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Be A Part Of FaceToHeel

I am a senior writer for FaceToHeel.com, a newly launched site that covers all things wrestling.  Over the past couple months, we’ve covered some amazing topics, met some great people via Twitter at @facetoheel, and learned a hell of a lot along the way.  We’ve live tweeted PPVs, posted instant feedback after matches, and have found new ways of looking at the business of wrestling entertainment.  Little by little, we are growing and expanding in our efforts to cover and discuss more about what is going on currently, what’s happened in the past, and what the future might bring.

In an effort to get to know our readers better, I have a challenge for all of you.  When a wrestler debuts, there are a couple of things that can immediately determine their success; what they are wearing and what music they walk out to.  I’m not all that interested in fashion at the moment, but I have always been fascinated at how a song can influence the way the audience views a wrestler.  Just like we tend to judge people based on the music they listen to, we judge a wrestler by the music they enter the arena to.  WWE’s Dean Ambrose becomes even more unstable and manic, Jack Swagger turns into the ultimate patriot, Adam Rose is a wacky joke, and The Miz is a conceited prick.  TNA’s Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are the ultimate drama queens, Mr. Anderson is a man on a mission, and Chris Melendez is an American hero.

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Eventually, certain songs become iconic.  The car crash before Mick Foley’s song hits, the breaking glass signaling the entrance of Stone Cold, the ringing of the bells welcoming Undertaker; we all instantly and almost uncontrollably react.  When Real American starts to play, thousands of fans promise to take their vitamins as they cheer for Hulk Hogan.  If CM Punk’s opening riff ever rings out again, half of the world will entirely lose their minds.  We may not always realize it, but entrance music is vital to a wrestler’s success and their lasting power.

On that note, have you ever thought about what your entrance music would be?  Imagine you’re about to debut on Impact Wrestling or on Monday Night Raw.  You’re in your full gear and ready to go.  You stretch a bit, staring ahead at the curtain, just waiting to break through into that massive arena filled with screaming fans.  Finally, you hear your music hit.  What song would it be?

If you have a great answer and you would like to be featured in a FaceToHeel.com article, please contact me immediately at cutelypoisoned@gmail.com or on Twitter at @_CutePoison.  Your answer will be used in an upcoming article and you will be credited by your Twitter handle, your Facebook page, or another social media outlet of your choosing.  Depending on the response, there is an opportunity for the best answer to get their own feature article.  Please reach out as soon as possible for details and questions.  We at F2H have been doing a lot of talking lately; now it’s your turn to speak!

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Talented

Capture

My husband told me about this quote earlier today and it made me smile like an idiot.  In the last few months, I’ve seen royalty checks from my ebooks (under a pen name; don’t bother asking what it is) and I’ve finally had money hit my bank account directly from this blog.  I ended up using those funds for groceries and Christmas gifts, but it was money earned off of my writing all the same that helped put food on the table and gave me a cushion so I wasn’t worried about rent or other bills.  I have been getting paid to spout of nonsense and I couldn’t be happier.

Writing has always been a passion of mine.  While I often stumble in conversations or in any public speaking scenario, my thoughts always flow freely when my fingers are dancing across a keyboard.  I used to make money in college by writing papers for other students; what took them hours was 20 minutes of easy work for me.  I always got As in English classes and could bullshit my way through any test with essay questions.  My parents used to task me to write poems for family members for various occasions; one of my poems scored me an A in drama class for a dramatic read, and it was also the last time I ever shared my poetry with anyone.  Writing can be very personal for me or a means to an end, but either way it makes me feel passion and makes me feel alive.

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I am by no means trying to say I’m a huge talent, a big success, or anything else along those lines.  I’m just some chick with a blog who went and threw a couple of ebooks on Amazon and hoped to not be crucified by the general public.  I have no idea what I’m doing and no idea what the hell I’ll do in the future outside of continuing to put words to paper in one place or another.  As much as I’d love to turn my passion into my career, I don’t know what avenue to pursue, how to start, or even if I possess enough talent to be noticed.  The money I’ve made over the past few months is amazing, but it’s hardly enough to keep my family and I afloat.

