All Blogs Must Pass

Image result for blog
To every post (churn, churn, churn)
There is a season (churn, churn, churn)
And a time to every bloggy purpose, under heaven
A time to be write, a time to cry
A time to edit,  a time to die, words, die!
A time to be wracked with self-doubt, a time to heal
A time to alienate your entire family so you can waste precious time to write a post no one will ever read

Hey gang! There is still a gang out there, right? Hellllllllllloooooooooooo?

This year was my blog’s seventh anniversary. I was a spirited 39-year-old when I started She’s a Maineiac and now I’m still 39 so shut the hell up.

It’s been seven frigging years and I still, STILL! feel compelled to post crap at least once a month, much to my own chagrin. I feel like my blog has pretty much died a long slow death.  Or maybe it’s just in a coma and waiting for someone to wake it up so it will have amnesia and start over again with a new personality.  I like that idea! Hey, it worked for Sandra Bullock!
Image result for sandra bullock while you were sleeping
C’mon, Darla! Wake the f*** up! Also, you look like shit.
Let’s take a groovy-graphy trip down my so-called bloggy life’s past to see how things evolved over time….

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As we all know, everything has a purpose and a season under heaven.  I think it was George Harrison who once said, all things must pass. Or maybe it was Dr. Oz talking about constipation. We all know that life is an endless cycle of life, death, rebirth, and more life and more death and you get the picture.

The cool thing about a cycle is it can start fresh again, it can be reborn! Like my snazzy graph below illustrates….

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So, it appears I’m back to writing for only me again. Yikes. My blog readers have pretty much vanished. Blogs are dead. Disco is dead. Elvis is alive and well in an underground bunker in Albuquerque. This is good and bad. Lately, it seems I have forgotten how to write. I have that thing you get when you….what’s that called again?

But I do love to write for myself. Sure, I’ve started to rehash ideas and tend to do the same post over and over again and maybe I won’t ever get the level of readership I once had years ago. And maybe the grammar police will always be lurking around every dangling particle. And yes, I have no clue what that even means. I don’t care! I’m too old to care anymore! This is my place! I get to do whatever the heck I want here, gosh darnit! If you don’t like my blog, good riddance!

 

But you’ll stick around, right?

If you’re still here, tell me in the comments below about your blogging career. Did you make oodles of money and gain boundless fame? Or just a bigger ass like me?

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Bloggers Gone (Mildly) Wild

I’ve been lucky to have met several bloggers over the years. As lovely as all of them turned out to be, I admit that I had my doubts.

What if they’re really ax murderers?
What if they think I’m totally uncool?
What if I end up wearing a fake mustache, plaid earmuffs, and yellow yarn on my head in public?

Preparing to blow the hipster restaurant crowd away with our epic dorkiness.
Preparing to blow Portland away with our epic dorkiness.

Ayuh, that’s right. I met up with Jules from Go Jules Go AND Peg from
Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings! I know!! INSANE!! I was delirious from the pure excitement and adrenaline. Or maybe that was because I pounded down a Blueberry Ale in ten seconds.

The Three Amigos: Three Blondes Make Everything Right
Three Wrong Blondes Make Everything Right

The best part was we didn’t even really plan (much) for this to happen — it was like fate, destiny, or pure coincidence. Jules is from New Jersey and just happened to be up here in Maine for Labor Day weekend. Peg is from Illinois and she and her family just happened to be up here in Maine for Labor Day weekend. And it was my birthday! I’m 29 for the 18th time. What a gift it was to chill with some bloggy peeps!!!!! (extra exclamation points absolutely justified)

After bribing Peg’s visiting family with lobster rolls, they graciously allowed me to hobnob with WordPress celebs Peg and Jules (and her adorable dog) on the Portland waterfront.

boo

me-and-julse-and-uncle-jesse
Chillin’ with Uncle Jesse.

I tell you I have never been so giddy. Peg is exactly like you’d imagine from her blog times 100. She’s beautiful, bubbly, and hilarious. I’ve already met with Jules a few times, so it goes without saying she’s gorgeous, witty and totally rocks. The three of us had lunch, gabbed about stupid blog stuff, and played with vibrating lobsters

What? The restaurant handed them out to us so we’d know when our lunch was ready! Sheesh!

me-and-peg-and-the-lobster-vibrators
Hello, Portland Press Herald? Breaking news — Darla, a born-n-raised Mainah, actually hates lobster.

