Cake Wrecks' Jen Yates in Dallas.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I went to see, Jen Yates, who writes the ever-brilliant Cake Wrecks blog. She was in town promoting her new book, which you should buy. It includes some old favorites but also lots of never-before-seen wrecks. Buy it through this website and I make a few pennies on the sale. Nothin' wrong with that. I don't shill what I don't genuinely love and I genuinely love the blog and the book.
So anyway, since I went to the book signing and wrote the story that never ran, I decided to air it here, along with an e-mail interview I did with Jen.
A Cake Wrecks book is icing on Jen Yates' cake
Nobody is more surprised than Jen Yates by the success of her Cake Wrecks blog.
It all started when her husband John signed them both up for a cake decorating class as Christmas present. “He thought it was one night, but it was 16 weeks,” said Yates, speaking before a standing room-crowd at Legacy Books in Plano on Saturday. “Sixteen weeks of togetherness,” she added with a grin.
In May 2008, a friend e-mailed Yates, who lives in Orlando, Fla., the first Cake Wreck photo (“…Under Neat that….”) A few hours later, Yates launched the blog she thought would entertain just family and friends. By July, she had hundreds of visitors daily. Within months, book publishers were contacting her. She turned them down. “I said, ‘You guys are really desperate.’”
Finally, though, she agreed. Now Cake Wrecks (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $12.99) is in book stores and the blog gets about 75,000 views and 50 submissions daily. Although, Yates says, “not all of them are carrot-jockey quality.” And that made her fans laugh.
Cake Wrecks fans know their Wrecks and most have a favorite.
“The Darth Vader baby shower cake,” said Rachael Hilst of Carrolton, who purchased two books for Yates to sign—one to keep and one for a friend.
“I like the misspellings,” said Jessa Waterman of Frisco, who wore a Cake Wrecks “I want sprinkles,” T-shirt.
Stephanie Ellis of Denton is partial to “mini hot dog riding a poo wave" because it was her submission, photographed at her local Kroger. That was a good week, she said. First her Wreck was accepted, then her boyfriend Kyle Bradbury—also at the event—proposed.
Though technical difficulties at Legacy killed her slide show, Yates wasn’t rattled. “I’m here, you’re here, there’s cake here, so we’ve got a party,” she said, and instead took questions from the crowd, proving to be as funny in person as on her blog.
She cited photo cakes as a trend on the wane. “I think people realized it’s a little odd eating someone’s face.” She reported that, “Some bakeries have told me they flat-out refuse to make cupcake cakes now.” She said she sometimes hears from moms who confess that they’re disappointed when their child’s birthday cake comes out perfect. And advising the betrothed couple on avoiding a wedding cake wreck, she said they should have it delivered early and, “Don’t have your Aunt Nancy give it a whirl.”
Before people lined up for autographs and some chocolate cake supplied by Bronwen Weber at Frosted Art Bakery, it was time for the cupcake contest—miniature “Wreckplicas” on cupcakes. From about 15 entries, Yates selected three finalists. The winner, chosen by audience applause, was “Push, Olivia Push,” the site’s first censored cake, complete with little fondant censorship bars. All finalists received carrot-jockey necklaces and the winner, professional baker Nicole Honsaker of Keller, also went home with a Cake Wrecks apron.
....OK, here's where things tail off in this story, 'cause it then went on to talk about Jen's husband falling horribly ill and being hospitalized in Dallas. It was pretty scary at first and they were stuck here while he got back on his feet. But all is well now and they were able to reschedule tour dates they'd canceled.
E-interview with Jen Yates
You’re hilarious--do you write all your own material?
Aw, thanks! Yep, everything with my name on it is all me. (I occasionally have my husband John or my sister-in-law Anne Marie guest post.)
Do you have an all-time favorite Wreck, and/or a favorite Wreck theme?
There are too many fabulous Wrecks to have just one favorite, but I especially love the misunderstandings (like the flash drive cake) and the Beyond Bizarre category. Trying to understand just why someone would put little plastic babies on icing carrots can hurt your brain, but it's also guaranteed to tickle your funny bone.
Do you think you're seen everything a Wreck can be or are you still sometimes surprised?
Every time I think I've seen the creepiest, ugliest, or most ridiculous cake imaginable, I get one even worse - or better, depending on your perspective. So yes, I still get surprised! That's part of the fun of writing Cake Wrecks; I never know what to expect in the inbox each morning.
Do you ever hear from the bakers whose Wrecks are featured?
Not very often, no. We've had a handful of bakers ask us to remove something they made - which we always do - but of those only two or three were particularly nasty about it. Most bakers seem to have a sense of humor about Cake Wrecks, and these days we actually get quite a few of them submitting their own cakes!