Before you suggest it, I am not fishing for any compliments here.  I know my level of talent and I know how it stacks up against others.  I know that people with less talent than me go on to be wildly successful and people more talented than me stay hidden in the shadows.  I have no desire to be famous, but I do desire success.  My gift is the ability to tell a story, be it 500 words of whining about my day or thousands of words about a personal experience or a dream I wish was reality.  No gift should be wasted, so I’m determined to do something with mine.

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I was recently inspired by others to do something myself.  I need to start taking some actual steps.  Submitting articles.  Looking for freelance work.  Being pushy.  No one is more critical of my writing than I am, so I feel confident that I can create some quality material to put out in the world and earn a buck or two off of.  And hopefully down the line, maybe five years from now or maybe fifteen, I can leave behind the job I do for money and put my focus into a job I do for love.

2012 Blogging In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  I thought it was pretty darn cool, so I’m posting this preview and a link.  If you blog with WordPress as well, I encourage you to go read your report and see how you did in 2012!  They also give you the option to blog your results, which does 98% of the work for you.  Enjoy!

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Short Fuse

I have a tendency to internally fly off the handle at what some people would call minor annoyances. Sometimes, when driving alone in the car or in the privacy of my own home, I’ll vocalize my annoyance as a way to make myself feel better or because the absurdity of the situation makes it impossible not to react. While out shopping, I’ve found myself muttering things to my husband under my breath about other patrons, half hoping they hear what I say and adjust their behavior. The rules on reacting are quite different when in a professional environment, however, and my road rage coping techniques won’t exactly fly in my office. Because of this, I’ve had to find other ways of dealing with annoying coworkers.

Here are a few of my favorites. These are ways to deal with the types of annoyances that aren’t violating company policies and aren’t a big enough issue to complain to human resources or your supervisor about, BUT still get under your skin and disrupt your workday. Please feel free to add your own techniques in the comments section:

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1. Headphones are your friend. Between people using nail clippers at their desk, loudly gossiping with others in person or on the phone, eating loudly, or creating another type of noise pollution, I often find myself incredibly distracted and annoyed by what is going on around me. It’s not impossible for me to concentrate while someone loudly clears phlegm from their throat every thirty seconds, but it makes it quite difficult. My iPod is a lifesaver. I can’t fix other people and I don’t want to be that person who whines to the boss about people cracking their gum. By blocking it out, I’m avoiding the nonsense without causing friction between myself and my coworkers. When I can’t use it, I play music through my computer speakers. It allows me to focus on the music rather than the noise around me.

2. Take a walk. Work can be stressful, be it because of your coworkers or due to customers who make you wonder if common sense has become a myth. Perhaps your stress is coming from a slow computer or malfunctioning printer. Maybe you got in a fight with a loved one prior to coming to work and the stress of the argument is sticking to you like glue, causing you to be overly sensitive. Whatever the reason for your stress is, a brief walk and change of scenery can do wonders for your mood. Use the excuse of needing a bathroom break if you aren’t able to escape your desk without reason. The simple act of walking through a doorway cues your brain to refresh itself, which can leave the stress behind and allow you to return to your duties in a much better state.

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3. Vent away. I’m a big fan of using Twitter as a way of saying the things I want to say out loud but can’t. If you’re a regular visitor to my site, you know about my coworker from hell, nicknamed “not-Paula Deen” or “Tubberpottimus.” I am able to tolerate more because I can grab my phone and fire off a comment or two in order to make myself feel better. It also helps to have other people respond to me who are also dealing with the same thing at their jobs. I’m not suggesting you violate any company policies by utilizing sites that aren’t allowed or using your phone when you aren’t permitted, but using social media to vent can and will help you cope. If you’re offline at work, type it in a word document, scratch it on a notepad, call a friend on lunch break, or anything else that allows you to vent your frustrations and move on.

4. Get busy. There is almost always work to be done somewhere in the office, just lying in wait in the hopes that someone will come along and tackle it. Why not have that someone be you? When you’re immersed in work, it’s easy to develop a tunnel vision of sorts that allows you to unconsciously block out the annoyances around you. As I typed that last sentence, it took someone multiple tries to get my attention because I was so focused on what I was doing. Request to be assigned to special projects, assist coworkers you enjoy with their tasks, or go organize the supply room. Just find something that will require your full concentration and allow you to build an invisible wall between you and your misbehaving colleagues.

