I Did One DIY Project For Easter. One. Not Twelve. Not Twenty. Just One.

And even then, it nearly killed me.

I don’t mean that it was dangerous or wracked with mishap that could have severed my head or anything. I mean I hated doing it so much, I could have died.

I literally could have died. Literally. Not figuratively, like a spiritual death. I mean laid down on the floor and just stopped breathing – that is how over DIY projects I am these days.

(I did burn my finger on my glue gun, so maybe it was a little dangerous too.)

I think I’ve really evolved over time. First I hated Pinterest and all this perfect Mommy -DIYs everything crap. Then I felt guilt for that, or guilt for something, and went all Pinterest Mom crazy. Like everything was over the top DIY and perfect with all its perfection. Now I’m back to hating it, but mostly because I’m lazy and just over doing things.

Like any things.

So my devolving to this slovenly lard ass who would rather just buy something online than have to actually go and burn my fingers off with my glue gun again…it has been a slow one. It’s gone piece by piece, so that no one will ever notice that I went from DIYing everything to DIYing nothing. My theory is that the change will have been so slow that it will be hard to even remember that this wasn’t the way things were all along.

This Easter, I am officially down to the end game. The goal of DIYing absolutely nothing is within reach. In this – the final phase – I did but one DIY project.

And if I was going to be totally honest about it, I’d admit that the only reason I did it was to save money.

We gift all of the kids in my husband’s side of the family every major holiday. That’s Christmas and mini-Christmas, aka Easter. (Just kidding, we don’t consider it to be mini-Christmas, although I do find that a lot of people have turned it into that…)

Now at eight kids besides our own, this is starting to add up. And especially with holidays like Easter, it’s always the wrapping that makes the expense out of control. The baskets, the extra large eggs…whatever I wrap the Easter goods in for these kids, it always ends up being a hefty chunk of the overall cost.

So I made my own bags this year. Out of burlap. Burlap and buttons and some leftover chalkboard tags I had from something else.

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I hated every minute of it too, so I hope those kids realize how much effort went in to even convincing myself to make the bags to save the money. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I could give the gifts in CVS and Trader Joes bags – those kids would probably never notice.

This raised a bigger issue, though, in my mind: how has it come to this? How has it come to the point where I hate doing DIY projects so badly that I would prefer to lay down and cease to exist? What happened to that Heather that just a few years ago would hand-paint the wrapping paper, and cut party cheese into shapes that went along with the party theme?

It’s possible that I burned myself out, as I do in so many other areas of life. But it’s also, and more likely to be the case, just a sign of this new era of parenting I am in – the my kids don’t want shit to do with me anymore phase. The themed parties aren’t really what they do anymore, now it’s all cellphones and God mom why do you have to embarrass us. So I may as well just stop caring about some of this dumb DIY stuff that doesn’t do anything but cost me frustration and heartache, and – apparently – embarrass them.

(Newsflash: everything embarrasses them.)

There’s also the distinct possibility that I am just on a Pinterest hiatus. That it’s only a matter of time before I am back in the saddle and DIYing everything to the point that other mothers hate me for all that I do.

I’ve written about this many times before, and I am most certain that I will write about it again. But just one DIY project this Easter. Not twelve. Not twenty. Not even two…just…one… I can’t help but think that is a sign of a much different and terrifying time to come.

For if I am no longer a Pinterest Mom, well then what kind of a mom have I become?

I Think I’m A Pinterest Mom

Counting the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 as the recent (and glaring) exception, I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. And even so, the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 was inspired by the famed pin site.

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It was like Night of the Living Dead meets a traditional, holiday appetizer.

When my husband said that the only thing he cared about on Easter was that I make a lot of deviled eggs; oh and by the way can you make those guacamole ones?; oh hey you should do those colored ones you did a few years ago…; oooh look at those bleu cheese buffalo spiced deviled eggs … well you can see I was overwhelmed. I also saw a pin where the person made the deviled eggs look like baby chicks, and immediately felt up for the challenge. This is around where it fell apart – I was just in way over my head.

