Since today is April Fool’s Day, here’s a little tale from the vault of dad stories. You remember my dad, right? He’s the one who gave me free butt soap as a gift one time!
This is my dad.
Note* He is not a real pirate.
Well, several years ago, NOT on April Fool’s Day, my dad went to the bank and needed a check made for something. I don’t remember the exact details, but the bank was going to charge him money to get this check from his own account. Being the hardworking, farm-raised, former Navy man he was, my dad was not about to pay extra for this check from his bank account.
After going back and forth with the bank teller, my dad grew so angry he decided to CLOSE his account and take his banking business elsewhere.
Dad: “Close my accounts!”
Bank Teller: “All of them?”
Dad: “ALL OF THEM!”
Meanwhile, a week or so later, I went to the same bank at a branch in my town and asked to do a fund transfer from my savings to my checking account.
The bank teller stared at the screen. She tells me she needs a manager to look something over.
You know where this is going, don’t you?
So, the manager comes over and looks at the computer screen.
Manager: “It appears your account has been closed.”
This is the part of the story where the manager escorts me to a tiny desk in a corner, AWAY FROM THE PUBLIC so when they tell me my account has been hacked or something, I DON’T SCARE AWAY ALL THE PEOPLE.
I worked in retail for six years; I know EXACTLY what that tiny desk in the corner is for.
So now, I’ve been passed onto Man With a Mustache to sleuth out what happened to my entire savings account.
Mustache Man: “It appears your account has been closed.”
Me: “CLOSED? Who closed it? I didn’t close it. All my money was in there! Where is MY MONEY?”
Mustache Man: *scrolling through my account information* “Do you know a…Jerry Witkins?”
Me: *speaking between clenched teeth* “I need to call my father.”
I ring up dear old dad who greets me like he’s Mrs. Doubtfire.
Me: “Did you recently come into a large sum of money, Pops?”
Dad, in all sincerity: “Say, now that you mention it, I did actually find some extra cash.”
Me: “BECAUSE YOU STOLE IT FROM MY ACCOUNT!!!”
Dad explains to me about his trip to the same bank in his town and how he demanded to close his accounts. What he didn’t realize, and the bank teller didn’t explain to him, is that as co-signer for my savings account which my parents started for me as a child, he closed out MY account along with his.
And here’s the kicker, while he had no recollection of the sum of money in this “extra mystery account,” he figured it was one he’d started a long time ago and told the teller, “Yep, close it!”
Me: “You put that money back!”
Dad: “I’ll think about it.”
Me: “You march back into that back, tell the teller what you did, and put my money back!”
Dad did return my savings, and we had a good little laugh about it…much later. But because the bank had closed my account, I had to get a new account and new number. I wasn’t too upset though. This time, there would be NO co-signer.
Happy April Fool’s Day, everybody!
Tell me your best prank story, planned or otherwise!
It’s time to announce the annual winners of the 2017 copies of the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe Mix playlists!
Every year I make two mix cds as gifts for my mom and sis, and I count on you to help me find the best songs out there to include!
Thank you to all who gave suggestions, sharing their favorite artists and songs to jam out to. I love researching this project because it’s basically me dancing around and surfing the internet, watching a lot of music videos.
So… thank you for your help in making that happen.
Without further adieu, here are the 2017 playlists! Happy listening, everyone!
