Why are you so angry?


I think we all develop a tone for our writing and mine is obviously an “overly” aggressive one. I assure you, although I have a feeling many don’t believe this, that I am not an angry person and I don’t walk around punching stop signs and kicking bunnies. I thought it would be fun though to list some things that actually do piss me off.

1. Being blamed for advantages I don’t have. One of the major topics I attack are feminist based accusations that “all men have this or that” and that “all men owe women this or that.” I don’t owe any woman anything except my wife and perhaps my adopted mother.

2. People that don’t wait their turn at four way stops. This might sound silly, but I drive a lot and I see people skip the line all the time. I hate line skippers wait your turn dammit!

3. “I don’t like what he says, but I visit his site occasionally.” I just don’t get this and never will.

4. An empty box of Snickers Ice cream Bars that is still in the freezer. That is like teasing me with sex. I literally turn into The Hulk when I find the empty box and I do indeed smash said box.

5. People that steal my writing. This has happened and I went into defcon 1. I also probably shot some friendlies in my pursuit of the enemy.

6. Real Housewives TV shows. I hate every single one of them. Yes, let me watch your rich, entitled ass walk around and make a fool of yourself. I don’t know what is worse the people in the show or the people that pay these “actors” to act like their ignorant selves.

7. Teen mom shows. I honestly hope these are banned by the time my daughters understand the garbage we place on the tube. Seriously when did it become “quality television” to watch a bunch of ignorant girls showing us exactly what poor parenting is? And the movie star persona they are given is just bullshit. I wonder how many young women in America have uttered the words “well if I get pregnant I will just audition for Teen Mom.” A damn shame America.

8. Obama

9. Hillary Clinton

10. People that leave one sheet on the toilet paper roll and don’t replace it. How lazy are you? My ass thanks you.

11. People that tell me to calm down. YOU CALM DOWN!

-OM

The Daily Opinion – What would you do?


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-19/russia-forces-its-popular-bloggers-to-register-or-else.html

So what would you do? Would you register like a good peon or would you… stop blogging?

Guest Post – C.U.L.T.U.R.E


My name is Adeola and I am Nigerian. I have always thought that one of the biggest issues that exists in Nigeria is the fact that “theoretically” there are no options, for most people, there seems to be an already set out agenda for how lives should be lived. I wrote this some time ago to capture this reality. I decided to post this here because I realise this isn’t peculiar to Nigeria. But I also realise that like in every situation, there are exceptions.
I hope you like it and all that.

Culture!
Nursery school, Primary school, Secondary school, 4 years of university, 5 years even better,
then they can boast, “my son studied engineering”, “my daughter is a law graduate”
As if that alone defines satisfaction

Culture!
Ruling our lives and world silently
telling us what we must and mustn’t do
whispering silently that our choices and dreams do not matter

University done, now it’s time to get married
lest I forget, masters is a must these days, “just do it, everybody else is,
how else do you expect to get a good job?”
“Now don’t spend all your time studying, I want to see my grandchildren before I die”
“What do you mean you have things to achieve first, what do you mean you have dreams and goals?”
“You already have a job, don’t you? You don’t have to enjoy it right now, you young people and your funny ideas”
“The important thing is that it brings in money”
“And now you’re going out again, to the movies eh? Is that where you’ll find a good christian husband?”

Culture!
Who came up with these rules?
Whose reality is this?

Hear the relatives whispering among themselves when I say I want to take a year off before university to travel and experience different things, new things, meet people.
Hear them, “So unserious, when her mates are talking about school and such, she’s talking rubbish”
“Don’t mind her, refusing to study nursing because she’s not interested in it, is it a matter of interest?”

So then, I live my life for them;
Nursery school, Primary school, Secondary school, University, got a job, got a husband, I did it all for them.
You would think they’d leave me alone now,
let me be and enjoy the life I now have
but just as I am about to let out a sigh of satisfaction,
I hear a banging on the door, they’re back, they want more,
I try to block out the banging on the doors and the windows, the screaming;
“When are you going to give us grandchildren? do you want us to die without seeing our grandchildren?”

Culture!
A friend that has somehow become the enemy
With effects that crept up on us so slowly, we didn’t notice

Don’t get me wrong, culture isn’t a bad thing,
culture defines a people after all
I just wonder; if we actually think, will all aspects be for everyone?
Would young people all be looking to get “big office jobs”, no matter what it is and regardless of whether or not they enjoy it?
Would young girls be getting depressed that they aren’t married at 24 just because their friends are?
At some point, we stopped thinking and just did
We always talk about finding fulfilment, why doesn’t this include important issues such as education and marriage and such? why do we take it as a forgone conclusion that those things are meant for everyone?
All people aren’t meant to play football, are they?

Approximately 1.7 million Nigerian students took the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination in 2013 and about 1.2 million of them did not get into university… think about that.

I blog at aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com
adeola.matemilola@gmail.com

Journalism


I was in the car today with my wife and we were discussing the recent killing of the journalist by ISIS. I made the comment that although I felt bad about the death of this journalist I also didn’t expect America to start paying ransom demands for people that willingly place themselves in danger. Journalism is a dangerous job with the world in the chaotic state it is in, and I might even place it in a category close to the military in some ways. Did anyone see the movie “We were Soldiers” where it shows a very interesting perspective of journalists in wartime and how they can’t help but not be affected by what happens around them. They are present during times of war and in real firefights, but all they hold is a camera and not a gun. I admire that, I would never do that, but I still recognize their courage.

Those journalists also understand the danger they are in and I am disappointed by the relatives of the recent journalist blaming America for not paying the ransom or “doing more.” I place this scenario in the same box with the reporters that keep getting caught in North Korea all to do what? Tell us it is still bad up there? I realize the importance of real-time news and I hate to be the voice of reason here, but if you place yourself in dangerous situations you must accept those same situations when they turn out badly. I told my wife “people shouldn’t place themselves in scenarios where a miracle is required to save them and then expect that miracle to happen.” This is real life, not the movies, and in real life people die. People also place themselves daily in situations where they may die and they must accept that they made those choices. If I had died going to Iraq while in the military it would have been ultimately my choice and I would not have blamed anyone with my last breath.

“Well what if that were your sister or you” is what my wife said to me. I told her I would feel badly, I would be angry, and hell I would probably try to find that money if it were my sister. I would not expect the United States to miraculously change their stance just for me though and I would also have told my relative NOT to go over there to begin with. My father is a doctor that travels the world giving talks on his studies. He recently went to Egypt to give a speech and I emailed him asking him if he would not go. I say this to show that I do what I say and I actively tried to dissuade him by telling him “there are too many people in that “direction” of the world that hate us Pop. Just don’t go right now, the world isn’t right.” He still went and thankfully he returned to us safely.

I am saddened by the death of this journalist. I do not blame Obama or the United States government though for his execution or for the policies they have held PRIOR to his death. Know what you are doing in life, what your causes are for, and why you do what you do. If you are placing yourself in situations where death is a factor I hope you have considered if it is worth it or not. I also hope your relatives understand that you are willingly giving that sacrifice and they don’t take the opportunity to play the “bashing game/blame game” so many do these days.

