Category: Facebook Friends

How to Blog Regularly

I’m doing an experiment where I’m asking my friends to tell me what skills of mine they admire so I can either tell them how I do it, or do it and give it to them. This is because, as a part of our recent troubles, I have been trying (with varying degrees of success) to convince as many strangers as possible to find value in me and I’m starting to have trouble articulating what that is after so many interactions that are the conversational equivalent of being picked up and put down at a garage sale.

Matthew wanted to know how to blog regularly.

This is another one I feel a little silly writing about since I stopped blogging five days a week back in December, but I had previously kept that schedule since February 2012 with very few missed days. So I lasted almost five years blogging 5 days a week with no breaks. That’s pretty cool.

The most important factor in my obsessive love of blogging was a lack of creative direction at work. As soon as I started working for myself blogging became a chore, but I kept it going for two more years because I’d already changed so much about my life that I used blogging to give myself a sense of place, but I had less clicks, less traction, and more bullshit stories. Also I complained about starting a company a lot. 

When I started blogging, I felt stagnant, I wanted to make my own creative decisions and I wasn’t able to in my day to day life. I also missed writing. I was a literature major in college, I started my career as a copywriter, but at that point, writing was the smallest part of my job. So in order to feed that echoing emptiness, I started to blog.

Like working, writing for has been a huge part of my identity for as long as I can remember. For whatever reason, if I don’t write enough in my day to day life, I feel obsessively compelled to do it in any way possible. Before there was blogging, I journaled almost daily. In college I was always working on a paper, then copywriting. Writing is how I deal with stress when I can’t work.

One of the major issues since I started the company is that I write SO MUCH now. In the beginning, I blogged for my company , I blogged for my clients. Now Kate blogs for me, but I still write all the proposals, processes, and analysis. I also write for my part time job constantly. When I’m done with that writing, it’s really difficult for me to think of what to write about on my own time, although sometimes I still feel inspired.

The older I get, the more I value my ability to get my meaning across via writing. I don’t know if my social anxiety has gotten worse, or if it took 30+ years to notice exactly how awkward I really am in person, but my face to face interactions tend to leave me with a lot of stress about my inability to communicate well. I think I freak people out. I mean, I probably freak people out on the blog as well, it’s not like I’m a different person in writing or anything, but on the blog the person has the option to go away. When I’m right there in front of them saying this kind of shit, most people will also find a reason to go away, but it’s slightly more obvious for me.

Working and writing are the things in my life that belong to me the most. Which is maybe why I feel so gutted by my recent business struggles. It’s literally not business, it’s personal. Here I have invested in the two spheres of myself that have always been safe for me, and it didn’t work. I mean, yeah it worked for three years, but it isn’t working now. My happy place has become distinctly unhappy. 

Recently, I’ve been trying to answer the question of who am I without outside validation. Like the validation I got from work and writing all these years. So far, the answer is profoundly sad. 

How to Run the Show

I’m doing an experiment where I’m asking my friends to tell me what skills of mine they admire so I can either tell them how I do it, or do it and give it to them. This is because, as a part of our recent troubles, I have been trying (with varying degrees of success) to convince as many strangers as possible to find value in me and I’m starting to have trouble articulating what that is after so many interactions that are the conversational equivalent of being picked up and put down at a garage sale.

Heina wanted to know how to run your own show.

I feel a little funny answering this one since I’ve been thinking that’s the last skill I have at this point, but the truth is that even if we don’t make it through this round of We’re Fucked, It’s Over, I’ve been doing this on my own for the last three and a half years and I accomplished a lot of what I wanted (move to Oregon, make my own schedule, feel confident in my professional abilities – most of the time), as well as some things I didn’t even know I could do (aid in the professional development of others, pay a living wage, get rid of some debt).

Since the answer is such a complicated knot of experience, education and instinct, I’m just going to write about how I learned how to be my own boss and hopefully that will be insightful. Because there’s no right way to be a boss. There’s lots of wrong ones, and I’ve done that too. But leadership is not a tiny flag they hand you in first grade that you must carry with you always. It’s a responsibility that any of us not only can rise to, but that we have an obligation to strive for in whichever way suits us best. Not for ourselves, but for all the kids like us who probably didn’t get flags or maybe who did and were never given the opportunity to see the diversity of leadership styles and paths that are available to them.

