Category Archives: Writing
So, what do you think he was trying to tell me with this act of rebellion?
A. How is this different from my dog food? They both taste like sawdust.
2. I hate people who spend time writing their blog instead of paying attention to me.
III. I may not be the sharpest pencil in the box but that doesn’t really matter now, does it?
Four. I’m going to make this #2 live up to its name.
I must admit when I started blogging that I never would have predicted the paths that would lead to my site…
You’re Either Part of the Problem or All of the Problem or You Could Be the Solution. Or a Chemical Mixture. I Never Really Understood Science. Or Math.
So, it’s finally come to this – a bittersweet day on which I have decided to make a confession of a deep, dark secret that I’ve been hiding for months.
I decided to “come out” finally as a service to my readers who may be experiencing this same issue. It helps to know that you’re not alone. At least, it helps if you’re selfish like me and are comforted by the fact that others are suffering along with you. And if there are no readers experiencing this same issue, then I guess I am alone. And that kind of bites, but oh well. I’m sure you have your own ways of suffering.
So, here’s the thing. I now have over 1000 subscribers. Woohoo. I mean, awesome, right?
But less people read my blog per day now than they did a month after I started. Two years ago. A lot less.
Basically, let’s say I used to have 30 or 40 daily readers out of every 50 subscribers.
Now I still have about 30 or 40 readers.
Okay, so, somehow I managed to miss having to take Statistics in college, but I’m pretty sure that a graph of my numbers would look equivalent to one reflecting the success of Lindsay Lohan’s career over the last decade.
And I have way more fun and talent than Lindsay Lohan, so that hardly seems like a fair comparison.
Upon reflection, I’ve decided that the reason for this preposterous report of my readership could have one of the following causes:
Uno.) 99% of my blog subscribers are spammers who don’t actually read anyone’s blog, but apparently make tons of money off of pretending they do.
B.) Jon Stewart is screwing up my blog stats on purpose so I will spend less time blogging and more time
stalking writing love letters to him.
III.) WordPress hates me.
Four.) People read one post, and think that I am fabulous, then realize that my writing sucks and stop reading. But they are too lazy to unsubscribe.
Quintuplets.) The only people who are able to stumble across my blog are the ones who search for it by typing in, “my pants won the spelling bee?” And, let’s face it, usually the shoes win the spelling bee, not the pants.
Obviously it’s B.
Now I have to think of a solution. Certainly, I cannot allow Jon Stewart to completely change my life – unless there is some kind of financial profit involved on my part. In the meantime, I must keep blogging, if only to prove that I can persevere through these difficult and trying times of unsatisfactory blog statistics.
If Jon Stewart is deliberately tanking your statistics, too, then I suggest you look to me as a role model and follow my lead in this. Don’t stop blogging. And don’t devote any more time than usual to
stalking sending him communications of an admiring yet somewhat admonishing-him-for-not-paying-any-attention-to-you nature. Trust me; it doesn’t work.
As Dory from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep blogging and stop looking at your stupid blog stats because either Jon Stewart, the NSA, or terrorists are screwing them up.”
Or something like that.
Okay. Don’t take this the right way. But I’m a bit worried about some of my recent subscribers.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled to have more than 20 people following my blog. But I’m not 100% certain you’re all people.
For example, “thebiggestonlinestorenamedafterarainforest”* does not seem to be a person’s name. But, as there is no blog or profile to accompany this moniker, I can’t really verify that.
“Rentacar2020″* seems like an unusual, and completely unoriginal, handle, as well. I mean, as a former BJ and the Bear fan, I’m all for living out your fantasies by changing your name in the virtual world, but I would go with “angeleyes” or “hot pants” (recommended to me by the Smokey and the Bandit CB Handle Generator; they know me so well), not a generic name like “rentacar”. If you like automobiles so much, maybe you could try, “drivealamborghinibeforeyoudie” instead. That’s a bit more exciting, at least.
I must admit that I was a little flattered when I saw that “macaulaysbrewpub”* had subscribed. I thought, “How sweet! An entire bar just committed to reading my blog.” I pictured the cast from Cheers hanging out on their stools with iPads, and reading excerpts from my post out loud, inducing chuckles of delighted appreciation from Sam and Woody. Carla would make some derisive comment about my farting bulldog, and Cliff would nod knowingly at my extremely astute observation that terrorists are poisoning our food and then proceed to diagnose all of my various ailments.
But then a torrent of company names began to flood my inbox, and it was a bit harder to picture “buyflourescentlightsathalfprice”* as an avid fan of my enviable writing skills, buying Norm another beer as the two shake their heads at my latest exploits with sheep eyeballs and wooden spoons.