It also didn’t help a single bit that my husband’s cousin and his wife showed up with this bullshit cheese and chartreuse platter. I call it bullshit because it was SO. DAMN. AMAZING that it put everyone else’s nonsense to shame. I could have brought in a watermelon carving fashioned in the likeness of Jesus Christ himself, and it wouldn’t compare to that goddamned cheese and chartreuse platter.  They actually hand-carved the platters at home, out of what I can only assume was wood they gathered from the homes of the gods on Mount Olympus.

So you can see, in the case of the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I was set up to fail from all sides. But this isn’t the normal course of affairs.

Usually I’m all over baking homemade dog treats, making my own laundry detergent, and hanging cutesy signs through out the house – that I happened to cross-stitch or paint out of, naturally, up-cycled materials I already had around the house.

Consider Exhibits A and B. After spending hours working on these, I can’t help but wonder if (a) anyone in my house will ever pay attention to them; or, (b) just how insane others will think I am when they visit the house.

I mean really… sock buddy system? How annoyingly cute can we get here?

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

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Birthday parties aren’t just birthday parties anymore. They are events. Events where every food item is perfectly labeled.

Exhibit C

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Themes and color schemes are strictly adhered to.

Exhibit D

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And there is always – ALWAYS – a dessert table.

Exhibit E

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In Exhibit F you’ll see I’ve created a monogram for our family. It’s a fusion of our last name initials (P and S), and has taken over our house in monogrammed towels, wall letter art, and the labels I put on everything.

I actually have a day set each month to make more of those labels.

Exhibit F

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As time goes on, I’m making more and more from scratch. I’m getting to the point of needing nothing more than a cow, and I will be fully sufficient. I can for canning season. I make homemade dog food, from-scratch Chex Mix, and homemade butter.

Yes – moving on to Exhibit G, now – I make my own butter. As in I churn it.

Exhibit G

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And on the off chance that I’ve missed a beat, or something comes up like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I feel that I have failed. Failed miserably – not only as a Pinterest user, or a Pinterest mom, but as a human being altogether.

tumblr_n0o4rm1zP71somw7ho1_500Why? Because like many of you, I can’t help but compare myself, both to others as well as to that vast world of pins and pictures and examples of the far greater things out there. As I see it, Pinterest is just the new era of Better Homes and Gardens and Modern Woman magazines. And this is why women have been comparing themselves for ages.

We could talk about the social problems with this for ages, the fact that it happens is just that: a simple fact. No matter how many positivity-be-myself-and-love-it articles I read on Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, a part of me is always going to wonder if I could do as well as the others.

But it isn’t just a matter of self-comparison, because – quite frankly – a lot of the time I couldn’t give a lick about what others do. It’s more like a challenge. There is better out there, and I know I can do better. So I’m going to (unless it has anything to do with deviled eggs).

So I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. That means that a lot of you hate me. Like really-really hate me; like you’ve written your own articles about how I’m a big asshole making everyone else look like a pile of crap.

And here I am, feeling like my own pile of crap because of a fucking cheese platter.

Well there are a few saving graces, here. (One) is that a lot of my Pinterest projects likely come out looking more like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 than I’m able to admit. (Two) is that unlike a lot of people I know, I can only keep up charades for a relatively short period of time. Which means that before we know it I’ll be back to my bargain basement decorating skills, coupled with parties that consist of no more than a bucket of chicken on my cluttered dining room table.

As I get ready to make a Moving Day Binder out of printables I printed off Pinterest tomorrow (that is, literally, the only thing I have planned for the entire day), I hold steadfast in my hope that this Pinterest Mom phase will pass quickly.

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48 Hour Technology Strike

Keep track of my strike time at http://countingdownto.com/countdown/223092

I’m going on strike. Not from a job because – I think we all know – I don’t work. I mean I work at the most thankless job on the planet (housewife and SAHM), but there is no monetary compensation for that.