The first business I had was called I’m Hungry and Scared to Go Home. This is actually where I learned to make stubbornness into a commodity. My friends all wanted to go to the convenience store and get ice cream. I very badly wanted not to have to go back to my house. I can’t remember if it’s because we had no money, because I was afraid of my mom, or both, but I was hungry and I needed a way to deal with that immediately. I walked up to one of our neighbors doors and asked if she needed any light bulbs changed or if I could sweep her walk. She told me that she did need a light changed, but that it was too high off the ground and she didn’t want to deal with the home owners insurance if I fell and broke my neck. She gave me $5 to go away. This is probably my most monetarily successful venture to date, both in terms of sunk cost vs. profit as well as the timeline to solvency.

I didn’t hold a regular person job until I went to college. I worked under the table as a house cleaner, a gardener, sign-shop assistant and tutor. One time I was even a background extra on a TV commercial. I learned that work made me feel, for the first time, like I was valuable. There was a one to one correlation between how much I worked and how much money people gave me. Up until I started working, my tenacity, my outgoing personality, and my assertiveness were punished instead of rewarded. In the working world, such that it was for me at that time, I was praised and–more importantly–paid for these skills.

In college, I was in the work-study program, and I learned for the first time that sometimes people just didn’t show up for their shifts. Other students I worked with would frequently not show up to work and not call and there was nothing the college could really do about it. But I lived in a reality where if I didn’t work, I didn’t eat. That had been there from the very first day of my working life. Add to that the feeling working gives me, and there is no way in hell I don’t show up. This became problematic later when my inability to take sick days actually helped exacerbate my horrible burn out, but almost every business owner I know shares this unwillingness to quit for better or for worse.

Success is so frequently the intersection of training and passion. All the different jobs I worked, all the hours I poured in to school, getting up day after day on three hours of sleep, making finances stretch, grocery shopping with a calculator, getting to that professional place and still hating the way that I loved work but work didn’t love me. Hating the way my fellow workers were exploited and mismanaged even as the work itself redeemed so many people, myself included.

At the last job I had before I launched this current venture, I really had enough. We were supposed to protect workers, and we manipulated them. We ground through good people and we used every bureaucratic loophole in the book to promote mediocrity in the interest of not rocking the boat. We failed to engage people’s creative minds, and we punished them when they tried. We were a bastion of paper-shuffling, blame-passing clock punchers. If we had processes, I would say that we made people slaves to it, but we didn’t even have that. Half the time we spent was used up constructing fantastical justifications for why we even existed, rather than going out into the world and showing people. We never kicked our own tires and as a result we were both unprepared and injured when something inevitably exploded. As a result, the executives used lay-offs as a way to balance the books, rather than the strategic restructuring that comes before a massive change in direction.

The one bright spot in my otherwise miserable childhood had been work. I had been useful and valuable and my last job stripped that joy from me as surely and as easily as a chef guts a fish. It’s important for me to recognize that my obsession with being useful is problematic. Ever since I was abandoned by my parents, I have operated on the fallacious assumption that I have to make people like me, or at least tolerate me everywhere I go. My own parents tossed me out. There must be something fundamental about myself, so fundamental, in fact, that it was obvious to them even before I could properly talk, that causes people to leave me, to forget me. Therefore, I will be the most useful person they have ever met. I will be the best, the stickiest, the most apparent human any human could ever be. And I know about this, I’ve said affirmations to myself, both naked and clothed, in every mirror I own. At a certain point, I decided the way to process this grief is to stop feeling bad about how it effects me. 

So, here I am. I have an insatiable need to be useful, that’s helped me collect some pretty necessary skills. I am passionate about work and working, and I have this theory that the key to market domination is to find good people and pay them good money. But I don’t have any money. Which is really my only problem. And I think I can solve that. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the key to being your own boss is to always have one more trick up your sleeve. By which I mean that you have to care about something so hard that you will reach up there and tear off anything you can find if it means one more day living life on your own terms. It’s more of a pathology than a skill when I think about it.   

The Experiment

This is an experiment. Perhaps a terrible one. I’m tired of trying to prove my skills have value to strangers. If there’s something I do that you wish you could do, or more specifically that you wish I would do for you or tell you how to do, post a reply here, or message me and I’ll turn it into a blog post, either about how to do the thing, or I’ll actually do the thing and send it to you in addition to doing it.

Because lately I’ve been feeling like my only skill is taking a beating and getting back up. Which is great, people tried to shame me about my apparent gluttony for punishment when I was a kid and didn’t know how to back down, but I’ve made my peace with tenacity and I do value it, but surely there’s more to me than that. Right?

