Mar 29, 2012

What's in a Hoodie?

It's been a while since I've done a good rant, so please bear with me on this one... and of course, contribute your opinion as well. I feel I need to say a few words about the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin - in a round about way. Before I get on my soap box to what is really pissing me off, I want to first and foremost say: Yes, it is a tragedy. Yes, I believe Zimmerman is about as crazy as a schizophrenic fox on peyote, and he should have been arrested immediately. And yes, I believe he had been absolutely itching to shoot someone and he, himself, has been essentially a loaded gun for quite some time, and Trayvon was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Tragic.

OK. We good? Good.
What has my panties in a knot are these continuous tirades about young black men wearing hoodies and how it's negative stereotyping and racial profiling... blah... blah... blah...

I don't want to sound like I'm anti-American, but it's not always about race and not everything is about America. Yes, in THIS case, I believe it WAS an issue - but it was a personal issue that Zimmerman had. We all know that The States loves to think that they are at the apex of every issue, but here's the thing - hoodies have already been a HUGE fucking problem in the UK for more than a decade and it has absolutely nothing to do with race.


What it has more to do with is smart ass teenagers of every colour commiting crimes with their hoodies covering their faces so they cannot be caught on CCTV cameras. Kids are dumb assholes, regardless of race! It has gone so far as they had put in place an "Anti-social Behaviour Order" (ASBO) when I was living there in 2005, where youth that were purposely hiding their faces with hoodies (among other offences) would be faced with a fine, whether they are committing a crime or not.

Am I saying that I agree with this? No.

Not entirely, anyway.

By having the government telling us what we can and cannot wear certainly does infringe upon our rights, buuuutttt... I've also been on the other side of this when I was walking my dog alone at night, and 5 teens in hoodies approached me. I'll admit that they could have, for all I know, been the starting line up for the national basketball team, but it didn't matter; I was absolutely terrified.

It's because their faces were hidden.

And there is no fucking way that some one could convince me that (mostly) teen boys don't wear their hoodies up over their faces for practically no other reason but to look tough... unless it's hailing. Of course that's why! It's an "image"; it's a fashion statement that says, "Look, I'm bad ass." 

Just like when I was going to University in the late 90s and I lived in a part of town where I was certainly the minority. There was a fashion trend for young men to wear nylons on their heads. I remember the first time I saw it I was absolutely floored. Isn't wearing an item that its sole purpose is to hide one's identity DURING A ROBBERY in fact helping feed into that negative stereotype? I mean, come on...

It's like if I walked around wearing a shirt that said 'Cheap White Trash' (I totally have that, btw) and then get offended when someone calls me cheap white trash. I can't expect to have it both ways, and neither should anyone else!

So please, I just cannot stomach seeing this horrible incident being the catalyst in creating some racially-filled mountain out of a non-denominational mole hill.

Hoodies have had negative connotations for quite some time. I don't give a fuck if it is part of your volleyball team's uniform, it is the truth. Just look at executioners in the 18th century, or those horrible white-hooded rednecks on horses... and don't even forget Little Red Riding Hood; she was one sneaky bitch, for sure.

Can you honestly tell me that you'd be OK with leaving your Mercedes unlocked with these fine young (Caucasian, I'll point out) gentlemen hanging around it? Not. Fucking. Likely.


Mar 26, 2012

My (Not So) Deep Thoughts

I've wanted to catch up by doing one of these even more narcissistic posts that shamelessly intertwines my twittersphere with the blogsphere, so I'm finally getting around to it - mostly because I'm so gawd damn excited about the Vibration Studio moving in 2 blocks from my house that I can't think of anything else! However, I'm going to go by popular demand, rather than my personal favorites (which are, to my surprise, very different). I'm sure this would explain why I'm usually laughing at myself, by myself... but whatever.

These are the top ten of the most very deep thoughts and/or observations that I have produced over the last little while. Jack Handey? More like Hack Shmandy, am I right?

Just kidding.

I love you, Jack.

The scary thing is when I just read these back to myself as a single, scattered train of thought, 
I couldn't help but become increasingly self aware that... yup, this is me, all summed up.

I'll keep this post in mind for future reference if I ever need to do a summarized evaluation 
character sketch on myself.

My brain deserves a slow clap.


Hey! I'm also In The Powder Room, talking about little boy penises again. Total coincidence, I swear. Come over and send some comment love for the quirky mommy version of me.

She's kind of nuts too, hence referring to myself in the third person.

Mar 22, 2012

Don't Realize, Sanitize!