Note: If ever a drone were made for a purpose it was to kill a member of ISIS. #truth

-Opinionated Man

The song


Do you hear the sound of humanity rising through the clouds? It is not a prayer. It is the sound of life, the life that you gave… that you began. We raise the volume of our hearts in hope that you remember us. That you will continue to care. Do you hear it now as it washes over the mountains and ferments the hearts of man? It is the song, a wordless essence of care that we all share when we open ourselves to a chance. A chance to matter before we do not matter at all.

-OM

Today I lost a Lot of Subscribers


I think at this point I have established the fact that I blog for numbers. I have also written multiple posts on the fact that I differentiate between writing and blogging. Blogging is presenting “something” in front of an audience and does not necessarily have to entail writing. I do take my writing seriously though, since I am a writer, and I still feel I write for myself. The proof is apparent on days like today where my follower number drops because I decide to publish posts I care about, but the world may not. That is ok in my book, but it still presents a complex relationship between blogging and I.

I have had bloggers call me a dumbass for publishing things that knowingly turn off readers, such as my views on abortion. With almost any topic there will always be a percentage of people that disagree and the more aggressive you are with a topic the more you will push people to also have a strong reaction. That is what HarsH ReaLiTy is all about pushing not only my opinions, but forcing people to also have one. Know that I am writing even this because I am bored and feel like it, not because I feel a need to justify why I do what I do.

Today I lost a lot of subscribers due to my post on dogs. I don’t feel badly about what I wrote, but I also recognize the fluctuations… consider it the small amount of Korean in me. My blogging model was created with the principle that I would not expect anyone to ever return to my website. I work hard each day to show my current readers I care by responding to comments and interacting, but I also work equally hard to bring in new readers each day. On the days where my number doesn’t move… those are the days that one of two things either happened. Either I was a lazy ass and failed to attract a single new reader or I succeeded in publishing my honest thoughts and people couldn’t handle it. So even though today I lost, I still feel like I won.

-OM

What is going on Akismet?


Either I am being targeted by some very determined spammers or Akismet stopped working. Guest Authors if you see an obvious spam comment do not respond to it please. I can’t even moderate them they are flooding in so fast this week. When did I become so special? Go bother Yahoo.com, my website is so small fry…

 

Way to ruin a good thing


And I am actually not talking about the “woman” that broke the pay it forward chain. I am talking about whoever wrote this story. Why call people out if this was suppose to be a “good thing,” but suddenly someone is a villain for not doing it? Come on people… good causes are voluntary not obligatory. Cut this crap out.

http://news.yahoo.com/grande-goodwill–378-starbucks-customers–pay-it-forward–in-florida-151640283.html

Guest Post-How To Be A Good Friend To Someone With Bipolar Disorder


Hi, I’m [river in Ireland] (*cue twelve-step group greeting here*), and I have bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. To people who have known me for a long time, this isn’t usually much of a shock. Actually, I take that back. People who have known me and been close enough to have seen some rough times aren’t usually that surprised. As for everyone else, my friendly and talkative exterior can hide pretty much anything I want it to. I’ve had to use this skill a lot in the past because I have had some people find out that I have bipolar and not be very nice about it. I think my favorite comment was that I was ‘demon-‘ or ‘spirit-possessed’. *roll eyes* Others think I’m not as much fun anymore since I have begun taking medication that doesn’t allow me to bounce off the walls like I did before. Still others think I’m just a freak. Of course, I was pretty freaky before, but that’s not the point. :)

The point is that people with bipolar disorder can be quite complicated; things can bother us that won’t bother ‘normies’, and our medications and treatment can take a lot out of us. The disorder is very complex and there is more being learned about it all the time. There are various different symptoms or signs that can be mistaken as something else entirely, which makes it really difficult to figure out. It can really screw with someone’s life. For instance, it wasn’t uncommon when I was first diagnosed to get four hours a sleep a night for two weeks straight and clean the house up and down at 3 am**…only to crash the next week and not shower or leave my bedroom for two days. That’s not even counting the episodes where I was crying and throwing things one minute and dancing a jig the next (only a slight exaggeration), with major swings like this happening in the same day. It’s kind of hard to hold down a job when your boss can’t figure out what planet you are going to be from one minute to the next! That’s not even talking about the medications and their side effects-I’ve been through several changes and can’t even keep track of them all. One of the medicines that worked the best for me also gave me shakes so bad I had to see a Parkinson’s doctor. Another gave me gas you wouldn’t believe, and still another made me gain so much weight that I was nearly too fat to fit into my wedding dress! And you know what’s scary? I’m one of the luckier ones, because I can even take medicine; I know some people who haven’t been able to find anything that doesn’t mix badly with their other medications, assuming they can find something that does anything at all.

Bipolar has a strong tendency toward comorbidity-meaning, it often occurs alongside other similar disorders. I’ve lost friends and had others change how they relate to me, although I have had some actually come closer because they had similar problems and felt I wouldn’t judge them. Generally, though, it’s one of those things you don’t really understand very well unless you have it yourself. In this spirit, I thought it might be fun to give sort of a ‘guide’ on the care and feeding of your bipolar friend. :) So, let’s get started:

Let the other person bring it up. I personally don’t mind talking about it with some people, but there are others I would just as soon not know. It’s not really anyone’s business, unless I choose to *make* it their business. The same might hold true for your friend, especially if she is newly diagnosed or has had a rough time with it. This is especially true in work situations; there is so much misinformation and stigma out there that the last person many people want knowing about something this personal is someone who has control over their future! Asking respectful questions when you are alone might be okay if you know she doesn’t mind talking about it with you, but when dealing with a group, let her bring it up first. It’s not usually relevant to ‘normal’ conversation, and a lot of people can be downright nasty and judgmental. I learned this the hard way. :(

Do your homework. You don’t have to become a medical scholar or anything. However, it will help you to better understand and therefore support your friend if you have an idea of what is going on with her. Again, this disorder is very complicated, and there are several different varieties. However, the impressions often given in the media and in fiction are just that-fiction. The movies have a way of misrepresenting things to make them more interesting. If you do read up on it, look to more factual and neutral sources. About.com has an extensive section about the disorder and the methods of treatment written in language a ‘regular person’ can understand. If you want to hear it “straight from the horse’s mouth”, so to speak, here’s a link to a video-based support community at healthline.com: http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/youve-got-this.

There very well might be changes in your friend that you might find irritating; knowing where they come from can help lessen the annoyance. For instance, my memory isn’t as good as it once was. Since I have the ‘racing thoughts’ that often go along with bipolar, a lot of the time I won’t remember something as simple as instructions or the name of someone I met five minutes ago. It’s not that I’m not thinking, it is that I am thinking too fast. Well, to say ‘thinking too fast’ and ‘of too many things at once’ might be more accurate. I might repeat things, not realizing I had already asked the same question or told the same story before. I know this can be frustrating, but understanding that this is part of the disorder often helps. Think about it, aren’t you more sympathetic to the person walking slowly in front of you if you see that the person has a cane? It’s the same thing with us. This doesn’t mean that we should be able to get away with whatever we want to, but if you know where something is coming from it is often easier to help with it.

And please, for the love of God/Allah/Vishnu/kittens/or whatever it is that you believe in, do not assume or imply that a person could ‘be better’ if they only tried harder/had enough faith/thought positively/got themselves together/got rid of sin, etc. I know from personal experience how much this can hurt. It’s great that you care enough to give suggestions, and some of those things can help. In fact, therapy or thought-reprocessing are often an essential part of our recovery, especially for those who also have substance abuse problems (a good 30%-60% of us***). Please understand that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to the person about God or their religion, either. However, this is very important-bipolar is a medical disorder. It’s really no different from arthritis-a condition that can be managed but not cured, and isn’t brought on by anything the person did.