A friend (and passionate Cake Wrecks fan) wonders if your hostility towards cupcake cakes is due to some childhood birthday party trauma.
Hah! Well, if so then I've managed to repress it pretty well. ;) Besides, cupcake cakes are a relatively new creation, aren't they? Before I started Cake Wrecks I'd never even heard of them. No, my disdain for CCCs is easily explained: they're ugly, messy, and, you know, pure evil. Obviously.
(BTW, the same friend suggests that your next book should be Make Wrecks, a cookbook showing step-by-step instructions for reproducing the “more terrifying” cakes in your collection. )
Whoah there, I'm not so sure we should be encouraging the Wreckerators! Heh. Although, a lot of readers do recreate their favorite Wrecks, and send me the pictures. You can't ask for sweeter fan mail than that!
blogging, introversion, and me
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I'm now blogging about introversion on the Psychology Today website. Please visit, comment, make me look good!
The Introverts Corner.
flyover america hits the road
Thursday, July 9, 2009
As many of you know, my old Flyover America gig with World Hum succumbed to the economy. But the good news is, Jenna Schnuer and I, with the addition of Matt Villano, have launched Flyover America independently.
Y'all know I haven't been a good little blogger here for a while. That's because I've been two-timing you. My energy has been going into Flyover America ... and that is likely to continue, though I will turn up here sometimes.
So please, drop in on Flyover America, bookmark it, join the conversation. K? And we'll meet here again down the road. Promise.
good news in sophieland
Thursday, January 8, 2009
My new blog, with my buddy Jenna Schnuer (of the Haiku Diaries) went live today on the excellent travel site, World Hum (part of the Travel Channel). Please visit soon and often!
stop me if you've heard this
Friday, September 12, 2008
If you are married or in a similar long-term relationship, you know that this is where love is tested. Does your beloved still manage to feign interest when you launch into your story, again, about seeing the Talking Heads at CBGB before they hit big? (And by “you” I mean “me” and by “your beloved” I mean “Tom.”) Can she work up the slightest hint of sympathy when you lament again about how you were forced to take your cousin to the prom? (And by “she” and “you” I mean nobody I know—I just made that one up. Tom was a big hunk of boy candy in high school, with his denim jumpsuit and white boy fro. He did just fine.) And how about those favorite one-liners that have been worn so thin, you can see straight through them. Must we still laugh? Can we manage even a wan smile?
We must at least show common courtesy when our better halves trot out their stories at dinner parties because no matter how many times we have heard them, others may not have had the pleasure. And so we refrain from slumping face first into our enchiladas or rolling our eyes or finishing the stories for them. It is the right thing to do.
At least with this blog, you may simply click on to something more engaging when I get dull. And if you mock me, as long as you keep it out of the comments, I will never know.
I have been tempted to rummage around in my MySpace blog and rerun some of my favorite old posts, from back when I was fresh and interesting.
Every now and then, Tom manages to trot out a story or piece of information I’ve never heard before, even after 20-ish years of listening to him. This is always very exciting. I pump him for every last detail, wring all I can out of the revelation.
Long-term relationships have an ebb and flow. We get bored, we get interested. We fall out of love and back in and out and in. Of course, we always love each other, but sometimes that love is a low-level hum and sometimes it is a loud, joyful noise.
I’m sure I’ll have a second (or third or fourth) wind here. If I’m inconsistent about posting, it’s because I don’t want to bore you. Besides, most people coming to this blog these days are here to read about Dr. Phil. Speaking of boring.
envy and admiration
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
In fact, she even heard from a Hollywood producer. I’ll say no more, but I’m proud of her. (Or whatever is appropriate to say here—it’s not like I invented her or anything.) I’m also plum (plumb?) tore up with envy.
Envy, as you know, is my deadly sin of choice. Well, not choice, exactly. It’s the sin I can’t seem to shake. I’m the Dame Edna of Dallas.
My envy is conflicted, of course, since Ruth’s witty essay is about having cancer. So while I would like the accolades she is receiving, I’d really prefer to take a different route. I’m pretty sure Ruth feels the same way.
She’s being very magnanimous about it, too. “You’re funny too,” she assured me. “You just need a fatal disease.”
I know, we shouldn’t even joke about stuff like that. But since Ruth’s essay is about laughing her way through cancer (however bitter the laughter), I give us a pass.
Nevertheless, I want to think of something appalling to joke about so I too can date George Clooney. (Since we all know he’s not going to marry Ruth or anything. He’s not the marrying kind. Besides, she already has a famous husband. Really. His research about the benefits of self-disclosure is standard in psychology textbooks. He's a personal hero since the research essentially validates what I do best--writing about myself.)