The 2017 Phenomenal Woman Mix
1. On + Off ~ Maggie Rogers
2. White Tiger ~ Izzy Bizu
3. Roll Up Your Sleeves ~ Meg Mac
4. That’s Alright With Me ~ Andreya Triani
5. Rainbow ~ Kesha
6. Higher ~ The Naked and Famous
7. Want You Back ~ HAIM
8. Ice Age ~ Serena Ryder
9. Deeper ~ Ella Eyre
10. Tightrope ~ LP
11. Simply Falling ~ Iyeoka
12. Breathe You In My Dreams ~ Trixie Whitley
13. Mermaid Song ~ Emily Kinney
14. What You Don’t Do ~ Lianne La Havas
15. Make It Rain ~ Koryn Hawthorne
16. Capable ~ The Wild Reeds
17. Tennessee Rain ~ Addison Agen
18. Brother ~ Uncle Jed
19. Pretty Please ~ Lauren Ruth Ward
20. Moonlight ~ Grace VanderWaal
The 2017 Cafe Mix
1. Summer Storm ~ Joel P West
2. Dusty Trails ~ Lucius
3. The Luckiest Man ~ The Wood Brothers
4. The Old Churchyard ~ Offa Rex
5. Glorious ~ Melissa Etheridge
6. Cover Me Up ~ Jason Isbell
7. Into My Arms ~ Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer
8. Break My Heart Sweetly ~ John Moreland
9. Let It All Go ~ Birdy & Rhodes
10. Someone That Loves You ~ Izzy Bizu & Honne
11. Without You ~ Oh Wonder
12. See You Around ~ I’m With Her
13. I Followed Fires ~ Matthew and the Atlas
14. The Chase ~ Tori Amos featuring Natashya Hawley
15. Floodlights ~ Jack and Eliza
16. Blue Ridge Mountain ~ Hurray for the Riff Raff
17. When the Right One Comes Along ~ Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen
18. Come Undone ~ Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
19. Ghost in This House ~ Lauren Duski
20. Friday I’m in Love ~ Janet Devlin
My friend Heather is a smart, lovable lady who doesn’t watch a lot of movies. Ask her if she’s seen something and the answer is probably no.
A month ago, however, she messages me and tells me I need to watch the show Twin Peaks, a cult drama I had never seen. She described it as a small town murder mystery. Ok, sure, I wanna know what happened to Laura Palmer, the dead girl. I’ll watch.
So I reserve what ends up being a season one and two box set from the library, and I message Heather when it comes in so we can have a social media shared viewing party.
Only I never hear back from her.
I message her via text, I try Facebook messenger, and I tweet at her. But if Heather is bad at having seen movies everyone else on the planet has seen, she is terrible at checking social media. Like working for the CDC is so hard, Heather? Check your messages! I have questions about this melodramatic tv show you made me watch!
So I watched all of season one and over half of season two without her. In a state of growing irritation.
I hate this show. Now all I have are questions.
I finally heard back from Heather. Her phone died and it took days to get a new one. This loss would unhinge a social media person like myself, but Heather just went on living her life, working by day, eating pizza rolls like a boss at night, probably sketching something amazing because she is a talented artist too.
So by the time I heard back from her, I had my own melodramatic show to air. I wanted to know why she made me watch this ridiculous show.
Here are the screenshots of our text conversation in which I tell Heather she is a terrible human being for making me watch Twin Peaks.
*Warning: if you haven’t seen the show, there are spoilers ahead.
This song is three minutes of teenage torture. Get your shit together, Donna! This is not a healthy relationship!
And now I find out the show is being revived and airing on Showtime! People are eating pie and dream dancing all about it on Twitter.
Also Heather has stopped replying to my texts once again. I think the owls got her.
Your turn. What do YOU think of Twin Peaks?
I’m a fan of the ‘Save Link’ option on Facebook. Only I’m terrible at actually going back and looking at all those saved links.
At any given point and time, my laptop has at least 10 tabs open of blog posts waiting to be read.
So, in honor of New Year’s being just around the corner, and it being a time of year for renewal, I thought I better clear out my digital queue.
Here’s what I meant to read, and just finally did.
Self Care Tips and Do Good Ideas
My year has been another one of transition and change. It’s been full of stress. And I’m not a good model for slowing down. These posts gave me some food for thought.
In need of some manageable, quick tasks to help you feel refreshed? Check out 15 Easy Things You Can Do That Will Help When You Feel Like Shit.
Want to reduce your stress level by 68%? Who knew all you had to do was read before bed!
And then when you’re ready to reflect, make some new goals, and treat yo’ self, read 26 Things Every Person Should Do For Themselves At Least Once a Year.
Ready to put some good in the world? 15 Things For When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.
Writing Tips and Blogs to Read
This year I became a freelance writer, writing both for local magazines as well as online sites. And I’m still plugging away at my book. Here’s hoping I can reserve more time to write in 2016.
Struggling with some aspect of your writing? Watch out for these culprits: Doubtful Writing Habits You Should Forget About.
How to Be a More Productive Freelancer in 20 Minutes is both a funny read and good advice from the seriously silly Schmutzie. Read for a laugh, stay for the tips.
Jane Friedman is a stellar resource for any writer and she nails it with 5 Reasons You’re Experiencing Writer’s Block.
Now, need a kick in the pants to get going again? Advice in Six Words: 17 Inspirational Writing Tips.
