It’s Time To Say Good-bye

Well, it isn’t really time to say good-bye. Not completely at least. Sorry, this isn’t actually as dramatic as I made that sound.

You guys don’t trust me anymore, do you?

We have a piece of business long overdue to take care of, here on the blog. I apologize for the seriousness of this post; but I promise I will can it with all these dramatics as soon as I’m done, and get back to my foul-mouthed diatribes first thing in the morning.

For about a year, now, I’ve been hemming and hawing over something pretty big. That thing has been so big that I have stumbled along the year, making minor adjustments here and there in hopes that I wouldn’t actually feel like – in the end – I needed to do the thing I had been hemming and hawing about.

In the end, I do.

And I’m beating around the bush, hoping that by the time I finish typing out this post I will have changed my mind.

Years ago – we’re talking years – friends started calling me Bitch as a term of endearment. I know that sounds crazy, but it really was. I say that from my own perspective, though – so what do I know? It could have just been a way to tell me off nicely over and over again. I can be a little bit of a curmudgeon for my age; and I always – always – say exactly what I mean and what is on my mind. That isn’t always socially acceptable to some people, though, and those people (the ones who don’t like who I am) had a habit of referring to me as a bitch (either behind my back or in a mean way, to my face). So after a while, both friends and I figured: if we can’t stop them, join them right?

I’m getting to the point, I promise.

So when I decided to start writing an all-inclusive mom blog (I say all-inclusive because I write about a lot of things, not just being a mom), it seemed natural that I would refer to myself as Bitch. Or The Bitch. And I thought I was being clever by turning Blog into B(itch)Log… It made total sense at the time, until people started having problems getting my emails because of the parentheticals; and others didn’t really get it.

By others, I mean a lot of people didn’t get it. And a lot of people also – sadly, for their limited understanding and appreciation of the nuances of the human language – assumed my blog was not to be taken seriously because of it.

BitchlogExplanation

In the beginning of the Summer of 2013, I published my third book – My Wife’s a Bitch – and went to do a book signing, only to see that they had replaced the title of my book with nothing more than a description. I was insulted, hurt. What was the big deal – they say that word on TV all the time, don’t they? It was then, though, that I started to get the point: sometimes – no matter how cool it sounds, no matter how transcendent my understanding of words and language may be – there are just some things people won’t touch.

That was when I started to face the reality of the possibility of retiring The Bitch, which began with renaming The B(itch)Log.

If I was not going to call my blog The B(itch)Log anymore, what would I call it? Would I still keep my moniker of The Bitch in it? And if so, how could I incorporate it? I knew I needed to rebrand to remedy these problems and be taken more seriously as a writer in the world of creativity, which has become fiercely competitive over the years. But I just wasn’t ready to give up that bitchy, bitching, whining way of making a damn good point.

So I experimented a little. My blog was already on my writer’s website – heatherchristenaschmidt.com – anyway, so it was pretty easy. I experimented with a  new logo or theme of sorts a couple of times. By that I mean I completely overhauled my website at least eight times in the past six months.

1098401_184942645012006_2101961229_nAnd around the eighth redesign is when it hit me: that was a hell of a lot of time spent avoiding the inevitable when I could have been writing.

In the end, it all started to get a little lost in the fray. I realized that people stopped even knowing what to call my blog. Some still called it B(itch)log. Some called it by the new logo. And while my readership and social media following has continued to grow at a rapid pace, the amount of people completely unaware of what they were getting was growing as well.

So as I rang in 2014 (in my pajamas and asleep well before midnight), I decided it was time to accept the future and embrace a new chapter as a mom blogger and a writer. I made the commitment to finally give in and say goodbye to an old friend, a moniker who will always be near and dear to my heart – The Bitch.

I feel as though I’m in the middle of a breakup that was both long overdue, and at the same time bittersweet. In some ways, the grief over the end of the relationship and the identity that comes with it; truly the end of an era, is – at times – overwhelming (hence the months of procrastination). Yet at other times, and where I am now, is in the sense of relief and excitement for the next step.

