Month: January 2013
In the short time I’ve been blogging, I’ve been lucky enough to run across many awesome bloggers who have gifted me with awards. Eventually, I will get around to listing those awards on their own page, along with proper credit to those who have given them to me. I’m just so busy.
Not really though. I’m actually more lazy than busy. Then the busier I get, the lazier I get, until I realize that I haven’t changed my clothes in 4 days. I’ll get around to it. I promise.
Dang, Steel Magnolias is on tonight? Well, it won’t be tonight.
Anyway, there is one thing I can do before I spend two hours deciding if Queen Latifah plays a strong willed southern woman better than Sally Field.
I can finish half the requirement. Anyone whose gotten an online award knows that most of the time, it asks the recipients to provide some facts that no one knows about them.
The thing is, I feel like you guys already kind of know everything. I did a post on my pubic hair for Gods sake. There is nothing I won’t tell you people, so what can I tell you that’s new?
Then I realized I can share the things you didn’t want to know. My ‘Too Much Information’ information, so to speak. It’s the stuff I don’t share with you guys not because of my own embarrassment. I have no shame. No, I was actually protecting you. There are some things you just don’t want to know about people.
Too bad, because as you are glued to the screen in morbid fascination, unable to look away, much like a bad car accident, let me now present;
The Top Ten Things You Did Not Want to Know About Me
- I have never had a pimple that I did not aggressively attack in a way that would make a Mossad interrogator flinch. Not just a poke here and then, I break out the heavy artillery. I have a box of razors and pins for the task that would make a 14-year-old self mutilating emo swoon with desire.
- At night, when I go to the bathroom, I turn off the light. Then, I stand in front of the mirror and stare myself down until I’m afraid of my own reflection. Seriously, the longer you stare at yourself in the mirror, the more sinister you start to appear. Try it. At some point, you will start to wonder if that reflection is still a reflection, or if you’ve somehow unleashed your own evil doppelganger. You will be afraid to turn your back on it. I can usually only do it because I know that I’m actually the evil doppelganger.
- I have no integrity. When I’m watching movies or reading books, I don’t understand the moral conflict of most characters. I know, deep down, if I had the opportunity to commit a major crime and not get caught, I would take it. It’s why when I wait in line at the bank; I plan out bank robberies in my head.
- I feel like I’d make a really good paraplegic. I’m incredibly lazy and older I get, the more my body goes to shit from the waist down anyway. I’ve had long, internal discussions with myself about whether I would want to be the philosophical paraplegic, like Augustus Hill in Oz, or if I would want to go all ‘Born on the 4th of July’ angsty. I’m leaning towards angsty.
- I talk to myself…a lot. Not little comments here or there. Actual two sided conversations. Sometimes, I use accents to keep it interesting.
- Every now and then, I go through my Facebook page and rank my friends based on who I would screw if the world ended and the only people left alive were me and my Facebook friends. Then, I pick the top five on the list and send them ‘how you doing’ messages, so I can lay the groundwork early if the world does end.
- If I ever became famous and were offered a shot to pose for Playboy, I would take it. I know it’s a long shot, but maybe they’ll have a “Babes with Stretchmarks” edition. My only condition would be that they use Photoshop to digitally reduce the size of my nipples.
- I watch Glee for the storyline and fast forward through all the singing parts. It is usually 11 minutes long.
- I believe almost any conspiracy theory for a least a few seconds when I read it. I am still not entirely convinced the moon landing happened.
- My very first sexual fantasy involved Huey Lewis.
So those facts should suffice for all future awards. However, as for a completely different award, I would like to announce that I have been nominated for the BLAHS, which is not a mild depressive disorder, but Blog Awards Handed Out by Sackler, i.e. Mark Sackler of The Millennium Conjectures. Me and two other lovely ladies are tied up is a sweat soaked three-way over at his site and he wants to know who you like the most.