Just For the Fun Of It
It’s not Jess Witkins’s Happiness Project without a little fun involved!
Because it’s not time wasting when important questions are being solved. Which Jane Austen Heroine are You?
I got Catherine Morland. No surprise there. 😉
Because this is so real it hurts: What Marriage is Really Like.
And lastly, this beautiful round up courtesy The Bloggess, who shared all three Bad Lip Reading versions of Star Wars in We’re Those People.
Your turn! Show some linky love in the comments below to the posts you’ve been reading or feel free to share one of your own. Let’s keep the blog hopping non-stopping! Cheers, friends!
I turn 30 next month.
I’ve moved on from childish behavior like eating Cheetos for dinner. Now, I am a sophisticated adult who eats Cheetos for dinner…with a glass of wine. And with better clothes, because I shop at Stitch Fix.
Thanks for the “fashion advice,” Mom. NOT.
I’ve surpassed the emotional roller coaster that this new decade has been inducing. I’ve let go of “do this by the time I’m 30” deadlines. And now, I’m looking forward to it. I think 30 is going to be a great year.
I still feel the need to document my life thus far though. A lot of change and growth, and loss and love, has happened in my 20’s and I want to acknowledge it. I’d been thinking of doing some kind of 30 facts before 30 post, when lo and behold, blogger pal, Liz from Be. Love. Live shared her own 31 Questions theme. And since she invited others to join in, I’m doing just that.
Here’s 30 Questions Answered Before I Turn 30.
- Where’s your cellphone? If not in my hand, then it’s right next to me. I have a problem.
- Where’s your second half? After making us a scrumptious breakfast this morning, he is out for a run, letting me work in peace.
- Your hair? Is messy. I let it air dry. But the color is my natural red.
- Your mood? Excited. It’s going to be a good day.
- Your plan for today? To catch up on writing assignments and then go hiking with my bae.
- What’s the best you know? Best I know of what? I know I like red ales and Leinenkugel’s Red is a great one. I think David Sedaris’ essay Six to Eight Black Men is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. I think sharing that story about that time I pooped my pants has made more people come forward and share their own shitastrophies, and that makes me like each of them a bit more.
- Your dream last night? I didn’t dream last night, or if I did, I don’t remember it. But last weekend after Joe and I binged watched Season Five of The Walking Dead, I dreamed that I was out scavenging for food and shelter all night long. I was exhausted the next morning.
- Your goal in life? To publish my book, and to make people laugh.
- The room you’re in? The kitchen, at the table by the window. The most common space I write in, and where Joe often catches me.
- Your hobby? Blogging, reading, hanging out in coffee shops, doing improv, talking in weird voices, shocking my mother…
Hobbying like a boss.
- Your fear? Bugs.
- Where would you like to be in six years? Celebrating the six year anniversary of you asking me that question. 😉
- Where were you yesterday evening? At home with the hubs, watching The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- What are you not? I am not coordinated. Please don’t throw balls at me.
- Something you wish? I wish I had some chocolate. Like now.
- Where did you grow up? In a small town in southeast Wisconsin.
- What was the last thing you did? Watch Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen: Toad in a Hole. This girl makes me giggle.
- Your clothes? I’m rocking my Dolly Parton tshirt.
- Your TV? Is a host to many epic marathons such as #Keanuthon.
- Your computer? Is a multi-holiday gift from my husband after my old one died. It’s a MacBook Air, and I still don’t really know how to use it. For the love of God, why can’t I just double click on things??!
- The best thing you own? My journals. Those notebooks hold my soul.
- Do you miss anyone? I miss my family. I miss the members that passed on too early. I miss friends that are kindred spirits despite living across the country.
- Your car? Is a 2004 Nissan Sentra, and her name is Dionne.
- Something you’re not wearing? Socks.
- Favorite store? It is quickly becoming Etsy. And does Stitch Fix count? It is a store, but you don’t go to it, it comes to you.
Where my book nerds at?
- Your summer? The highlight was our annual summer vacation and road trip to Tennessee where we ate copious amounts of barbecue, listened to lots of live music, and visited with friends and family. Additional highs include storytelling at the Old School Variety Show, co-hosting part of the Film Freaks series with the library, and joining an improv troupe.
- Do you love anyone? Yah, there’s this boy I like.
It’s the one on the left.
- Favorite color? Green and turquoise.