It would probably be an appropriate time to thank you all again for welcoming The Bitch and all her (my) bitchiness into your hearts. I promise, the bitchiness will still be there; as will all the other wonderful, bizarre, pointed, and – sometimes – psychotic pieces of the puzzle that is my writing. Bear with me over the coming weeks as Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social engines phase out my Bitch and phase in my future.

Now it’s time to say goodbye. I’ll miss you, Bitch, even though you will always occupy a special place in my heart.

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STFU Fridays: Inside Jokes

Seriously. Who over the age of five calls something an ‘inside joke?’ I’ll tell you who:

Motherfucking douches

Motherfucking morons

Motherfucking elitists

Motherfucking hipsters

I am sure there are more, and if you refer to things as an ‘inside joke,’ please excuse my bluntness when I say: it’s about time you shut the fuck up.

When my husband and I first started dating, we went on this double-date kind of night with the friend that set us up and another one of my friends, who happens to be gay. Well the friend that set us up is gay now too, so I guess it worked out for the both of them; but at the time it was really just “going out with friends.” Tangent aside, we were in Nick’s car and he saw a bunch of people walking across the cross walk and said “wow, there’s more Crocs in that group than at a Vampire Weekend concert.” When we all turned to him and said “huh?!” he said “oh … inside joke.”

Stick your motherfucking inside joke up your ass, future husband. That’s what I should have said; instead I went on along this eloquent diatribe about how ridiculous it is to reference in inside joke when no one else on the inside is around to get it.

Slide1

And here we see the first reason why inside jokers need to shut the fuck up, on this fine STFU Friday:

#1 Inside jokes are for motherfucking elitists

This is something that just irks me to no end: that I may or may not be “cool” enough to be included in your stupid bullshit inside joke. This then leads to the possibility that said inside joke involves something I may or may not be involved in, which means that I may be excluded for an intentional reason. So that means that it may actually be making fun of me, which is the fundamental reason why inside jokes are elitist and bullshit and should be nuked off the planet by that North Korean crazy guy.

Are you with me?

So the point is that an inside joke implies that it’s on a need-to-know basis, and if you don’t get it, you don’t need to know. When my future husband made that comment about Crocs at a Vampire Weekend concert, I promptly slipped the mix cd I had made for him with Vampire Weekend on it back into my purse. How did I know he wasn’t making fun of me? I wasn’t inside the joke.

#2 Hipsters are elitists, and inside jokes are elitist; therefore, inside jokes are for hipsters

And hipsters need to shut the fuck up. Seriously. Take your new age, tofu-grilling, tight green pant-wearing, Back to the Future sunglasses-donning, Pitchfork-listening, inside joke-making asses and shut the fuck up.

#3 Inside jokes are for douches

There have been a few times in recent memory when someone said it was an “inside joke” and when everyone acted like they didn’t get it, the person said something really douchie like “oh, you wouldn’t get it anyway.”

Really. I wouldn’t get it anyway, you say. It’s funny that you say I wouldn’t “get it” when I went to graduate school, and you were educated by an orange peel and a mismatched pair of socks.

This is a classic douche move – to put others down and keep them in a position of not knowing what the shit is going on, just to make themselves feel superior. And the inside joke is the perfect way to do it. If others don’t get it, but you clearly realize the sheer hilarity of your stupid shit joke; well then don’t you feel like the epitome of humor, while everyone else is just too daft and stupid to understand the nuances of being a humorist (in your mind).

Chances are if it’s too cool to share, it’s too stupid to be funny. Shut the fuck up, douchecake.

 #4 Motherfucking morons

And this leads to the last group of people that I generally consider to be those stupid fuckers (no pun intended) that make inside jokes. Dumb morons. People that make inside jokes because were they to make actual real, “external” jokes, no one would laugh. Or get it, but not in a “we’re all too stupid to get it” way. In a “this makes no sense, shut the fuck up” way. Motherfucking morons with your stupid motherfucking jokes, that are made simply in an effort to protect your sheer stupidity: shut the fuck up.

As you can see, I have strong feelings about inside jokes. I just think they’re another way for people to make themselves feel above others. I’m not even sure how I got onto this little tangent this evening, actually. It just popped into my head like a pair of Crocs at a Vampire Weekend concert. Or like the many times In A Gadda Da Vida pops into my head for no reason at all, other than to annoy me.