I’d love to end this post by bragging about how after lunch we jetted off to party on a rented lobster boat while we toured lighthouses and Stephen King’s estate, but that’ll have to wait until next year.

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Bonus footage: Jim Gaffigan tells you exactly why I don’t like “lobstah”

Have you ever met a blogger in real life? Did you get as nervous as I did? Did you also make a complete fool of yourself in public? (Not hard for me to do…) Do tell!

So you want to be a blogger

Sometimes I receive emails from newbie bloggers asking me stuff like:

“Hey, Darla! How in the hell did your blog get to be sort-of-but-not-really popular? Why on earth do you have as many followers as Danny Bonaduce’s Twitter account*? You ain’t no big thang! Please explain.”

As I’m sure Danny “The Dooch Man” Bonaduce would tell you — it takes pure luck plus the perfect amount of narcissism mixed with self-loathing to become this mediocre.

True dat.
True dat.

If I had to pick one thing that helped skyrocket this blog into “eh-dom”, it would be the day my post about getting my hair cut was picked by a WordPress editor for Freshly Pressed back in the days of bloggy yore, circa 2010. Soon people all over this great land of ours were leaving me comments like, “Nice post” and “Please visit my blog at buttmunch.com!” It was a magical time. My stats climbed (then plummeted) and my ego exploded (then imploded). Messy.

Still I was convinced my little post was picked at random and that’s because it was. Random. It had to be because what good writer ends their sentences with the word ‘was’? Or even worse, I’m thinking a WordPress editor was in the middle of cleaning her keyboard of doughnut dust and accidently typed in the words “bad hair Darla” to find me.

Then for some odd reason WordPress put me under “recommended family”. This led many family-oriented people to my blog. Yet I had this burning desire to occasionally swear and write about broken asses. Write what you know and all that bull. I followed my bloggy dreams and never looked back. Over the years I’ve dropped hints for WP to switch me to humor but they insist I’m never funny. Fine, I’ll be a friggin “mommy blogger”. But I’ll be damned if I blog in torn yoga pants and a shirt covered in mac-n-cheese with my hair all a mess and oh yeah, right … I guess I am a mommy blogger. Damn it all to hell.

So it was a bit of luck that got this blog going. But then I took that luck and ran with it. And ran and ran and ran. Then I sat down again because I was winded and by golly, I blogged and blogged and churned out endless heaps of ridiculous posts, up to and including this one. To be honest, it does take a fair amount of blood, sweat and wine for me to crank out this shit. I don’t just sit down and spew words onto my laptop. (current post excluded)

So, you also want to be a “famous-in-your-own-mind” blogger?

Here’s what I’ve learned in my five years at WordPress:

  • Less is more. (Danny Bonaduce, I’m talking to you)
  • Wrong is right. (Danny Bonaduce, I’m not talking to you)
  • Just write. Who cares what a reader might think?
  • Always care what a reader might think.
  • If it makes you laugh or cry, it’s good enough to post.
  • People will get offended. They’ll think you’re being serious. Holding up a sign might help.

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  • Bullet point lists are the key to any good post.
  • Self-deprecating humor usually works because it sounds like “self-defecating” and who doesn’t want to see someone else shit all over themselves? Fun.
  • Find your voice.
  • Keep your voice even if you have to break all the rules. We’re not writing for The New York Times. Yet.
  • When your voice is hoarse, rest. Don’t force it. It’ll come back again.
  • Write, write, write. Edit, edit, edit. Sleep, sleep, sleep.**
  • Have fun. Play nice. Be good.
  • (Wait — that’s what I told my kids yesterday on their first day of school, sorry.)

Fellow bloggers — any other advice you’d give a newbie? Besides “you’ll never make a dime blogging so you might as well give up now?”

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*Danny actually has 25,000 followers. This means you probably shouldn’t be taking advice from a blogger with half the followers of someone who calls himself The Dooch Man.

**I really like sleeping.

Blog Review 2014

Like most of us, I’m obsessed with meaningless numbers. Sadly, I tend to let them define my self-worth. I was born in 1970. I’m 140 pounds. I need to workout for 6,000 straight minutes to burn off the 3, 786 calorie doughnut I just inhaled.

Somehow I think these numbers mean something.

Yet no matter how much these numbers fluctuate (and believe me, my birth year is not set in stone) deep down I am still the same ol’ me. Numbers aren’t so important in the grand scheme of things.