Monday, August 11, 2008
I seem not to be bursting with information and opinions I feel compelled to share. I suspect all bloggers reach a point like this, especially those of us who rely on blather over information. Considering how long I’ve been yammering at y’all, I’ve managed to last a long time before hitting a wall.
I’ve been looking back at some old posts. Wow, I sure had a lot to say. Impressive. These days I can barely compile a good head of flotsam. What’s to become of me?
Of course, I’m not hearing much of anything from anyone else, either. My email is a total dead zone. I suppose I can again blame midsummer malaise. We were promised a cool front today in Dallas but that never materialized. It rained for a few minutes and now the air is like a warm, mildewed washcloth. Who can think in such a climate?
I got nuthin’, people. Absolutely nuthin’. Let me think and rummage through my email and links collections and maybe tomorrow I will once again sparkle with wit and wisdom. Maybe.
I'm open to suggestions of subjects on which you would like me to pontificate. Anything I can update?
I'm probably not meditating enough.
to hell with it
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I highly recommend Google Reader for all your blog needs. Or you can subscribe to my blog updates on my MySpace page.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I read the whole thing, long as it is, and found it compelling because I blog, because I am conflicted about the nasty blogs (like Jezebel, which is published by the Gawker people) and because I am slightly repelled by the TMI in some blogs.
Honestly—y’all don’t know from TMI here. Or if you do think you get TMI here, then you’re exceedingly sensitive. I used to subscribe to one MySpace blog—consistently the most popular on the site—that I finally unsubscribed to after a discussion of the blogger's most private of private bits. Yeah, that's TMI for me. As I promised when I launched this blog: You will never hear about my sex life or private bits here. I'm featureless as Barbie as far as you're concerned.
Part of Gould’s story involved blogging about her boyfriend, who took offense at one of her posts. She argued freedom of expression and he gave in, but the relationship didn't last.
Tom knows that if I plan to discuss him in any way that might risk his privacy or dignity, I'll run the post by him for approval. (Jack, however, has to live with whatever I feel like writing about him.) I don't think he's ever refused to let me write something and if he ever does, I'll respect that. I play fast and loose with my own privacy but with no one else's. Except Jack. But he gave up his privacy the first time he licked his ass in public. (Hm, right after I finished typing that sentence, he got up and left the room. Maybe I underestimated his sensitivity.)
Anyway, Gould’s NYT article got a large and vitriolic response. Among the 1,200-plus comments:
stop polluting ,find another job
What a sorry little cyberworld you chose to live in. Do you have a real life as well? or is this all you have? You are just a stupid little girl. Go watch the sun set and grow up!
I expect more from the New York Times. This article was nothing more than the ramblings of a moronic juvenile who calls herself a writer. I hope that the New York Times is not paying her for this piece. I long for the days when writers were people who had something to say.
Wow. People took all that time to read what she had to say, go online, and insult her. Shouldn’t they be outside watching the sun set or something?
As with so many other aspects of modern life, we seem to be deeply conflicted about blogging. I’m supposed to feel a little bit ashamed of this hobby. I’m a little sheepish when I mention it to people.
Yet millions of people read blogs and, although tech review blogs top most lists, snotty and TMI blogs tend to be very widely read. (What was Sex and the City but a pre-blogging blog?)
People enjoy voyeurism but when they feel shame about that, they lash out at the exhibitionist instead of kicking their own curious asses.
When I was at the newspaper, my personal essays elicited far greater response than any of my straight features stories. Although Paula LaRoque (hisssssssssssssss) never missed an opportunity to chastise me for using self-referential pronouns, readers seemed to enjoy those articles. What a shocker it was for me when I went freelance and editors started specifically requesting first-person from me. You mean … somebody really does care about me? But LaRoque told me again and again that NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU THINK!
And now, personal blogging is called a form of self-medication in research discussed in this Scientific American article
This is interesting but not surprising. Now-classic research by psychologist James Pennebaker at UT found that student who wrote on personal topics, even if no one ever reads what they wrote, got sick less frequently than control groups. In other words, self-disclosure is good for you.
However, the term "self-medicating" seems patronizing in this context. Is anything pleasurable to be considered self-medication? I don’t really feel like I’m medicating anything. I’m just having fun and doing what I do. Or maybe I have hydergraphia, which the article defines as “an uncontrollable urge to write.” Sure, let’s pathologize a perfectly respectable passion.