Oh, I’m sorry to bring up that In A Gadda Da Vida thing. That was an inside joke. Now I’m the one who needs to shut the fuck up for this most glorious of Shut the Fuck Up Fridays.

 

Has the Blogosphere Become High School All Over Again?

Short answer: YES. Long answer:

I wrote a blog about six months ago called “Are Bloggers Becoming Mean Girls?” In it I argued against the notion that bloggers are cliquey. I had seen some bloggers complaining about how they couldn’t seem to “break in” to the mom blog, and other blog community, cliques, and for this they felt a great injustice. In the post, I started by saying:

In high school, I hated the cliques. Now when I think of them I think of Mean Girls with Linsay-the-trainwreck-Lohan. When you have cliques, you have backstabbing. You have cheating. You have a load of gossip. You have more drama than a daytime soap opera. And you have people being excluded for no reason other than that they aren’t “cool” enough, by whatever standards of “cool” the clique collectively determines. I have a hard time believing that bloggers have become Mean Girls.

Either I was terribly wrong, or things have changed. A lot. Today – over six months after writing that blog – I believe more than ever that bloggers are the new Mean Girls. In fact, I know exactly who could be slated as the main characters (although I’ll keep that opinion to myself).

Let’s examine how my opinions have changed.

#1 Good versus Bad Content

In my post six months ago, I argued that maybe it isn’t really you or your blog, per se; just that you were not one of the more popular blogs because you had an absence of good blog content. And this is perhaps the most compelling reason in my mind now for proof that the blogosphere has become high school all over again: there is more bad content out there than my mom’s supply of edible panties.

It’s just like in high school. The meanest and ugliest girls were always the most popular. The douchiest guys with the worst acne were co-captains of the football team.

Sure, when you give access to a portal of information sharing to anyone and everyone, you’re going to have gads of bad content. But I’m not just talking about your run-of-the-mill crap that never gets around. I’m referring to the truly bad content that gets thousands (dare I suggest millions?) of hits. That everyone knows about. The bad content that people “like” and comment and share and find witty, in spite of its over all dryness, lack of whit, lack of insight, and glaring grammatical errors.

Here’s the deal: if you are going to call yourself a writer, be one. Only post what’s good. Get the opinion of others (and by that I mean objective others, not your BFFs) before you just assume that anything coming out of you is the next best thing to bars of gold. If you think you’re a writer, prove it with good spelling and appropriate grammar, and nipping your verbosity problem in the bud once and for all. Make sure everything you write about has something to do with your overall point. And for God’s sakes, make sure your blog post makes at least one ounce of sense.

Otherwise, you’re just another pimply captain of the football team, or mean girl wandering the halls of high school. You may be popular, but in the end your blog is nothing but garbage.

#2 Lying versus Honesty

I think that when I wrote that post last year, I was terribly idealistic as to the nature of the blog community. I suggested that your blog may not be that popular because you are dishonest. I really believed that truth prevailed in the world of the blogosphere – as if it is not merely a microcosm of the world at large, where the only people who truly prevail are those whose words uttered are rarely truth.

In high school, everyone creates themselves and others through a series of lies. That’s how the gossip train starts as well. In real life, we’re all supposed to transcend beyond all this lying bullshit and to achieve our successes off honesty.

How infrequently that happens – in life, as well as the blogosphere.

I know a lot of big gun bloggers that lie through their teeth, so much so that there is probably little truth to anything they say. It’s one thing to be anonymous or to change characteristics of people for safety and fairness and such. It’s another thing to fake celebrity endorsements. To claim site statistics that the public record on Alexa shows are clearly false. To say you write for all these different sites, when in fact those sites wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot poll.

To call yourself a writer.

Not to get too uppity about this, but there is actually a criteria for calling yourself a writer. Any old blogger is not a writer. For one, a writer of fiction and Fox News has the liberty to lie. The rest do not. For two, a writer writes good content with attention to rules of writing – as mentioned in point #1. (And to those you unaware, yes: there are rules of writing.) Without some attention to these things, some honesty and brevity, a blogger cannot call him or herself a writer any more than I can call myself the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa.