Yet.

No, I’m going on strike from technology. For the next 48 hours I’m ditching my cellphone, laptop, and iPad, and I think you should too. Here’s why:

#1 There Is A World Outside Your Cellphone

I just have had it up to about my eyebrows with sitting at dinner with people that spend the entire time texting and BSing on their cellphones. My husband is notorious for doing this; and the most egregious part is that he’s just scrolling through his apps doing mundane updates that are entirely unnecessary. It’s so rude, and reeks of the implication that the only world that exists to the people committing this etiquette faux pas is within their cellphone and computer. That the world in which I am – sitting across from them at the table – does not exist when the world of technology is around.

There is a world outside your cellphone. And your computer. Not getting Facebook updates is manageable, dare I say – not a big deal.

Just today I read an article about the growing problem of Facebook addiction, in which it was reported that as many as 1/3rd of people that were interviewed admitted to experiencing feelings of envy when viewing photographs and other updates of others on Facebook. This implies a number of things, but as for this point I think this has a lot to do with the fact that some of us think there is no world outside of Facebook.

1313897240072_6858395Do you faithful blog followers actually believe that life is as wonderful and exciting as it appears to be for some people on Facebook? Every photo is from a party; therefore life is a party? Every update is positive, fun, and full of excitement; therefore nothing bad ever happens to the people on your Facebook page? Nonsense! The only reason why people post on the social networks great and wonderful and awe-inspiring news is because it’s looked down upon to report anything real that happens. People call reality “bad” and “negative” – two words that have been demonized by our terribly childish social network culture.

There is a world outside of your computer. A real world. A world where you are not alone.

#2 Capturing Photographs Is Not the Point

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Recently I realized that I spend more time capturing some moments than actually experiencing them. A blogger, I’m constantly trying to shoot things that can be used for my blogs; but now it’s leaked into every aspect of my life. Yesterday I snapped over twenty photographs of my car being towed. The experience from beginning to end was captured on photograph, and yet when it came time to recall the tow truck driver’s name today when AAA called to survey the experience, I had no idea. The guy really went the extra mile in taking care of us and I was so focused on my own photographic evidence that I couldn’t even take the time to learn his name.

The point of having a good meal is not to capture a photograph of the food. The reason for going on a hike is to get exercise, fresh air, and experience the outdoors. I have friends that have so many photographs of their experiences that I wonder if they even would remember what happened if it weren’t for the photographs, much like I can’t recall the tow truck driver’s name.

And is a memory not sufficient anymore to prove that something happened? Take a picture of your kid at this park, then that park, then this other park, then another. We get it! You take your kid to the park. We would have believed you if you just said it once. 7,000 shots a day of the kid running in the grass gets old. Really old. This isn’t to say that the kid isn’t cute, or the food doesn’t look as tasty as you describe it.

It’s just that technology is replacing even our most intimate moments and experiences.

#3 Technology Really Makes Me Hate People

And lose respect for them. This person didn’t respond to an email I sent in due time. A text message got ignored. People didn’t “like” or comment on my blog.

How many times have you Tweeted someone for them to never respond? How many times have you followed a blogger only for them to ignore you, as if they are too “big” to follow back?

The list of Internet etiquette grievances is a long one – not just mine, but the conglomerate list of all the billions of people using the Internet regularly. Sometimes it makes you hate people to be connected all the time. It makes you hate how not everyone operates by the same standards you do. And it makes you loathe the ways in which they think and act – from political posters on Facebook, to people that use their cellphones and computers as a way to bully; technology has just made it easier for the whole of humanity to act like assholes.

While I am definitely a fan of general misanthropy, I get too angry when I’m online too much.

#4 I Need a Break From Web MD

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I need a break from Web MD. And the news. And Google flu trends. And Sickweather.com. I’m such a hypochondriac, with a glaringly unhealthy level of OCD, that I am obsessed with what’s going on around, who has which diseases, and whether or not I have [insert obscure, unlikely disease here].

I need a break from all that nonsense – I wash my hands; cover my cough; and avoid sick people. How exactly does checking up on where people are sick in my area every day make us any more safe? Am I going to avoid running errands because a few people Tweeted that they had the stomach flu in my area? No. No – we still need milk, eggs, and bread.

But it’s also a matter of not just health, but of the news. This is another thing my husband is horrible with – he is obsessed with the news, and occasionally I am too. It isn’t just one article on something that happened, or a study that was done; it’s all of them that show up in the Google News Aggregate. While I don’t think it’s good to stick our heads in the sand, sometimes shutting it all off is for the best. There is nothing I can do about the fact that North Korea issued another threat to the United States. The fact that emergency room visits from energy drinks have increased by 47% bears absolutely no effect on me.

Obsessing over all of these things is just another way that technology has a hold of our lives, just as in the case of cellphones leading us to believe there is no world outside, and photography applications robbing us of having actual experiences.

Realistically, 48 hours off technology is nothing. I still remember a day when I never used a cellphone or a computer. When I never used a computer – oh what I would give to say I still did that now. What I would give to be able to say that any of us could be successful at anything without all the advances computer and cellular technology can offer. Sure, my Klout score may go down about a point from being offline for 48 hours. I may offend someone much in the way I have been offended by not responding soon enough to an email or a text message. But think of all the things that can come of unbinding myself to the chains of my technology. I don’t even know what the next 48 hours holds. It’s kind of exciting to know that they won’t involve a cellphone or computer.

The real question isn’t “why should I do it?” though. It’s “can I do it?” Can you?

STFU Fridays: “Only Old Ladies Craft”

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I am 30 years old. I have no more (less) than 4 grey hairs (the hair stylist says they were a fluke, because they never came back). I still wear boots a lot. And skinny jeans. I don’t have arthritis (just yet). And my days are not defined by bowel movements (at least not mine).

My point is this: I am young and spry. And yet I craft like a motherfucker.

I have been on vacation in this weird, faux Danish town and one of the things about these types of places is that they are filled with old ladies and their quilting bees. The town’s local hero is Hans Christian Andersen. And they have a year-round Christmas store called Jule Has. That’s about all they’ve got going for them; so you know – what else are they going to do but quilt and knit?

Back to me: if you can imagine the sound of a dolphin having an orgasm while giving birth, that is about the noise that came out of my mouth while at the first of many craft stores I visited on this vacation to the Hans Christian Andersen-Jule Has-town of old ladies and quilting bee shit. Non-human ecstasy combined with sheer horror. You see, while getting my craft-gasm on, I overheard someone walking by outside the store, saying that “only old ladies craft.”

Shut the fuck up, bitch.

If only old ladies craft, then stop posting DIY shit on Pinterest

Seriously, the whole concept of Pinterest is crafting. Saying something is DIY is synonymous with saying it was a craft. Everything is creative and adorable and cute (crafty), or else why the fuck would you pin it?

Bitches that Pinterest all this creative, adorable shit and then say that only old ladies craft need to shut the fuck up. Bitches that post food porn and then say that only old ladies craft need to shut the fuck up as well (because nice-looking food is – in essence – crafting too).

Bitches that DIY their whole fucking wedding, or create house decor out of duct tape and spray paint, and then say that only old ladies craft for real need to shut the fuck up. Shut. The. Fuck. UP.

If only old ladies craft, stop wearing hand-knitted sweaters

Reaping the benefits of not-old-ladies crafting and then saying that only old ladies craft deserves a very large STFU.

Nothing makes me more angry than someone who talks shit about something, and embraces it anyway. You know, like someone that says Taco Bell is for people with no taste buds, but then gets a part-time job there when the hooker and blow fund dries up. Or a person that rails on about people on welfare, while standing in line for a prescription paid for by the free, state healthcare for people of low income.

