ignore, puzzle, or just do whatever you want.
That’s my blog bio…everything else you’ll learn in my posts or you don’t care.
Every time I think I understand, even vaguely, how the world works, it tilts on its axis, spinning me right round, baby right round, like a record. Turns out, the blogging world is no different. Like everyone else on the planet (that might be a slight exaggeration, overstatement was never my strong suit), I have a blog. If I had a cat it would have a blog about sleeping, eating, and occasionally chasing a mouse lurking around the property. The mouse would have a blog about his adventures trying to escape the cat that bothers him while he’s trying to lurk around the property. And so on.
August 2013, I started this blog to relax, to practice writing, and to be more concise, with varying degrees of success. My Very Me-ness doesn’t always translate well, but no need to worry (hear that brain, no need to worry…forget it, it’s not listening), I’ve been embraced by readers, bloggers, etc. and I feel snug as a bug in a virtual rug.
Blogging has been difficult in many ways, but has made me fall in love with writing again, which guided me to start a year-long project to add even more happiness (Or contentment? Peace of mind?) to my life.
I more or less doubled my 7 goals in my first week https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/, even giving up 4 TV shows, but then I added 2, drum roll please, ok, I really only gave up 2 (math rules!).
This week’s goals:
1. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and play a game with my son (I want chess, he wants Pokémon, maybe we need a Pokémon chess set).
2. Remove 100 calories per day (No cheating, it can’t be veggies…Step away from the cookies).
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and just write, doesn’t matter what.
4. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with Yoga and Tai Chi).
5. Spend 15 minutes or more per day submitting articles and manuscripts, especially knowing they might be rejected.
6. Change 15 minutes of internet time to relaxation and rest.
7. Give away, use, or get rid of 1 or more items a day.
1. Blogging is solitary. Wrong. Blogging, my friends, is social and addictive, like sugar, and as the song by Maroon 5 says (I’ve tried to get it out of my head, believe me), I need a little sweetness in my life, your sugar, yes, please!
2.You need to have something to say to have a blog. How snotty and daft was that assumption? Everyone has something to say.
3. Blogging is simple. Wrong again, complicated, yet worth it, despite the intricacies that sometimes make you feel like your head might explode. Mistakes have been made and more shall be made; it’s all part of learning.
4. Success! I thought I needed to be a world-famous writer, then I saw comments that said I’d made people laugh, smile, and think. Anything else that comes along would be the icing on this delicious, chocolatey cake of a blog experience thanks to you, dear readers.
5. Blogging is constant. Wrong. As with life, the only thing you can count on in blogging is change.
For example, I believe the WordPress motto is: If it ain’t broke, fix it a few times a day.
Twitter seems to have a midlife crisis every few weeks and I don’t know what happened to Facebook.
There are: trolls, traffic, topics, taboos, privacy issues, time, concentration…what was I saying? Oh yes, so the question today is, to blog or not to blog?
For now, the answer is…why not?
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of a blog, must be in want of readers.
For some, blogs take off faster than a Nascar driver chasing after sponsorship, for most others, like me, it’s a slow ride…
I know some of the reasons it’s been a slow ride, I’ve broken the first rule of The Blog Club, don’t talk about The Blog Club, no, that’s not it, oh yes, find a niche. Never have, probably never will. I figure if I get bored, you will too.
To me, giving blogging advice is like trying to explain to someone how to: dance, paint, drive, or make love in a canoe. Sometimes you just have to do it and make the mistakes, have the close calls, possibly tip over at the most inopportune moment.
When asked my blogging advice I offered https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/
…but with a rebel yell you cried more, more, more…so here goes:
1. Choose a name for your blog. I didn’t know this was important when I choose mine. Live and learn.
2. Size matters, but it’s more about how you use it, mind out of the gutter, I’m taking about post size. Remember, it doesn’t matter how much they love your posts, your readers have lives.
3. Try to use images that work with your post. Adding a random picture of an adorable kitten just to suck up to the cats who run the internet might be smart, but come on, who does that?
4. Don’t get too stressed about the numbers, like right now, most numbers seem down on WordPress, who knows why? First, I blamed the Royal baby, but Princess Charlie is just too awfully cute. Then Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, Mother’s Day, elections, weather, labour unrest, but in the end I had to admit the truth – it’s WordPress. They probably changed their algorithms, come on, they’re always changing something, so statistically (and they love stats), it has to be them.
5. Poofread, er, proofread or get someone else to (and you can always correct it afterwards). We all make mistakes.
6. I can’t make you love me, well, actually, my posts, but one of the best parts about blogging is connecting with your readers and other bloggers, without all of you, what’s the point? Like everything else, sometimes you have to take someone’s hand and other times, offer yours.
7. It’s not a race or a contest. Don’t worry if a post is going to go viral, or get Freshly Pressed https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ or be nominated for awards, or making you rich and famous. Take a deep breath. Right now is about right now.
8. Blogging advice can be confusing, here’s the problem, what I think is terribly catchy and clever might not be to others. Obviously I think I’m writing something good, otherwise why would I publish it? Do what you want to do.
9. To be a shameless self-promoting bloghussy like me or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous rejection while promoting on social media….aye, there’s the rub. I like Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, but Facebook just lays there like a mouldy, old ad-filled sock.