You can check out his site, and vote for your favorite here. Please be advised that cheating is encouraged and no one will mind if you stay up for the next seven days, continuously voting for a certain loudmouthed know-it-all.
I’m a radio listener, but sometimes, I’m ready to give up and admit defeat. Maybe radio is dead? I come to this conclusion because I once spent 2 consecutive hours pressing the scan button on my radio without hearing one thing I wanted to listen to.
I actually like the radio. It’s convenient. I know I have other options. In fact, I have an MP3 that I can plug into my car. Problem is, it has over a thousand songs on it and I would probably just wind up scanning all of those as well. Plus, you miss some interesting stuff. The radio can give you new music. My MP3 only has the stuff I already heard.
But central Florida, you have got to give me a little more to work with. Two consecutive hours of pressing a damn button and I didn’t hear one thing I wanted to listen to. Why? Because you have all been playing the same set list for years. The only thing that changes is the genre.
I don’t think radio is really dead. I think instead, people started saying it was dead and everyone gave up. So I have some suggestions to fix this failing system and hopefully, never get carpal tunnel syndrome again from pressing scan.
If you are a classic rock station, less Eagles, more AC/DC. Personally, I have always felt that the Eagles fell into the country genre, not the rock one. Regardless of what genre they really are, there is no good reason that I have heard the song “Hotel California” at least once a fucking day since the day I was born. Yeah, I know, they were huge in the 70’s. Let’s leave them there.
Popular music stations, just because a song makes it to the top ten does not mean it needs to be played every hour on the hour. Look, I love Alicia Keys. She is a very talented artist. The first time I heard the song “Girl on Fire” I thought it was fantastic. By the 500th listening, it made me want to light myself on fire. Stop playing the song until everyone hates it. Less is more.
Any station, if the song requires a bleep in every stanza, just don’t play it. I get bleeping the one f-bomb dropped in ‘Some Nights’. I do not get playing the song “She Fucking Hates Me” by Puddle of Mud and bleeping out 2 minutes of the entire 3 minute play time. If you have to bleep more than twice, take it off the set list.
Rap stations, DMX’s ‘Party Up’ is a good enough song to stand on its own. I don’t need to hear what it sounds like mixed with cuts from Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Pink or the Glen Miller fucking Orchestra. Just play it and move on to the next song. Save practicing you’re mixing for your cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.
DJs – old school v new school rap, get it right. Just because you’re a 22, and everything that happened before 2001 is old to you, does not make it ‘old school’. Simple explanation for old school v. new school; old school got its influence from funk music in the seventies. At the time, Disco was the music of the day. As a result, old school rap didn’t get a lot of attention. They had no money for recording or equipment and instead put their rhymes down via sampling (stripping the beat out of an existing song and reorganizing it). So, if it has a minimalist sound, i.e. Run DMC., its old school. If it has 17 layers of synthesized music and a custom made hook, it’s new school, i.e. Jay-Z. I’m a 32 year old white girl who was born in NH. If I know the difference, you should too.
Finally, every single station, why do you never play the BB King/Clapton collaboration “Riding with the King”? It’s King and Clapton playing a guitar duet for Christ sakes. It might be the finest thing to ever happen to music. So why the hell don’t I hear it, um, ever? Oh, yeah, because you have to leave room to play ‘Hotel California’ another 11 times.
Radio doesn’t have to be dead. In fact, it could probably still thrive. The problem is too many stations get stuck in their set lists, people stop listening and the sponsors pull out. If radio is going to be useful for something more than a communication method following the upcoming zombie apocalypse, then these stations need to get their acts together to save it.
I get a lot of requests for proposals from prospective clients about projects they need done. Some are reasonable. They give me an outline of their project, I give them an idea of price and how long to complete. This notice isn’t for those clients. This notice is for the other 25% of proposal requests that I get that I immediately decline. Let me explain to you why you aren’t getting any responses to the project you need done and answer some common, but incredibly annoying questions I get.