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5. Find an ally. There is always going to be someone in the office who shares your views and is equally frustrated with things in the workplace. If you’re lucky enough to find this person and if you’re lucky enough to know for sure that they are a trustworthy person, take advantage! I am thankful that I have a handful of people in my office who see “not-Paula Deen” for the monster she is and who can sympathize with me and make me laugh about uncomfortable situations. It can be something as simple as having someone who shares your dislike for loud eaters; simply knowing you’re not alone and being able to do something as small as share a glance with someone can ease the situation and make things more bearable.

6. Look busy. Maybe you’re not overwhelmed with work or maybe you’re just feeling unmotivated today. Whatever the reason, you’re not pressed for time or closing in on any deadlines. You are now a target for the overly chatty coworker who just has to tell you about their wild weekend or what their kids have been up to. Rather than be the rude person in the office who dismisses people abruptly, be the person who cares but needs to get back to work. Keep a binder or folder handy that you can grab and begin to sort through, have spreadsheets open on your desktop, or grab the phone and dial up your cell phone to fake an important call. They will eventually either get the hint or begin to think of you as the hardest working person in the office. Either way, they leave you in peace.

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7. Laugh it off. I have a coworker who gets frustrated with an area lead who constantly interrupts others during weekly meetings. Rather than be miserable about the minutes he keeps tacking onto the meeting with his constant interjections, she has made a game out of it. Sometimes she’ll play hangman with his interruptions, drawing another body part every time he does it. Other times she’ll draw doodles of his angry face as he tries to make a point. The action itself isn’t important as long as it allows you to quietly laugh away whatever is bothering you. Even if you let loose a giggle at your desk, you’re still keeping things to yourself and dealing with the annoyance in a way that doesn’t disturb anyone else.

8. Sympathize. There is always a chance that the annoying gossip in your office is so focused on the personal lives of others because their own personal life is incredibly dismal and sad. It doesn’t make their trash talking okay, but it does explain why they do it so frequently. Taking a minute to understand that people may be acting poorly because of some sort of personal issues outside of work can allow you to become less annoyed at their behaviors. “Not-Paula Deen’s” gossip has become no more than a distant whisper to me because I’ve seen how awful her personal life truly is. I don’t agree with her behavior, but understanding that she’s miserable most of the time has allowed me to stop being aggravated when I catch her talking about me.

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9. Put them in their place. “Not-Paula Deen” asked me via email to count the number of people on a spreadsheet for her. It was a silly request; the spreadsheet had a total of about 130 people on it, half of which needed to be tallied, and it was something she could do herself in less than five minutes. I will help anyone who needs it, but I won’t allow anyone to treat me like a subordinate when they’re not my boss. I politely told her where to find the spreadsheet as well as emailed it to her so she could count it. She ended up pushing the issue and my actual boss told her to do it herself. Don’t be afraid to politely decline to do menial tasks for people who are feeling a bit power-hungry and wish to make you into their personal slave. Even saying “I don’t think my supervisor wants me assigned to that task, sorry,” will suffice.

10. Look in the mirror. Are you just as guilty as the people in your workplace who you can’t stand? Do you click your pen in and out a hundred times while trying to solve a problem? Is your phone always on speaker with the volume cranked? Sometimes the best way to combat bad behavior is to lead by example. By making yourself a pleasant and polite person, someone people love to work with and be around, you can influence the behavior of others. Whether coworkers are motivated by jealousy of your praise or by admiration of your demeanor and behavior, any steps they take to cut down on annoying habits can be considered a victory. Even if they don’t change, you can at least be proud of yourself for rising above.