10. Don’t worry about if you’re going to offend someone, it’s the internet, someone is always, and I mean always, offended. Always.
Who am I kidding? I have no idea what works. I’ve poured my heart out and had the post sit there, alone, shivering like the last leaf on a tree before winter. Just do what you feel is right, in the famous words of those sage philosophers, Cheap Trick, “Surrender, Surrender, but don’t give yourself away”.
What about you, dear readers, what would be your best blogging advice?
I can’t fight this feeling, deep inside of me, I’m hooked on a feeling…blogging, you don’t know what you do to me.
I’m not entirely sure how many posts about blogging advice I’ve read in the past couple of years. Some posts were extremely helpful, others decidedly unhelpful, many didn’t pertain to me, and others gibberish. So here’s my best blogging advice that will most certainly change the way you blog forever!
1. Have a blog.
2. Write posts that are 300 words to whatever-your-readers-think-isn’t-too-long. Think of each post as a summer hat, you want it to cover your face and neck, but you don’t want to be the one with that Royal Wedding hat.
3. Add pictures and images to your posts. There are many ways to do this – take photos, make memes, scan, find, paint, draw…and please credit them, if possible.
4. Publish the post – this part is way more important than it seems.
5. Read. Not just books, but other people’s posts as well. If you don’t have time to read, how do you have time to write?
6. Before writing or posting, don’t think about if people will: Like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, agree, disagree, unfollow, hate you, become your worst nightmare troll, make voodoo dolls of you, or nominate you for awards. Don’t think about becoming rich and famous. Just write. Write, because if you don’t the words will burst out of you like an alien bursting out of your chest! I can’t guarantee they’ll show up at your blogdoor with flowers and candy for each post you write, but it’s worth a try.
7. Think of the internet as a massive, sprawling, loud house party. Sometimes it takes time, effort, and quite a few trips to the ‘refreshment area’ to find people and have them find you.
8. Engage with your readers and other bloggers, be generous, share the works of others, but don’t always expect reciprocation in kind. Think of the blogging community more like a big chain link fence – the links don’t all connect, but altogether they make something strong.
9. Don’t worry about who’s reading or not reading your blog and what they might think, although, you might want to worry if you worry about that too much.
10. Share your work. Be a shameless self-promoting bloghussy – like me! Be as overexposed as Miley Cyrus, wait, even as I type that, it sounds like bad advice. A little mystery goes a long way. The important thing is to be out there, getting experience and learning.
11. Most of all, enjoy the process. Never in the field of human communication has so much been written by so many to so few. It’s a massive virtual haystack (yes, sadly, you’re the needle in this analogy), so just sit back, type on, press publish, and enjoy the ride.
12. Ignore all the aforementioned advice. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy. Get whatever you need from the moment.
What about you, dear readers, what would be your best blogging advice, besides Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
I don’t own an iron…
Many of you reading this are WordPress Bloggers. You may have heard of being ‘Freshly Pressed’, where WordPress Editors pick out posts that are instantly given a lot of attention. It feels like their way of saying some bloggers are better than others, that they’re more worthy of sharing.
I even Googled, ‘How to get Freshly Pressed’.
Hmmm, note to self, next time you search, add, ‘on WordPress’, because, wow, that got weird, really fast.
Apparently none of my blog posts have: ‘enlightened’, ‘inspired’, ‘entertained’, or got the WordPress Editors ‘talking’.
Oh well, at least I’ve learned a lot about blogging, sorta…
I’m more concise (applause).
I know about: fonts, stats, sharing, widgets, I know what SEO stands for, Search Engine Oops, maybe I don’t.
I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest – I’m everywhere and as it turns out, nowhere.
I’ve virtually met fantastic people…or who knows, maybe they’re all one giant app that pretends to be bloggers and readers.
I’ve made mistakes…many. I’ve had popular posts and some you could hear crickets chirping as the post sits there being ignored.
I’ve been encouraged, discouraged, disappointed, and delighted.
I’ve learned to not take it too seriously.
Yet for Freshly Pressed folks, apparently I don’t write ‘unique content’ that’s free of ‘bad stuff’ (where’s the fun in that?).
I don’t have a ‘point of view’ (that’s silly, everyone has a point of view, even if they borrowed it from someone else).
I don’t paint them ‘a picture’ or make it easy on their eyes (this seems like a blatant attempt to get me to buy a Premium package).
I don’t add ‘relevant tags’ (too many tags, not enough tags, make up your mind).
My headlines can be ‘ignored’ (I already put the word ‘Obscure’ in my tagline).
typoos, er, typos. Sorry I’m not prefect, WordPress.
I’ve tried, I really have, for over 500 posts, but sigh, I’m still in The-Land-of-Never-To-Be-Freshly-Pressed. It’s worse than being Friend-zoned.
- Well, I never really wanted to be Freshly Pressed anyway (so there).
You can keep your FP Clique.
You keep your special jackets that say FP on them and super-duper secret decoder rings.
Keep your secret Clubhouse where all the Freshly Pressed elite virtually hang out and talk about us losers that will never be Pressed.
Just realized, this little rant probably got me banned from being Freshly Pressed, for my blogging lifetime. So what? I was never going to be anyway (er, was I?).
So, why will I never be Freshly Pressed? Ummm, no clue….