Well they can, but it would be a lie.

#3 Gossip and Exclusion

What I’ve learned more than anything over the last six months since writing “Are Bloggers Becoming Mean Girls?” is that the blogosphere (at least the parenting blog blogosphere) is loaded with gossip and exclusion. Really great blogs are excluded all the time – and I can’t really put my finger on why. There is a lot of “you pat my back, I’ll then turn that back on you and pretend we don’t know each other” as well. I see it all the time, and is another thing I spoke to the contrary six months ago.

And the gossip is worse than high school. In high school the gossip hurt – don’t get me wrong, it did. People said I stuffed my bra when my boobs grew overnight. That hurt, but it went away eventually. I got over it. One time a friend of mine was dating another friend and a gossip train started that she was cheating on him. That caused some drama in our circle of friends; yet, perhaps more mature than some of the adults I know in the blogging community, as a group we talked about it and it all worked out.

Not in the blog community, though. Here the gossip runs rampant. There is no end to it. There are no resolutions. So and so is doing this to screw everyone else. This writer is stealing content. That writer is not giving us proper credit. God it’s awful, and everywhere – email, Twitter, and the ever-ominous Facebook updates that are meant to be vague, but cause such a ruckus you start to wonder what the point is of any of this.

Courtesy of FriendFace Town ... for more of their satire on all the weirdness on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friendface-Town/484841884903320

Courtesy of FriendFace Town … for more of their satire on all the weirdness on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friendface-Town/484841884903320

Here’s the thing about blogging: it’s a double-edged sword. Everyone can do it. But then again, everyone (with a computer and an opinion) can do it. There is a lot of bad stuff out there. There is a lot of good stuff out there too. There are popular blogs, sure; but there are no cool people. As a fellow blogger, or just a reader who likes information other than what the mass media puts out there, take a step back from your old-favorites and take a look around. Falling for the bad content and the lies, and narrowing yourself to a small group for no reason other than you don’t know any better, makes you nothing more than a bleating sheep. For every bit of crap you fall for, day in and day out, there is a world of awesome out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Well, now I’m one of those pageant people…

I’m not sure how this happened. I’ve never really been a fan of pageants. You know those moms dress their little toddlers up like painted whores and prance them around, getting them to act like little, miniature adults and shit. Not for me. I also don’t usually dig reality TV pageantry – you know America’s Next Top Model, those chef shows, all the singing ones.

I’m not sure why, I just sometimes think that people should stop trying to be better than each other and just accept that we all have our own qualities that make us great.

Now ignore everything I just said, because I’ve become one of those pageant people. To be fair, this isn’t really a pageant, per se. It has nothing to do with beauty. It also involves no parading (I don’t think). It’s a contest. Possibly the greatest contest of all contests, and I’ve entered it: Blogger Idol.

So you faithful blog followers are now being tasked with three, glorious tasks.

(1) You remember when America’s Funniest Home Videos had that call-in number and you could vote from home and you felt totally a part of Hollywood because you cast your vote for “dog falling into swimming pool” or “guy busts balls on pile of bricks?” Well, now it’s time to feel that awesome again by clicking on this linky link and posting a comment that you want this B(itch) (Heather Schmidt) from the B(itch)Log to make it into the contest.

http://www.facebook.com/bloggeridol

(2) Read my contest audition, here:

My name is Heather Christena Schmidt. My blog is called the B(itch)Log, which is located on my personal website – HeatherChristenaSchmidt.com. I’m a reformed philosophy graduate student-turned-writer, and am working on a book-length satire about raising kids in California. My most important role, though, is that of a full-time housewife and homeschooling mother, which is why when it comes to blogging, I primarily consider myself a “mom blogger.”

I have been blogging for a few years now. I write about a breadth of topics on my blog, from commentary on technology and blogging tips, to things I encounter in my community and home as a parent and housewife. I have a weekly theme, titled “STFU Fridays;” my blog followers know me best for my bizarre disdain for hillbillies, hipsters, and overachieving parents; and, I try to post three to five times a week to keep things current. In March of this year, I was Freshly Pressed on WordPress’s homepage, which helped to push my readership to roughly 950 blog subscribers, 1,950 Twitter followers, and close to 800 Facebook fans.