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Hashtag Subtweet

One of my favorite things about social media, blogging, and other areas of the internet where one can say virtually anything is the freedom it gives me to be uncensored and to air out my frustrations without running the risk of offending or harming anyone.  In theory anyway.  One of the bigger ways this is done by myself and many other people is by using the sometimes loved and often hated subtweet.  Let’s be honest; we all have at least one friend who tends to rub us the wrong way on a regular basis.  They can be frustrating and push you to the point where you have to say something.  Rather than confront them directly, a vague tweet can get that frustration out without offending the person.  Is it immature?  Sure, but it’s almost a guarantee that the person you’re referring to is hardly the picture of maturity themselves.  I also find it healthier to be a bit immature and calm as opposed to being 100% mature and 100% frustrated.

The thing about a subtweet is that it only has the power to offend you if you are either feeling guilty or actually are guilty of whatever behavior or characteristic is being referenced.  If someone posts a tweet about people who complain about their job and how sad they are, I’m likely going to feel a pang of guilt because I vent quite a bit about my job and my crazy coworkers.  If someone posts a tweet about being stuck up or being trashy, I feel nothing because it doesn’t apply to me.  I exploded last night over a handful of people posting about a character death on The Walking Dead (which I have yet to watch because Dexter is on at the same time, so it’s currently sitting on the DVR).  The only people it had the power to anger were those who let loose with show details in a careless manner.

If you are offended when I talk about dishonest people or shallow attention seekers, chances are you fit the description and are annoyed that it’s not going unnoticed.  If that is the case, why waste time being angry at me?  Perhaps your time is better spent looking in the mirror and trying to figure out what it is about your actions and personality that caused you to take my comment about liars as a personal attack.  The fact that you’re taking it personally is a clear sign that you’re aware of your fault(s).  I’m sorry that you’re frustrated about your transparency, but I’m not sorry for pointing out your flaw(s).  I’m not responsible for you feeling guilty about something, I’m not responsible for you instantly assuming you were the worthless person I was referring to, and I’m not responsible for you getting all kinds of cranky about it.

One interesting thing about subtweeting is how difficult it is to escape.  Even those who find it appalling, immature, and juvenile will do it now and then.  Whether they are complaining about habitual subtweeters or about something more specific, it’s almost a guarantee that somewhere on their timeline, you’ll find a vague complaint about a person or group of people that was posted out of frustration and with a little bit of hope that the right person would read it and take a hint.  It’s always funny to see a subtweet about how annoying and immature subtweeting is, but it goes to show you how easy it is to let one slip out of frustration.

I completely agree that it’s immature and can be very annoying.  It’s an obnoxious thing to do and doesn’t properly address any problem existing between the person making the statement and the person or people it affects.  That being said, it’s not a behavior I plan on stopping and it’s not one I will apologize for.  It’s incredibly therapeutic for me to be able to use Twitter as an outlet to vent about certain wastes of human life or about good people who sometimes do dumb things.  It also does not have the power to harm anyone unless they allow it to do so; I’m unaffected by someone’s comment about obnoxious people so long as I choose to ignore it or choose to decide that it does not apply to me.

One thing I find particularly hilarious is when I’ll make a comment about a less desirable personality trait with a certain person in mind and it ends up ticking off a completely different person that wasn’t even on my radar.  It happens more than it should, making me wonder why these people think they are always on my mind and are always the subject matter of my comments.  Do they really think they’re that important, or are they just feeling bad about their behavior and getting annoyed that what I say applies to them?  It’s even better when they first react, then go into “I don’t care” mode to try to play it off.  If you don’t care, why react at all?

A subtweet only has the power to hurt you if you give it permission to do so.  If you’re not cheating on your girlfriend, a comment about cheaters can’t hurt you and isn’t aimed at you.  If you’re not a drama queen, you have no reason to pay attention to tweets insulting people who are.  It’s embarrassingly simple.  By overreacting to subtweets, even if they are aimed at you, you’re only succeeding in drawing attention to yourself and giving everyone watching the impression that you are indeed guilty of the bad behavior referenced.

I’m not going to stop commenting on whoever I want to comment about, people in general aren’t going to stop subtweeting or posting cryptic things elsewhere, and we’re never going to find a way to stop getting offended over comments, regardless of whether or not they are directed at us.  The only sensible things to do are to either cut people out of your life, or when that isn’t possible, ignore them and honestly laugh off their nonsense.  Don’t post back “Oh, you’re so clever. #WhoCares” as it clearly shows you do care.  You have to stop caring and let their jabs fly over your head.  By not allowing them to affect you and by letting it breeze by you, you take away their power and you become the bigger person.