For instance, I used to get excited that I have nearly 10,000 blog followers.

Until today when I realized my son also has a blog.

He’s twelve.

His blog is on Mario Kart Wii U.

He just started it yesterday.

His entire blog profile?

Hi!!! My name is C. Do you like pie? Good day.

He already has over 500 followers.

So I looked over the past year’s stats for my blog this morning (because I admit I do love numbers) and noticed a few things. When I write about blogging, I get the most views. My post Is Blogging Dead? got close to 1,500 hits. Yet oddly enough, posts like “Yes, but how high does a flea jump while farting?” get only one view. Crazy.

As for countries, I had over 26,000 hits from the US, but only one hit from someone in Madagascar. What gives? It’s a mad mad world.

Thank you all for hanging out and reading my blog, I do appreciate it. Happy New Year!

Oh — and do you like pie?

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Is Blogging Dead?

Is disco dead?

Is Elvis dead?

These are the pressing questions of our time and sadly, there are no clear answers.

We live in a social media world, where information is condensed, repackaged then regurgitated straight back into our tiny brains. We’re constantly bombarded with buttloads of useless drivel. We have twitter, youtube, GIFs, Justin Bieber. Everything is getting shorter and more obnoxious. In response our attention spans are adjusting. We crave quick blasts of information and grow tired and bored if we’re forced to focus more than two sec–holy crap, I’ve lost you already, haven’t I? What — this paragraph is too long? Not enough pictures to break up the monotony? You’re wondering where the GIF is?

FINE. Well dammit, here it is! Lap it up! Enjoy it! Get those lazy-ass neurons zapping again in that noggin of yours! God, you’re pathetic!comedy animated GIF
Ok — I admit, that’s a pretty cool GIF. Who doesn’t like a good snort of jambalaya?

Still, whatever happened to taking our time? Whatever happened to slowly digesting a good read? Whatever happened to Elvis? Is he really dead? Personally, I think he’s on an island somewhere with Steve Jobs and an iPhone 10 giggling his ass off.

But seriously. Is blogging dead? I’m asking again because I forgot what the point of this post was. The GIF above is distracting me. [jambalaya!] Does anyone really read an entire post anymore? [jambalaya!] Like say, any of my incredibly stupid and pointless posts, like this one?  [jambalaya!]

Don’t answer that.

[jambalaya!]

I like to think I’m not one to be sucked into the latest trend of super-short bite-sized social interaction.  I like to think I am above kowtowing to the masses. I’d like to know what kowtowing means.

So I looked back over my posts from over four years ago and I noticed a startling trend with my blogging (ahem) “career”:

  1. My posts got significantly shorter.
  2. My paragraphs got significantly shorter.
  3. My ass got significantly wider, and okay, shorter.

Apparently, reading anything more than 140 characters is like, so 2010. Libraries are dying. Stephen King is enraged more than usual. What does this all mean?

If blogging/writing/reading/thinking is dead, what will I do with my time now? Talk to my cat Mr. Piddles? Tough luck there. He’s got over 10 million followers on YouTube, the smug bastard. Although, for someone who spends an inordinate amount of time covering up his own feces, I am impressed.

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Aw, isn’t he adorbs? I could get lost in his eyes forever…sigh…huh?…..where was I? Oh yeah!

I think it’s time we take back our minds, America! We need to start reading full sentences again! Start thinking for once! Put an end to paying attention to Justin Bieber! Otherwise, our brains are doomed, people! Doomed!

So in the off chance I haven’t lost most of you readers already, here’s a post all about how social media is ruining our minds. Keep in mind, it was written three years ago and in that time I’ve no doubt most of our minds have been completely ruined beyond repair. Anyway, I actually read the article and found it fascinating. Of course, it helped there were a lot of real purty colorful graphics and short bullet point lists or I would have lost interest after the first sentence.

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Do you think reading is dead? Or Elvis?

Do you like to read long or short posts?

Do you like to read?

Do you know how to read?

Is it because you don’t have time?

Or is it because you really do have time, but you’d rather spend it watching this GIF?

stephen colbert animated GIF

Yeahhhhhh…….that’s the stuff…..

I feel so dirty now.

How Blogging Has Changed My Life. Really.

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Maybe it’s because my fourth blogaversary is coming up, but I’m getting sentimental. I’m looking back over the years and thinking about what this blog means to me.