I understand that some people have religious views that anything can be cured or healed by the hand of God. I also understand that some people find a lot of comfort in spirituality. I myself have a pretty strong faith, although it has faltered at times. Faith, spirituality and a connection with something larger than/outside myself has been a big part of my life, even though there are times when I am depressed and feel completely cut off from God. But think about it like this; If God made this planet and everything on it, then how did the doctors get their talent and what are the medications made of? To use a rather ubiquitous and annoying cliche, think outside the box, people. Perhaps a person can be healed supernaturally, and many times the illness will go into a sort of ‘remission’ where no symptoms show. Believe me, sometimes I would love nothing more than to have it all magically taken away.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the way it happens for a lot of us. Most of us have to take some sort of medication or have some sort of therapy at some point in our lives…getting these things is not a sign of failure. This isn’t due to any lack of character or faith on our part, although some will think this at first; I certainly did before I knew what was really going on. Being told these things by people who said they cared about me was one of the most painful things I have dealt with thus far because it knocked a huge hole in my faith in God, which was one of the main things that kept me going. It has been rather difficult at times to regain any sense of this, and I still haven’t in some ways. This is pretty common.

If someone is not religious, it can still hurt to be told things like ‘oh, you just need to think positive’ or such things. When depression hits, some people find it hard to get up the energy to think, period. They would like nothing more than to be able to think positively, but they simply can’t see anything past the darkness around them. Reminding them of positive things is good, but please understand that it isn’t usually ‘enough’ for someone who has a mood disorder; other forms of professional treatment are also needed. I know I probably sound bitter, and I don’t mean to give a guilt trip; I just wanted to give an idea as to how hurtful such statements can be.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t understand everything your friend is going through. Half the time, we don’t understand it either. The fact that you care enough to try to understand and learn about it all means a lot.

Don’t assume facts not in evidence. This is somewhat related to the previous point. A good rule of thumb is not to assume something is due to/related to the bipolar (or complications from it) unless you are told that it is. For example, I have a friend who thinks she can ‘read’ me. She means well, but it seems that anytime I am sick or cranky or *gasp!* I get angry or irritated with her, she asks about my medications/doctors/etc. I guess it could be compared to the way the guys we went to high school with assumed that we were having our periods when we got annoyed with them-sometimes it was PMS, but usually it was because they were being annoying! I guess it would be one thing if I were eating corn chips and watching Monty Python one minute and started screaming and swearing the next. However, that is not how it usually plays out. I’ve often been asked about my medication when I’ve gotten bothered with my friend when she said something completely out of line or asked a question that really isn’t her business.

I know it can be really touchy and confusing when we seem to be in a bad mood for a long stretch of time or when we can’t talk about a particular subject without going off. Believe me, I understand that this can be scary! I don’t blame anyone for asking or thinking our disorder is at play, because sometimes it is. My wedding, for instance, was a big trigger when my friend was trying to help me organize things for it. The point is, however, not to use knowledge of our disorder as a catch-all to explain every mood or comment when our reaction to something might be the same a reasonable person could have.

Know when you’ve done all you can. There are going to be times when we need more help than you can provide. Keep in mind that our disorder has a strong medical element and thus we will sometimes need that type of help more than anything else, or more than we are presently getting. For example, one person I know had to be involuntarily committed to a 72-hour emergency mental health hold because she was dissociative, screaming and threatening to kill herself. In her home state, the police had to be called out to the house because she was causing a major disturbance. I don’t remember if it was her husband or her father who had her committed, but I do remember that she pitched a huge fit and wanted nothing to do with it. However, involuntary commitment was what was needed to protect her from herself and others from her. Not all cases will be this extreme, but parts of our disorder can only be effectively dealt with by medical and mental health professionals. It’s not your fault; please remember that. It’s a medical problem. We might say or think you are abandoning us or that you just want to get rid of us by handing us off to professionals, and we might hate you for it for a while. Hell, you might even learn some new expletives.:) I certainly have.

Please know that you are giving us what we need by referring us to someone who can give more help, regardless of what we might say. We’ll thank you for it later but, even if we don’t, still know that you have done the best you could do. You need to care for yourself too.

Above all:

Have compassion. We didn’t ask for this. It’s like I once told my husband, ‘Remember that however difficult it is to be *with* me, it’s probably at least that much more difficult to *be* me.” That doesn’t mean that you have to put up with whatever we want to throw at you (literally or figuratively), but that does mean that you should try to understand that it isn’t *us*, but the disordered parts of us, that are causing problems. If you need to get away-temporarily or for good-then by all means do so, but please know that we’re not happy with ourselves either.

If you’ve gotten this far, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this. It really does mean a lot that you care enough to try to learn how to help. Hopefully one day, we can return the favor.

**Yes, as a matter of fact, I did have the cleanest house in the Research Triangle area. No, I won’t clean yours.

***source-About.com, bipolar disorder-http://bipolar.about.com/od/alcoholsubstanceabuse/Alcohol_Substance_Abuse.htm

TheProzacQueen

http://theprozacqueen.wordpress.com

Guest Post – Why do I want you to remember me?


Have you ever watched a child die?  Have you watched a Mom and Dad hold their child’s hand, as they travel the road from a diagnosis of leukemia, through chemotherapy? Have you watched a child in pain, who never complains? Have you looked him in the eye and wondered is he scared?  Have you waited at his house for the ambulance to arrive, a child coming home for the last time? Have you sat beside parents and family as they bravely tell their young boy it is okay for him to leave? Have you watched with a breaking heart, as they kissed him one last time?

If like me you had watched this I am sure you would wish to do anything you could to help him. Well believe it or not you could have.

Just before Christmas 2012, a young boy here in Ireland, aged 12, was feeling very tired and off form.  He was admitted to hospital for tests. We waited for news, never imagining what we would hear.  The text his Mom sent me read, “The news is challenging, Dan has leukemia”.

The next year was one long nightmare. Within twenty four hours young Daniel was transferred to Dublin and had undergone his first of many bone marrow biopsies, had a Hickman line inserted, and had begun chemotherapy. Life as he knew it was over.

Within a week we discovered the only hope for Daniel was a bone marrow transplant. I accompanied my friend and her three other children to hospital for tests to see if any were compatible with Dan, and therefore potential bone marrow donors. Sitting in the waiting room, we shook our heads. Two weeks earlier life had been normal. How could this be happening?  A week later we heard none of the family matched. Defeated we held our breaths once more.

You wanted to help him, well this is the first point in my story where your help could save his life.

The word went out. Lists were checked. No potential donor in Ireland matched. No one in Europe matched. So the net was cast wider, and who would have believed it but a perfect donor was found in the USA. A young girl, at college. That is all we knew. A young girl, a stranger, had gone on the bone marrow donor list. Why? We do not know. Maybe her life had been touched by cancer or maybe she was just someone very special? Whatever her reason she gave a young boy a chance of life, and for a while she wiped away the tears of a family she would never meet.

Last July Daniel left home for his transplant. In America a young girl left home for a few hours, to save a life. The transplant was a great success, and Dan’s health very quickly improved. After only two weeks there was talk of discharge, and the excitement was palpable.

Then so quickly things changed. Young Daniel got a viral infection. He fought day and night for five months. His Mom and Dad stayed by his side throughout. Back at home life was on hold, we held our breaths and waited, every day hoping that today we would get better news.

It is at this point where once again you could help quite literally to save his life.

As Daniel deteriorated he needed blood transfusions and platelets every day. Each one of those transfusions saved his life. Each one made Dan feel better and helped him to continue his fight. He wasn’t ready to give up, nor were his team, and definitely not his family.

However there is only so long anyone can fight. All manner of drugs were tried to see off the virus, yet nothing had any real effect. Daniel got weaker, and life was no longer one with any quality. Daniel was put on a ventilator, and family were called. We wondered was this it? Would his Mom and Dad never hear his voice again? Would he never get his greatest wish to go home?

Then he rallied one last time. He was taken off the ventilator and for a few days we celebrated. However his Mom and Dad knew better. They knew their young boy well and they knew in their hearts it was time to grant him that final wish. With a strength I still cannot comprehend they said “Enough”, and they took their precious boy home.  Two days later, surrounded by his family and friends, he left for his new adventure.

When OM gave me this opportunity to write here I wondered what I would write. I thought about how I could best promote my blog? Would I write something funny, or serious, something that would give a good insight into what my blog is about? However as time ticked by I couldn’t get young Daniel out of my mind and I knew there was only one thing I wanted you readers to remember me for.

The prompt to give blood, and the nudge to look into becoming a bone marrow transplant donor.

Giving blood saves three lives, and going on the bone marrow donor list could mean a child like Daniel gets a chance.
I hope I have succeeded. I hope at least one of you saves a life.

Written by Tric from My thoughts on a page.

For information on becoming a bone marrow donor in the United States contact Be the match.
For information on becoming a bone marrow donor in Canada contact One match.
For information on becoming a bone marrow donor in the United Kingdom contact NHSBT
For information on becoming a bone marrow donor in Ireland contact IBTB

Dear Dog Owners


Dear Dog Owners,

Sidewalks are made for humans. If I am walking down the sidewalk with my daughters and your dog is larger than they are you need to make Fluffy walk in the grass. If Fluffy isn’t trained to do that then you should walk your ass in the grass as well. Sidewalks are made for tax paying humans, not for four legged animals that couldn’t care less what they are walking on.

If your dog is larger than my 5 year old daughter don’t allow IT to approach my kids without asking. If my kids approach your dog then that is a totally different story, but there are leash laws for a reason. If you aren’t strong enough to keep your dog in check give your “pet” away or have it put to sleep. If another dog aggressively comes near my daughters that the owner “claims wouldn’t hurt a fly” I will use the belt knife I carry at all times. That is actually a promise and it is a promise made in frustration.

I don’t hate animals, but I am beginning to hate animal owners. Just because your pit bull acts friendly around your kid doesn’t mean it will do the same around mine. I know about dogs and I also know they can be triggered by the smallest thing, sometimes the most random thing. How is my daughter to know that touching his ear will make him bite her? Am I suppose to wait until that happens so you can look shocked and say “Fluffy has never done that!” Uh… no. Like I said, I won’t wait for tragedy to happen to learn a lesson. I’ll create a tragedy instead.

I am sure some animal lover is going to read this and go off. Bite me. Dog owners are becoming as entitled as bicycle riders that hog a whole lane. Move your asses over where you belong and leave the sidewalk to people that walk on two legs.

-Opinionated Man

I am not here to impress you world


I am not here to impress you world. I do not seek your validation. I don’t need more friends. I don’t want pen pals.

The world is so damn needy these days. That is why I roll my eyes when I read comments or posts by my “fans” saying I only write because I need attention. Those same people are such fucking hypocrites though when it comes to trying to “push their book they are working on.” Oh sure it is trendy to say you don’t “care” and honestly if you equate that to what I wrote above then you are just stupid. There is a huge difference.

I understand the relationship between a blogger and their readers. I give back to people not because I must, not because it is expected, but because I “hope” people pay it forward. That is probably why I get easily frustrated and annoyed because when a “good deed” because a hassle it is no longer worth it in my book. Does that make the deed less pure? Who cares? I sure don’t.

I care about my writing, my blog, and interacting back with my readers. That is as far as I set my own obligation. I don’t accept the limitations, rules, or views of what others “think” I should be doing. How about you go do that on your own damn blog if you want to be such a shining example. People are so full of shit too. How many here honestly think that if they worked their asses off for 2 years to create a platform that they would willingly share it for free. Be honest and I am really asking. How many of you would? Or instead how many of you would think “those people should work for it themselves… as I did.”

I treat people the way I wish I had been treated when I first began blogging last year. That doesn’t mean I am always nice and in fact I can be incredibly crass towards people I consider “friends” in the blogging world. I am always busy and honestly I don’t have time for most, if any, of your bullshit. This isn’t a rant, this isn’t a complaint, this is just how I am.

Note: Guest Authoring is closed for now. Thanks to those that took part.

-OM

Guest Post – Beginning My Life at 43. A Love Story. Kind of.


Hi.  My name is Laura.  I don’t think you’ve ever met anyone quite like me before.

 

I was having dinner with my Weird twin tonight when we were talking about our past.  We went to the same high school and graduated the same year, but never really knew each other, only in passing as we walked home in the same direction. It wasn’t until our 25th High School reunion we really got to know each other (I didn’t go to any of the others, lol, hell no- not back then).

We stopped and reflected for a moment – that we didn’t hang out then… cause we areIMG_4548 so alike and its like we have known each other forever. I told her– “you know, back then I was really insecure, had no self-esteem, and was in no way outgoing.  I’d never have the guts to be like what’s up.. or come up and talk to you or be like ‘hey man’. And you.. you probably thought I was stand offish and wanted nothing to do with you (I was told that before, lol).” She agreed and laughed but then looked at me puzzled, like she couldn’t fathom I was ever that way. But I was,and I’ll never forget that Laura, or her pain.  I will always hold her in a tight embrace.

Most of my life, I didn’t think I could. I had never any real ambition or motivation or inspiration, though I desperately wanted it. I was I thought wasn’t gifted like that. I was a nobody/loser/rebel/burnout, I didn’t fit in, and I was wasting so much time fighting those that hurt me, the norm.. because I didn’t believe in myself. I self medicated to block the pain of the wrongness surrounding me. Consequently, my life was a series of mistakes, over and over and over. I wasn’t living the true live I could and I had no idea how.  My children suffered because I was weak, discouraged and depressed for so long. I didn’t have the belief or courage to leave an unhealthy situation for fear of making their lives worse. I had no idea how much I was really worth.

Until about 6 years ago when I had to finally deal with my past.  So I went back and confronted the dragons~ where it all began.  I stepped out of my comfort zone- and it was very uncomfortable, at first. But then I stopped being afraid.  I finally figured out my mistakes, and why I kept making them. For the first time ever, I understood the meaning of loving yourself.  That you don’t need anyone’s approval to be exactly who you are, and that you can only control yourself and how you let others affect you. That you surround yourself with people who lift you up- and stop wasting time on those who bring you down.  Even and especially if they are so-called “loved ones.”  I realized that expectations and pre planted ideas of relationships are not necessarily correct.. in fact can be very damning to who you are. And as I continued to grow inside, my outside wanted growth too.. my running was getting better, I got a gym membership, started eating healthy and got some crazy-ass idea to run a 10K in the middle of January in Chicago. And then, a few Mud runs, Glo runs (totally need to do a Zombie run still) 5, 8, 10, 15K’s and a half later..