I hemmed and hawed for some time about whether to audition for Blogger Idol, mainly because I had no idea what made me deserved of the title “Idol” for the next year. But then I scrolled through pages and pages of comments in which my faithful blog followers attested to how blunt, honest, and “took the words right out of my mouth” my writing is. I have a hard time not writing exactly as I think. I also have a hard time holding back stories and anecdotes just because I’m afraid it’s too personal. I believe the most important task a blogger has is to write with sincerity. Despite my close to 100,000 blog views, and the controversial nature of some of my posts, I have only received a total of three “hate mail”-type comments, which I consider a great achievement. You cannot please everyone, but I think I’m able to get away with my blunt, cynical griping more than some simply because I infuse it with as much humor as I can muster. (Either that, or people just visit my site to steal my pictures, something I admit I consider often.) And above all, I try to relate my blog posts to the ever-present theme of accepting things as they are, laughing at ourselves a little, and moving forward with the “lessons learned” kept in mind.

A few years ago, one of my grad school cohorts told me I was like an onion – the more you peel me, the more layers you find. I think a blog needs to be like this. The more you read into a blog, the more you get out of it. The more you open yourself to the experiences being shared, the more you can learn from it. And if anything, I think blogs are a fun way to laugh a little, learn new things, and experience life from a shared perspective.

(3) Enjoy this beautifully hilarious photoshop of me as a beauty pageant bitch. Take a good look at it, faithful blog followers … it’s the closest you’ll see this lady to this sort of pomp and stupidity.

… and if you are a blogger, auditions are open until September 17th! Give it a shot!!

In World Peace and Puppies,

B(itch)

The Winner and My Winner

Two orders of business I did not include in my previous blog post, oh faithful blog followers. (By the way, if you are so faithful you should perhaps consider “liking” my blog’s page on Facebook, and sharing. I share back like that hooker you met in Vegas shared her venereal disease)!!

The Winner

You people remember how I had a giveaway? Yeah, you know that one for a $25 iTunes gift card that only required you comment with what you like to b(itch) about? Yeah that one … THAT GIVEAWAY ONLY 18 OF YOU INGRATES ENTERED?!

I have the winner. First and foremost, though, let me thank the 18 of you who did enter. I thoroughly enjoyed your b(itches) – LOVED THEM.

Now to the winner. [Insert drumroll]:

Alien Red Queen! She’s a writer and a blogger and a fantastic lady, if you ask me. You should all check out her blog and congratulate her with a follow!

My Winner

That’s right, this one is about my sweet Pookie. She is my winner: not only has she championed her tennis and moved on to Round 2 with a firm promise to get the violin and violin lessons she has been asking for if she proves through this second round of summer tennis that she has learned the understanding of the concept “commitment.” But she has also proved to me to be the winner I have taught her to be: a jokester.

Not jokester in a mean way, but jokester in a funny way. I typically avoid jokes about bodily sounds or functions – I think people who talk and tell jokes about gas and the ass excessively have little class (no, I did not intend that to rhyme).

But then there is my dad and my grandpa, both of whom have this thing where they belch so loudly sometimes I think my eardrum is rattled from the force. My grandpa even includes an audible enunciation of what he’s doing BELCH as he does it.

To try and deter this, I taught Pookie that when one of them burps so loudly that people in the next town over can here it, she should make light of the situation with the following joke:

I’ll take your belch and raise you a …

It has apparently caught on, because my father reported this evening that she’s doing it all the time to him. I know what you all are thinking … mother of the freaking year.

Lessons on Being Cool From the 22 Year Old Verizon Employees At Chuck E Cheese

So I was at Chuck E. Cheese today, and as if I wasn’t already getting my daily dose of “hell on Earth” just by being there, a pack of about a dozen young adults came sauntering in, where there was a party table set up for them right in front of the stage with the animatronic characters singing Rock the Casbah.