I’ve debated for days how to write this post without coming off as sappy or narcissistic and I’ve realized it’s impossible. Those are the two things I’m good at.

I don’t know about you, but my blog has been an important part of my life. It came at the perfect time. Four years ago I was spending my days posting stupid facebook status updates about the toast I had that morning, feeling like I had no creative outlet.

I was a stay-at-home mom feeling like I had lost touch with the world. Like I had lost my identity along the way. I needed to make connections with others.  I wrote my first post, the mind-blowing “What’s a widget?” received one comment from my cousin in Florida and I was hopelessly hooked

Blogging is like opening up your house for strangers to come in and sift through your medicine cabinet and underwear drawer. It’s very scary to let people in, to be so intimate and vulnerable. What if people judge my granny panties? What if people find out about the prescription strength hemorrhoid cream? (not mine)

Life is all about pushing through those roadblocks of fear. Testing your limits, seeing what you’re made of. Hiding the hemorrhoid cream in a better place next time.

I wasn’t popular as a kid. I wasn’t outgoing. I was painfully shy. And by that I mean other kids would take turns giving me atomic wedgies on the playground.

Oh I was always observing everyone else for sure, because you can pick up a lot about human nature that way. Like figuring out how fast I had to run to avoid being put in a headlock and given a noogie. Thankfully this knack for observing others helps with my writing a little. Except for this paragraph. Oh god I hate it. Just bad bad writing overall. Oh well, too late.

So — surprise, surprise — I had huge insecurities most of my life. I’m in my forties and feel like I’m finally letting most of those go, letting them fall away. I’ve told that negative inner voice to shut the hell up already.

And you know, it feels good. More than good. It feels like I’ve given myself permission to be the true me — the good, the bad, the ugly. I feel FREE.

Here’s a sampling of my inner dialogue/conflict now:

Darla, you are such an idiot.

Shut the hell up.

Darla, your face resembles a Shar Pei. A very old, very wrinkled Shar Pei. Not the good end.

Shut the hell up.

Darla, your ass is droopy. So droopy it’s morphed with your jiggly thighs to become one giant mass of ass. Really, I can’t even tell where one body part ends or begins now.

Shut the hell up.

Darla, your writing sucks. It sucks bad.

Shut the hell up.

See? Seems easy to do, but it took me a long time to get to this point. Go on, try it — tell yourself to shut the hell up for me. You’ll feel like a weight’s been lifted.

How has blogging helped me reach this point? It all comes down to you guys. Every time you take the time out of your busy day at work playing Candy Crush Saga to leave a nice comment, it gives me a positive boost. To be honest, I still can’t believe anyone wants to read my writing at all.

But maybe you don’t want to read my blog.

Maybe you were moving a heavy bookcase by yourself, it tipped over and now you’re lying on the floor trapped underneath a mountain of books. Your smartphone flew out of your pocket and it’s just inches out of your reach. Your pet parrot Mr. Pickles unlatched his cage and swooped down to help because you had spent months teaching him how to call 911. But then he realized you had forgotten to feed him again that morning so instead he angrily pecked at your phone, inadvertently typing the URL address for this blog and now all you can do to pass the time is read this drivel from a distance as the weight of the bookcase slowly crushes your spine into dust while a squawking Mr.Pickles digs his talons deeper into your face and poops on your forehead.

If so, I’m sorry. Next time get a dog.

It’s been four years of blogging and I still don’t really know what I’m doing. But I don’t care anymore, I just go with it. What — you say you could tell by the quality of my posts? Shut up.

So you know how sometimes you feel a little trepidation the moment before you hit ‘publish’ on a post? I used to get anxious posting some things. I’m not sure why.

Now I feel a level of confidence when I write. I’ll never be completely satisfied and that’s not the point for me anymore. When I post I think, Hey, guys! Whassup? Here I am, this is me. And what about you? It’s that basic human connection, that someone out there might “get me”. This is the only reason I blog now. (I’m not sure there was ever any other reason.)

This confidence has spilled over into other areas of my life. I went back to college full time and I’ll graduate as a medical assistant next week. I made the Dean’s List every semester, high honors. Yes, I think I have permission to brag because I studied my giant mass of thigh/ass off.  I start my externship soon at an OB/GYN office and hope to train to become an ultrasound tech.  I’ve done things this year I never thought possible at this stage in my life.

