Things writers want to punch in the face: Bloggers

Today’s guest post comes from author Caitlin Kelley. A regular contributor to The New York Times since 1990, she has written for USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Glamour, More, and other publications in Canada and Europe. Her newest book, “Malled: My Unintentional Career In Retail” is out April 14th.

If I woke up tomorrow with the persistent belief that,  because I love using words like medulla oblangata or “stat!” or like how I look in a surgical gown, I was now — shazzam! — a neurosurgeon, many people would be quick to disabuse me of this notion.

It would instead, require years of study and practice and oversight by extremely demanding teachers, and passing exams to prove my competency, before I would be legally and safely allowed to start cutting open people’s heads.

But anyone anywhere can flip open a laptop and decide, after banging a few keys, they’re A Writer.

Not only is everyone now A Writer, but they howl en masse in wounded outrage when people like me – author of two non-fiction works published by major commercial houses, veteran of three daily newspapers, winner of fellowships and awards – suggest it’s actually, you know, work.

Becoming a writer worth reading actually requires skill, training, editing, self-editing, revision, reflection and often discarding entire chunks of material.

I’m all for enthusiasm and passion and new ideas. Book publishing would die without all of these. But how many of these soi-disant Writers network daily with dozens of other skilled, accomplished writers and ask for their feedback and advice?

And what happens when it’s negative? Do they give up?

It’s not fun having your ideas and skills examined and questioned, or your assumptions — whether about word choice, point of view, character or historical context — challenged.

Yet hundreds of bloggers are convinced they have a book – a whole shelf of them! – in them. And every day I find another few dozen whiny or moaning blog posts about “I don’t feel like writing today” or “I want to sell my book!” Or how they totally don’t intend to negotiate the pesky obstacle course of commercial publishing, as if it were for, you know, losers.

If so, why are the most successful writers still doing it?

If you seriously want to get your book published, here’s what we all did:

Find and impress an agent, write a book proposal, work on it for free for months until s/he thinks it’s ready, submit it to publishers, who may reject it with really snotty emails, and pray someone somewhere finally says, Yes!

(Like surgery, this is not a risk-free business. For all its terrific pleasures – Great reviews! Your book in stores! — it’s also routinely filled with last-minute surprises and unexpected costs, rejection and revision and self-doubt.)

Newbies’ naivete about all of this drives me crazy. It won’t be like that for me, they insist.

In the world of commercial book publishing, there’s no single-digit “publish” button.

For every book now in the marketplace, a dozen or more people, each with very strong opinions – and their professional reputations and future income riding on their selections – chose those books from among the thousands, literally, each month competing for their attention and investment.

Talking about writing is often a lot more fun than actually writing.

ninja’s notes: I have posted numerous times that I don’t feel like blogging on random days, but I’ve also never claimed to a) like writing, b)call myself a writer, or c)have any desire to publish a book….unless said book can contain a bunch of stick figure drawings.

Things I want to punch in the face: Facebookers

facebook poke

I’ve blogged a handful of times now about things I want to punch in the face, but nothing, I mean NOTHING bothers me more than than annoying Facebookers. When I log on to Facebook I’m generally trying to do three things, 1) Creep on peoples’ walls, 2) Creep peoples’ pictures, and 3) See what’s happening on my news feed. Here are a list of things I don’t want to see on Facebook…

My parents being more active than me:

Dad Ninja, as far as I know, doesn’t have Facebook. Mom Ninja joined a few weeks ago. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty weirded out when she joined the cult. Fortunately, she’s pretty low key. She’s not friend requesting the bageezus out of my friends. She’s not writing on my wall. And she’s not commenting on my pictures. As long as momz keeps it on the down low, I got no problem.

Facebook gamers:

Holy guacamole, no joke, if I see another freakin’ post about someone buying pigs on farmville, dealing drugs in mafia wars, and getting a new high score in bejeweled, I’ll punch a baby walrus. Facebook should be about friend requesting people you met one time at a party, not playing a bunch of stupid games.

News Feed Pollution:

I’m creating a new rule; If you status update more than three times an hour, I can no longer be your friend. There is no way your life is so important we need to know everything about everything. Here’s what I’m talking about…

Annoying New Mom 12:50 pm: Oh my gosh, my baby just farted. It was so funny. He’s pretty much the cutest baby ever. Baby farts for the win.