Being the nosy-ass lady that I am, and bored out of my fucking mind while waiting for the 10 billion tokens I purchased to be used, I investigated a little bit. Of course, this meant I had to make every excuse possible to parade around their party in order to get the scoop. I went to “check out” the ticket explosion machine – which I still am not sure what the fuck the thing does. I walked up to “check out” the characters as they moved on to a clean version of “Whip It.” And when the party-goers disbanded to play games while waiting for their pizza, I even marched over to the Dance Dance Revolution to pretend like I was considering playing.

Here is the scoop that I got, what I like to call: Lessons on Being Cool From the 22 Year Old Verizon Employees At Chuck E Cheese:

Lesson #1: If you work at a retail store and the company wants to reward you for your increase in sales, the only cool option is: Chuck E Motherfucking Cheese

Lesson #2: Even though it is the day off for all of you, the coolest thing to wear is your Verizon uniform. For the majority of you, it’s a suit and tie. Many of you wore your Verizon shirt with the logo and all. Some of you added some flair, like your Crips bandana hanging out your back pocket. If wearing a tie, a real cool guy will wear your tie and flip it up over your shoulder. That makes you look at ease.

If you are the only girl in the group, dress like a ho. You never know, one of your coworkers might bang you in the balls.

Lesson #3: The coolest guy at the table, with the most knowledge of this high class establishment, will wear his sunglasses inside. He will keep them on the entire time. The entire time – not even to be removed for games or pizza. He is clearly the coolest of the bunch – follow his lead.

Lesson #4: When the Chuck E. Cheese character comes to the table and starts trying to give you all high fives, make sure you all snap photos to put on your Facebook pages. You are extra cool if you stand behind Chuck E while one of your friends has his photograph taken with the human-sized rat, and dry hump the air.

Lesson #5: If a woman walks by you while you are shredding on Guitar Hero, quickly wipe the sweat off your brow and make sure you turn to her and say “yeah … a bunch of 22 year olds playing Guitar Hero at Chuck E Cheese. I know lame.” Acknowledge your lameness, because irony is in and she might think you are being ironic, thus cool.

Lesson #6: When it is announced over the intercom that your pizza is ready, run to the table. Cool people don’t walk. Cool people do not fucking saunter. Cool people run like they haven’t eaten is years. If you do not run, you may destroy the facade that you are a starving intellectual who lives off pizza and beer and the occasional package of Top Ramen; versus the truth, which is that your mommy made you a nice and wholesome breakfast of french toast and eggs while you changed out of your Spiderman jammie-jams this morning.

Lesson #7: Your Verizon store manager was kind enough to include 20 tokens per employee for this venture – it isn’t just pizza and pictures with Chuck E. A cool person will make sure that he gets his/her 20 tokens under any and all circumstances, even if it means standing up and yelling for everyone to run back to the table because you counted yours and there are only 18.

We left before these numb nuts 22 year old Verizon employees had finished their little party. As we left, I noticed that while they were all off playing video games and taking photos of themselves dry humping the characters placed in miscellaneous places around the restaurant, the Lone Ho had placed certificates of achievement at each of their place settings and a cake in the shape of a pirate ship with a Chuck E Cheese at the mast was being brought to the table.

That – by far – was the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a long time. And you faithful blog followers know I have seen a lot. As we left I looked at my phone and thought to myself “fucking shit, I’m glad I stuck with Sprint.”

This B(itch) is giving away something free…

That’s right, I’m having a giveaway … not a big one, but one nonetheless.

Share this and my blog with your friends for a chance to win a $25 iTunes gift card. It’s really easy to enter and no purchases are required.

Giveaway ends June 30th, 2012 … and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post!

But it can’t be that simple, can it?

No, it isn’t.

1. You must comment on this post. Commenting on a post other than this one will result in no entry.

2. You must comment on the post by June 30th, 2012 at 11:59 pm.

3. Your comment must answer the following question: “what is your favorite thing to b(itch) about?” Those comments not addressing that question will be disqualified.

3. Each individual only gets one entry, so you need not comment multiple times.

4. Anyone can enter, but the only way for you to win is if you include your email address.

5. Winners will be chosen on July 1st, 2012 via Randomizer.com.

GET COMMENTING!!

Now for some completely unrelated crazy bitch: