A few signs you’re not ready for a giant dog

The littleness of my dog makes me live in fear every time we go outside. I fear hawks mistaking her for a rabbit. I fear her getting her tiny dog legs stuck in a sewer grate. But most of all, I fear giant dogs thinking she’s a chew toy.



Now, I didn’t get a little dog because I have a preference for little dogs. I got a little dog because I don’t have the time, energy and resources to care for a big dog. As a responsible pet owner, I think the first step to that responsibility is recognizing your limitations when it comes to buying a pet.

And there are a fuckton of people out there who don’t take that first step.

So, in my ongoing crusade to help everyone do everything better all of the time, here are some signs that you can’t handle a big dog.

You live in a one bedroom apartment

If your dog takes up more than 25% of the square footage of your living space, you’ve gone too big. No joke people, that’s like putting a yacht into a swimming pool. Of course shit is going to get ripped up! The solution is not to compact his space even further by leaving him on your fucking porch all day while you’re at work. That’s just a dick move, not just to the dog, but to the neighbor next door who has to listen to him whimper all day.

I can’t handle that. I’m one of those assholes who cries at those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials.

The dog outweighs you by 100 pounds or more

I have a rule that I never date or own anything capable of kicking my ass in a fight. That’s a good rule as it saves me from regularly getting my ass kicked.

What can I say? I’m very annoying.

This morning I saw a tiny Asian woman trying to walk something that looked like a hybrid between a sheepdog and a moose. Only it didn’t look like she was walking him. It looked like the dog was flying a kite shaped like a small Asian woman. This bitch was flapping in the breeze, clinging to the leash for dear life as her dog dragged her down the street, running faster than the top speed of your average Prius.

This is not a good way to show your pet who the alpha is.

You’ve never owned anything that actually requires training

If you’re upgrading from a turtle to a Leonberger, you’re doing it wrong.

Look, I’m going to openly admit that my little dog, she’s not trained. Sure, she’s housebroken, but she ignores anything I tell her to do, begs for food, watches me pee, and regularly tries to have sex with my pillow.

But that’s no big deal because she weighs 9 pounds. Even though plan A failed, and she’s completely untrainable, I still have a plan B.

Pick her up.

That’s it. All I have to do to get her to stop doing what she’s doing is pick her up. This strategy works whether she’s tossing licentious looks at my body pillow, all the way to if I think she’s about to bite someone.

You can’t do that with a big dog.

So when we’re at the dog park, and you, for some inexplicable reason, have decided to let your untrained 170 pound Siberian Fucking Moosehound run wild, all your assurances in the world that “he doesn’t always listen, but he’s friendly!” mean shit to me when he’s sizing up my Sophia like she’s a god damn chew toy.

In short, if your big dog does not immediately stop what it’s doing when you say the words ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ it is your responsibility to society to keep them away from other people (and adorable little dogs — especially mine) until they do.

Recognize the fact that there have been 325 dog related fatalities in the US in the last ten years, and 350,000 people visit emergency rooms for dog bites annually. My point is that the vast majority of those owners whose dog attacked someone probably thought their dog was friendly too.

But then it wasn’t.

If you must have a dog, but don’t have even a remote understanding of training, go small. You never hear of a five pound Yorkie ripping someone’s throat out.  Sure, they might eat their owner’s face after they’re already dead, but there’s a difference.

But if you don’t want to go little, and choose to have a large dog, or a vicious breed, you have a responsibility to society to ensure that dog is trained. That is all there is to it.

I guess my point to this whole post is dogs aren’t god damn impulse buys. They’re not a keychain you can pick up at the convenience store and then return when they don’t suit you. They’re a major adjustment and that adjustment goes up with every single pound the dog gains. So before you head on out and get a giant dog, consider your limitations. Because that kind of responsibility weighs on you.






All In

One of my favorite shows, Nashville, did a cliché I hate last week. They showed this songwriter, this pure hearted songwriter, being forced to write a jingle for a car dealership. I guess I was supposed to feel bad for him. I guess I was supposed to say “what about his art?”


Ironically, the photo of a musician who sold out on his dream of being a musician to become an actor

This man, this desperate man was forced to prostitute his art for the masses. I guess I was supposed to be outraged. I was supposed to say “how dare that dirty car company demand he sully his art by writing a jingle?”

But the thing is, I’m real. I’m a novelist who hasn’t taken the world by storm, but I fully intend to.  And as a person with true ambition, as a real writer who files writer on her tax returns, I think you got to pay your dues.