- When did you last laugh? I laughed watching that Hannah Hart video. Did you watch it? Go watch it. She’s so silly.
- When did you last cry? I cried watching The Walking Dead because some of my favorite characters were killed off. I won’t say who, but it’s sad.
Feel free to copy these questions and share your own responses.
Thanks for tuning in!
Co-starring Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, and Jeff Daniels, Keanu plays a cop that has to rescue a group of strangers trapped on a bus that can’t go less than 50 mph. If you already feel like one epic joy ride isn’t enough, rest assured, there’s a Speed 2: Cruise Control – which takes place on a boat. Unfortunately, Keanu isn’t in that one.
We’ll be live tweeting the movie once again on Wednesday, September 16th at 8:00pm CST. Join me and friends or follow along using #Keanuthon.
Get ready for rush hour!
Also this happened last night. What. Are. The. Odds?
Now, even KEANU knows about #Keanuthon.
Hello Cats and Kittens,
How is everyone’s week going?
I’m keeping very busy as usual. Last week I kicked off my debut with a local performance group called Old School Variety Show as a storyteller. I shared two excerpts from my work in progress, Oops Baby. It was quite fun. Here’s a little teaser from my chapter entitled Have No Fear, Dad is Here.
This past weekend I traveled home to hang out with my sister, but fear not, I was still in the blogosphere. Here are a few of my favorite funny tales ICYMI.
Alice Whitmore, of Lutheran Liar Looks at Life, dishes all in her date with Steve Martin, The Jerk and The Dude. True story!
Andrea Culletto battles elephant rides and kid debaters (I’m not saying their coach was their dad, but it might have been their dad) in The Elephant in the Room.
Summer Heacock of Fizzygrrl shares a humorous, gif-filled retelling of her encounters with hyper-religion. This recovering Catholic girl laughed her butt off at this post, but a caution to readers, it’s not for the fundamental of faith. Enjoy Are You There God? It’s Me Fizzy.
Brick House Chick had me screaming with her dietary rant, Cut the Carbs, They Say. We all know it’s not that easy, and this fiery chica was just saying so.
It might sound like a headline out of The Onion, but it’s a true tale over at Jenny Hansen’s blog More Cowbell. Check out her latest post, Hubby’s Jewels Threatened By Doctor With Tuna.
I can only guess that all authors aspire for this kind of acclaim, but The Bloggess is now #4 on Amazon if you search for “giant dildos”. Well That’s…Huh.
The hilarious woman behind Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing is sharing her response to How Do I Write Humor? (And Other Questions I Suck at Answering).
And don’t forget, #Keanuthon starts tomorrow! Grab a copy of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Dudes, cause we’re starting at 8:00 pm sharp! I can’t wait to live tweet the movie with you!
What’s made you laugh lately?
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring. Really ready. Like I’m willing to try anything to MAKE it spring.
So conquer the unending winter blues with me!
Things To Do While It’s Still -22
1. Sleep in. Hibernate if possible.
2. Get cracking on your To Be Read Pile. Seriously, start reading!
3. Catch up on your Oscar Noms.
4. Make the most amazing Grilled Cheese ever (shared by Myndi Shafer).
5. Got some time to spare? Find out your Klout score (Jenny Hansen has the details).
6. Attend a local VDay event.
February – April is when countries around the world host VDay events to end violence against women and girls. Want to learn more or get involved? I guest blogged at The Indie Chicks with 5 Ways You Can End Violence Against Women and Girls. Please stop by and join the movement!
8. Start an Instagram account – see what people around the world are up to.
9. Make a mix cd. Use only songs with the word ‘sun’ in the lyrics.
10. Check out my pal Victoria’s new book, Dancing in the Fire, and her play by play reaction in gifs to being a published author – it’s priceless. 🙂
11. Build a blanket fort.
12. Write a letter to a loved one via snail mail.
13. Wear fleece pajamas; they will change your life.
14. Follow Women Writers Ink on Facebook for writing prompts and inspiration.
16. Go out to eat. But mind your manners.
17. Rent a TV series and watch every season. (It’s cold out, what else is there to do? I just picked up The Mindy Project.)
18. Take a day trip and explore a new town.
Joe and I spent this past Saturday exploring Winona, MN’s bookstores, music shops, and eateries.