You’re living in a fantasyland on price point. It’s not just annoying for someone to send me a request to write an ebook and tell me their budget is under $500; it’s insulting. Sometimes, if you’re just looking for formatting or editing, I get it, but you’re still asking the wrong girl. I write, I don’t edit. Believe it or not, the two generally don’t go hand in hand. However, for those people who want me to write an entire, 50,000 word, fictional story based on a very loose plot line about their family’s heirloom quilt, for under $500, realize that you are asking me to work for about 12 cents an hour. No, I don’t give a shit that you’ll give me a share of the profits when your boring as fuck quilt book goes viral like 50 Shades of Grey. Why? Because most self published books sell under 100 copies. If it’s a family project and you’re not interested in making money, how cute! Call me back when you can actually afford to pay for my time. Generally, a novel that I sign away all rights to is costing you in the 5 figure range. That way, if the book does make you rich, I will be less likely to kill myself for signing away the rights to it.
No, I won’t post the articles on my blog. I know that they’d get more exposure here, but there’s a reason my blogs are popular. Because I write interesting shit and I don’t censor myself for a sponsor. If I start selling out and selling space to every company who approaches me, my blog would soon be nothing more than vibrator reviews and healing crystal articles. Then my readers would disappear. I rarely drag my blog into my work. Last time I did, it was for a company whose goal was to build schools for girls in Afghanistan. If your company is trying to raise money to keep a 10 year old from getting acid thrown in her face for daring to learn to read, then fine, drop me an email. If you need a review of the New Rabbit Ultrasonic Orgasm 5000, I will give you the same review I give all vibrators right now. “It’s good, but not as good as the real thing.”
You don’t need to talk to me on the phone. Picture me doing that Jedi thing with my hand as I say that. I work with an escrow account, meaning that if you’re not satisfied, you’re getting your money back and I never even see it. I am not a Nigerian scam artist. You do not need to talk to me, or heaven fucking forbid, Skype with me. I write for a reason. I hate talking to people. We can exchange the same info in a 3 second email that you want to give me in a 25 minute phone conversation. Oh, and we will never Skype. Why? Because I haven’t changed my clothes or brushed my hair since I started freelancing. Trust me, seeing me would actually be less reassuring.
Employee or Contractor – Pick one. If the answer is employee, I quit. Here’s how it works. You tell me what you want, I deliver it in the required time frame for an agreed upon price. You pay me. I go away. In exchange, you don’t have to insure me, pay me unemployment if you don’t need me, or jump through hoops to get rid of me. You are not installing a tracking monitor on my keyboard to make sure I’m typing the whole time. You’re not spying on me with a web cam or taking screen shots of my computer verify my hours. That’s shit you do to an employee, which I am not. We agree to a price for a product, I deliver it. Let’s keep it uncomplicated.
NO FREE SAMPLES! Picture this; I finally walk into Abercrombie & Fitch without my eyes swelling shut from allergies. I cram myself into a pair of acid green, torn, size – 4 jeans then walk out of the store in them without paying. It’s ok though, because if I like them, I’ll actually pay for more. If I don’t, I won’t buy anymore, but I’m going to keep the pair I just took. Sound ok? That’s what you’re asking me to do when you want me to write an example, 500 word blog post for free and sign away my rights to you for it. Need a sample? Check one of the 70 articles, 3 books or countless blog posts I have published. A request for a custom written free sample screams scam to me and you’re not getting a response.
Of course, the clients like these are uncommon, but not exactly rare. In fact, I think I get at least one of these requests a week. For those who are considering freelancing careers, keep an eye out for those types of request. Sometimes, they’re just harmless requests from someone not familiar with the work. Sometimes, they’re request from people trying to get over on a new freelancer. Luckily, the beauty of being a freelancer means you never have to be stuck with a bad client. Instead, you can dump them off on someone who’s not as informed.
I’m not taking off my Livestrong bracelet. Not just because its tattooed on my wrist. No, I’m not taking off my Livestrong bracelet because I understand what Lance Armstrong is going through.