First off, I did a deep and meaningful post over at Sweaty Writes yesterday: Realizations are the worst! I bared a little bit of my soul and explained why I'm pretty much expecting for my hair to start falling out shortly. I still tried to drop in a light jab here and there, but it's what I'm going through right now -- all laid out on the table. Ugh, indeed.

Now on to the fun shit that SOME people have been pestering me about. Geesh, I do have a full time job, ya know. I can't sit around all day and make jewellery and depraved hand sanitizer jokes. Oh, wait... never mind.

In all honesty, I could have done every submission with pleasure, but I don't have THAT much time. Here are the TOP FIVE that made me laugh out loud. And then I used my "extensive" skills to interpret them into hypothetical products... and I laughed some more. Thank you to everyone that submitted an idea! And a huge thank you to Foxy for being an honorary guest judge. Yay!

And the grand prize winner is...

And yes, that is a drawing of a bunch of women in heels all with their panties around their ankles. 
Don't ask; just thank Google. 
Magicial Mystical Mimi, please email or DM me your addy so I can send you your mental health package. 
I truly hope you enjoy your chill pills. YAY!

Mar 19, 2012

5 Ways to Improve Your Blog

Alternate title: Blog formats that annoys the living fuck out of me.

I don't often go on about blog layouts because I understand that it's not something that comes naturally to most people and it can be a very difficult thing to learn. I have been designing and coding websites for over a decade, so I think I know a thing or two - but even still, word press and blogger can have me up at 4am trying to figure out some ridiculous motherfucking glitch.

Apart from the golden rule that applies to most things: Keep It Simple, Stupid (or KISS), there are a few things that I think are design NO-NOs which are all easily avoidable. Please, for the love of all your readers, abide by them. OK? Thanks.

It is so important when choosing a look and feel for your blog. I don't care if your absolute background is piss yellow with poo brown smeared all over it (obviously, that wouldn't look pretty, but stay with me here), it is the color combination of your body copy background and your text that is key. There is a reason why most books are black text on white paper - because it's EASY TO READ. Some might seem OK for short lines or words, but for paragraph after paragraph, it can be straining on the eyes - even white on black can get annoying.

Here's a diagram that you won't see in any web design text books (because it's just too awesome).

I'll be honest here and say that if a blog has a funky font for the body of copy, 9 times out of 10, I will leave (the exception being an added photo of a questionable nature that would make me stay for a perv). Stick to the standards - again, because they are proven to be the easiest to read. If your default font is not on this list, the odds are that it's probably obnoxious. Sorry, but it's likely the case.

When buttons and ads are wider than the column that they are residing in. UGH.
OK, so this might be a bit trickier to fix for the non-coder, but I'll try to make it really simple.
  1. Turn on the HTML view of your widget.
  2. Find the dimensions in the <img> code. It will look like this: width="250px" height="250px"
  3. As long as you keep the ratio of the dimensions the same when you shrink it, it will still look OK, so change it to width="200px" height="200px" (or smaller if you find it's still over-lapping).

If your blog is snowing, I will not ever, ever return to your blog.
Not ever.
Not even in July.
Whomever created that code needs to be strung up by his short and curlies and whipped with a dead fish.
Anyone who uses that code should be made to eat that fish after the beating is complete.

Don't try to make your blog look like Martha Stewart because the more crap you put on it, it will look more like Anna Nicole Smith, (either alive or dead). Referring back to my first point, just keep it simple. If you don't know how to do something, ASK! Putting up something that doesn't work or looks like shit doesn't reflect well on you and will take away from your writing. Twitter is awesome for this too. There's tons of people that would be willing to help you out with an issue or two; all you have to do is ask.

Remember, as much as some want to deny it, for the most part, and for whatever many different reasons we do it, blogging is a hobby. And just like any other hobby, it can cost a few dollars here and there. If you're willing to spend $100 on a purse that you probably don't need, invest that money into your blog instead and get it done by a professional. It will be worth every penny.

If you don't have cash to put towards your blog, just use a basic, clean template. Easy peasy!
And after all, at the end of the day, it's about what you write, so write well and enjoy your blog.

"It is a piece of shit. But don't worry, I don't even have a piece of shit; I have to envy yours."
~ Ferris Bueller


This (belated) post is for The Great Blogging Anniversary Linkup in honor of my dear bloggy friend Sweaty. Congrats on your first year - I know it's not been an easy ride.

Mar 15, 2012

Effective Marketing? Heck, yes!

It's often the little details in life that make us the most happy, and today was one of those days. 
Why? Because I found these in a hidden gem of a local shop. 

Yes, probably.

If I had one, I sure would!

Well, fuck. That just goes without saying.