Unless bitches know for a fact that their hand-knitted sweaters, socks, bags, scarves, or dildo warmers are – in fact – crafted by some crafty old lady, they for real need to shut the fuck up.

If only old ladies craft, then why is Etsy full of young people selling their crafted wares?

Have you ever been to Etsy, faithful blog followers? It is full of a lot of shit. I mean shit in a neutral term – some is cool (I bought the head piece for my wedding off of there); a lot is junk. There’s also some opportunism going on over the site, like that guy that was selling the homemade heart clutch bags to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting (and not donating a penny of it victims and families of the shooting).

But old ladies don’t sell their crafts on Etsy! Most of the old ladies I know don’t even know what Etsy is!! Etsy is loaded with young bitches that do a lot of crafts, who then think that they’ll just jump on the bandwagon and make some extra money like all the other young bitches that sell their crafty wares on the website.

I craft like a motherfucker. And I am young and spry (well, sort of). This Shut the Fuck Up Fridays is for all those bitches and their hand-knitted dildo warmers who say that “only old ladies craft.” Young ladies do too; and it probably isn’t fair for me to imply that it’s only the ladies that craft, because men craft all the time – and that is totally OK.

So all those bitches with their DIY Pinterest accounts can just keep their dildos in their hand-knitted warmers and mouths shut the fuck up.

Christmas Cuntkies

Hey Christmas: go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself with your stupid lights and stupid expectations and your stupid overspending and your stupid cookies. Seriously. Just go away already.

Alright, I’m not really that much of a grinch. Yes I am, but I’m fine with Christmas sticking around if people give me stuff.

I’m really revealing how much of an asshole I am, aren’t I. Shall we start over?

So Christmas cookies are my current bane of existence. There is a fucking timeline of just how the 2012 bake-a-thon derailed from a quaint, seasonal activity, to cursing obscenities and renaming them Christmas Cuntkies. And I am sure you all will not be surprised that I finally just gave the fuck up. Screaming.

Screaming so loudly the neighbors thought I had either cut off a limb, or finally won my ride in the paddywagon.

Last Thursday

11 o’clock at night, or as I like to call it:

the razor-lined chastity belt hour

I was desperate to avoid doing it with my husband. Running out of excuses (headache had been cured by Tylenol, I clearly wasn’t tired because I was still up and keeping myself busy), I decided to sit down and start planning a Christmas activity. Something quaint. Something that required research and planning. This would surely keep him from trying to get some.

So I sat down and made the list of cookies that I was going to bake. Fortunately, it worked in fending off Poor Nick’s attempts to engage in the thirty most awkward seconds of my life.

Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was signing up for.

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Last Friday

10 in the morning (ish)

Grocery shopping.

This trip to the grocery store would have been normal had I the foggiest idea just what in the fuck I needed to make my ridiculously ambitious (unrealistic) list of cookies. Here is where I admit something pretty big. While I bake cakes like a boss and wield pies like a hooker in Vegas wields her hoo-ha, cookies are always a mixed bag for me. If it’s a cut-and-dry chocolate chip, I’m fine. Anything else and I don’t even know what’s in it.

I was there until almost noon. I was there for so long that I forgot where I parked.

Later that day…

I started making the cookie dough for the first three batches. Then I remembered that I had committed to go to my knitting group, which happened to start approximately 15 minutes after I began the dough. So I finished the dough for those batches and passed the project on to Pookies and my mom. I figured if my mom’s hands were busy, they were less likely to steal shit while she babysat anyway.

Later that night…

I got home from knitting to find that those motherfuckers baked about 12 cookies and left the dough sitting out to spoil. Some of it was even shaped on the cookie sheets and then just never put in the oven.