I also use performance enhancing drugs. Maybe I should come out to Oprah now, before I get famous. Oprah, if it wasn’t for controlled substances, I’d probably never get anything done.
In all honesty, I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Based on the articles I’ve researched, damn near every athlete out there uses nutritional supplements to help their performance. Apparently, the only drugs that get banned are the ones that actually work.
Armstrong has been denying the use of performance enhancing drugs since before the bike was even invented. Now he’s telling the truth and I could give a shit less. The dude won the Tour de France 7 times…with one nut. Now, I don’t have nuts, but I’m assuming that makes it incredibly hard to balance. In the interest of fairness, they should have been offering him performance enhancing drugs from the beginning, as he teetered on a rock hard bicycle seat with one testicle.
And he did it all for cancer. Seriously, Livestrong has made over $400 million in charitable donations for cancer research. That cancer research money, and all the advances that were made thanks to that money, were all directly related to Armstrong’s lies. So let me be the first to say ‘thanks for lying Lance’, because apparently people only give a shit about curing cancer when an athlete is telling them to.
In case the world hasn’t noticed, none of these athletes are saints. They get into fights, they use drugs, and they cheat and steal. In the beginning, we put them on a pedestal because they have giant leg muscles. When they do something wrong, we publicly lambast them and take it personally. Can anyone really blame them for lying?
It happens all the damn time. Tiger Woods got mutilated for being a rich pervert, despite the fact that the two generally go hand in hand. Michael Phelps practically won the goddamn Olympics over all, and he gets kicked in the nuts for taking a bong hit. Armstrong teeters to victory on one ball and some steroids, 7 damn times, and he gets flayed for 10 years because he won’t admit to something that’s going to get him attacked even more.
On Oprah, no less. That chick is scary. I still flinch when I think of that ‘Million Little Pieces’ dude.
Our CEO’s and big businesses get away with lying every day. In fact, there are some scientific studies that say most people lie several times a day without even thinking about it. The difference between our lies, the CEO’s lies and Lance Armstrong’s lies?
Neither our lies nor those CEO lies have ever raised $400 million for cancer research. Thanks Lance.
***FRIENDS AND FAMILY, PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE PRIOR TO MOVING ON TO THE ACTUAL ARTICLE****
A lot of the people who read my site are related to me and know me personally. It’s not a majority of the people, but they are there. If you are one of those people, this notice applies to you. Before you move on to the article, let me warn you that it’s almost entirely about my pubic hair. Now that my brother and my mother have clicked off, I might have the remaining friends and relatives thinking, “Ok, that’s not such a big deal.” Really? Picture this, you read this blog, then, at the next holiday party or family reunion, you see me. You know what’s going to be running through your mind? ‘Pubic hair, pubic hair, pubic hair’. Can you handle that? If not, now is a good time to leave, because things are about to get weird.
I spend a lot of time in the bathroom. It’s not like I have a digestive problem or anything. It’s that I find the bathroom soothing, with is white noise ceiling fan and icy cold floors, perfect for lying on after throwing up. While I’m spending this time in the bathroom, my mind wanders and I wind up thinking about bathroom related things, like if you’re ever too old for a certain ‘pubic hairstyle’.
Ok, so awhile back, my friend Lisa* told me that her aesthetician (crotch waxer) told her that she was getting too old for the “Frito” and had to move on to the “Dorito”. Mainly, he was telling her that the landing strip had gotten too racy for a woman of her age, and she needed to move on to a more sedate look.
Now, I know there’s a limit on head hairstyle; women over 30 shouldn’t wear pigtails, men over 25 shouldn’t be sporting Justin Bieber’s haircut. But I didn’t know there was an age limit on pubic hairstyles!
You would think that there wouldn’t be a lot of options, but there really are. You can shave it off entirely, you can do the traditional triangle, and you can do the straight line landing strip. Hell, you can even let it grow out into a pubic hair jungle, like in a 70’s porno.
