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White House Dinners and..oh, I Wrote a Book.

Have you ever gone to a Presidential Gala and arrived late, only to discover that the First Couple is no longer greeting people at the end of the reception line and all the salmon biscuits are gone?

OMG – me too!!

But that’s not why I brought you here today. No, today I have a bit of news.

When I contemplated teaching younger folks how to write better, especially when it comes to blogging, I thought, Who in their right mind would buy what I’m selling?

And don’t you have to belong to an elite club or sleep with the right politician, or have an “in” with the Textbook Association of America, or have won a Nobel Peace Prize to get a textbook published and distributed to schools?

Then a homeschooling friend of mine told me that homeschool parents can choose whatever resources they want to teach their kids. And some public school teachers are allowed to provide additional learning tools to complement those “required-by-the-Textbook-Association-of-America textbooks.”

So I wrote a book. And today, I’m launching it, or dropping it, or whatever the cool kids are saying these days.

It’s called Adventures in Blogville: A Creative Writing Guide for Teens.

Blogville book cover 400w170 pages of essay-inducing hilariousness.

I hope.

Teenagers often feel like their voices aren’t heard, and blogging is a great way to validate and empower them.

This book isn’t just for kids, though. I’ve been told that adults can use the book as well because it teaches concepts about how to make your writing and blogging more compelling. It’s got some of the same concepts as my previous book, Sticky Readers, but it’s structured in a lessony-type format with assignments and everything! And it’s family friendly — not one F-bomb or prostitute can be found in its pages.

Oh! And it has awesome and silly illustrations by Quinnzel, whose art was recently displayed by BBC America at Comic-Con in San Diego and was more recently displayed on the Doctor Who World Tour.

I know!

I would tell you how awesome Adventures in Blogville is, but I’ve paid people to tell you instead. Well not so much “paid” as shoved my book down their throats and then shook them by their collars and asked them what they thought about it and you can see what they said on my very own special super exciting book page (I don’t want to give it away, but scroll down to the part that says “Praise for Adventures in Blogville.”)

Anyway, if you happen to know any homeschoolers or educators in your circle of fellow humans, mention Adventures in Blogville! I would appreciate it, and my starving orphan hamster would appreciate it.

More info about the book and where to get it.

Or just go straight to Amazon already!

A Humorous Take on Bullying

Yes, I am perfectly aware of the fact that my blogging has fallen off lately, thank you SO MUCH for mentioning it. The problem is, I’ve gotten my mitts into many other projects that are eating up my life, not the least of which was co-producing, co-directing, and performing in the Sacramento Listen to Your Mother show.

But that was in May, you cry. And I don’t even live in Sacramento, so how the bleepity bleep can I see this “performance” of yours, you continue to whimper?

My, what a drama queen you are. And a whiner.

But! Cry no more, my little nanny goats, as there is now video evidence of said performance and you can see it right now! Yay!

Link to video on YouTube

Heck, you can see the whole darn Sacramento show here.

You can even check out all the other 31 cities for 2014 here.




Of Name Tags and Psychotic Birds

name tagSo I’m at this thing the other day, you know, one of those events where you walk in the door and they check you in and give you a name tag to clip on your person, along with a wine glass, and you feel awkward at first because you arrived alone so the first thing you do is scrape the room for a familiar face so you can immediately cling to him or her while you get your insecure bearings in order? Yeah, one of those.

Anyway, as I’m bouncing from one familiar face to another, tasting wine and bacon-wrapped shrimps on sticks, there are people here who feel important because they were on a guest list and the place which grandly opens the next day is closed to the public.

Now, this other thing that’s about to happen happens all the time and I’ve never thought twice about it, but this time it is obvious and I do indeed think twice about it.

I’m walking through the crowd and I see a guy turn toward me and look at my boob. Well, actually, he’s looking at my name tag, I think. He could have been looking at my boob, I suppose, but usually if someone looks at your boob, they look at both of your boobs, so their eyes are more centered between them and since my name tag was conspicuously dangling off of the edge of my right boob like a “Hello My Name Is” pasty and his eyes were definitely on THAT boob, I assume he’s looking at my name tag. Anyway, not the point — the point is, he was looking at my name tag. Just long enough to read it and know that he doesn’t recognize it. He doesn’t even bother to look at my face. All he cares about is my name and whether I am an important person, which he has immediately decided I am not, because he clearly doesn’t recognize my name and he instantly dismisses me with a turn of his head back to his circle of people.

My first thought was, What a jerk! Because my name tag doesn’t say [insert famous name here], you won’t waste your time introducing yourself so you can “network” with me about whatever the hell it is you do? I’m not important enough to further your career? You can’t even dismiss me with a little direct eye contact? I’m not even worth a quick glance of possible recognition? You ass!

Am I over analyzing this? Should I spend any more time worrying about these weenies who brush me off so quickly and who would probably have been a waste of my precious time to talk to anyway, because this guy was clearly selfish and nothing more than a what-can-you-do-for-me kind of guy?

I’ll have you know that I’m an important person. You should want to get to know me. I am awesome. I have things to offer. I am a person you should totally want to meet, gosh darn it! I know people! I have influence! And if you’re just going to assume I am a nobody, you better think again, Mister. And go to hell, while you’re at it!

I don’t know. Maybe he was looking at my boob.


GUIDE to troubled birdsBy the way, while you’re here, I read this book the other day that was hilarious, absurd, and somewhat foul (fowl?) called The Mincing Mocking Bird Guide to Troubled Birds. It’s billed as “an illustrated pocket field guide that enables anyone to quickly identify psychotic, violent or mentally unstable bird species.” It’s very offbeat, profusely illustrated, dark, twisted, and not meant for small children, language wise, but it’s kind of hysterical. Perfect for your bathroom or your kooky friend’s bathroom. Know any bird watchers? I wonder if they’d like it. Do bird watchers have senses of humor? I imagine them to be very serious people who never laugh and subscribe to the Smithsonian and National Geographic magazines which are never ever EVER allowed in the bathroom.

How to Get to 10,000 Steps on Your Fitbit

Hello! And welcome to Exercise is Futile, the program where we show you all the crazy ways to move your body around even though we all know its pointless because you’ll probably get run over by a giant duck wearing a bow tie on his way to the dentist tomorrow anyway, am I right?

I am your host, Suzy Tiptoes, and on today’s program, we’re going to tell you how to get your 10,000 steps in while traveling.

First, fly somewhere. Anywhere. Make sure your flight connects to another one via the Dallas Fort-Worth airport with a five-hour layover.

Second, fly American Airlines because they are the ones who will admit you to the Admiral’s Club just by flashing your Platinum American Express card.

Third, when you land in Dallas, go straight to the Admiral’s Club with visions of sitting on your ass for 5 hours and eating all the free cookies and diet soda you can choke down.

Fourth, when you flash your AMEX card at the guy to get in to this horribly exclusive club lounge, find out from said guy that they no longer accept AMEX as free admission. Instead, what’s accepted is some new top secret black Citibank card that you’ve never heard of.

Fifth, walk dejectedly through the length of the C Terminal back and forth and back while dragging your luggage behind you. Look what happens when you do that:

fitbit 10000 steps cropped

What also happens is you get to do what’s called “seeing the sights” of Texas. For example, who knew that the Lone Star State’s runway models were such big cows?

cows, models, dfw


cows, models, dfw

You can also stand outside this store and sing Karaoke at the top of your lungs and test Pee Wee Herman’s theory about what happens when you do that:

deep in the heart of texas rs

If you’re from California, you can stare at this sign all day and wonder how is it, during the current rise of the outrage industry, that nobody has sued this establishment because they were deeply offended by stereotyping:

dfw two podners rs

I can’t decide if this is ironically funny, or one of those “Ellis Island” or “Cake Decorating” type mistakes where someone is ordering the sign over the phone and the guy on the other end of the line was on his first day of the job.

south of gate c6, dfw

Anyway, after you’ve walked the length of the terminal 3 times and gotten your 10,000 steps in and you still have 3 hours to go, peruse the Wall of Thanks and set yourself down a spell in the nearby rocking chairs, because boy howdy, your dogs are tired.

dfw, wall of thanks

That’s all for today’s program. This is Suzy Tiptoes saying, Exercise is Futile, y’all!

And Now There’s a Cloud in the Cloud

You’re probably wondering what the hell I’m doing here when I am up to my eyeballs in goose livers, but my housemate and I decided to take a break from all the poultry guts and celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary per our usual tradition of running off to the casino and spending the night. And with past annual visits resulting in power outages and thievery, we thought, what could possibly happen this time?

And so it was I’m yanking the one arm bandit’s chain when my phone vibrates urgently at me to tell me about a tornado warning and severe thunderstorms IN MY AREA and to seek immediate cover and go to the basement and stay away from the windows and all kinds of other tornado tips and tricks for survival.

And because we live in a town where weather and natural disasters never happen, we immediately ran up to our 16th floor hotel room and flipped on the nearest electrical appliance that we here in the capital city call the boob tube:

funnel cloud on tv

Oh my gosh, it really WAS a tornado warning in our area, as it turns out. And the whole town was talking about it. And we flew to the window and threw open the curtains and pressed our faces to the glass to see what we could see.

It’s the same with earthquakes. I feel the slightest vibration and I throw up my arms and scream “Whee!!” like I’m suddenly on Space Mountain at Disneyland. And I must have gotten in free because there is NO WAY I’m paying $150 to get into the Magic Kingdom these days. Are you kidding me? Why would I pay that kind of money to spend most of my day waiting in line? What was I saying? Oh yeah. The tornado.

So, because I’ve never been squashed or hurled or stomped or even scratched by a natural disaster, apparently my brain doesn’t register danger.

So there I was gawking out the window and exclaiming Wow! and Cool! and other lame exclamations (like probably even Groovy!) because we could see the very thing they were showing on the TV but from the dark side:

funnel cloud live 2 full resized

Can you see it? No?

Here’s a closer look:

funnel cloud live 2 cropped

Now can you see it?

So yeah, while the TV ticker was telling us to stay inside and hide under the beds and whatnot, we were oooh-ing and ahhh-ing like a couple of idiots, watching funnel clouds on the TV and from our window. And the dude in the TV station helicopter clearly had a better view than us and is it just me, or does the funnel cloud make the scene look like the meadow below is trying to say something?

funnel cloud meadow talking

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