Yes, this is me. Shut up.
Yes, this is me. Shut up.

Was I scared the first day of class when I realized I could be my lab partner’s mother? Hell yeah!

Was I shaking like a leaf the first time I had to draw my lab partner’s blood? Of course! But then, so was my lab partner.

I wanted to quit school so many times, to just give up. Fear was this heavy weight bearing down on me (much like your bookcase and again, I’m sorry) Every semester I wanted to run and hide underneath the covers.

Instead I made a choice to face my fears head on, to allow myself to make mistakes and to be okay with it. I know you might not believe me, but blogging has been a catalyst in this transformation.

By writing again, I’ve found the true me again. She was there all along, buried underneath choking fears and insecurities. (again, poor choice of words but I told you not to buy that large-print copy of War and Peace)

And I really like this new me. She’s all right.

Blogging has changed my life. It’s opened up a door I thought was closed forever.  My creative side is back, I’m writing again.  I’m starting to do things in my life that make me happy.

Me.

After all, I believe it was the great Shakespeare who once said, this life sure as hell ain’t gonna be lived by anyone else. You’re right, it was Oprah.

So thank you.

Thank you for reading all these years.

Thank you to all the other bloggers for constantly writing entertaining posts so I have zero time to write my own freaking posts, you big jerks.

I’ve met some amazing people in the past four years, some I’ve gotten to know online and some in real life. I feel truly lucky and blessed to have ridden this wackadoodle WordPress rollercoaster with you guys. (ridden’s a word right? ah, who cares)

I’ll be posting on my blog much less this year due to my new career sticking people with needles and all, but I’ll still be around now and then. Writing is like breathing for me, without it I’m as good as dead.

And hopefully I won’t ever write another post about writing or blogging again. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Okay, that’s all from here. (too much from here by the looks of my word count, damn!)

Have a great summer guys! See you around. Take care of yourselves. Stop sending me Candy Crush Saga requests on Facebook.

(And I sincerely hope Mr. Pickles finds forgiveness in his tiny heart and dials 911 for you. In the meantime, read War and Peace while you lie there waiting for my next post. I hear it’s a good story.)

 

Become a Blogger in 39 Easy Steps!

Hey kids! Want to become a blogger? It’s easy! Just do the following:

  1. Roll your eyes when blogger friend suggests you start a blog.
  2. Start blog.
  3. Write first post. Make sure it’s short and stupid because you’re certain no one will ever read it.
  4. Get two followers. Ego instantly inflates while at the same time you’re baffled someone willingly wants to read your writing.
  5. Write second post and this time make it way too long but still very stupid.
  6. No new followers. Tell yourself you don’t care. You’re writing for you, not them.
  7. Write third post, mention the Kardashians and add fun colorful images.
  8. Get first comment.
  9. Become obsessed with blogging.
  10. Write posts every other day.
  11. On the days you don’t write posts, think about brilliant ideas for posts.
  12. Think about dumb ideas for posts.
  13. Realize you have no way of differentiating what will be considered dumb or brilliant.
  14. Keep at least a dozen of the lamest posts half-finished in your draft folder in case of emergency.
  15. Write a post about writing or blogging.
  16. Get tons of new followers and more comments. Tell yourself you’re the best thing since microwaved pizza rolls.
  17. Tell spouse blogging will make you rich one day.
  18. Ignore work, chores, spouse, kids and hygiene so you can comment-bomb every blog on WordPress.
  19. Get to know a small circle of other bloggers in “real life”.
  20. Now blog only for the sense of community, not stats.
  21. Re-read older posts and think This is the worst shit I’ve ever read! I suck at writing! I’m a complete sham!
  22. Feel guilty.
  23. Wonder why people keep following blog.
  24. Wonder why you’re still not rich from blogging.
  25. Become jealous of the blogger who went “viral” with a half-assed post you could have written.
  26. Realize most of your followers never actually read anything you write.
  27. Start writing posts simply because you like to write.
  28. Tell yourself, screw the stats!
  29. Check stats.
  30. Weep.
  31. Tell yourself you’re done with blogging forever.
  32. Take blogging break.
  33. Wait for one week.
  34. Get a dumb idea for a post, like “Become a Blogger in 39 Easy Steps!”
  35. Write post because you have no choice, you need that fix.
  36. Hit publish button.
  37. Cry over your plate of microwaved pizza rolls.
  38. Wait for comments while telling yourself you don’t care and you’re done with blogging.
  39. Repeat steps 8 – 39.