OK. HOW AWESOME ARE THOSE? I know you can pick up 5 bottles of generic hand sanitizer for a buck, but my gawd, the packaging makes it almost worth the 400% mark-up. I am, however, a cheap ass motherfucker, so I didn't buy them. I thought my stealth photography was enough.
I consider them a package deal - a crazy mental health package, if you may.

There's an "I'm savin' up for some therapy!" bank, a "Happy Mood" supplies box,
and the pièce de résistance? CHILL PILLS. These may just be the best ice cubes ever! 
Can you just imagine having these floating in your booze while you drink your worries away? 
Just me? Doubt it.

And that is why I'm giving this mental health package away! 
Leave your best idea to continue this hand sanitizer series in the comments.
Foxy over at Fox in the City is going to be my honorary co-judge, so it won't be entirely biased. Yay! 
I hope to get some good ones - and I'll use my deviant photoshoppin' skills to create the best ones.

Come on - I know you're thinking of one right now...

Mar 12, 2012

Marriage: Open for business?

In today's hyper-sexed environment which bombards our senses with sexual images, ideas and temptations, the concept of having an "open marriage" is one that is a growing issue. It isn't always a good OR bad thing, but rather a lifestyle choice -- and let's face it, everyone and every marriage is unique, so who are we to say what can or cannot work. When the concept of an open marriage is mentioned, it's usually greeted with scoffs and guffaws. It's true that it can be the opening of Pandora's box for some people, but not everyone. I believe that whether an open marriage can be successful relies on these very important variables.

Variable #1
BOTH husband and wife need to be in complete agreement to said proposed idea. If it's more one person's desire and the other is just agreeing out of sheer need to please the other, it's not going to work. Be honest with each other and talk about what it would mean for the future of your relationship.

Variable #2
The best way this type of marriage works is if it was someone that was understood BEFORE you even got married. If you went into the marriage with a firm belief in the whole "one penis for life" idea and now you're changing your tune, there is more likely a much bigger problem within your marriage that perhaps should be addressed first. What has changed?

Variable #3
If you have someone very specific in mind when the idea is proposed, this is a huge red flag. Basically, you're casually asking for an open marriage, but really what you want is permission to fuck that guy (or woman) that you've been fantasizing about for months. Ouch. This will only lead to affairs that involve emotional attachments and the inevitable end of your marriage.

Variable #4
If you have a tendency to be the jealous type (and don't be in denial, some are much more than others; be honest with yourself) then odds are in favor of this arrangement failing. If you are 100% comfortable with your spouse's unwavering devotion to you, in the emotional and commitment sense anyway, then you might have a try and see how things go. The moment that comfort level is lost, it's time to stop and focus on each other.

Variable #5
You need to be able to successfully separate love and sex. Again, this is not something everyone can do. You have to be a true blue hedonist that only seeks to gain maximum sexual pleasure in their life with a variety of people. This goes back to variable number two - if this is who you are, odds are in favor that you were like this prior to your wedding, and your spouse should have been fully aware of this before hand.

And finally,

Variable #6
If you are proposing an open marriage because the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night is yearn, or even ache for some form of sexual gratification, odds are you might be bordering on a mild sexual addiction, (or severe case if you are needing to have sex with Rachel Uchitel or Mindy Lawton when you have a tall drink of Elin at home) and should probably be asking for help, rather than seeking permission.

If you and your spouse manage to tick all the right boxes and enjoy a successful marriage, whether it be open or monogamist, then rock on! Personally, marriage is tough enough as it is with just two participants.

And my husband knew full well what he was getting himself into; he had 4 years to back out.

Anyways, I don't claim to be Doctor Phil or anything, but these are my two cents; take it or leave it. I will be joining Talk2Q on his Talk Radio on Tuesday at 10pm EST. How exciting is that?! We will be addressing these issues and other juicy sex related debates. Come listen in and contribute, either by calling in or via live chatroom!

If you are reading this after Tuesday, March 13, 2012, you can still listen in to the archive.
(Future link inserted here. How fucking organized am I, seriously!)

Mar 8, 2012

Remember when Eddie Vedder wrote on his arm?

This is the first time in 3 years have I re-posted something that wasn't mine or a guest post on my blog, but I came across this and I was both moved by his words and also infuriated that this is STILL a fucking issue that influences government debates and elections. This is not a good thing, America! More over, this was written 20 YEARS AGO by a man you may have heard of - Eddie Vedder? Ahem. 

It could have been written yesterday... and I couldn't have said it any better myself, so I won't even try. I feel strongly that it needed to be aired out for another read.


November 1992 Spin Magazine
by Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder explains why a woman's right to choose is more than just a women's issue.