In her essay, Emily Gould was hard on herself for the degree to which she exposed herself to the world. To some extent, her excessive self-disclosure may have been a function of her youth. In your 20s, one tends to believe one’s every thought worthy of broadcast. Blogging and other forms of online disclosure are just the newest form of youthful indiscretion.
But that so many people read Gould's essay and then beat her up for it is confusing.
Maybe it’s not those of us who enjoy publicly expressing our thoughts who need a life. Maybe the people who really need to get out more are the ones who waste energy hating us.
P.S. Read Gould's thoughtful responses to her readers questions and criticisms.
in very brief
Friday, May 23, 2008
And now, birthday weekend festivities begin. Next time you see me, I will have entered a new decade. Unless you see me tonight at the AllGood Cafe, for Black and Blue. Right, JWoiten?
this search just in
Friday, May 16, 2008
What are people looking for? Why so many? Lots of these searches have wife or husband in them.
What a strange world we live in.
I am happy to report that the incorrigible Jack has become partly corriged. He has adjusted to the electric fence and no longer wanders at will. No more crossing the creek and coming home muddy, no more chasing off the mailman, no more patrolling the alley and riling up the other dogs. He doesn’t seem particularly traumatized by the limits. Perhaps the responsibility of patrolling so large an area weighed heavily on his burly shoulders and troubled his large noggin. His own yard is large enough. So many squirrels, so little time. And so much napping to be done. How is one dog to do it all without some limits?
Now I need an electric fence for the sofa. He is not allowed on the sofa and knows it, but at night, after we go to bed, he helps himself. At the suggestion of one of his many trainers, I tried booby trapping it last night by covering it with newspapers and balancing a couple beer cans filled with coins on the papers, which were supposed to fall off and make noise and either frighten him off or wake us up. They did neither. He managed to fit his large tuchus between the cans, barely even disturbing them. So, back to shutting him out of the living room at night. He hates that. The other night, I had to put his leash on him and drag him out. Literally drag him—he put that aforementioned large tuchus on the floor and wouldn’t move it.
Slate has a special issue on procrastination (speaking of blogging) which includes this story, asking the question What is the difference between severe procrastination and writer's block?
So, I have this novel I’ve been working on for about three years. I’m in revisions. Ten painful pages at a time. And a half-finished book proposal that’s been collecting cyber dust for more than a year. So slow. I could do better. I know it. I’m not blocked, I’m procrastinating, Because as long as these remain remain unfinished they might be brilliant. If I finish them, their lead feet will be obvious.
Says one expert: "The chronic procrastinator knows he's presenting a negative image, but he'd rather be perceived negatively for lack of effort than for lack of ability."
The research corner:
Important news about men and their thingies: First, the International Society for Sexual Medicine has only just come up with (no pun intended) a formal definition of premature ejaculation. I know, can you believe it? I personally have never encountered this particular problem but in case you’re wondering, it is now defined as: “a male sexual dysfunction characterized by ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration; and, inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations; and, negative personal consequences, such as distress, bother, frustration and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.”
And, says the study’s main author, “The hope is that more people with these symptoms will understand this is an actual health condition and seek treatment. They no longer need to suffer in silence.”
In related thingie-research: Gastric Bypass Surgery Restores Sexual Function in Morbidly Obese Men—Losing weight may help resolve erectile dysfunction in obese men.
Mostly, it helps them get laid more, I assume.
Having just experienced a highly unpleasant allergic reaction to a drug (my friends got all the gory details, I spared most of you) I was drawn to research into why scratching helps an itch. The study involved 13 healthy participants who underwent testing with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology that highlights areas of the brain activated during an activity. Participants were scratched on the lower leg with a small brush. The scratching went on for 30 seconds and was then stopped for 30 seconds – for a total of about five minutes.
“To our surprise, we found that areas of the brain associated with unpleasant or aversive emotions and memories became significantly less active during the scratching,” said Yosipovitch. “We know scratching is pleasurable, but we haven’t known why. It’s possible that scratching may suppress the emotional components of itch and bring about its relief.”
So scratching is not really physical relief, it’s emotional. Which, when you think about it makes sense. Itching is so miserable … a persistent itch makes you want to scream, cry, bang your head repeatedly against a wall. Finally succumbing to the urge to scratch? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It’s more than physical relief. It’s bliss—however short lived and guilty, since we know we shouldn’t scratch.
The rash is fading and I will never take Aleve again.
Here’s a fun read from the Wall Street Journal, about retail therapy. Yup, psychologists and neuroscientists are studying that, too. Not to help us, mind you. To help retailers.