But is there an age limit? I’ve gone with a few different styles over the years. During my pregnancy, I unintentionally even tried 70’s porno (you can’t shave what you can’t see). When I was younger, I used to shave it entirely off, but to be entirely honest, I have felt like I was too old for that since my 20’s. Maybe it’s time to update my look.
You know how they have those books at hair salons? The ones that show the different styles you can pick from? Why don’t they have those for pubic hair? Can you imagine that? You take your kid to Supercuts for a back to school haircut, and he shows you a photo of a pubic patch shaved into the shape of Mickey Mouse and says “I want that one mommy!”
So, that’s the general quandary that I go through every time I break out the wax strips. Is it time to move on from the landing strip? Do I look like one of those 58 year olds that shop at Forever 21? Is it time to mature into the Dorito? Then I just say fuck it and shave it into a lightning bolt, because I am just that awesome.
You ever been with someone who has their pubic hair shaved into a lightening bolt? They take of their pants and its like “BAM!” Then you start to wonder if they did it specifically for you, or if they just regularly do the lightening bolt, and either way, you’re weirded out. The glamour really wears off, the more you think about it.
Also, did you know that it’s incredibly hard to dye pubic hair? Turns out the follicles are too thick and the color either doesn’t take, or looks weird. Think Samantha’s bozo bush in Sex in the City. There is actually a place you can go to buy pubic hair dye, called Betty. Betty is an award winning site, indicating that the pubic hair dye market is competitive enough to hold contests.
Finally, I can’t write an article about pubic hair without taking about the merkin. A merkin is a pubic wig. Maybe you lost the hair down there due to cancer, maybe your just looking to dress it up for Easter Sunday. Whatever reason, there is a wig available that sticks to your incredibly sensitive private area using industrial strength adhesive! Finally! Seriously though, if I lost my hair down there, I would consider it a silver lining, but to each their own.
I’ll probable just stick with the landing strip. I’m used to it. I can do it without having to have any wounds cauterized. And the biggest benefit of all? For some reason, the landing strip just makes it look faster.
*fake name and I might have made up the story. I don’t know. I drink a lot.
You might be rubbing your eyes, trying to see if you read that title right. If you’re familiar with my page, then you’ll notice that I generally don’t give advice. I give long winded rants filled with profanity. However, I get a lot of questions posted and emails to me from hopeful freelance writers, who want advice on breaking into the field.
Now, as a disclaimer here, I’m comfortable, but I’m not millionaire. I live in an apartment and I drive an inexpensive car. I am the midlist of the middle class. I don’t have a lot of expenses, so the transition to full time writing was easy for me. Aside from my semi-regular illicit substance purchases, I’m a pretty low maintenance chick. The tips I’m going to give you might help you get to the middle of the pack, but they’re not going to make you a millionaire.
First off, you’re going to have to learn to deal with some incredibly boring work. My main goal isn’t to be a freelance writer forever. It’s to make money from my books and the stuff I like to write. However, that’s not something that can pay the bills instantly. If you’re planning on uploading your novel on Kindle and waiting for the profits to roll in, you’ve got a long wait. In the meantime, that means paying the bills by doing some incredibly boring work.
Who’s giving you that boring work? Business owners. The biggies are lawyers, doctors, financial execs, real estate offices and pretty much any type of sales work. There are also possibilities available in the alternative health, computer programming and technology industries, but those require a bit more expertise. Rule of thumb; if it has a website, it needs content.
How do you get to be the one that provides that content? First, notice the word I’m using. ‘Content’, not articles. If you’re going to make a living freelancing, it’s not about magazines and newspapers anymore. It’s about the internet. I don’t care what you’re writing about, that webpage’s goal is to have hits from SEO. If you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about when I say SEO, we’re already getting off to a really bad start. If you do, feel free to skip the next paragraph.