From Pants to Goddesses

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Shirts vs. Pants

In the battle of shirts vs. pants, pants and skirts win. Primarily because I like a clean vagina and clothes on my bottom half keep stuff from getting in there. But also because I hate bras, and no clothes on my top half (I’m assuming) also means no bras. Because fuck bras.

Booze

I don’t know enough about booze to really talk about it. Except that well into adulthood I absent-mindedly have a habit of sniffing water before I drink it because I had enough times in childhood where I unexpectedly grabbed the wrong cup and took a huge gulp of straight vodka. Which is gross.

Mythology

I like the way that Athena sprang out of Zeus’ head fully formed, and I always felt like her virginity was too much interpreted in a Christian context in modern retellings of the myth. Adding the bullshit about purity and modesty that didn’t really belong to her. Athena doesn’t fuck or show men her body, not because of Christian shame or timidness, but because of feminist power. A person’s body, their sexual energy, and the knowledge of that is a privilege. Not because sex cheapens a person, but because knowledge is power.

Facebook Friends: The Duggars Fucking Suck

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And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
– Matthew 19:24

Are the Duggars money grubbing? According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, the family as a whole is worth $3.5 million. But it looks like the site’s records end in 2014, well before Josh Duggar’s incestuous pedophilia scandal, and the big Ashley Madison reveal.

So at least one Dugger is into kids, fucking his siblings, and cheating on his wife. That’s all on paper. Depending on how you read the bible, the incest could be okay from a Christian point of view. So could the pedophilia. Straight up cheating on your wife without officially making the mistress a second wife is probably uncool. Of all the things the bible is pretty vague about, adultery is really clearly not okay.

Although there could be an argument made that biblical adultery has everything to do with husbands and fathers and nothing to do with wives or mothers, so if you cheated on your wife with an unmarried woman who’s dad is dead, there’s really no victim at that point. But I’m not a Bible scholar.

Certainty I’m not good enough at the Bible to figure out why it’s perfectly fine to shave your beard, wear polyblends, eat shrimp, fuck your baby sisters, and cheat on your wife, but gay marriage is still off the table.

But back to the initial question. Are the Duggars money grubbing? You could say the fact that they decided to sell out their family and their commitment to a simple Christian life in exchange for a TV show is money grubbing, but I’d be more into calling it fame-whoring. Vanity, even.

Can a family that puts themselves on TV and in the media at every possible opportunity be humble, even if they are being pretty great Christians, what with the pedophilia and all? Personally, I don’t think so.

I especially don’t think it’s very humble to purport to know the mind of God, which is what any person does when they use their religious piety as an excuse to perpetuate hatred and discriminate against others.

It’s also pretty obviously not humble to take the law into your own hands. For example, to discover that a crime has been committed, decide not to report it, and then use personal connections and political influence to finagle local law enforcement into looking the other way on multiple counts of molestation that you just forgot to mention… for nine fucking months. Which, by the way, is how the kid-touching was handled, if you didn’t know.

So no, I don’t think the Duggars are money grubbing whores. Neither do I think they’re humble Christians. But they are definitely corrupt, dysfunctional liars who are either into kid fucking, or into protecting kid fuckers. Which I find to be really distasteful. No matter what the Bible says.

Facebook Friends: Craftiness

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It’s always funny to me the things people do for themselves without having any concept of their value. Crafting is like that for me. Until today it hadn’t occurred to me that my crafting posts would resonate with somebody. It’s almost like I’ve been saying ‘this is the thing I did instead of writing a blog.’

I’m so glad you wrote this. Now I can add some instructions that won’t be total bullshit. Even though I put instructions on the bag weaving, some craft posts like the sperm amigurumi have no instructions. That project was so random, it would probably be one sentence: Crochet a sperm shape.

I tend to craft with wild abandon. Patterns piss me off. But now that I know someone likes the craft posts, there will be more and they will be less terrible. I don’t think anybody’s ever going to get anything like stitch counts out of me, but there will be more details than there currently are.

I haven’t crafted anything new since yesterday, but I did come across this box:

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It’s just the standard box a store will give you when you buy a cheapish necklace or a pair of earrings. I used painters tape to reinforce the corners on the lid, then I painted a simple pattern, and sealed with about 3 layers of Mod Podge.