I’m not writing this from atop my high horse; I have engaged in petty subtweet wars and allowed comments from people to get under my skin.  I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of certain bad behaviors.  That said, I’m not currently steaming mad because some dumbass is complaining on Twitter about people with kids always being too busy to hang out.  Sure, it applies to me, but is it worth caring about?  Do I really want to associate with someone who thinks I’d be a better friend if I dump my kid off at any place possible so I can hit the town and get drunk?  The best decision is to make these types of people invisible.  And with this blog, I officially make the worst offender of the above behavior an invisible and voiceless being.  You won’t be missed.

The Unknown

Courtesy of a free Redbox rental promo, I picked up The Unknown for my husband and I to watch and hopefully be terrified by.  The Unknown is an original anthology series from Crackle, starring Dominic Monaghan as an anonymous blogger who works to delve into events of the supernatural, the strange, and the controversial.  The series was created by Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy) with individual episodes directed by Sam Nicholson (The Walking Dead), Kevin Connolly (Entourage), and Martha Coolidge (Real Genius).  There are six stand alone episodes in The Unknown, with Monaghan’s character as the only constant between them.

Monaghan makes for a strange character, seeming to live a very secluded life in his apartment and communicating mostly online anonymously.  His walls are littered with newspaper and magazine clippings and his furniture is buried under books.  He does receive visitors on occasion, as shown in “Prime Cut” where the restaurant blogger pays him a visit so that he may sample the unique cuisine, but the visit is obviously not personal as it is related to his research and his possible obsession.

For the most part, the characters in the separate chapters are pretty compelling.  I will admit, the first story “Relapse” did not succeed in drawing me in as I wanted it to, leaving me wondering if I had made a mistake in renting this movie.  It was confusing at times, jumping from the past to the present and not really establishing how one thing related to the next.  It quickly became apparent though, when the female lead was forced to face her past and discover who she truly is.  The stories melded together and then we were on to the next.  “Yesterday” featured a frightened husband who seems to be spying on his family from outside of the house by utilizing nanny cams.  He rushes inside to help his family after seeing a hooded figure threatening the pair inside.  What he eventually discovers is quite shocking but also something that could potentially happen in the real world, unlike the preceding story where you have to believe the unbelievable.

Once we got to “Prime Cut,” this series had my full attention.  The chef and owner of a local high-end restaurant is naturally stressed when a popular food blogger comes in, especially since the blogger is known for his scathing reviews.  In his haste to please, the chef accidentally puts something in his ceviche that doesn’t belong.  He leaves his station long enough for a female sous chef to finish the dish and send the tainted ceviche to the blogger.  To their surprise, the blogger loves it and posts a rave review.  Fast forward to three months later, and the chef and owner is accused of being a one trick pony.  He and his female assistant attempt to alter their secret ingredient, resulting in failure.  Realizing they have to stick to the original is where this chapter takes a turn into skin-crawling and gory territory.  This is definitely one of the best chapters.

In “Life Sentence,” we see the typical prison situation that we see in films.  After a horrific murder scene, a new inmate is introduced to the prison and placed across from a prisoner scheduled for release in a week.  The new prisoner, like many, proclaims his innocence.  Unlike others, he blames his current situation on demonic forces.  This chapter was interesting, if not slightly predictable.  My main complaint is that the graphics and effects used on the evil forces were pretty terrible.  Had they kept it subtle, they would have been golden, but they instead chose to add odd elements to the demons that made them comical rather than scary.

“Spare The Child” begins with a devastating tsunami that wipes out almost an entire village.  A visiting man comes to next to the dead body of a young girl.  He begs a local villager to save her and the villager agrees, gathering what look like orange cherry tomatoes from the brush and reviving the dead girl.  His assistance comes with a price and at first, the man is willing to pay; he is able to create a miracle pharmaceutical drug from one of the mysterious berries he took with him.  Due to interference from his wife, the man is unable to keep his promise to the villager.  The price he had to pay was high and the end was not what I expected at all.