I get a lot of flak from my writer friends for selling out. See, I write a lot of advertising material. I ghostwrite. Not everything I write is a novel I’ve been dying to write… Some of it is just more advertising fodder.  I write to pay my rent. And I get flak from people who work as cashiers, dog groomers, pizza delivery guys and more for not staying true to my art.

And it’s time I say this.

You’re fucking kidding me, right? You really think working in a cubicle, punching a time clock or flipping pizza dough for forty hours a week makes you more of a writer than a girl who actually writes all week?

Yeah, I could work in a cubicle too. Hell, by now, I could have a corner office with actual walls. I could work every day of the week in a job I hate, making enough money to keep me in SUV payments and my very own modular home. I could have complete stability. But I don’t. And you know why I don’t?

I’m all in.

Every word I write makes me a better writer. The work I do to pay the bills is me practicing my craft, every day, all day, and seven days a week. I don’t work forty hours. That would be a vacation for me. It’s 8 pm on a Friday night. I’m a smoking hot chick with disposable income who should be out partying. But I’m still writing.I’m writing for clients at the same time that I’m working on the coursework for my MFA in writing. My life is writing.

And every word I write makes me better.

And every pizza you make, it makes you a better pizza maker. Every person you check out makes you better at math. Every phone call you take makes you better at customer service.But nothing you do every day makes you a better writer. You do what you got to do to pay the bills and you write when you can.

To me, you’re the ones who sold out.

I walked away from a high paying job a long time ago. I could have rested on my laurels and been like you, only better. My SUV would have been a Lexus and my modular home would have had a foundation.But I decided having passion for what you do is more important.

So I took a real risk. I went all in. I worked my way up from the dregs of content mills to being the kind of person who makes more in one article than you make all week. I did it because I love writing. I loved it so much that I gave up stability for it. My passion made me land on my feet. I’m all in and that means I’m willing to pay my dues. I’ll write anything, as long as I’m writing. I’ll write until my fingers bleed.

Because every word I write, that makes me better.

So no people, I’m not the one who sold out. Writing in a genre different than the one I anticipated does not make me a sellout.

Working in a job that has nothing to do with writing makes you one.

I’m all in, but you clearly don’t have the balls to be. I get it. Being all in requires bravery. It requires you giving up your cushy nine-to-five gig and trusting your talent to carry you. It forces you to accept the fact that you might not be as good a writer as you thought.

It makes that cash register seem awful cozy.

I took the risk. I get the reward. You could have taken the risk too. You didn’t. Instead, you chose yourself a comfortable career, where you work for someone else 40 hours a week, and spend about four writing. Then you call yourself a real writer, because you’re writing the stuff you want to write! You’re super cool and in fifteen years when you finish that novel? You’re going to set the world on fire!

But really, you’re not. There is a very strong chance that you and your writing are going to disappear from the world without making a dent.

But me? My writing, regardless of the genre, is going to be there forever. I don’t look down on the writing I do for clients like it’s some kind of sell out. I look at it as yet another opportunity to display my passion to the world. Because regardless of what I write, I’ll always shine and I will never look down on the people that got me there.

I’m all in.


Deus ex machina

This is a new phrase I learned as part of my Master’s program, so now I’m using it at every single opportunity like I’m an expert in it, despite the fact that until about a week ago, I didn’t even know it existed.

Yeah, I’m that kind of irritating know-it-all.

Anywho, it mainly means this;

an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I dig soap operas. Well, mainly I dig English soap operas and Mexican telenovelas.  And yes, a certain amount of deus ex machina is to be expected — but I don’t expect it when I’m dealing with a plotline that has been dragged out for months.

For example, the big reveal of the glove hand killer on Hollyoaks. For anyone who does watch the show SPOILER ALERT: it was recently revealed that Lindsey is the killer…and it made no fucking sense.


If you don’t watch the show, let me give you an analogy of why this reveal was so unreasonable.

It would be like me turning this blog into a site filled with poetry about my love of both veganism and gun control laws for no reason at all. One day, you’d tune into Essa on Everything, with its current sex dungeon vibe, the next, you’d be on Essa Loves Everything and it would be filled with Vegan recipes and angst filled poetry about my dad.

For no reason at all, it would be like I don’t even like sex dungeons anymore!

Look, I get it when someone suddenly gets amnesia, or they even have an evil twin. But I hate it when I become invested in a plot, and am forced to be proven wrong because a writer felt like phoning it in that day.