19. Catch some winter sports on TV or hit the slopes yourself. Wear a muff. 😉
20. Freeze colored water in different shaped containers and build an ice sculpture.
21. Redecorate a room in your house. You have to be indoors anyway.
22. Wanna be naughty? Crank the heat up and watch a surf movie while wearing short sleeves. *gasp*
What other ideas do you have for surviving the Winter-pocalypse?
Ever wondered where the new wave of feminists are? You’re in luck, cuz they’re out there!
AND because I’m blogging about it at one of the coolest new e-zines for badasses out there, The Indie Chicks.
Today I’m guest posting on the conundrum: I’m a Feminist. Now What?
Learn what it really means to be a feminist – Guys, that includes you too – and find out five ways you can make a difference starting now.
Every view, comment, like, and share helps me out because The Indie Chicks are currently looking for contributing writers. And I’ll tell you a secret, so scooch in…
I WOULD REALLY REALLY, LIKE OHMYGOD FANGIRL, LOOOOOOOVE TO WRITE FOR THE INDIE CHICKS REGULARLY!!!
So please tell me I’ll see you there!
All writers and bloggers know that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a crucial part of establishing your online brand. Tags and Keywords are required in order for the Internet Gods to find you and connect you with readers. With tags, we have a say. We can edit our own tags to include the subject matter we blog about in hopes that interested readers will search those tags and find us. For example, I’ve tagged this post to come up in searches for my name, my blog’s name, SEO, blogging, and writers.
We can influence keywords as well, but the Internet Gods that be (on the seventh day they tweeted) will also pull things from our posts based on wording we’ve used and formatting.
Every now and then I like to take a peak at my blog stats to see what search terms led people to find my little hub in the great wide blogosphere. And the randomness of some of the search terms never ceases to amuse me.
In the past, you may have found my blog by searching one or all of the following phrases:
- how to do the Peanuts dance
- dino erotica
- what defined the 80’s
- things to blog about that start with ‘S’
- vampire attacks
- claimed vampire attacks in 2013
- covered up vampire attacks
Why, YES I CAN instruct you how to do the Peanuts dance, why you SHOULDN’T buy dino erotica, what defined the 80’s (I’ll save you the read – it’s fanny packs), things to blog about that start with ‘S’ (you could also consult a dictionary, but I’ve got some ideas – Snuggies, sleep, sloths, the character Sloth from the movie The Goonies…). And I can tell you about ONE claimed vampire attack in 2013 that may in fact be a cover up by a moderately well known band.
Now, I like to imagine you, Dear Readers, opening your Google search engines and writing to me personally, like Dear Abby, all of your quizzical interweb wonderings. I think of your search terms as love notes. And I hope that I can answer your questions.
My Campaign Slogan – just in time for election day!
But lately, I’m beginning to feel like we should see other people. Your requests have gotten out of hand. And I think it’s time we introduce a safe word. You know, something to say when one of us feels the other has the crossed the line. How about ‘parakeet‘? I think it works because I dislike them too.
A week ago when I looked at the search terms that led you here, I was flummoxed. And more than a little uncomfortable.
Recent Search Terms That Led You to the Happiness Project:
- inside LDS temples
- scary ouija board conversations
- what to wear in the tundra
- what does it mean if you draw a swing
- dragon hill spa placenta
- i dreamed there was 5 little orphan baby bats all snuffling dreams
- girls and boars
- sideshow freak posters
- queens drinking tea
- Tia Carrere’s legs
- Jonathan Crombie’s girlfriend
- inflatable handcuffs hahaha
- how to fix a box fan
- ideas of how to dress like The Hulk
- hippies, gypsies, no bras and no squares
- absurdist quirky films
- Willoughby “the slime”
- German women in dirndls
- absurdly romantic things to say to a woman
- what causes super human hearing
- sex free friendship with old Indian woman
Who am I to you, SEO? Do you even know me? I thought we loved one another.
I think it’s time we slow things down, SEO. NaNoWriMo is starting and I just don’t have time for this. Come talk to me when you’re not drunk. You’ve got my number.
Follow up Request to the Internet Gods
Dear Internet Lords,
I just called for a break between me and my SEO. Lately I feel like he doesn’t get me anymore. And he’s always asking me for the strangest requests. I’m tired and I feel like he doesn’t respect me anymore. What should I do? Oh, and how do I change my blog relationship status to ‘It’s Complicated’?
Baffled and Blogging
What’s your SEO relationship like?
or Write me your best Dear Abby response!