We end with “Privacy Settings” which begins with a seemingly entitled woman who thrives on feeling important.  It’s not long before a hacker worms his (or her) way into her life.  Her job requires that she maintain a positive public image, something her new stalker seems determined to destroy.  Her webcam is one of the private things in her life that is hacked, something that has been in the news recently as a problem due to malicious software, so her stalker is able to spy on her in the privacy of her home.  The end result of the work of her stalker is shocking and sad.

Overall, there were enough elements in the series to keep me interested.  You can watch The Unknown trailer here:  http://www.crackle.com/c/The_Unknown or just look it up on YouTube.  If you look on YouTube or on Crackle’s site, you can watch the single episodes.  “Prime Cut,” “Spare The Child,” and “Privacy Settings” are the must watch episodes; the other three are decent but feel free to skip over them if you don’t want to watch it in its entirety as I did.  It was a nice addition to our Halloween movie playlist and “Prime Cut” succeeded in grossing me out today at lunch as I ate my pizza and the cheese slipped off and it reminded me of… well, go see for yourself.

A Bit Of Promotion

My husband can do more with the English language than I could ever dream of.  I often delete blogs of my own because he beats me to the punch and posts about the subject better than I ever could.  Find him here:  http://theearthtourist.com/

Reality television generally shows us backstabbing, drama, and people being generally awful.  Ben Starr defied that on Masterchef and is one of the sweetest and most genuine people to ever grace my TV screen.  His blog is here:  http://benstarr.com/blog/

Does the thought of an angry woodchuck intrigue you?  Please check out my favorite commenter and a person wildly more intelligent than me when it comes to politics and many other things.  His blog is here: http://angrywoodchucksblog.com/

Are you a fan of horror?  Isn’t everyone?  If you’re ever curious about whether or not a film is worth checking out or you just want to see what someone else thought of a movie, go here:  http://horrorbore.com/

I just recently began following this blog because the author left a couple of comments on my page.  Very glad I chose to give it a follow.  Check out Thomas for yourself and see what you think:  http://btkh03.wordpress.com/

And finally, some self promotion.  Kind of.  Follow me on Twitter here:  http://twitter.com/_cutepoison  I’m a bit vulgar at times, so be warned.

…from HELL

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled onto a wonderful blog called Flights From Hell.  Prior to 9/11 I was a huge fan of flying; my first flight was at age 11 on a trip to Disney World and I was amazed by the entire process.  Since the flight was from Hartford, CT, it was long enough for us to be served both a meal and a snack for the flight there and back.  It was the coolest thing to me and meeting the pilot cemented my status as the most awesome kid on that plane.  Prior to that, I loved being able to walk all the way to the gate to greet relatives arriving from out of the country.  My love of flying continued until my late teens.

It started to get sketchy in my early 20s when I took a flight from Georgia to Connecticut to visit a good friend.  Security was insane; I arrived four hours early for my flight and was stuck in a security line for 90 minutes.  After sending my belt and shoes through and having my belongings checked, I proceeded to the gate for boarding.  The flight wasn’t delayed but my fellow passengers weren’t in the best of spirits and made the boarding process a nightmare with their large carry-0ns that I assume they brought to avoid the checked bag fee.  Although the flight was long, we didn’t get a meal; it was fine with me who brought snacks but others were quite displeased.

The next time I set foot on a plane was on a trip from Indianapolis to New Orleans with my husband.  We were flying down to visit friends before boarding our Carnival cruise ship for a seven day excursion.  We arrived early to avoid the annoyances and had a fairly typical flight down.  On the way back, we foolishly spent the night prior to our fight on Bourbon St. and I honestly suspect our shot girl gave us something extra with our test tube shots because we both became very ill.  We slept in the airport, broke and tired and miserable.

Upon checking our bags we realized both were about 8 pounds overweight between the two of them and we would be charged an arm and a leg to check them.  We trashed a lot of items, grabbed clothing and began layering, and crammed things into our carry-on to make our weight under 50 pounds.  Once that was done, we boarded and sat miserably waiting for our small cup of soda and tiny bag of peanuts.  Once we collected our bags, we found that a couple of items from our cruise had been broken during transport, one being a bottle of rum in my husband’s bag (which had been safely packed and cushioned by the folks on Carnival) so his clothes all smelled lovely.  We haven’t been back on a plane since.