SEO is about how a web page is ranked in a website. The big one is Google, which takes about 80% of the market share on searches. Google has an algorithm that crawls webpages, finds keywords and indexes them. When a used types a search engine phrase like; ‘hot anal transgendered amputees’, those search results come back with pages where those words were found. Of course, those search results will include every page, regardless of whether the page is about ‘hot anal transgendered amputees’, or whether it is a page like mine that has nothing to do with the subject. To make sure the websites are given proper credence, each one gets a relevancy ranking based on how related to the phrase they are. When someone is asking you to produce ‘content’ they are asking you to get them to the top of that list. That’s what search engine optimization, or SEO is for. Learn it, absorb it, fantasize about it in the shower. It’s your life now and it changes every fifteen fucking minutes.
Before you even consider hunting clients down like the innocent prey they are, you need a resume and writing clips. Freelance writing is a tough business, because most of your work is going to be ghostwritten. Trust me, my opinion is all over the internet, but it’s not my name attached. When you ghostwrite, you don’t get credit, you lose the right to your work, and you usually can’t use it as a clip sample. However, you can note you ghostwrote for a company on your resume, and if with their permission, link to the blog you worked on.
However, the easiest way to get clips is to hook up with a site that allows newbies to post their articles. The site I started out with was the Yahoo Contributor Network. I barely do work on it anymore, but it can really help boost your credentials. It’s also network central. I got approached by 60 Minutes following something I wrote for Yahoo! News. They are a fantastic place to start getting the clips you need for your resume.
As far as getting your feet wet, and for some immediate writing gigs, you can try a few of these sites; Text Broker, or London Brokers . Sites like these are commonly referred to as content mills. They can be great starting out, or if you looking to make a little extra cash. However, if you focus only your writing career on these, you will learn to hate writing. They don’t pay very much, but they’re easy to get into and you don’t have to apply for jobs. You just pick an article and start writing.
What’s the downside, besides the low pay? Let me give you a verbatim example of what you will be writing about.
Please write an informative and creative article concerning “BEST NY TRANSMISSION SERVICE”. Article must be interesting and informative. Please write 500 words, use keyword 11 times. Adhere to the exact mode of the mentioned keywords.
Yup, boring as fuck. You’re writing filler, keyword focused articles and you’ll need to do about 10 an hour if you want to make any real money. On the upside, it will help with your creativity, because it takes a magic fucking computer to make transmission service centers interesting.
Again, content mills are great for getting your feet wet or if you’re just trying to make some extra cash. I would not recommend building a career on them. It can be done, I know several people who do it. But they don’t like writing anymore. That’s why you need to move on a bit, to getting clients who allow you a little more creativity.
Again, unless your one lucky fucker, you’re not going to start out writing something you’re passionate about. However, at least write about something you can tolerate. Alternate professional Essa writes legal articles, alternative medicine articles, jewelry articles and programming articles because I find them interesting. I don’t force myself to look into sports writing, because, aside from competitive drinking, I fucking hate sports. I write for clients whose work already interests me. Because of that, it requires less research and feels less like work.
How did I get my clients? Well, I started out on Elance. There are other sites like oDesk and Guru that you can also use, but I prefer Elance. These sites are bidding sites, so you need to be careful. DO NOT ALWAYS BID LOW! In the beginning, you might have to bid lower, but do not try to beat out the guy from India, offering to write articles for 1.25 each, who speaks English as a second language. I both hire and apply for jobs on Elance. When I apply, I bid a fair price that is not nearly the lowest. When I hire, I pick the best proposal, not the lowest price. Bidding what your worth isn’t just about you. When people come into the market charging rock bottom prices, everyone starts to drop their prices and we all make less.
So in conclusion, if you plan on starting your freelancing career this year, I hope my tips can help you out. At the very least, they’ll get you started. Of course, the best way to get started is to buy several thousand copies of my book, so I can retire and you can get me out of the market. I’m heavy competition. ;)