Not only that, but for some ungodly reason there was flour everywhere. Fucking everywhere. I didn’t leave any part of the dough preparation to them, so I don’t even know why the shit was taken out. But it was and so there was flour on the floor. Flour all over the trash can. Flour on the carpet.

Even flour in my underpants (although that’s another issue altogether).

Saturday

For three hours, I cleaned up the debacle of flour. I cried a little as I threw away all the spoiled dough. In the end, I cursed and pouted and told my husband when he got home that Christmas cookies were not for me.

Sunday

Christmas cookies were for me again! I was back on the horse and ready to bake on Monday. I also began to consider whether or not I might be suffering from bipolar disorder, with such drastic cookie-related ups and downs.

Monday

The whole fucking day was devoted to baking cookies. Then a ream of bullshit came streaming out of nowhere, from problems with my husband’s crashed car situation to dramatics with my mother to a stream of errands for the upcoming princess tea party birthday party we’re having this weekend. The pinata I had worked on making from scratch fell apart. Three more little girls got added to the roster of kids.

So in the end I only got one batch of cookies done on Monday. Here’s were things really started going downhill because it was no longer just other people acting stupid, it was me learning just how poor I am at baking cookies.

I made peanut butter kiss cookies. They are supposed to be round and compact and cute looking. They came out looking like flat tits.

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Tuesday

I started off the day baking sugar cookies with peppermint chips. They looked fucking rad when they went into the oven. I thought surely this meant my cookie-baking nightmares had come to an end. The remaining 18 dozen cookies I would bake would be magical. They would reaffirm the Christmas spirit in our household. I even thought about putting on some Frank Sinatra Christmas music and prancing around in a Santa hat and shit.

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They came out looking like dog vomit. Fucking dog vomit with parts that you could see through, there was just so much grease.

I wasn’t ready to be discouraged, though. I threw all of them into a tupperware container for my husband to eat (he’ll eat anything) and moved on to the pecan turtles I saw on Pinterest. I know what you are all thinking: that’s awfully ambitious of you, B(itch)! With not one success yet, you moved on to something that you have never made, that can be a little complicated.

Yep. That’s exactly what I did.

What can I say? Maybe I wanted to doom the whole thing. Those little turtles looked like piles of dog shit when they came out.

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So my track record at that point was: spoiled dough, flour in my ass, peanut butter titties, dog puke, dog poop. That was when I began screaming. I may or may not have thrown cookies on the floor yelling “these aren’t Christmas cookies! They’re Christmas CUNTKIES!!!”

I calmed myself by eating about three-quarters of a bag of marshmallows and decided I would consider trying one more batch later in the evening. But then shit went to hell again in the other realms of life – I learned that I didn’t have enough tape to finish wrapping the family Christmas gifts, so had to go out and run yet another seemingly endless errand. Then my mother showed up to stop by on her way home from a funeral. I thought I was going to have an opportunity to wield my sword of snark at her for letting the dough get spoiled on Friday, but she walked in and I noticed she had a huge tag hanging from her sweater.

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“Uh … mom, did you wear that sweater to the funeral?”

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“Yeah, why?”

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“Because the tags are still noticeably hanging from it.”

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“Well how else do you expect me to return it after I wore it today?!”

And with that, I was done. Today I had to resume the princess tea party bullshit preparations. I got back to the baking I can actually do successfully – cakes, scones … basically anything that requires little enough attention to allow me to drink copious amounts  of wine whilst I stir.

No more Christmas Cuntkies for me, faithful blog followers. I guess I’ll just have to buy them.

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STFU Fridays: JerkMom, One-Uppers, Pinterest Users, Contemporary Ballers

Have you “liked” my blog on Facebook yet? No? Shame on you… Well, here’s something you can really do for me – click the link for Top Mommy Blogs dot com to register a vote for my site as one of the best. Thanks!!