But keep this in mind—just like those little 100-calorie size snack packs of cookies and other treats can help us eat less, how we carry money can help us spend less, according to one study: Students were given $100 in pretend cash to participate in a gambling study. Some students received one sealed envelope with all the money, and others got 10 sealed envelopes that each contained $10. Individuals with multiple envelopes tended to spend less, sometimes half of what the people with the single envelope spent. "The power of partitioning can reduce spending by 50 percent," Cheema said.
I don’t like carrying lots of cash for this very reason. If I have it, I spend it. If I have to go back to the ATM, I become more aware of my spending. (And I am on near-lockdown on credit cards right now. Not complete, but I’m staying careful. Baby needs a new tank of gas…)
Dunno why it’s taken me so long, but I’d like to point out a new blogroll link—to the blog of my friend Jenna and her friend Rachel. The Haiku Diaries is commentaries on life entirely in the 5-7-5 format. It’s so much fun. I like to comment in haiku when I’m feeling sharp enough.
This week instead of just a list of google searches, a little commentary on a select few.
I find a lot of searches that look like this: 2008 contact emails of the doctors @yahoo.com in Florida; email contact women's america firstname.lastname@example.org
I was baffled until learning that these are the kinds of searches used by spammers to harvest email addresses. OK, that would explain the ever-thickening blizzard of spam I receive.
Three of my photos have become very popular: the one of a pyramid at Teotihuacan, the portrait of a xoloescuintle and the plastic army men war atrocities. These turn up so often, I assume someone is using them for something somewhere, but I can’t figure out how to figure it out.
Someone searched hillary jillette cunt which I suppose relates to Hillary Clinton and Penn Jillette. I know he called her a bitch. Did he call her a cunt, too? What a prick.
Someone searched Elizabet gilbert eat, pray, love review childfree, which is a little confusing.
Chelle, someone searched you. Someone searched my brother Oliver. And someone searched "black and blue" "rolling stones" tribute band dallas, texas myspace which had a very happy ending, since it resulted in a job for Black and Blue. May 31, Tolbert’s in Grapevine. Glad to help…
And that's Friday.
bad and sad
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Yoga isn’t competitive and you’re supposed to let go of all self judgment and listen to your body and bla-bla-bla—but all that aside, I really sucked in my yoga class last night. I got out the door late because I was having trouble getting my VCR (if I may be so old school) set to tape Idol (which also sucked last night) and then traffic was stupid and erratic so I arrived to the rec center late and then got stuck behind a slow moving lady screwing with her cell phone as I tried to scurry to class… I was all kerfuffled by the time I got to the “studio.” (It’s actually a conference room.)
My Tuesday night teacher does a lot of balance moves which I’m ordinarily pretty good at but last night, I could barely balance on two feet much less one. I was wibbling and wobbling and although I never actually fell on my ass, I couldn’t hold any of the poses. And the more that happened, the more annoyed and stressed I got (so un-yogi of me). Plus, the room was freezing, as is often the case, which is not ideal for yoga. (My teachers says it’s often too hot for her early class but then when she requests an adjustment, the arctic chill sets in.) Maybe it was the barometric pressure or maybe I’d eaten too much sugar this week (recall the late lamented coffee cake) or maybe my mind was too unbalanced which set the rest of me off balance, but it was one lousy evening of yoga. The only thing I rocked was the wheel, which for some reason I’m really good at. (OK, look at that photo. TMI right?)
After class my evening went from bad to worse.
Since Tom wouldn’t be home for dinner and the cupboards are bare, I figured I’d punish my incorrigible bod with Whataburger. Happily, my timing was right and the food was piping hot (don’t you hate greasy fast food that’s been sitting under the lamps too long?) but on the way home…
…oh, here I go, choking up again…
… I saw a little fluffy white doggie—it looked a lot like ZsaZsa (RIP)--get hit and killed by a car. I saw the whole thing happen and screamed—the car just sped on. I pulled over to see if it was…well, it wasn’t. It was clearly someone’s pet, all fat and fluffy and groomed. I put it on the median and sobbed all the way halfway home, then turned around and went back to make extra sure I couldn’t save it. Then I cried all the way home again.
Of course, my food was cold by the time I got home. So I sat on the couch and ate cold food and watched crappy Idol and cried all evening.
I can’t seem to shake the sad. It’s dark and rainy today and I keep thinking about that little pup lying on the median in the rain. Maybe I should have taken it and buried it but I was so freaked out, and someone will be looking for it, I’m sure.
I have lunch with a client today. Sure hope I can stop crying long enough to get through it. Poor little doggie.