Glasgow, Scotland. It's cold outside. I'm thinking about a problem. One group of people trying to force their beliefs on others, based on religion. And it seems as though we're regressing.

Above, a helicopter flies by. If it continues on its course, it will shortly be over Ireland, where as of this writing, the powers that be are deciding if a 14-year-old girl who was raped by the father of one of her friends should be allowed to leave for Britain to obtain an abortion. She's been ordered not to leave the country for nine months. Fourteen years old. Raped. The issue of an unborn fetus takes on more importance than the fact that the rapist walks free.

Extreme, but this is a place where the church influences the government. And when I think of the movements concerning abortion in the United States, it definitely seems as though we're regressing.

"My body's nobody's body but mine...
You run your own body, let me run mine."

At the University of San Diego a few years ago, pro-lifers gathered, while pro-choicers chanted the above. Sides clashed and tension ran high. A banner equating pro-choice ideology with Nazism and Hitler was displayed. "Baby Killers," a little red stop sign said -- a sign held by a well-dressed 3-year-old who sat atop the shoulders of his upper-middle class father. The kid looked confused and frightened. The ominous presence of armed police on horseback would be enough to upset anyone.

And I wondered how this child got pulled into this? I wondered how any of us got pulled into this. The fact is that those people handing down decisions on the abortion issue are not the ones who will have to live or die by it.

Ten years old. That's the age my child would have been. And I would not be here in Glasgow. I wouldn't be in this band or traveling. And I wouldn't have seen the liberal ways in which other countries we have visited deal with this issue. I wouldn't have been asked to write this piece. The fact that I've been through it on all levels is the only reason I accepted.

Perhaps I'll have a child in the future, when I can provide properly. Who knows. But as individuals in this "free" country, we must have the right to choose when that time is right. A couple -- perhaps 15 or 16 years old, maybe 10 years older -- is faced with an unwanted pregnancy; it makes no difference if there is no means of support. They're questioning whether they can provide a proper climate in which to raise a child. A healthy question for both them and society itself. Yeah, there are programs to assist. Welfare and health programs that are constant victims of cutbacks. The child can sit in severely overcrowded classrooms and be taught by underpaid teachers.

A right to a healthy future should be the consideration.

Operation Rescue? The point being the rescue of a nonentity, a zygote. Perhaps the rescue of a young woman in crisis would be more in order. Instead, combat lines are drawn at clinics, and women must be escorted through trenches, which only adds to their trauma. This is not a game. This is not a religious pep rally. This is a woman's future. Roe vs. Wade was decided 19 years ago and the fact that a well-organized group has come close to overturning it is raw proof that we do live in a democracy. But also the reason that any opposition must be equally as vocal. You go to school in Normal, Illinois? Collegetown, U.S.A.? Shout it out. There are people wary of the strength that young voters possess. Prove them right. Decide on the issues and vote -- male or female -- for this is not just a women's issue. It's human rights. If it were a man's body and it was his destiny we were deciding there would be no issue. Not in today's male dominated society.


Source: The Pearl Jam Reference Library

Mar 5, 2012

There's shit going on, yo!

I don't often do these "lots of shit in one post", but it's about that time again. Why? Because I've got lots to tell you. Little things that all make up one nicely wrapped post, like a delicious buffet, but without the salmonella, so even better!

On Thursday, I had my first post published over at In The Powder Room. It's good times over there - I highly recommend you check it out. Did I mention I'm discussing penises? Oh yes, how could I forget. I thought it was fitting for my initiation post. Ahem.


Secondly, I had a little link up last month. It really started out as a joke, so the fact that I actually got ANYONE to link up means I consider it a success.

It was in retaliation to all the annoying NoBloPoMo or whatthefuckever was riddled all over The Twitter for the entire month of November where you have to write a certain quota of words toward a novel (or some shit like that, I tried to tune it out). Anything where you're filling a quota of some sort that involves creativity really gets on my nerves. So, I had my fellow (awesomely warped) bloggers to link up for WWTFIFLF; definition on the badge. --->>

Anyhoozle, guess what? I can pick my nose and I can pick a winner, but sadly, I can't pick my winner's nose... which SUCKS, because I would be honored to pick Jill's nose. Wait, whut? She did enter twice, so maybe that improved her odds.

Congrats, Jillsmo! 

Visit my shop and tell me what the fuck you want and it's yours. YAY! Please try to contain your excitement to the end of the show. Thanks.


I also got a book in the mail last week. You may have heard of her - Scary Mommy? Oh, hell yes! I haven't had time to read it from cover to cover, but I have cracked the spine to read confessions such as:
"My kids know all the words to every Eminem CD."
"My kid was imitating me today. 'Slap my ass,' she yelled, and I suddenly realized I didn't imagine the figure in the doorway last night as my husband and I did the deed. OMG"
"My husband says I am his best friend...I love him, but friendship-wise, he doesn't even make my top-ten list."