Remember Dallas? Remember the entire 9th season? If you don’t, it went like this.

  1. Major character died
  2. Viewers wept
  3. The entire season focused on people recovering from the loss of said major character
  4. Secondary character wakes up and – it was all a fucking dream.

This was not a clever twist. It was not a preplanned plot idea. It was a way to cram a character back into a script to revive ratings.

People noticed.

Even before I knew what deus ex machina was, I noticed.  And if I, being of average intelligence noticed, that means everyone else noticed too. We notice lazy writing and it kind of pisses us off.

So I have a solution for deus ex machina that will work every single time. Whenever TV writers run out of ideas and have no way to tie up the plot, instead of forcing in a new character reveal or doing a 180 to someone’s personality, go all in on the deus ex machina.

Kill everyone off in an explosion and start over.

It would work like this

Everyone already knows who the serial killer is and you want to make the ending surprising anyway?


Completely run out of ideas for a show and you’re thinking about having a character jump a shark on a motorcycle?


You killed off a beloved character and now ratings are dropping?

BOOM!…and then start the show over in heaven.

Whatever you need to do, just stop making me invest my time in deus ex machina. If I wanted a shitty ending, I would have written it myself.


Who the hell do you think you are?

I get that question a lot. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

Then, I check my ID and get confused, on account of the fact that I have multiple. Far as I’m concerned, names aren’t really static. At any given moment, I could give myself a new one.

One time, I went by the name Vondwella Haberdashery Sharoom  for two weeks just to prove a point. Another, when I was out of ration points in Germany, I went by Wade Sharpell.

That’s the cool thing about names. They aren’t really static. You can have any one you want to fit any mood. You can be a nobody or you can be a queen. You are what you tell the world you are.

So who the hell do I think I am?

Anyone I feel like being at that particular point in time.

Happy Halloween and rock on.

The Story of Columbus…From a Girl Who Knows Sh*t about History

So today is Columbus Day, in case you didn’t know. I say that with a sense of superiority, despite the fact that until I went to the store for beers, I didn’t know it was Columbus Day…or Monday.

Or October.

But anywho, I realized I don’t know much about Columbus, aside from “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” No joke, that’s all I remember about Columbus.

I smoked a lot of weed in high school.

However, realizing that I was lacking in this education, I quickly searched the internet to learn as much about Columbus as I could. To save you all time, I’ve condensed what I know into the following easy to read synopsis.

Which is probably almost entirely wrong…but hey, at least it’s free.


The Story of Columbus – From a Girl Who Knows Sh*t about History

Columbus was born in Genoa, which despite being the sixth-largest city in Italy, you probably haven’t heard of, because the Jersey Shore cast never visited it.

snooki italy

Lucky Genoa.

He always knew he wanted to be an explorer, because in Italy at the time, there were only two main jobs; Gondolier and President. No joke, in the 1400s, if you lived in Italy, you were either president, or you drove a boat. Those were your options. Don’t bother to look it up.

Columbus didn’t want to be a gondolier, because his family was too poor to afford the striped shirts, and he couldn’t sing. So he decided to be an explorer.

He went to the Queen of Spain for money, because at that time, everyone was looking for Asia…yeah, that’s right. Back then, they were incapable of finding the world’s largest continent. The Queen of Spain really wanted to get in on Asia, because that’s where the Silk Road was, and she heard the best weed came from there. Unfortunately, her computer didn’t have the RAM to support a Tor browser, so she decided to send Columbus in search of it.

She gave him three ships, The Nina, The Pinta, and the Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita. Columbus, on his fourth DWI by then, crashed one and really fucked up the other two. But luckily, they stumbled upon America, where they were greeted by the native people.

Due to the large population of doctors, dentists and technical support call center reps, Columbus immediately assumed he was in India, which is why he named the natives “Indians.”

During his travels, he also found the Indies and declared himself governor.  There, he treated the people so badly that word reached Spain. Upon his return, his atrocities were so offensive to parliament that he was tossed into jail and stripped of his title. After begging and pleading, the King finally let him out long enough to he could go back to America just long enough to give everyone Smallpox.

However, he didn’t get back in time to name the new land he’d discovered. By the time he’d gotten there, Cookie Lyon had already arrived, and decided to take what’s hers. She chose to name America after her son’s favorite fashion brand, American Eagle Outfitters.

get what's mine

Columbus, while disappointed, had to agree that Empire was the greatest new scripted series to hit television in a long time and forfeited the right to place his name on America. Later, he died of some kind of foot disease that I can’t be bothered to Google.