Friday, May 9, 2008
On my one trip to Branson, MO many years ago, I stayed at the Music Country Motor Inn because it had a guitar-shaped swimming pool. Too bad the postcard doesn’t do the pool justice.
I don’t remember the room. I do remember seeing Mel Tillis and Shoji Tabuchi. Just what is the Shoji Tabuchi Show that everyone loving American music is raving about? his website asks. A Japanese fiddler. Yes indeedy.
According to this article, when the economy struggles, lipstick sales soar. Interesting. I wonder if then, these women promptly lose said lipsticks, as I do. Yes, the problem continues. Where do they go?
What do you give up when money gets tight? For one thing, Jack isn’t getting shmancy organic biscuits these days. When we have money, I order them online from a small company because with these biscuits, his breath stays sweet. These days, he’s eating semi-fancy Petco biscuits and his breath can knock you over from across the room. We also stop shopping at Whole Foods. Tom Thumb is good enough. We’re cutting back on our meat consumption a bit, too. Which is good for us in many various ways.
I have definitely started watching my driving. The other day I met friends for lunch in Plano, which is a haul for me. Driving home, I realized that gas added about another $12 to the cheap lunch. I watched that gauge as obsessively as I watch taxi meters in New York. (Although that’s less about the price of the ride than the performance pressure of calculating the tip. I calculate and recalculate the tip every time the meter flips.)
What else? I go the library more. I don’t buy many new books but when money is tight, I buy even fewer. I’m somewhat less likely to order wine when I eat out. (Somewhat. Depends on the day of the week.)
The one thing I still can’t bring myself to give up, though, is having someone clean my house every two weeks. It’s a luxury I can no longer live without. Life is short, my house gets really dirty.
Ms. Krit sent that lipstick article, and she sent me this article, about how to buy a dictionary.
Her favorite part and mine:
Look for dirty words.
All parts of English are important, even those trouble-making words that are coarse, derogatory, or sexual. A good lexicographer will include the most common words of all kinds, including ones that can be troublesome.
If a dictionary’s editors have chosen to leave out words they consider offensive, we must also wonder what other words they have left out. What are their criteria for judging words to be offensive? Are they leaving out words that concern any religion but their own? Are they leaving out words that deal with political viewpoints they don’t support? Are they leaving out words simply because they think they’re ugly? Are they including words simply because they like them? Are they deleting insulting words for their own ethnic group and leaving in insulting words for other groups?
See? Profanity does have a noble purpose? Fuckin’ A!
My favorite New Yorker cartoon of the week, right here.
Some Mother’s Day snark for the unsentimental.
Is this the scariest ad EVER? It’s the attack of the mom clones. Not to mention the scary clothes. The outfit on Mom #1 is clearly designed for the mom you hate. Stacey and Clinton, please help.
Here, from my favorite ecard site, is a collection of Mother’s Day cards you would never dare send, much as you might want to.
I’ve seen articles that say people are going to spend more on their mothers this year, and articles that say they are going to spend less. Predictably, mothers say, “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’ll sit in the dark.”
This just in: Mother's Day press release with infuriating unnecessary apostrophes: Wanted to pass along this last minute gift idea for those active mom's or for those mom's that always have sore, tired feet. Please let me know if you would like more information or need any images or product samples.
To add to the idiocy, the message text gives no clue as to what the product is. I would have to open an attachment for any more information. Not gonna do it, Matt. If for no other reason than because you're an idiot. What would your mother think?
Don’t know what to get mom? Perhaps this:
And finally, searches of the week.
My portrait of a xoloescuintle was very popular on Thursday. Maybe someone was passing it around? It was accessed a number of times. Also, from the same page, the photo of the pyramids and my arty farty flower shot.
I was disturbed by the search
i hate ps 166
How could anyone hate PS 166, my beloved alma mater? Now, if they knew Ethel O. Ebin, the principal when I was there, I could understand hating her, nasty old bat. I wish I had a photo of her. She had a grubby beehive hairdo that looked like it housed rodents.
Other searches this week:
Thank God I books for sale Castagnini
inside the brain of a narcissist
negative reviews of elizabeth gilbert's eat, pray, love
gmail emails not reaching their destination
derivation of lithium name
cashmere bouquet plant
customer support gmail
outlook autofill subject line
odd looking dogs
give me obama email adress and guest email@example.com
jack kent cooke Conundrum
gmail to yahoo not getting sent
46/64 baby boomers magazine dallas morning news
CAROLINE HELDMAN self objectification
2008 guess book of jane in the usa @yahoo.com @gmail.com
"black and blue" dallas
fun shit in dallas texas
"Advanced Backup Plug-In"
Menade du: "Advanced Backup PlugIn"
picture of someone eating a twinkie
2008 email contact of directors in bangkok @gmail.com
smacking upside the head emoticon
rooting cashmere bouquet
+27+2008+2009 @yahoo.com OR @yahoo.com OR mail.com "director"
ooed and ahed
"an open mind" book markova
55L alpine pack = too big??
beautiful aunties with saris
That is all. Happy Friday.