I kept my Bluetooth earpiece in it inside my messy purse for about two years with minimal wear and tear. If I’d used the same corner reinforcement techniques on all the edges and corners, especially the base of the box, it would be in near-perfect condition. As it stands, I don’t keep anything in it right now, but that could always change.

5 Sexiest Man Butts in Gaming

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The man butt has long been a neglected feature in gaming. It’s a shame because the lady butt is practically a major field of study for aspiring game animators. Despite the ass desert that is modern gaming, there are a few bold stand-outs as it were.

Honorable Mention: Fallout 4 Protag Butt

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I know what you’re thinking. This butt isn’t even that great. But it’s such a vast improvement on the Fallout 3 Protag butt that it at least calls for honorable mention in the category Butt Development.

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Before.

5. Kaidan Alenko Butt (Mass Effect)

When compared to the much more expressive and perky Captain Shepard Butt (more on that later), the untrained eye can easily dismiss a butt like this.

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Shepard: left; Kaidan: right

However, when you consider the man that butt is attached to, it’s easy to see why Kaidan makes the cut.

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Yes, Shepard, yes we are.

4. Nathan Drake Butt (Uncharted)

He’s already been named one of the Sexiest New Characters of the Decade, so the awesome glutes on display in this year’s E3 footage show that¬†Sony has no intention of abandoning the fans. Bless you, Sony.

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I sincerely look forward to watching this butt kick some butt.

3. Commander Shepard Butt (Mass Effect)

How can you not list the butt that saves the galaxy?

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Bulky, posterior-unfriendly armor keeps the Shep-butt covered most of the games, which is a shame because somebody put a lot of work into making it appealing in the few scenes where we do see it clearly. This is the ass that launched a thousand Reapers. Mothers, lock up your sons.

2. Geralt of Rivia Butt (Witcher)

Fiddly game-play kept me from finishing my Witcher 2 play-through, and has discouraged me from shelling out for Witcher 3 , but that butt aint fiddly, no sir.

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He does need to buy some new underwear, though.

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If this were an underwear contest, Shepard would win. You can never go wrong with a simple black brief.

And finally…

1. Dorian Butt (Dragon Age)

Far and away the very best butt in gaming right now, Dorian Pavus is not just another pretty posterior.

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He’s also delightfully snarky with just enough angst to be fun, and the man knows how to accessorize with hair.

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What more could an inquisitor want?

Imaginary Friends

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I think this might be the most difficult question I’ve ever been asked.

When I was a kid, I wasn’t really allowed to watch TV. Anything I know about the Ninja Turtles, X-Men, or any other cartoon of my childhood I either convinced other children to tell me about, or I went back and watched them in high school. So I don’t really have any fictional worlds I’m that attached to. And all the ones I made up on my own wouldn’t be good to live in.

My favorite from that time was a world I never had a name for. All the houses looked like drawings in that they were only little huts with doors and chimneys and nothing else. The real houses were all underground. The entire village was underground.

The people weren’t apex predators, so they built an interconnected network of tunnels that had common areas and shops and households. They would only come and go through their “houses” which were just tunnel entrances. I guess whatever preyed on them was smart enough to realize they were food, but not smart enough to realize that there were hundreds of them all within digging distance. The people would only come out a few at a time, and only from their “own” houses.

Now that I’m an adult, I realize how that’s not a good defense strategy. I also realize that the entire world is a pretty obvious metaphor for the process I was performing on my own psyche at the time. Keep everything buried, only bring it up a little bit at a time. Even the predator is spot on as an unknowable giant who’s danger lies in violence, but who’s weakness is a lack of perception.

I bet that’s why I enjoyed that world so much, despite its obvious simplicity. Going over and over the details of how to keep my weakness and my reactions under the surface, how to stay safe in a situation that was both unsafe and unpredictable. The more I think about this, the cooler it is to me. I basically drew myself a map of my own coping mechanism.

Sometimes when I’m sick or really sad I think of the people in their tunnel village and it makes me feel better. In my imagination, they were all used to being in close quarters because of the limited space, so they would always sit really close together. They also watched out for each other and made sure everybody was back inside the village at night. And because they had to control the population, every child was precious. So I guess if I had to live in an imaginary world, I’d pick that one. Even though you’re basically huddled underground trying not to die. Every other imaginary world I can think of has it’s own terrible problems. Gotham is a crap heap, I’m pretty sure the X-Men aren’t even considered citizens at a certain point, and the Ninja Turtles have to deal with April O’Neil stinking up the place.