But he had a legacy. See, Cookie didn’t want to take responsibility for the discovery, saying “you ain’t putting all that shit on me,” so the white dudes in charge had to decide on someone who was responsible for discovering the new world.  Because his name was the most memorable, and least frighteningly ethic to white people, everyone in America decided to agree that Columbus discovered America.

And that’s why Christopher Columbus is important.


Ok, so it’s entirely possible that I mixed up a recent synopsis of Empire with what I know about Christopher Columbus, but we shouldn’t miss the important lesson from this story.

That lesson being that new episodes of Empire air on Wednesdays, 9/8 central. As for why it’s earlier in central time, I don’t have a good answer.  Maybe Columbus knows.

A Really Offensive Grammar Lesson

Something neat about the English language. Check out the below.

entire sentence spell wrong optical Illusion

Yes, it is true that human beings, being the adaptable creatures we are, can still decipher a message that is completely spelled wrong.

On the flip, we will also assume that anyone who sends us a message like that is drunk, stupid, having a stroke or all three. That’s just human nature.

I’m bringing this up because something happened in my hometown that has a lot of people up in arms this week. I’m not going to go into it because I don’t have an opinion either way. I mainly just lurked on Facebook, enjoying the drama like the cheap drama slut I am.

Well, mostly enjoying it. See, I consider myself a bit of an expert on internet arguing and there is one thing I’ve noticed about any person presenting an argument. It doesn’t matter how good their opinion is. If it’s riddled with incorrect word choices, spelling errors, caps lock and straw man logic, it immediately takes their opinion down thirty IQ points.

Now, if you’ve ever gotten a drunken message from me, you’ll probably notice I’m no stickler for spelling. Shit, some of the stuff I’ve written to you people is barely decipherable as the English language, but there is a difference between what I send privately and what I post in public.

I want people to at least respect my opinion, even if they don’t agree with it. The means not writing like an angry tween who never took Freshman English. So here are a few minor things that I think people should be aware of.

Your vs. You’re

The only time the sentence ‘Your an idiot” works if you remove the ‘an’ .

“Your idiot’, as in ‘your idiot brother,’ ‘your idiot dog,’ etc. Your indicates ownership. You’re is a contraction that means ‘you are” as in “you’re an idiot for using your wrong.” These two are not interchangeable.

On that note

There, Their, They’re

There has ‘here’ in it because it references a place, even if that place is a simple state of mind. As in, “there is no damn way people are going to listen to you if you write like a moron.” Their, meanwhile, is a possessive noun. “Their brain damage prevents them from forming coherent arguments”. Finally, they’re simply means “they are” The presence of an apostrophe indicates the omission of a letter, space or both. Same goes if it’s versus its.


Look, in the past, people have said that the use of caps lock indicates shouting or if you have a very forceful opinion. I disagree. I think the use of caps lock means that you’re too fucking stupid to be able to reach your pinky slightly over to turn caps lock off.

Capitalization should not be your trump card in your argument. Your trump card should be using intelligent words. If you want to stress a particular word, italicize it, underline it, just do something that indicates you know how to work HTML like any person not working in a glove factory.

Just say no to text speak

Personally, I hate it. I’m not a texter, or a tweeter, because I am not concise…and I have giant clumsy sausage fingers. I think text speak is killing the English language, one awful acronym at a time. Does it really take so much time to write ‘you’ that you must use ‘u’ instead? Is your that much of a hardship that ur is your only refuge? Let me put it in text speak so all you text speakers can understand.

If ur space is nt limat8td FSR, and u still use txt speak, u look like an idiot. Jst m .02

Just saying, the extra .00005 seconds you spent spelling out the words could have saved me two minutes of Googling to figure out what the fuck you’re talking about. Text speak is the holocaust of human language, which leads me to my next topic.

Recognize when you’re using straw man logic…and then don’t

Straw man logic occurs any time you pull your opponents words completely out of context, and then argue with a point they didn’t make. For example;

“So you think that this guy should go to jail for shooting his dog? Then you must be picketing at abortion clinics every weekend, because murder is wrong, right?”


“Any person who is ok with this guy shooting his dog; How would you feel if this was your dog….or your child?”

These are examples from both sides of this apparent hotbed issue in my hometown, just to prove I’m not biased against either group. Both appear to suck equally bad at the fine art of internet flame wars.