 

 

Bloggers Gone (Mainely) Wild

What happens when bloggers get together?

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Last week an amazing thing happened. I met two WordPress bloggers in person.

Yes, bloggers are actually human. They exist in an alternate reality I like to call “real life”. And online relationships can turn into genuine friendships. I know, crazy!

Jules from Go Jules Go and Rachel from Rachel’s Table decided to make the trek up to Maine. Not only to possibly catch a glimpse of Stephen King or enjoy the local cuisine — but to see me.

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My mind reeled as I imagined all the shenanigans we’d enjoy. Maybe we’d visit L.L. Bean’s at 2 am and try on flannel bomber hats while chugging maple lattes! Or we’d have a pajama party and stay up all hours of the night giggling about boys while braiding each other’s hair! (but if one of them even so much as dared hide my bra in the freezer I would go home immediately)

But first, they had to do the seemingly impossible — drive the six hours up 1-95
(aka The Big-ass Pothole Highway to Hell) to reach me.

Unfortunately, their epic adventure was filled with obstacles like horrible winter weather, a flat tire, and a late-night rescue via tow truck somewhere off 1-495 just north of Boston.

They were supposed to be in Maine Thursday night. I got a message from Jules late that night as I sat anxiously by the phone crafting their friendship bracelets. They were stuck on the side of the cold dark highway with a flat tire.

I thought they’d never arrive. Maybe they could hitchhike? Hop on a scooter?  Catch a free ride in the back of a UPS truck?

Fast forward to Friday night — a full 24 plus hours after they had left for Maine — still no blogger peeps. They were trapped in Massachusetts at a repair shop, the victims of endless paperwork and tire rims that had to be “special-ordered”.

I looked wistfully over at my punch bowl full of gin and ginger ale and wept. Why, universe? Why keep us kindred blogger spirits apart? It’s so not fair! Who will drink all this gin? And devour my 50 ft. long Subway with extra pickles?

EAT FRESH!
EAT FRESH!

Well, I would, of course — but it wouldn’t be half as fun without my friends. Maybe more like 10% less fun. I do love my gin and pickles.

But I never lost hope, they would get to this godforsaken frozen hell of a state eventually!

A new day dawned Saturday and they were finally safe and sound in Maine. I booked it to Freeport, giddy that our blogger meet-up was finally becoming reality.

It was so worth all the hassle.

Yay! We're finally together! (I might have already had a hangover in this pic)
Yay! We’re finally together! (I might have already had a hangover in this pic)

We managed to cram a lot of fun into those 24 hours we had together.

We ate food.

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Then we ate more food.

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We laughed while drinking and eating.

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It was pure magic.

Well, until Jules chose not to heed my warning to “never feed the bears” in the L.L. Bean parking lot. She learned her lesson the hard way.

Apparently Mama Bear is on a gluten-free diet.
Apparently Mama Bear is on a gluten-free diet.

Thanks Rache and Jules for everything.  I love you both.

Be sure to visit their extended version of our bloggy meet-up  here at Go Jules Go and here at Rachel’s Table.
(I’m hoping they don’t publish those photos of me drunk with a lamp shade on my head, weeping and belting out “I Will Survive” on karaoke night.)

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Have you ever met any bloggers in real life before? Any blogger meet-ups you’ve got planned for the future?

A Blog by Any Other Name

I remember how challenging it was three years ago when I had to cough up a name for this blog.

Mainly because both She’s Menopausal and She’s a Mean Mofo were already taken.

I picked She’s a Maineiac on a whim and just went with it. At first, I regretted it. Too many vowels, hard to spell, could’ve used a hyphen. Maybe a dollar sign instead of the S.

But it grew on me because it really fit my personality. After all, I’m from Maine. I live in Maine. I’m a she. It was like it was meant to be.

I was recently asked by a WordPress editor: Hey, Darla!  What gives with your blog name? and the result is an interview I did this week for The Daily Post.

daily post

This series spotlights bloggers and details the stories behind their blog names.

As thrilled as I was to do this interview, sadly, my backstory doesn’t involve sex, drugs or rock and roll.  More like an ice hockey team, a couple Advils and a cold cup of coffee.