Friday, April 25, 2008
According to this article, the whole emoticons ‘n’ acronyms writing style is creeping into teenagers’ schoolwork.
The idea of emoticons in a term paper makes my eyes roll, and I’m not even
anti-emoticon, as is fashionable among smart people. Wiseguys like me sometimes need to flag our wiseguyitude. I don’t emoticon often but I use them when it seems prudent.
However, the statement that really struck me in the article was from Richard Sterling, a Berkeley prof and emeritus executive director of the National Writing Project. He predicts that eventually, the convention of starting sentences with a capital letter will disappear.
Hm, I’m not liking that idea. I’m not a language purist. I think the evolution of language is fun and exciting. But I also think that what we write should be easy to read and that includes graphically. The capitalized first letter is an important cue—at least as important as the period and the properly placed comma. I like capitalizations, paragraph breaks, commas and clarity of communication.
Unlike this sentence, which I pulled from the Fair Shares for All: A Memoir of Family and Food, which I’m trying to finish but have stalled out on:
"...Dad's minaciously short-winded frame had just been rushed to Oldchurch Hospital, the rack-rent lazaretto where I had reflexively frowned when a scalpel's intrusion spelled spasms of flashlight and seizures of bawling where once in umblical darkness I'd dozed to the clockwork berceuse of Mum's heart..."
I think it means the author's father was taken to the same hospital where the author was born by Cesarean section.
I have a decent vocabulary but in that statement alone are four words requiring a dictionary (minaciously, rack-rent, lazaretto, berceuse). One or two words, OK. I blame myself. Four? That's too many obscure words in one convoluted description. It's reader unfriendly.
The whole book is like that. MEGO. That the book was written by a national magazine copy chief makes the rococo writing all the more puzzling. A copy editor's job is to help make writing clearer.
On a related subject: Call me unsophisticated but nothing turns me off a book more than hearing it described as "lyrical." Possibly the only lyrical book I've ever really enjoyed was Bel Canto, which I loved. So nice I read it twice.
Fickle, fickle media (heh heh heh).
The Google searches that brought people to my blog got better and better as the week passed.
for sale xoloescuintle
sophie Razzle magazine
"eating is boring"
+2 Bangkok contact email address of doctors of Bangkok "email directory update" OR 2008 OR 2009 "@yahoo.com" –indians
I-35 between dallas and austin fun stops
i can make you thin but jean fain
eagle creek subcontinent pack
2008 @yahoo.com @gmail.com florida company doctors
Maybe later I’ll come up with more flotsam for our Friday. Maybe not.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
So when I saw The Dallas Morning News quoted this LA Times online feature about the yuckiness that is Dr. Phil, I felt free to holler “I told you so” at my morning paper.
I’m pleased the LA Times mentions our book, however I did write to the paper pointing out that we did not say Dr. Phil had an affair with a 19-year-old patient, as alleged in this feature. In fact, we stuck to the official story, that the unethical dual relationship was because Phil hired this young woman to work in his biofeedback lab. Allegations of sexual impropriety were made by the tabloids, quoting unnamed sources.
Here’s a sobering thought—this Wall Street Journal financial columnist says these days, we’re better off investing in food than in investments. He suggests stockpiling non-perishables, since the cost of food is rising so fast. Woe is me, the sky is falling…
But not that fast, according to another WSJ writer, who points out that as much as we whine about poverty, we do all have iPods, DVD players and flat-screen TVs. (Actually, we don’t have a flat-screen TV and our iPods are second generation clunkers, though they work reasonably well.)
I read this WSJ article, The Do-It-Yourself Tax Cut, with interest. Here the writer suggests numerous ways you can save money with lifestyle changes. I got to be both smug and bummed, since Tom and I do most of the things suggested here and still, as Tom likes to say, we can’t afford our modest lifestyle. At least it’s reassuring that the rest of the country is catching up to us. We don’t feel like have-nots anymore. We feel like everybody else.
Apropos to nothing, we gave stinky Jack a bath in the driveway last night. What a crazy ordeal that was. We tranquilized him (it's gotta be done) and muzzled him and he still went apeshit. He didn’t mind the soap and water as much as the brushing (attempts) of his hairy ass. We finally had to give up on the brushing. He smells a lot better but his hair is a mess. World’s most exhausting canine….