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I have a new, weekly theme on my blog. It’s called “Shut the Fuck Up Fridays.” Quite bluntly put, there are a lot of people in this world that really just need to STFU. But they never do because no one seems to have the balls to tell them so. People are so worried about having positive vibes and not offending anyone that it’s like we’ve let stupidity and asshattedness run rampant for the sake of everyone feeling good.

One of my favorite philosophers – Søren Kierkegaard – said that his mission in life was to make things more difficult for people by telling them the way things are – even if they did not want to hear it. Just under 200 years later, I’d say this was his way of telling people to STFU.

For this, the first installation of Shut the Fuck Up Fridays, we’re taking on JerkMom, One-Uppers, Pinterest Users, and Contemporary Ballers. And I’ve brought along my friend Angry Schoolboy to help.

JerkMom

Yesterday I went to lunch with my dad. We were planning on going to a locally owned place by the airport, but it had a one hour wait with tons of booths open. So screwing that place, we moved on to the closest spot – another trip to Johnny Rockets.

We sat outside and were enjoying our meal when all of a sudden this horribly pretentious-looking woman with nostrils so large I could be inhaled into them came up to the host with her old hag of a mother (similarly as pretentious-looking as she) and her kid in a stroller. There was a sign that said no strollers and she said “can you make an exception on this ‘no stroller’ thing for us?”

Really bitch? Angry Schoolboy has something to say to you:

 

One-Uppers

Have you ever had a conversation with someone that constantly has to one-up you? The first inherent sign of this person is that they constantly “know” or “have experience” with everything you are talking about. I was in a relationship once with a one-upper and I called him on his shit by making up a fact about the US dollar bill and saying “did you know that …” and he said he knew; to which I (of course) had to tell him I had made the whole thing up to prove he’s a dick. The relationship didn’t last long after that.

Recently I’ve come in contact with a lot of one-uppers; the most notable of which responded to every story I told with “Oh yeah? Well I’ve got a story that can top that.”

You don’t say? You have a story that can top mine in every single thing that I do, experience, think, or feel? Angry Schoolboy has something to say to you too:

Pinterest Users

Yesterday I posted a blog about how Pinterest and Instagram have ruined my life, by virtue of making everything I cook or do have to be an event worthy of photographing. I included photographs of things I had cooked, quite obviously to illustrate my point. Then – in a moment of true hypocrisy – I pinned the blog post to my Pinterest board set up for my blog, with a clear title and description of the blog included.

I got quite a few click-throughs, none of whom enjoyed my blog. In fact, they apparently didn’t even read the title or description on the pin because they were expecting a recipe.

I don’t understand, where is the recipe for that cake?

Cute blog, although you could get the point across with less bad words. Are you going to post the recipe for those BLT bites at some point?

LOL on me for thinking you actually posted something on Pinterest that Pinterest is for.

Can you at least include links to the cake recipe next time?

Came for the cake recipe. Left because you have an attitude problem.

Oh, Pinterest users. Oh, silly, silly, closed-minded Pinterest users. Angry Schoolboy has something to say to you:

Contemporary Ballers

This morning I saw on Fabulous and Flawed’s Facebook page an eCard about people that use the term “swag.” I wholeheartedly agree – the majority of the time that I see a person use the term “swag” or it’s derivative “swag life” I cringe.

What the fuck does swag even mean now? When I worked in politics that was the term we used to refer to political buttons and t-shirts; although, I am almost certain that popular culture has completely redefined it, like they did with “epic.” Now I see people using the term everywhere. “I’m so swag.” “Got my swagger.” “Kickin’ it on the roof #swag #swaglife.” Do the people using this term – I can only assume inappropriately or out of its original context – realize how stupid they sound?