While reading through stories on Flights From Hell, I was delighted to discover that they have a sister site, Dinners From Hell.  As a former bartender, server, and drive-thru expert, I was incredibly excited about this site and it truly has become my favorite blog out there.  The site’s owner was nice enough to post one of my stories, of which I have many, and also linked my story back to this blog.  While some of us out there don’t do a lot of traveling and may not be able to relate to Flights From Hell, I guarantee that everyone has had at least one bad dining experience and can definitely get a lot of fun out of Dinners From Hell.

The site takes stories from diners, cooks, servers, and other restaurant personnel.  As any server can tell you, waiting tables can be a thankless job.  Waiting on patrons who treat you as a slave rather than a person, unruly children who treat their food as finger paints or projectiles, people who will complain about anything they can find, and horrible tippers are just a few of the negatives that come with that job.  As a diner, you get servers with bad attitudes, dirty restaurants or horrible food, fellow diners who seem set out to ruin your dining experience, and incredibly long wait times when there is no reason for it.

Both of the From Hell sites are truly great reads and I highly recommend you check out both of them, comment on stories, and submit your own if you’ve got one (and I know you do).  Even the not-so-hot stories are fun to read due to the hilarious comments that follow from regular visitors of the blogs.  I don’t often recommend a site outside of those I’m very familiar with, such as my husband’s site or ones of close friends, so take the fact that I’m putting my stamp of approval on these two as my way of saying you’d be a fool not to check them out!  Enjoy, and you can thank me later!

Doing Me

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, back when MySpace mattered, I conducted a bit of an experiment.  A friend had forwarded me a link to the MySpace profile of a woman who blogged every day without fail and who had quite a large following.  After a couple weeks of reading her material, I realized that while she did attract a lot of attention, she wasn’t a very talented writer, nor was she overly interesting or funny.  She was a pretty ordinary woman who happened to have a great number of admirers, as well as a group of haters, which resulted in hundred of comments on each of her blogs.  I figured if this woman could make people interested in her, so could I.  I spent a few minutes each day inviting people to my blog which I posted every day during the work week.  The more people I invited to view what I wrote, the larger my following grew.  It was a pretty easy process.

As quickly as I built it up, I let it fall apart.  Rather than be something I enjoyed, it became a chore.  I felt obligated to get on there daily and post something, whether I felt like writing or not.  I felt obligated to act as though I liked the people who read and commented, even though a great deal of them meant nothing to me and some were downright obnoxious.  I succeeded in gaining a following but losing the fun in blogging.

The whole reason I started the blog, and the reason I began doing it in the first place was because I desired an outlet, somewhere to pour out my thoughts and ease the pressure on my mind.  I write for me and no one else.  I don’t care if this is read by 1 person or 100 people and I don’t care if anyone likes or dislikes it.  I’m not an author and I’m not selling my words.  I have a project I’m currently working on that I do plan on publishing and (hopefully) getting a bit of cash for, but this blog isn’t it.  It’s dreadfully easy to gain popularity for a blog, as I found out, but it’s just not for me.

During my time on WordPress, I’ve received offers in various forms from people to read and comment on my blog if I will also please read and comment on theirs, the goal being to gain enough popularity to be featured on the homepage.  The furthest I’ve ever gotten with those offers is reading a single post from the person.  So far, no one has caught my interest or seemed worthwhile, and I’d rather have my words go unread than have to waste my time reading drivel in order to earn a comment and a blog hit.  The moment a person stops writing for themselves is the moment they fail as a writer.  I’ve seen it happen to numerous authors; they begin writing shit just to push books out faster and appease their fans, making more money but losing the care that previously went into their work, the care that made it worth reading.  The same thing happens with some musicians.  Perhaps I’m a bit crazy, but I’d rather write what I want to write and be the only one that sees it than write garbage that I don’t care about and have it read by millions.  But that’s just me.

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