And now, I must whine. Inappropriately. Much as I’m enjoying my adventures in blogging, I admit to being a tad discouraged these days. My readership numbers are stagnant. The freewheeling discussions we enjoyed in MySpace don’t happen here. Many of my frequent commenters have fallen silent, even those who complained about MySpace. Sigh. I still enjoy the exercise but it was more fun when I didn’t feel like I was talking to three people.
The most successful blogs in the blogosphere focus on one topic and I’m considering that—although I haven’t yet decided what that topic should be. Writing? Jack? Money or lack thereof?
Friday, April 18, 2008
This is NOT FUNNY.
Everybody cast your votes! (Thanks, Mary. And no, it has nothing to do with Hillary/Obama. We're all exhausted ...)
Have you finished your Passover gift shopping yet? If not, MsKrit alerts us to these very special items.
Today’s newspaper was chock full of dreary, terrifying news about the economy and believe me, we’re feeling it. How are we going to pay for the electric fence we are having installed at this very moment? We have no idea. Things are a little tense around the house this morning and Jack doesn’t even know yet how his world is about to rocked. All he knows is that there are strange men in the backyard and he’s stuck in the house.
But I digress. I mention the newspaper mostly to show you this photo, the most entertaining thing in today’s paper. What’s the deal with the hoochie mama topiaries? Dallas is SO conflicted about sex….
And finally, huzzah! Not only is Dr. Phil finally, really tumbling from grace, but this MSN reaming actually mentions our book! Now, everybody run out and buy a copy!
OK, let’s get out there an EARN SOME MONEY! Jack-y needs a new pair of shoes. (Or something. He always needs something. A bath, for example.)
you lookin' for me?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
A number of people search my name, which is swell and I love that. In France, Google asked Será que quis dizer: Sophia Doubling but the person knew better and found me anyway. Someone from Australia searched for me, which is way cool. And someone searched for Sophie Mayeux, which morphs together me and my friend Lara Mayeux, whose blog is on my roll. Someone searched yankee chick colums, someone searched sophie d travel writer and someone searched needlepoint – Sophia. I clicked through to that search and learned that Sophia is a prolific designer of needlepoints—and that this person went through 20 search pages of the right Sophia before clicking through to the wrong one. She probably thought it was the right Sophia’s blog and wouldn’t that have been exciting? I’m sure I disappointed her.
A post about driving from Austin to Dallas attracted people searching Dallas rest stops I-35 and txdot safety rest stop saledo(sic) A couple of jerky fans checked in, one who searched where can i find best beef jerky in between dallas and austin texas and another who just plugged in texas I-35 jerky. And one person is shopping for art and searched chainsaw sculpting Dallas.
Another traveler wondered, What do females wear in Dallas texas in the winter. Dunno where that one ended up.
A few people counted on me to save them embarrassment by seeking pronunciation guides: name pronunciation nygaard, (you know who you are), pronunciation of names Iggy (know anyone in Poland, Iggy? That’s where the inquiry came from), clara name pronunciation, pronunciation of the baby name maile and someone from the Philippines wondered how to pronounce Loehmann, although Google asked Ibig mo bang sabihin ay: pronounce Lohmann,. I assume these folks were directed to the post about tricky names.
The searches bullying vs. narcissism and can empathy be learned brought seekers to a post about bullies and narcissists
Two people searched for Jean Fain, who taught us self-control when eating Twinkies (if the two aren’t mutually exclusive). One person looked for jean fain twinkie and another believes, jean fain make you thin.
I assume it was Donnas fans who searched the donnas and the inexplicable the donna bullies. They were taken to the same post as the person who searched sophie bent over. I don't want to think about that one...
A post about my mom’s sewing stuff attracted a couple of seamstresses, one of whom was seeking, around neck hanging magnifying glass sewing –loupes, and another less specific searcher who just wanted a sewing gizmo.
A couple of folks must be wanting thoseodd-looking Aztec dogs I photographed and searched, how long xoloescuintle in heat, and adopt xoloescuintle.
There were some random searches for poo-pourri, Jennifer Weiner and middle-aged broads, (not to reopen that can of worms).
A search for boomers and mistrust of government brought the seeker to the post on growing up in the 1970s.
And then, saving the best for last, there were the truly oddball searches:
cartoon cow daylight savings
"special delivery" dallas texas what to do when man comes with package
lusty thai companion in Bangkok (I don’t know what page they found, but I’m deeply disturbed.
And my personal favorite, which is practically an anagram of my name:
I feel blind again Sophie
Monday, February 25, 2008
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