But please do drop by The Daily Post today to find out why I chose my blog name and not something else more intriguing like She’s A Man.

Click here Choosing the Perfect Blog Name: She’s a Maineiac

How did you guys come up with your blog name? Are you still happy with it?
Did you have any other choices you wished you had gone with instead?

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I want to thank you all for being the best group of readers a Maineiac could ever ask for. I heart you all.

Hopefully, I’ll be back to posting more regularly after my finals-from-hell week is over. (But that’s only if my lab partner doesn’t accidentally sever one of my arteries during our phlebotomy exam today.)

Happy Holidays!

Firsts and Lasts with The Good Greatsby

Have you ever wondered who invented dessert? Or who was Brad Pitt’s body double in Thelma and Louise? Or pondered why Paul McCartney decided to abandon all sense of musical taste and write the song Wonderful Christmastime“?

Well, all these answers and more can be found by visiting the hilarious blog,
The Good Greatsby.

the-good-greatsby

If you’ve been searching for a blogger who’s always witty and entertaining, then Paul is your man. If you’ve been searching for someone to give all your extra cash to — Paul is definitely your man. (He’ll also accept gift cards but please, no personal checks.)

He’s been Freshly Pressed numerous times, he’s a WordPress Recommended Humor blogger and he’s a humor blogger for The Huffington Post.

I know. I’ll have what he’s having. My guess is that’s not really tobacco in his pipe.

67d4fbb9393c077fa9d40657ff176cafHe tackles political satire with ease, Obama Reels in Big, Bigger, Biggest Fish, explains why you should never invite him to your party, Thank You for Inviting Me to the Party. I Apologize for My Behavior at the Party, and occasionally waxes poetic while writing about his favorite celebrity obsession, Vin Diesel, When I Become Famous: The First 24 Hours, although his heart really belongs to Zooey Deschanel, Friday Love Letters.

So what makes Greatsby tick? Who is the man behind that snazzy smoking jacket? Will I be able to sufficiently poke fun at him with my crafty PowerPoint slides? Let’s find out!

FIRST

Blog Post:

Tough Childhood

Love:

I’m not definite I’ve ever been in love. I used to think I fell in love a lot but I once described love to a doctor and he said what I was experiencing was remarkably similar to the symptoms of car sickness. He suggested I stop taking first dates on high-speed drives through winding canyons, and after following his advice I never fell in love again. I also used to think women fell in love with me a lot, but it turns out they were just frightened to death at my driving, and that their trembling hands, wide eyes, pale faces and shrieks were more likely symptoms of terror and not love. Love is complicated.

Childhood Memory:

For some reason I don’t remember the exact moment of being born, but I do remember my parents arguing with the hospital staff about the bill and thinking, Uh-oh, Mom and Dad are cheap. Looks like I’ll be going to a state college.

Why, Mommy and Daddy? WHYYYYY?
Why, Mommy and Daddy? WHYYYYY?

Moment I met my significant other:

I was sitting on a bus with a bag of groceries on my lap. The bag broke and an avocado rolled down the aisle until finally resting against a woman’s black high heel. Prada. Spring collection. The woman reached down to pick up the avocado and when she turned back to look at me I found myself locking eyes with the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I stood and slowly made my way across the bus, never breaking eye contact. I put out my hand. “I believe you have my avocado.” She smiled, raised the avocado up to her face, gave it a squeeze and said, “You’ve picked a ripe one.” As if on cue the bus jerked to the side, and in one smooth motion she fell into my arms, my lips brushed her ear, and I whispered, “I always pick the ripest produce.” She shivered. And then she shivered again. And then I realized it was actually my cell phone vibrating. Embarrassed, I turned my back as I took the call, which was my brother asking if he could set me up with his wife’s cousin. That wife’s cousin turned out to be my future wife and I first met her the following Friday after I pulled up in my car and she came out the front door of her grandparents’ house.

Possession I would take my house were on fire:

The vortex invasion pod in my basement, because the aliens were very clear that the vortex invasion pod should never catch on fire or the universe would implode. Also that it shouldn’t get wet. Also that I should stop hanging laundry on it.

Job I had:

Loose change collector. Every day, starting when I was about five, I would search under couch cushions or in the pockets of coats hanging in the closet or under the seat of my dad’s car. The pay wasn’t great, the benefits were non-existent, but the hours were flexible.

Time I got pulled over by a cop:

I’ve only been pulled over once. The police officer said I’d entered the turning lane too early, but my very reasonable explanation fell on deaf ears. I grew suspicious of his motives when he saw my driver’s license and failed to compliment my photo. And that’s when I realized what I was up against: handsomeness discrimination. Sometimes cops see a handsome man passing and think, That looks like a guy who needs to be taken down a notch. This is why I gave up driving, because I wasn’t willing to give up being handsome.

A still-handsome Greatsby's  new mode of ultra-groovy transportation.
A still-handsome Greatsby’s new mode of ultra-groovy transportation.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates:

“Don’t tell me who won the Super Bowl. I’ve got it on DVR but I’ve been absolutely swamped. Also, why is Kim Kardashian famous?”

LAST

Blog Post: When I Was a Kid, Things Were Tough

Thing I cooked:

Pad Thai. I make this pretty regularly and it’s usually good, but I tried something new and the result was too spicy. As we sat down for dinner and our eyes watered and throats burned, I told my sons if they learn one lesson from this meal it’s that you should never, ever try anything new in life. Find a bunch of comfortable behaviors, ideas, and habits at a young age and spend the rest of your life angrily refusing to see life from any other perspective.

Movie I saw:

Doctor Zhivago—the 2002 British edition with Keira Knightley. You should see this. But not with anyone who hates Keira Knightley. Why do so many women dislike Keira Knightley?

(editor's note: I think it's her hat. No...on second thought, it's everything else about her.)
(editor’s note: I think it’s her hat. No…on second thought, it’s everything else about her.)

Song I listened to:

We Are the People by Empire of the Sun. I’ve heard this song hundreds of times just this year. You could walk up to me at any moment and ask what was the last song I listened to and there’s a good chance the last song was We Are the People.

Book I read:

Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

untitled (14)

Reality TV show I watched:

We don’t get American TV here in China so I don’t have regular access to reality shows. But a friend’s laptop was stolen from his apartment and he asked me to translate as he spoke to the security guards, and when we viewed the CCTV footage of the previous 24 hours and all the comings and goings of his apartment complex, and watched most of it in fast forward, it was the most compelling reality show I’d ever seen. Seriously. I’d watch that show again.

Person I kissed:

This answer has changed so many times in the last couple weeks. I kept putting off finishing this interview until the last person I kissed was really impressive. Unfortunately the only celebrity I met in the past few weeks was Joe Montana, and although he was definitely giving me signals, the timing never felt quite right.

Slide1

Time I cried:

At the end of Doctor Zhivago—the 2002 British edition with Keira Knightley. If you didn’t cry, what’s wrong with you?

Time I laughed hysterically:

Yesterday. I was doing a voice recording for a hospitality training manual. The script made multiple references to “duties” and “the duties of a duty manager” and that “the duty manager has to be attentive to his employees’ duties.” I know it’s juvenile but I giggled like a schoolgirl. I never giggle. I hate to even write the word giggle. But I giggled every single time.

Time I told a little white lie:

Once I gave away the children’s puppy. I was taking him for a walk and a man stopped his bike and said, “I like your puppy.” And I said, “Take him. He’s yours,” and placed Mr. Lunch in the bike basket. When I returned home I told my sons that Mr. Lunch was on vacation. Almost nine years later and they still look out the window and ask when Mr. Lunch will be back from vacation. Hilarious.

Time I swore like a sailor:

A couple days ago when I argued with my cell phone provider. International coverage in my plan had somehow expired without my knowledge and I was charged about $200 for 3 calls to the US at a rate of about $1.75 a minute. The conversation was in Chinese but the swear words were in English. (Note: Initially I misread the question as “Time I swore at a sailor”. That would be a great question. A lot of my favorite comedy ideas come from misreading things.)

Slide1

Good deed I did:

I flirt with a lot of married women right in front of their husbands. This might not seem like charity in the biblical sense, but when your husband sees me write my number on your hand, his jealousy is going to make him treat you right for at least two weeks. You’re welcome. (And don’t worry, I didn’t write my real number. It’s the number of a marriage counselor. I get a small referral commission.)

Indulgence:

I bought myself really expensive skinny jeans, so skinny they couldn’t even be seen with the naked eye.

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Thanks for playing along, Greatsby! The 50 cent coupon for a single serving size of Totino’s Party Pizza is in the mail. (unless it gets “lost” on the way to China)