Straw man is nothing more than misdirection for idiots. While I usually dig misdirection, and would probably fuck David Blaine because of it, I do not like it in my arguments. Everyone recognizes straw man logic for what it is; a desperate attempt to compare a smaller issue to a bigger, inflammatory one when it just isn’t comparable. Straw man logic can and will undermine your entire argument…and ironically, makes me want to light you on fire.

Look people, arguing on the internet can be a lot of fun. There’s nothing like getting unfriended in bulk over an issue that you probably won’t give a shit about six months down the road. But if you’re going to argue, at least do it safely.

Practice safe grammar, or just go with abstinence.


Everyone’s Offended All The Time

easily offended

Is it just me, or is it starting to seem like everyone is offended all the time? People are offended by a Halloween costume based on Caitlyn Jenner. People are offended by the K-State marching band allegedly forming a penis during a performance. Everyone in the world is apparently offended by this video featuring the utterly adorable Nicole Arbour

You know the common thread that I find at the start of most “I’m offended” statements?

“Well, I’m not usually the kind of person who is easily offended, but this (nipple slip/drawing of a penis/cornrow hairstyle/possibly gay cartoon/insert ridiculous thing here) offends me.”

Based on my extensive studies of wearing a lab coat while watching YouTube videos, I can tell you that if you’ve ever started off a statement about something that offends you with “I’m not the kind of person who is easily offended but…” you are actually the kind of person who is easily offended. The fact that you feel the need to justify your opinion to people who might become offended by it indicates that you are already of a mindset that requires a proactive disclaimer because you know from past history that you are easily offended and social proof indicates others will be offended as well.

Don’t know if that last sentence was a bit too complicated, but breaking it down simply?

He who smelt it dealt it.

I’m easily offended. I’m absolutely easily offended. Hell, I’m writing an article about how offended I am that everyone is offended all the time. Social justice warriors offend the shit out of me, because they make it seem like I’m too dumb to think for myself.

Case in point? Video games. There was an issue called Gamergate awhile back that went way too far, with threats and doxing and all that other silly shit you find in online troll wars. And it all started because some people found video games misogynistic. The ladies featured in them were either fighting fuck toys (Lara Croft) or damsels in distress (Princess Peach) and people were offended.

Here’s the deal. I thought it was kind of stupid to be offended. I mean, look at the demographic of gamers. Men, ages 18 to 35. Of course you throw a bunch of chicks with big tits and pretty girls needing rescuing at them! I don’t call that misogyny. I call that good marketing. When you find an underserved niche in a market, you don’t get pissed and insult the people that came before you by bitching about it. You find a way to serve the underserved market.

It’s the basis of capitalism for Christ sakes.

Let me explain with the case of Nicole Arbour. In case you haven’t seen it, she did a video called “Dear Fat People.” Sure, the video was offensive, but it was also funny. I found Nicole endearing and amusing and wondered what the fuss was about.

Then, I looked at the comments. They were all from people who were pissed. They called Nicole names, talked about how offended they were, what a bitch she was, and got into ridiculous fights in the comments section with complete strangers over how offended they were.

And I had to say “we get it, you’re offended. But what are you hoping to accomplish by bitching about it?”

Do you want to get her page taken down because you’re personally offended? Ok, do that. But what happens next week when your favorite comic makes a joke about Vegans, and all the Vegans complain? What happens next month when people complain that Halloween offends them? What happens next year when someone at your work says they find a woman showing her hair offensive?

Censorship is a slippery slope and we can already see its effects. When I was a kid, my school had a Halloween parade every year, and we all wore our costumes while teachers would read us scary stories.

My kid’s Halloween party at school is now a ‘fall festival’ celebration where they go to school in their normal clothes, eat gluten free, soy based cookies, and color nice inoffensive pictures of fall leaves in harmless shades of muted orange and brown. No one is offended and everyone goes home miserable.

Because making sure no one is ever offended is a good way to ensure everyone has a terrible time.

Being offended is nothing more than a human reaction something that comes in exact opposition to your personal preferences. You can either choose to try to silence the offensive party or you can go on about your day and get over it, knowing that people won’t always agree and variety is what makes us interesting.

Now, I’m not the kind of person who is easily offended (see what I did there?), but when you try to silence others based on your own preferences, by demanding that everyone else follow your own very narrow world view, I find that offensive.

Based on the rules you’ve already set, that offensive thing must go away. So you offending me because you’re easily offended? Yeah, that needs to stop.

Now finish coloring your leaves.