And it goes on. It's so fabulous. I cannot wait until I can get all the voices in my head to stop screaming for a few hours so I can actually read it properly.

Thanks, Jill.
a.k.a. Scary Mommy


And finally, I've been meaning to post these for a while now, so I'm taking this opportunity to showcase them all at once. Whether you know already or not, I am a graphic designer. From 9-5 my job can be tedious as fuck, so I enjoy doing weird (often fantastically nerdy) designs for t-shirts, among other projects. I do have my shop, but those designs are directly relating to whoring out this blog. I have a few more general blog/social media designs that I give to Tim over at Sogeshirts. If you like any of them, please go have a visit and check out what he's got (which is a lot).

Here is a sampling of the ones I have done:

So, please go visit In the Powder Room and Sogeshirts, and tell them I sent you!

~ Love and smooches ~

Mar 1, 2012

Hey Mama, Just My Luck

It's time for a workshop prompt - "a time I got lucky" and just to prove Mama Kat wrong, I'm NOT going to recount a story about my skanky sexy times... for now. Sorry.

The summer between University and my post-graduate studies, I landed a job bartending at the 4-star restaurant just around the corner from my house – great score! On my first night, I was out having a smoke on my break and one of thee hottest guys I have ever met came to join me, and he was friendly.

Right then, I really, really, really liked my new job.

He was like a version of Ray Liotta with his piercing blue eyes, but with softer features, better skin and a whole lot of sex appeal permeating out of his every pore. Even MY MOTHER had a hard time sucking back her drool when she came into the restaurant one day and met him.

Yes... he was THAT hot.

In my usual fashion, Carter and I hit it off right away and we even started spending time together outside of work. I dropped shameless hints about my true feelings and he never responded. I kept hanging out with him for a while but it was difficult to not come off as ‘stalkerish’; he was like a drug and I constantly wanted a fix. Just being in his presence made me wet my panties.

Surprisingly, this story isn’t actually about him, but I had to set the scene. Ahem.

We had been working together for about 3 months at this point, and there was a summer-end staff party at one of the employee’s farm. It wasn’t a huge gathering – maybe 20 people at the most – and the handful of us "herbal enthusiasts" easily found each other as we gravitated to this fantastically quaint twin hammock set that were hung between 3 trees. I had brought my lucky Zippo with me (as it had been everywhere else with me for the better part of a decade), and rested nicely in my back pocket.

Carter and I cozily shared one of the hammocks like 2 stoned peas in a pod. Guuuusssshh. Others came and went, but the two of us stayed there for a long while, together. In my fantasy universe, it was actually a pretty romantic setting and all it needed to be complete was for him to lean in and plant a big juicy one on me – but of course that didn’t happen.

When I got home I realized that my Zippo was gone. SHIT! I really loved it. It had a magic mushroom on one side and my name was even engraved on the back. Yes, I was THAT pretentious smoker. Shut it.

It must have fallen out of my back pocket when we were on the hammock. I quickly called the host of the party the next day and I was slightly taken aback as he was able to complete my sentences.
“Did you happen to find a Zippo by th...”
“By the hammocks? YES! And I’m afraid that I ran over it with my ride along lawnmower and gave me quite the fright!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry! By any chance did it happen to survive the lawn...”
“The lawnmower? Are you kidding? It’s in about 4 mangled pieces.”
“And just to make sure that it’s mine, can you make out what was on it?”
“Yes, it looks like it used to be a mushroom of some sort. Is that right?”
“Yes, that’s right. Thanks anyway. You can just throw it out if you haven’t already.”

I was dejected; it was one of the few objects of mine that I truly loved and felt a genuinely strong owner-to-object bond with it. I didn’t want to buy a new one; my Zippo days were now done. I needed to quit smoking anyway. Pssfft.

About 6 months had past and I was going through my ‘junk drawer’. I rarely went through it – it was like all the crap that I didn’t use but still didn’t want to throw out just yet. I can’t even remember what I was doing in there to begin with, but while I was sifting through it I found an old blue bandanna – I hadn’t worn it in a few years and it was tucked away in the back. Underneath the bandanna WAS MY ZIPPO – completely intact and as shiny as the day I bought it. I have absolutely no reasonable explanation as to what happened. It really freaked me out but I still believe to this day that it truly was my lucky Zippo.

Duh. Duh. Da–Duhhhhhhh....

I never used it again.

Mama's Losin' It