I haven’t quite figured out the advantage that “buyflourescentlightsathalfprice”* and his cohorts gain from adding themselves to my lengthy roll of admirers, but I’m guessing that they are aliases for terror cells who want to keep track of how close I am to guessing their nefarious plans.
Or maybe I’ve got this all wrong, and the employees at Home Depot are a fan base I should really tap in to. Wonderbutt could be a virtual saint to them for all I know. We probably contribute at least half of the company’s annual profit with all of our trips to buy materials to fix things that darn bulldog has eaten.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, “Thanks for hitting the subscribe button, but if you aren’t a real person – or the fictional cast from Cheers – then I am perfectly fine with you latching on to someone else’s blog. I don’t know what game you’re playing, but it’s giving me a complex that “geishasofjapan”* decided they needed to declare their love for me. STOP FOLLOWING ME!”
Unless you’re real. Unless you are a sane person who has excellent taste in writing and absolutely no desire to be a serial killer. In that case, follow all you want. But, for Pete’s sake, PICK A BETTER NAME! Trust me, Pete will appreciate it.
*Names have been changed from the names they were changed to – mostly because I figure you shouldn’t get free publicity on my blog just for having a boring name. Plus, I don’t want to get sued.
Dear Man Who Rescued Me from My Solitude While I Waited for My Daughter to Finish Swim Practice, Foolishly Thinking I Could Spend My Time Writing:
I was so overcome during our conversation the other day that I could not find the words to properly thank you. So, here it is.
First of all, thank you so much for offering me your used earbuds so I could listen to your daughter’s video on your phone. Your generosity apparently knows no bounds.
Secondly, thank you for educating me about gun control. Now that I know that the government is out to get us, I am going to save up some money for an AK-87 (the bigger the number, the better, right? but I thought an AK-97 would be too greedy) so I can defend myself. Because when the government finds a way to persuade the military men and women who have sworn to protect our country to start dropping bombs on my house, I want to be ready.
Once I was edified about my need for an arsenal in every room of the house, your insights into the welfare system and health care illuminated how completely selfish it is for my friend to ask for assistance for his son, born prematurely, who maxed out his health insurance life-time benefits before he turned one. I can’t wait to inform him that his money-grubbing ways are, in a large part, responsible for our titanic national debt.
I only wish you had been around to admonish me before I made my foolish choices in the last two presidential elections. Of course, you would have had to find some kind of loophole in the 22nd Amendment in order to keep the man who, “at least you knew where you stood with him” in office. I say just blast a hole in that pesky little alteration to the Constitution with your assault rifle “that isn’t any more dangerous than a revolver”. That’ll knock some sense into people.
I’m probably leaving out something important, but I think you can get the gist of my gratitude. It’s not every day that someone takes as much time as you do to rectify all of my clearly preposterous beliefs and assumptions.
I’m only sorry that you did not get the chance to enlighten me on abortion and gay marriage.
Maybe next time…
Mrs. Cap’n Firepants
Well, thanks Lance Armstrong and Te’o Guy Who I Never Heard of Before this Week. You guys just totally ruined my chances of ever being published.
First of all, Armstrong completely derailed my own plans to take steroids (they boost your writing skills, too, right?) for the next decade, enabling me to become the best writer ever, and end up confessing my sins to Oprah.
Then, Te’o Guy Who I Never Heard of Before this Week had to fall in love with a non-existent girlfriend who tragically died. Except she didn’t. Because she wasn’t alive in the first place. (I’m still trying to find out how exactly he discovered she was dead. I mean, did she tweet “I have died from leukemia”, or post it on her Facebook status, or what?)
Taken right from the first chapter of my current novel under construction. I swear.
And then that lottery winner inconsiderately died of cyanide poisoning, which completely discourages me from trying to make my millions that way.
To top it all off, someone apparently stole my idea for a new invention – the iPotty. And I’m pretty sure they stole it from my very own brain, because I never actually voiced it or put it on paper. So, that means that they obviously have another invention which Steals Invention Ideas from the Brains of People Who Don’t Know What the Heck to Do With Them.
So, now I am not merely crestfallen due to all of these recent events, but I’m slightly concerned that someone is stalking my brain for invention ideas and everyone is going to make millions from them except me. The stalking my brain does not disturb me. It is the everyone making millions from my ideas except me part which is highly depressing.
Plus, I feel a little deprived that I did not have my own iPotty when I was learning to defecate somewhere other than in my drawers. And my child did not have one, either. And even if I had another child now, he or she could not have one. Because we wouldn’t be able to afford it. Because we have no money. BECAUSE LANCE ARMSTRONG CONFESSED TO OPRAH THAT HE HAS BEEN USING STEROIDS.
I hope you’re satisfied, Lance Armstrong. If you would like to begin to compensate me for my suffering, you could start by introducing me to Oprah. Or Jon Stewart.
A Note on the Previous Post (Read This First if You Haven’t Already Read the Other One – Or Not. I Apparently Have No Control Over You.
So, I thought that when I was invited to add a comment to my “Reblog” that my words of wisdom would appear before the reblog, not after. It kind of defeats the purpose for me to ramble on after you’ve already read the reblog. But it’s too late now, unless I delete the reblog. But then I would have to delete this. And that is entirely too much of my afternoon wasted – a whole ten minutes – so, I will let you figure this whole thing out on your own.
Aren’t you glad I only post every other day now? Imagine the craziness if I did this every 24 hours…
So, now that the Pope has officially endorsed my Harry Potter Nativity scene, I feel like I can finally stop walking around with a rosary in my pocket in the hopes of warding off any lightning strikes.
Yes, I am perfectly aware that the above sentence pretty much guarantees that even a rosary can’t protect me now.
But the Pope did admit that things probably didn’t happen the way we’ve been lead to believe for the last thousand years. No angels singing, no animals gathered around the manger. No Little Drummer Boy pa-rum-pum-pum-pumming. So, I think it’s safe to conclude that we don’t know that Hagrid and Dumbledore weren’t standing around during the Holy Parturition (learned a new word today – look at me, using my online thesaurus in a fruitful manner!). It’s possible.
Speaking of this admittedly unlikely, but not completely impossible, rendition of the epitome of Blessed Events, I committed another Googling sin yesterday, and was surprised (as I always am) by the results.
I don’t know if you do this, too, but I like to Google some of my former blog topics that I think were completely, astoundingly unique – just so I can see my post title at the top of the Google results page. For some reason, that gives me a sense of satisfaction – knowing that pretty much no one else in the world ever thought about writing about this particular topic. Of course, that also usually means that no one is particularly interested in that topic, so it doesn’t really increase my blog stats to be number one on the Google search results. I tend to ignore that depressing fact, though.
So, I Googled “Harry Potter Nativity”, and was predictably gratified to discover that I was still at the top. But then, I noticed in the image results that the picture from my post was not #1. And then I noticed that there was an actual image of a “Harry Potter Nativity”! What the heck? Someone else had this idea?
Now, I’m depressed.
Unfortunately, despite my Super Duper Holmesian Google Detective skills, I am unable to actually figure out who had this idea. I’ve narrowed it down to someone on this site: http://www.craftster.org, but I apparently do not have Super Duper Holmesian Craftster.org Detective skills, because my searches either turn up nothing (Harry Potter Nativity – no results) or too much (Harry Potter – 67 pages of results).
So, I would like to tip my hat to the clever crafter who reduced my ego to ashes (don’t worry; like Fawkes the Phoenix, my ego will rise again), but I will, instead, be spending the rest of my evening Googling “spells to ward off vengeful lighting strikes” and “Cap’n Firepants and Wonderbutt” in doomed-to-fail attempts to avoid an argument with my insurance company over the exact meaning of “acts of God” and to revive my very damaged self-esteem.
In Which I Write a Very Assertive Letter
I recently checked the status of my orders, and noticed that one of them is labelled as “Delivered” even though I have not received it. It is order number 123456782, and I would like to know how to rectify this situation. This item is meant to be a Christmas gift, and can only be purchased online. My daughter will be completely heartbroken if this present is not under the tree, and I will hold you personally responsible for the miserable day our entire family will experience while she cries her eyes out after realizing this gift is missing. I do not understand how you can label a package as having been delivered when it clearly was NOT delivered. What kind of shady organization are you running over there?
An Extremely Disappointed,
Mrs. Cap’n Firepants
In Which Amazon, Obviously Fearful of My Wrath, Responds
Hello, Mrs. Cap’n Firepants:
I’m sorry this package never arrived and you had to contact us. I completely understand your disappointment. That’s definitely not what we want our customers to experience.
At this point, we can only presume that the package was lost during shipping. I sincerely apologize for this.
We do our best to ensure that all orders leave our fulfillment centers as soon as possible to be delivered within the delivery date estimated when you place your order, but occasionally a shipment may be lost by circumstances beyond our control.
I’m forwarding your experience with USPS to our shipping department–I know they’ll want to hear about your experience. We’re aware that our choice of delivery services reflects on our business as a whole, and we appreciate your feedback.
I’ve checked your order and see the item was ordered from DIP ‘N DIVE , a seller on our website. Because DIP ‘N DIVE ‘s inventory is constantly changing, we can’t replace items sold by them that are Fulfilled by Amazon.
I’ve requested a refund of $9.02 to your Credit card.
You’ll see the refund on your Master Card statement in the next 2-3 business days.
As this was an inconvenience caused to you while shopping at Amazon.com, I’d suggest you to place the new order with One-day shipping and write back to us with the order number so that we’ll either waive of or refund the shipping charges on the new order.
Please make sure that you place an order with Amazon or any seller which is labeled as, “Fulfilled by Amazon”, so that we can modify or make any further changes to the order. If you place the order with any third party seller then we won’t be able to change the shipping charges on the order.
If we can be of further assistance, you can reply directly to this e-mail.
Thanks for your patience and understanding. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you for your inquiry.
In Which I Lose My Online Shopping Privileges
Thank you for your prompt and considerate response regarding my $9 purchase. Wow, you guys are quick.
So, I was wondering, hypothetically, how you would feel if I mentioned that, right before I received your apology and promise of a refund PLUS free, one-day shipping, I walked into my closet, and found the package to which I was referring sitting on one of my shelves? And, hypothetically, I wondered at that moment how the heck U.S.P.S. got into the corner of my closet without me having to even sign anything. And I then remembered that I was the one who put the package on my shelf because I wanted to hide it from my daughter, and I also remembered telling myself at the time not to forget that I had put the package on the shelf. “But it’s right there next to your box of bras, so of course you aren’t going to forget,” I chided myself. Because I do wear a bra every day. And it sat there for 6 days until I happened to notice that my Amazon account said it was delivered. And it obviously wasn’t. But it was. And I thought about saying that my husband must have picked up the package and stuck it on my side of the closet without telling me. But that didn’t make a lot of sense. Because he never goes in my side of the closet. And, somewhat more to the point, surely, after 6 days of retrieving bras from my bra box I would have noticed there was a package standing right next to it. That I had not put there. But I did not notice it. Even though I put it there. Which was a better hiding place, in my estimation, than the refrigerator, which really only works for small things that are not sensitive to cold. So, there you go. Hypothetically, of course. Just wondering what you would do in that situation.
Thanks for your patience and understanding. I look forward to seeing(?) you again soon, too. As long as you are not a stalker.
Your very loyal customer,
Mrs. Cap’n Firepants
If the four sisters in Little Women suddenly received a telegram announcing that they were really witches with secret powers, and their father needed their help fighting zombies in the Civil War, my daughter might have been a bit more interested when I proposed reading the book to her. As it was, though, she looked at me quite doubtfully when I told her that one of my favorite childhood classics is about “four sweet girls who lived a long time ago – before Facebook”.
As I pointed out, however, she had chosen the last couple of bedtime books, and it was my turn. “Just give it a try,” I said. “If you don’t like it after the first three chapters, we can pick something else.”
So, she settled in, and listened to this completely unbelievable tale of girls who endlessly lose or soil the gloves that they must wear to parties, and who think of pickled limes as the ultimate luxury.
As I read, I began to yearn, as I always do, for simpler times – times when receiving a pair of slippers at Christmas as one’s only gift was cause for great exuberance, and youngsters spent afternoons innocently picnicking and playing games like “Authors” instead of sexting each other or congregating at the shopping mall.
Last night, we read the chapter in Little Women called “Castles in the Air”, wherein each of the characters describes her dreams for the future. At the end, I closed the book, and asked Dimples about her castle in the air. As is usually the case when I ask such illogically sentimental questions of my 9-going-on-10 daughter, she just shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”
“What do you think mine is?” I asked, wondering if she was perceptive enough to realize that, like Jo, I have always wanted to be a published author, and probably wouldn’t mind being rich and famous to boot – with a castle on the beach instead of in the clouds.
“Here.” She waved around the room. “With me.”
In an instant, a wave swallowed my beach castle, and I said, “You’re right! As long as I’m with you, I am in my castle.”
“And you’ll always be in mine,” she replied, giving me an unexpected hug and nearly reducing me to tears.
“Christopher Columbus!” I thought, still in Jo March mode. “This book is actually rubbing off on her!”
Of course, once we get to the part where sweet little Beth dies, she’s going to kick me out of the castle and never let me choose a book again, so I guess I better draw this out as long as I can.
Dimples may be somewhat unsentimental, but she only tolerates novels in which the villains meet untimely deaths.