If I am way off base and it makes sense or actually means something, well then my bad. If I am correct though, Angry Schoolboy has something to say to these contemporary ballers:

 

How Pinterest and Instragram Ruined My Life

Yesterday I had a lot of cooking and cleaning to do. I was behind on my usual schedule of cleaning the apartment; and my in-laws are coming over for dinner tonight. This is sort of a big deal because we haven’t seen them since late last year – and Hello Kitty Toaster is included in the bunch. They hate me something good, faithful blog followers. I’m not sure why, really – except that I operate much differently than the way they run their family. I don’t gossip. I don’t break the sanctity of my marriage to allow other family into our personal business. I don’t tell stories about my bowel movements and my dog’s bloody heat at the dinner table.

Call me crazy, that’s just me.

Somewhere between inviting them over for dinner and preparing the actual meal, though, I let Pinterest and Instagram ruin my life. Although if I were really being honest, this happened a long time ago.

Now that we have Pinterest and Instagram – with people posting picture after stupid picture of recipes, crafts, food, inspiration, you name it – the bar of how things look in real life has been set much higher. It’s not just about preparation, it’s about presentation. It’s not just about enjoying the meal, it’s about taking photos of it at every angle and posting them on Instagram. Your meal is perfection if you can take a photo of it and it looks unbelievable uploaded without a filter. And look! It’s so easy to do all these cutesy little DIY additions to make things look even more perfect. We call it “personalized touch.”

Pinterest and Instagram are just about making things even more perfect than we’ve already tried to make them.

So I planned the meal for tonight according to my own tastes. I figured that if I’m going to be cooking a meal for people whose most recent contact with us included the words “we know Heather won’t let you come see us and Heather won’t let you call us and Heather seems to think you aren’t our son” (in response to my husband not communicating with them for a while, being upset of his own accord – Heather didn’t do anything); I’m cooking whatever the hell I want. I also wanted to spite Hello Kitty Toaster – I know how much she hates carbs and thinks that vegetables are fatty, so I wanted to plan the meal to be as carb- and veggie-filled as possible. And under no circumstance was I going to be making California-Italian. No sir – they feed themselves enough of that slop every other day of the year. And I hate it.

In the end, I decided on: stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini rollups for appetizers; buffalo-style chicken legs, fresh baguette, Chicago-style thin crust pizza, garlic-sauteed mixed green veggies, and a caesar salad for dinner; and a stained glass cake and lemon pie for dessert. It’s just enough for the eight people that are going to be here, and all relatively easy for me.

Do you see what I did there, though, faithful blog followers? I already started in with the Pinterest junk.

Ten years ago, I would have said “pizza.” Now it’s got to be qualified as Chicago-style thin crust pizza. Ten years ago, I would have said “some appetizers.” Now it’s stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups. If I were really going to go all out with the Pinterest crap, I’d say bleu cheese and bacon stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites with a hint of garlic and onion, and zucchini roll-ups filled with ricotta and spinach. And not only did I feel I needed to qualify it all, but it has to look amazing when it’s presented as well.

So I spent about twenty minutes standing at the box window in my kitchen – where I keep all of the serving platters – deciding what platters would be best for presentation. Will the stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups fit on here uniformly? Can I layer the chicken on this platter so as to display the bleu cheese crumbles? Will the presentation of my stained glass cake show the stained glass pieces on this dessert stand?

Oh for Christ’s sakes – shut the fuck up!

There was a day when dinner was just dinner. People came over and unless it was professionally catered (and even sometimes then), the meal was just a meal. No one cared about the presentation. Serving platters (versus the cookware the food was cooked in) were things for pretentious people, and pretentious people only. You never saw little place card signs stuck into various pieces of fruit listing the entire gamut of ingredients in the dish. Hardly ever did you see things like personalization of wine bottles, napkin rings, and elaborate centerpieces. No one ever stood around worrying whether or not their chicken could be stacked to properly display the bleu cheese crumbles sprinkled on it. People didn’t waste their time on bull shit like that! And most importantly – more than anything – you didn’t have a bunch of saps all standing around and marveling at the food; most certainly never taking photographs of it.

Pinterest and Instagram have ruined my life. Has it ruined yours?

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