Marathon FinisherAt 44 years old, I ran my first marathon.  It was the kind of victory I’d never felt before but always heard about. With my weird twin too.It was her first. I started running at 41 to exercise my dog for gosh sakes.  And completing that marathon… a goal so not even in my stratosphere in LIFE, made me realize I could do anything.

Three weeks later, I became a Grand mom. I was never a Grand mom. I’m too young to be a Grand mom, I didn’t need to be a Grand mom!  I just ran my first marathon I just tasted my life…. but again, I realized I can do anything.

If I could make this breakthrough, do the things I have and continue to do (I have another marathon in October and I’m nowhere near ready, as life continues to hit me with lessons, lol) I know you or anyone could.  I wanted to go out and tell as many people who would listen and spare them from living one more minute thinking they can never live their dreams.  So here I am.  This is what I’m trying to do.

My blog is about encouraging anyone who doesn’t believe it to know that they can live their dreams no matter how old or how long they’ve lived their lives thinking they couldn’t.  It’s a mix of just some me, my grand baby, some recipes, ideas, running and physical stuff, mental stuff, my geeky side (yes I am one and proud), my grand baby, this crazy world, the people I continue to be blessed with cause I’ve made these changes and can finally do that, humor and especially.. what’s deep down. I want everyone to figure it out.  I cannot say it enough, until you deal, you’ll never truly be your very best,  so I encourage it. often and bring up subjects as they come to me that I hope can shed some light for someone.  And, lol, occasionally, I’ll have a pedestal that I have to stand on, or maybe some stuff I have to get off my chest but I’m me, and human, and I hope the ones that relate take comfort they aren’t alone or the only freak in this world.

Thanks so much for tuning in to my jeez-chick-get-to-the-point-already long ass blog and especially to my kindred spirit  J for giving me this pedestal.  I hope you will check me out as I continue to figure it out, grow, and share what learn.

Have a great night and remember that everyday is a new beginning,

http://www.beginninglifeat43.com

Borg Grand mom and Borg Baby

Borg Grand mom and Borg Baby

 

An Introduction to Powerblogging – Part 1


There is a reason why I have waited this long to write this post and also why I have shared articles on blogging this past week. They were leading to this point, one which many bloggers will hate. That is the price you pay when you share information freely, especially about topics people dislike. If you were to browse the tags “blogging, bloggers, and blog” right now you would find countless articles on blogging and how to successfully make a blog. You won’t find many people writing on powerblogs, except in the most general way. That is because the term “powerblogger” was given as an insult to label those of us that WordPress and Blogger deem to be all about the numbers and audience. The insult is in the assumption that we also don’t care about our writing.

This post will be longer than usual for me and I plan to cover what I have learned about powerblogging this past year. Yes, you heard correctly, I have only been a powerblogger for a year and ironically I have only been blogging for the same amount of time. Success is a distant marker that we each get the freedom of chasing. I did not wait for someone to tell me the “rules” I made my own. I didn’t wait to learn “how everyone else was doing it” because I have often found that people have very “small minds” when it comes to ideas and execution. The human brain can often not be bothered to think outside the box, thus what we readers get are blog after blog of regurgitated, politically correct crap.

We blog for different reasons and I can confidently say that I blog differently than most of you… probably all of you. Some of the following will be known, but I hope some of it is new and might open your eyes to what a powerblogger is and does.

When I began HarsH ReaLiTy on January 3rd, 2013 I had no real plan other than trying to get my writing seen. That was the number one goal, “how do I get people to read my stuff?” It was only later on that I adapted the “wish” for comments as well, because to be honest a view is a view. Period. There is no “fake view” or “fake follow” the bloggers that claim that are idiots. Did a person not have to see your blog title to press like? Did we not have to read at least a word of your article to like and follow you? If you judge your popularity by “likes and follows” then you will have a fruitless writing career. I don’t pay attention to those numbers, they mean shit other than providing a basic understanding of daily traffic. This understanding can ONLY come from studying your numbers and seeing what gets viewed and why. Many might find this boring, that is understandable, but if you are serious about self-promotion, business, and selling those damn eBooks then you might want to start paying attention to your stats and dashboard. That IS your link to the outside world for your blog.

I value every view, regardless if someone follows me, comments, or presses like. I also don’t “like” any article I have not read. I will generally “follow” a person off the reader, so that connection will show up in their email notification as a “like and follow” by me. In truth I have not pressed “like” on that article. I followed a person because I skimmed their post, liked their title, or I see they are an active blogger. I then will wait for that connection to be returned in many cases. Is this a game of “I follow you and you follow me in turn” like I have seen post after post about? No, it really isn’t, because I am not studying the number of followers. I am waiting to see if a person that just visited my site has gone on a “reading binge” and has “blitzkrieged” my website. That to me is the indiciation that a REAL connection has been made. The “handshake” connection is actually where someone reads my about or bio, likes it, comments, and then disappears. That is STILL a view, I still value that interaction, but it is set in a different category from a habitual visitor.

I have repeatedly said that powerblogging is more than just “randomly” clicking on websites in hopes that people will visit you back. If it were indeed that easy, everyone would be doing it AND successfully, which is not the case. “Following” people is a large part of pushing your website out to the public. You will read and hear endless posts and comments on how bad of a practice this is. “It is insincere” or “I think every blogging connection should be a real relationship and not a ploy for business.” If you powerblog you WILL get these comments. You might even make it to the “big time” and will “randomly” happen upon those awesome posts about you while browsing WordPress. The awesome part is because they will be directly about you and your blog, they will name you, and they will villianize what you are and what you do. If this bothers you or if negative feedback causes you hesitation, powerblogging is NOT for you. You will need to be made of tougher stuff than that. Currently I could rattle off a dozen posts just this past month about me. I can also name many bloggers that think what I do is pathetic and a “low” form of blogging. You will have to decide whether or not public opinion matters to you and if it does you might want to reconsider taking any of these pieces of advice.

Generally I follow about 500 blogs a day. On a good day or perhaps a day from last year where my motivation was much higher, I would follow or connect with around 2000 blogs a day. My hope for a “return” on this practice has always been the number 750. I set that as a buffer number, because it is just high enough to push me but not to burn me out. I seek 750 new eyes on my website every day. To an author or someone that is pushing their business or books, this is where I say the marketing really IS. With every follower or every glance at your website you are realizing a “possible sell.” THAT is the name of the game and anyone that says differently is a fool and you should NOT listen to them. But if you instead write “for yourself” and are happy selling your books to only your friends and family… by all means listen to “Cindy and Jack” your kind supporting friends that will never tell you a negative bulletpoint. These people are not helping you though in the long run and an attitude that thinks that they are is the wrong attitude for self-promotion and success.

I listen to no one when it comes to self-promotion. There is so much bad advice out there. So many people with wishful thinking and sugary thoughts of “success will come when it is meant to.” FUCK THAT! I go out and I search for success because success is in all reality the ultimate mythical hart that every hunter seeks. Those that say they don’t care about success, all the while they pour their hearts into their words and product, are not only lying to you but to themselves as well. Living a lie can sometimes be the best remedy for failure. If that is your poison have fun foolishly enjoying it.

You cannot randomly click “follow” and hope to create a powerblog. There is so much more to this “art” then it appears. I say art because the process itself is an art. Anyone that has blogged on HarsH ReaLiTy and has seen my stats knows I am speaking the truth. They have seen my numbers and even more they have witnessed the fluctuations. Not an hour ago I was asked “why have your numbers fallen since last July and can you explain the bell curb?” Of course I can, it is the product of effort and lack thereof. I have not clicked follow or pushed my blog nearly as hard as I did last year and for good reason. They are my reasons. Last year I was actually “following” and actively pushing my website to the number of around 2000 clicks daily. That is not an exaggeration either. What a person must realize is there is a percentage to explain everything in life, especially a blog. Numbers don’t lie and if you know how to read them they can actually reveal the “heartbeat” of your blog. When I was actively pushing my blog I would have over 750 new visits a day and the retention rate of those visitors was higher as well. My content also has a large amount to do with this rate. Removing an offensive title and tagline would be an immeasurable help in gathering followers, but I refuse to change that. A Good Blog is Hard to Find is actually my new sample test against this theory. I can firmly say that it has shown me I have lost A LOT of potential followers because of what HarsH ReaLiTy now “stands for.”

The amount I blog on HR has fallen this year because I always intended it to be so. I never really planned on devoting more than a year to HarsH ReaLiTy, but I have also adapted that plan slightly. The problem with HR is that it has capped in many ways. I still gain followers daily, but the issue is when you get to a certain size people stop seeing you as an attraction. You gain a label and an outlook, regardless if your practices stay the same. When I say practices let me elaborate on what I mean by that. Last year I received anywhere from 300 – 600 comments daily and much of that is due to the fact that I posted on average 5 times a day. I want to reiterate here that “over posting” doesn’t exist, but pushing out tons of posts ALSO won’t gain you tons of followers. The reason being is that you will find few bloggers that actually read ALL of your posts. I have a few people like that, but it is rare and it basically takes time to find a reader such as that. They are what writers seek though. I spend a lot of my time responding to comments, reading blogs (yes, contrary to popular belief I actually read around 200 blog posts a day), and writing articles. The addition of the comments and emails adds considerable amount of work. I work four days a week in Information Technology and have the luxury of being able to blog at work. I therefore spend around 8 hours daily on my blog and often this includes weekends. I sleep very little and because I have kids I force myself to do a lot of my writing at night. This is neither practical nor possible for many people, but I am trying to provide a full picture of what I do.

7 days a week I was on my blog last year. It has only been recently that I have started to take weekends off and my guest bloggers will attest to the fall in stats because of this. I don’t care because I KNOW what drives stats and views. There is no “dormant stage” for a blog. There is either motivated blogging or lazy blogging to me. I hate laziness and will never entertain the thought of being called lazy by anyone. I have had this word fielded in my direction and honestly, it didn’t deserve the snort that it got.

Powerblogging is about money and making money. Whether you are pushing a product, sharing your writing, or basically trying to create a business for future ventures powerblogging is where you want your website to go if you are truly after numbers and success. Writing is a skill and something to be treasured, thus I have time and time again tried to present the difference to my readers. I take writing and blogging seriously, but I separate them. I always have and always will and this post should share why I do. Blogging is the business and traffic aspect of pushing my website, the writing is something I am always working on and trying to improve. As one commenter said, the reason I post so much is because I am not hindered by public displays of negative feedback. That is why I am writing, any review is welcome. To pick and choose is to pick and choose your followers and that to me is a mistake in principle.

I wrote an eBook back in May of 2013 and I shared my blogging principles and methods. This is a much larger elaboration and I have more still to share. The irony is that this post is probably more in-depth than the eBook, but I have also learned a ton since last May. Well, that is debatable, but I think I have.

Mirror blogs and secondary blogs are becoming more common. You will see many current “powerbloggers” (some of which don’t meet the description to me) hosting mirror sites in which they are simply refunneling their previous posts. While this in itself is not a bad practice, nor is it a bad idea, there needs to be some clear understanding as to what, why, and how this is done. There are some bloggers that will reblog themselves to gain views. The issue I have with this is when they reblog their own post… ON THE SAME DAMN WEBSITE. Who wants to see you reblog yourself? If you have been blogging for years and think you have posts hidden at the bottom of the pile that people might genuinely enjoy “again or for the first time” then simply repost that article. Don’t reblog it and make it obvious you are recycling your posts. When a singer lip sings do they make it obvious? No, they try to play that shit off because people don’t want to think that YOU “think” they are fools. Treat us like adults and instead just repost that entry and see if people like it again.

You will find many bloggers are using “separate” mirror blogs to push their current blog. This is a GREAT practice that has been in use FOREVER! People that think this is a new idea are either not in marketing or failed out of marketing 101 in college. Business owners and strategists have been using the “wall theory” forever. Bouncing ideas off a smaller target or “sample audience” OR simply using a secondary website to get eyes on a topic or issue. There is nothing wrong with this, WordPress isn’t going to run out of room because you decide to make a second website. Anyone that tells you that making new websites is “clogging WordPress” is OBVIOUSLY the best network engineer in the world…

Another thing some powerbloggers do is they create a second website that is completely unaffiliated to their first. They will then “rehash” their previous year’s materiel onto their new blog and by using the scheduling features they are essentially able to create a blog with no new materiel and one that is ready for a year. It is still their writing that they are proud of and are trying to push in front of the public’s eye, so fair is fair when it comes to motivation and even more importantly dedication to promoting yourself.

I don’t schedule my posts, but I have before. I enjoy writing “real-time” and allowing my audience to feel and understand what I think of the moment. I also don’t try and cram every single thought for my day into one post. Many bloggers create well thought out, scripted posts that read like a novel. That is great for them and all and they deserve the recognition and likes people give them from doing that type of task. For me I don’t think a post has to be perfect. When I press publish on this post, an article that is about 7 times longer than most I write, I will probably have a ton of grammatical mistakes that will be obvious to the reader that cares. The thing writers need to remember, especially writers of a blog where they are pushing their thoughts out every day, is that there will be just as many readers that don’t care and will still read. They will also come back and read more, as long as you are putting out new content. If you sit there and second guess your worth and the readability of your articles, you will only filter your website down to a point where it is no longer you. It is a filtered you and who really wants to read that? You should also take note that finding people that are writing about similar topics is the best practice in finding bloggers that “might” like your website. This is particular telling when you actively find people writing about your subjects, even as your topics change daily. This provides a mixture in viewers that will pay you back.

I post lots of times in a day, but each post is generally directly related to a singular topic. I don’t try to carry my readers on some long epic journey through multiple layers of thought because blogging is a “quick fix” type of enjoyment. People read blogs, instead of books, often times for a fast read. Under 1000 words and they really don’t want to think too hard. This is not the case for all bloggers, but understanding the existence of this predominate group will help you when considering what to write, how to write it, and how to present it. If you bury your audience in tireless posts and an overwhelming amount of imagery and mental pictures… you will lose most of your audience.

Titles are everything if you are a writer. If you run a photography or art blog, your titles “might” not matter as much because pictures will show in readers. I don’t post a ton of pictures, actually I rarely do, and because of that I must hedge my bet on a catchy title. But the title won’t make or break your article, it will simply go hand in hand with the percentage that you gather while writing it. It is thus harder on a “true writer” in many ways to gain an audience. This is also why I don’t stick to one topic, theme, or type of writing. I try my hand at anything and that “unpredictable nature” is also a bullet point in my “how to blog” manual. Humans are creatures that grow bored faster than any other animal on this planet. Keep that in mind when you are wondering why people aren’t returning to read the “same type of post” you have been doing for years.

WordAds is a great feature for WordPress users to see at least “a little” monetary gain from their efforts. Why write for free? Also, if your followers aren’t paying the price tag, why should it matter to them if you have Ads? I once had an “Ex-Follower” (yes, we powerbloggers actually get “ex-followers”) who claimed that it was shady of me to gain anything from my followers. I responded with a wake-up call. You do realize that you are paying someone every time you log into any website right? Gmail, google, and EVEN WORDPRESS ITSELF makes money off your usage. Don’t feed me this crap of “it is bad form to make money off anyone” because EVERYONE is making money off EVERYONE. Wake the Fuck Up!

This is getting long and I may come back and add to this later or write an addition. There will be many bloggers and powerbloggers alike that will absolutely hate this post. They will hate that I share this info, or that I do it in such a nonchalant way. As if I am supposed to care about what other bloggers think of it. Unfortunately for them and perhaps fortunately for my audience… I could give a shit less what other bloggers think of me or my methods. To prove this, I will even post this article on my new blog and see if it runs any new followers off. If you are always worried about what others think of what you are doing, saying, or thinking then blogging for an audience is not for you. Save yourself some heartache and instead take on knitting.

-Opinionated Man

2/16/2014

07:02:44

Guest Post – A chance to live by Alisha of The Invisible F


Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey

I almost died last December.

I woke in regret. Three days after the deed, and out of intensive care unit, I lay in hospital on a ward with a middle aged woman, a pensioner and a stuffed monkey.

“Do you like your new friend?” the middle aged woman asked cheerfully. She continued in cheer despite my unresponsiveness. “What will you call him? Cheeky monkey?” she grinned.

It’s not like me to not say thanks or be polite. But I wasn’t me. In the throes of a major depressive episode, zapped of all will to live, and consumed by the devil that is depression, I was not me. I was a mere shadow of me.

Months after the failed suicide attempt, I sat in my bedroom and I remembered the middle aged woman in hospital. Mr Cheeky Monkey was staring at me still, this time on my book shelf.

“Damn it, I forgot to say thanks. I wish she knew her kindness was appreciated” I thought aloud.

It might seem an insignificant thing to think about in the backdrop of all that had happened, but my devastating war with depression has done something to me that I actually appreciate.

The little things, starting with the Cheeky Monkey.

The little things mean so much more. They matter so much more. And for the first time in my life, I feel I might have a chance to actually live.

I want to live.

I have been existing. All my life I wondered how I would and could carry on and after each breakdown or trauma I told myself my miracle would come in the next phase of life.

But my miracle never came.

It is impossible really to put into words the emptiness and misery that envelopes one dealing with clinical depression. I can only try to explain. And it is important that you understand or try to understand because depression is a killer. It is an indiscriminate killer. And no amount of accusations of selfishness or condemnation will save lives.

What will make a real difference is people like that middle aged woman in hospital who empathised and was brave enough to reach out to me while I was blanketed by a darkness no one wants to confront.

Noticing the little miracles

My state of existing slowed down the pace of life dramatically. I had readied myself for the end but after standing on the brink of death, it wasn’t easy to return to the road of life.

Bob the squirrel

Bob the squirrel

I survived partly by following routines fastidiously. This, the doctors ordered. What surprised me was the inspiration that came with the little things I noticed during these routines. And I really think it started with that Cheeky Monkey.

In my recovery phase my mind was processing things more slowly. I always had an eye for detail but on the bus the crying baby mattered more. I marvelled at the perfect ringlets in the lady’s hair, the cute freckles on the child’s cheeks, the picturesque view during my Sunday walks over Waterloo Bridge and the adoring nature of my neighbourhood squirrel (Bob) who visits me daily for food.

Somehow being compelled to slow down caused a strange reaction in me. I started to engage with the babies and children I met, I made them laugh or stopped their tears, I started smiling genuinely with strangers. These experiences warmed the coldness in me.

“Is that your Monday morning face?” I asked the frowning mister in the lift. He laughed, then I laughed. My friend says I’m brave to engage with total strangers but in truth having almost lost myself, has made me curious and keen to lift low spirits and interact with every lovely thing I come across.

My friend brought me a bubble blowing thingy and I started blowing bubbles, admiring their delicate beauty and ephemeral state. Every day I observe the closed flowers in my vases, watching them slowly blossom before they quickly fade.

I have appreciated and loved the beauty around me, but merely existing in this life has somehow lifted a veil over me, to reveal the depth of the ethereal and often transient beauty around us. How quickly some of it fades. And now, I don’t want to miss a thing. Not least the chance to love and be loved. Or look into beautiful deep blue eyes.

The battle continues. But amid the darkness I found a flicker of light. Something good has actually come out of depression. Every journey is different but I hope sharing can help someone else.

The view from Waterloo Bridge in London

The view from Waterloo Bridge in London

It is good that more people are listening and talking about depression following Robin Williams’ suicide (bless him). But we mustn’t forget. We often do as time passes until someone else loses their battle. We mustn’t forget. We have to help each other, with no judgements. Perhaps if we listen, and love, truly love, we can help our brothers and sisters in this life to start seeing the little miracles that have given me hope and a renewed will to live.

Gentle hugs :)
Feel free to stop by my blog www.theinvisiblef.com or contact me at theinvisiblef@hotmail.co.uk

Site Update


I extended the thread count to 4 for discussions. I have had it held to 2 for a reason because of how my website is laid out it creates a single line response after a while, but I recognize why people want the threads deeper. I’ll keep it at 4 for now and hopefully that enables better direct responses.

-OM

How do you like my kitchen?


My first round of guest posts are up and I will do the rest through this week and weekend. I appreciate those that have responded so quickly and thanks for taking this seriously. I know blogging is meant to be “fun,” but I also hope people realize that some of us view fun in a different way. Fun to me is success, being successful at what I have dedicated my time to. I view my blog in such a light and I don’t waste time simply contemplating ideas. I think, I create, and I do. Hopefully my “fast pace” hasn’t put too many off.

I would like to take a second and ask that if you are still interested in guest posting that you take the time to read some of the current posts up already. Pay close attention to the conversations in the comments section as well. Even though I rarely comment on guest posts I do read everything that happens on my website. While my visitors and readers here are for the most part polite, this isn’t some Yahoo board, they are STILL opinionated and will not hesitate to voice their opinion… especially in disagreement. I hope if you decide to come into my kitchen you are prepared for the experience I have daily and I also hope in the end it is a fun time for you.

Thanks again Guest Authors for your time,

-OM

 

Guest Post – Samurai Shrimp-Killers


We’re at a hibachi restaurant. You know the kind–the samurai chef performs at a table of conjoined strangers. One of these strangers asks if we wouldn’t mind forgoing the famous flame because his 6yrold is scared of it.

I say, ‘Your daughter’s a pansy I’m sorry, but our daughter has been looking forward to this for weeks. It’s all she talks about.’

He says, ‘Fuck you, you coldhearted cunt, you just ruined my weekend with the kid Oh, no problem. We’ll just take a walk.’

We exchange death telepathy and rejoin the goings on of our own respective families. Lucy is engaged in a Frozen singalong with her miso soup, Jack has discovered broccoli, and Rich is pretending that he’s seated too far away to thwart an impending food fight. I resign myself to a night of disaster avoidance, at romance’s best.

The show is over and–to my horror–there is no finale flame. Just the sad, anticlimactic toot toot of an onion volcano. So I’m like,

‘What the eff, sensei? Where’s the fire?’

‘Somebody sued the restaurant, miss. We do fire, we get fired! Ha ha ha.’

Ha ha ha, indeed. For weeks I’ve been telling Mila that hibachi restaurants are only open on Sundays. She’s going to give me hell.

So I prep my oh-baby-I’m-so-sorry-but-the-Japanese-are-a-cruel-people face. But she hasn’t been paying attention. She’s holding a shrimp in the air in front of her face.

‘Mommy,’ she says after a moment of me staring at her. ‘Is this…real?’

Uh oh. ‘What do you mean?’

‘Was this a real guy?’ She applies a gentle stroke to the blackening spice.

‘You mean, was that alive once?’

She nods. So do I. Solemnly.

‘Ohhhh. Poor little shrimp. Why do we eat shrimp?’

‘Well–‘ but I’m saved by the bell. Lucy has been reciting her one-hundred-mommys and she has now reached the finale. I turn to receive tonight’s brilliance.

‘Mommy, I think maybe fuckit is a bad word.’

I don’t want to see the smug look on Captain Pansydaughter’s face, because I will punch him and have to spend the night in jail. Instead I say,

‘Yes, Lucy. That is a very bad word. Where did you learn that word.’

‘My teacher taught me.’

Future teenagers of Boca: please be warned of the indelicacy of Lucy’s friendship. She once told her entire school that a knee-scrape was the result of Daddy Richie stabbing her with a kitchen knife.

Please help me tackle this parental steppingstone. What the fuck do I say to Mila? Yes baby, we employ inhumane butchering methods on farm animals but it’s ok because try it with ketchup isn’t that yummy? I don’t know how to be diplomatic about this. Let’s PG that and say only, yes baby–we eat animals. I mean…what? How didn’t I anticipate this nonsense?

Please help me.

Need reviews for your self pub? Visit my review site @ dirtylittlebookers.com. CALLING AL INDIES! to submit.

author blog: yadragonchaser.com

Guest Post – If You Ever Acquire A Time Machine, Do NOT Go Back To High School.


(You can’t fix stupid, and you can’t fix acne. Except if you have that medicine that gives you crohn’s disease, I guess.)

We’ve all thought about it: If I went back in time, I’d tell my high school self… blah, blah, blah. It’s totally normal and there’s about a million things we wish we could change.

(Unless you’re one of those people who are all, “I LOVED HIGH SCHOOL, MAN!! I was soo cool and everybody and everything was awesome!” If you’re one of those… you are lying.)

I could change a lot. Like convincing myself not to eat that McFlurry before that 3 1/2 mile run at field hockey practice. (I threw up all over the lobby and didn’t even clean it up.) Or making sure I didn’t go to gym class the day we ran suicides so that I wouldn’t fall on my face and slide into the group of boys sitting by the bleachers. Also, I would knock myself out with the bottle of Jim Beam I decided to drink before heading to my junior prom (and subsequently getting kicked out, only after the limo driver I specifically told my parents I didn’t want decided to leave with all my stuff, leaving me drunk and stranded at the Radisson).

You can't tell, but I'm totally hammered and I'm holding a cigarette in my hand. What a jerk, right?

You can’t tell, but I’m totally hammered and holding a cigarette in my hand. What a jerk, right?

I thought about all these things while reading my old journals a few days ago. Flipping through page after page of idealistic nonsense and embarrassing stories, I imagined hopping in the Delorean and smacking my young self in the face. Then I started compiling a hit list of everyone who wronged me.

(I seriously had a list of about 30 people to kill. Like that scene in “Billy Madison” when Adam Sandler apologizes to Steve Buscemi and he crosses him off his list? Eerily similar.)

But honestly, if I ever got a chance, I wouldn’t even bother. Not because I didn’t deserve a good ass-kicking, but all those experiences (both good and idiotic) made me the person I am today. As flawed as that person is, those 4 horrible years changed me. They probably changed you, too.

And to everyone who’s all, “But I wanna be young again!” Shut up. No you absolutely do not. You think you could go back and be the most popular kid in school, but you’re wrong. Remember acne? Remember showering in gym class? Remember sleep-farting yourself awake in study hall? (Maybe not that last one, but I certainly remember it.)

Regardless, we all know most of it was completely shitty, but the good parts do not warrant going back. Plus, do you really think your 16-year-old self would listen to your advice?

You Back Then: “So… what do you do now?”

You Now: “Well, I write a blog and use this thing called ‘Facebook’ where everyone creeps on everyone else and posts pictures of cats. I’m in between jobs at the moment because my Liberal Arts degree is too broad, but I have like, 150 followers on ‘Twitter’!”

You Back Then: “That sounds really lame.”

You Now: “…Yeah…it is.”

See what I mean? But on the bright side, you learned from your ’90’s haircut and from the time you tried to pluck your eyebrows or gave yourself a fake tan, and now you’re a better person for it. Your high school sweetheart is probably married with a kid, but you realized they were boring and that they ended up with a nasty alcohol problem, so you came out better on the other side.

Be proud, survivors of high school: you’ve made it. You’re an adult with a car and a job (maybe) and you rock! (Even though you probably don’t think you do.) As for those still going through it, keep your head up. Things get better(ish), but I promise there is a lifetime of embarrassment ahead of you. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a friend who will take a picture of you with the frog you’re dissecting in biology.

Me and George, Sophomore Year.

Me and “George”, Sophomore Year. He was a trooper.

-Alanna

http://whitegirlsbelike.wordpress.com/

No Creative Commons Images Here!


I want to make this clear one more time. I do not allow creative commons images, google images, or “free images” on my website. Period.

If you guest post here ONLY USE images YOU OWN. I will inquire if I think an image isn’t yours and will remove it if you don’t respond. I rarely use pictures or images of any sort in my own posts and will not play “license” games on my blog.

Please do not ask me if you can use the above types of images.

-OM

Dear Guest Authors


I am going to save some time and answer the “same question” to everyone at once.

“What type of article are you looking for?” That is up to you. If someone were to offer you a spot in their magazine for a one time only publishing opportunity… what would you publish of yours? Look at this as a chance to really promote what YOU do. So don’t ask me what to write on, I accept all topics as my original offer said. Ok… within reason. Obviously there are some things I wouldn’t want on my website and that shouldn’t really need to be explained. Just show us what you have, even if it is an old post that you REALLY love that is ok as well! Don’t ask me what I want to host, tell me what you want to host ok?

I’ll still respond to the emails, but I just woke up and almost thought I was reading the same email over and over.

What do you want to share?

aopinionatedman@gmail.com

Note: About photos. I will only allow photos you own yourself. No “free google images” are allowed on my website or any image you do not own yourself! Please don’t make that more difficult than it needs to be.

-OM