Annoying New Mom 12:53 pm: My baby is eating food now. Mom said he should have breast milk, but I was too tired and I’m kinda sore so I gave him Cheetos instead. Lolz.

Annoying New Mom 12:57 pm: Time to put the little guy down for a nap. I’m so worn out. Being a mom is way more work than I ever thought. Good thing I can whine about it on Facebook.

I’ve removed many a people from my Facebook friend list after misuse of status updates. Every TV show experienced, every weather condition observed, and every meal eaten need not be the subject of a status update. Consider yourself warned.

Poke me and die:

Self explanatory.

There are about a million other Facebook commandments I can think of. Don’t tag me if I’m in the background of one of your pictures. Don’t Facebook chat me every time I log on. Don’t invite me to your “hey guys I lost my phone, need your numbers” group. I can literally feel me blood boiling. AHHHHH!!!! Okay, time to go check my Facebook 🙂

What are your facebook commandments? What do your friends do that irritates you? Why is facebook so annoying and so addicting!?

To see the other things I want to punch in the face click here.

If you would like to be considered for a “Things I want to punch in the face” guest post get in touch with me and hopefully we can work something out. Only rules are it has to be funny and you have to be passionate.

Punch Cupid in The Face

In case you didn’t know, today is Valentine’s Day. Today is also Monday. Which means Valentine’s Day, is not only on a work day, but the worst work day of them all. Seems fitting, because in my opinion Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday of them all. Yeah, I said it. Valentine’s Day kinda sucks. Here’s why….

It’s expensive:

Have you ever tried going out to eat on Valentine’s day? I wouldn’t recommend it. Just about every restaurant decides to do this stupid little thing where they close their doors to the public and only offer a set menu to those who made reservations 8 months earlier. Why the heck can’t I just take my wife to a NORMAL meal at one of our favorite restaurants? Why’s everything got to be marked up a billion percent?

It’s the worst “holiday” ever:

Who decided to call Valentine’s Day a holiday? I don’t know what the actual definition of “holiday” is, but as far as I’m concerned, if I don’t get the day off work…it’s not a holiday. This year I refused to contribute to the hallmark holiday marketing ploy. Instead of paying for a V-day card, I made one. Instead of buying roses, I bought not-roses (I don’t know what kind of flowers they are). Instead of paying an eleventy billion dollar markup at a restaurant, I cook at home.

Not only does Valentine’s Day lack the prerequisites needed to be considered a legitimate holiday, but it’s also the only day (I’m aware of) that makes single people feel horrible about themselves. I think us married folks have an obligation to avoid the traditional Valentine’s Day exclusivity, and instead we should see V-day as an opportunity to hang out with some of our closest single friends….besides, we know they wont have any plans 🙂

It perverts our idea of love:

Last time I checked, there are 365 days in a year. Why the heck is Valentine’s Day only once a year? Why don’t we have it monthly? Weekly? Or Daily? After all, isn’t it my job to make sure my wife feels treasured/cherished/beautiful/appreciated EVERY SINGLE DAY? Heck yes it is!

Men: Don’t think today is the only day you’re required to make your wife feel like a princess, you should have done that yesterday, and you better do it tomorrow too!

Women: Don’t use today’s festivities as a means to measure your husband’s love for you, instead think about how he treats you the other 364 days.

…end rant

Does anyone else think Valentine’s Day is kinda stupid? What are you doing (or did you already do) for it? Any pro-valentine’s day supporters out there care to state your case?

Things I want to punch in the face: Smelly people

I’m sorry y’all but I need to take a minute today and rant about one of my least favorite things…smelly people. I’d like to think I have a pretty high gag reflex. I can eat gross foods. Watch live surgeries. Heck, I’ve even put a dead guy in a body bag. But the one thing I can not tolerate is people who emit wretched odors. There are three types of people that particularly drive me crazy…

The caveman:

You know this person. Their hair is usually a little greasy. Their teeth a little yellow. And their armpits a little sweaty. You don’t know for sure, but if you had to guess, you’d bet they haven’t seen the inside of a bathroom in a good 6 months. Maybe it’s a coworker, friend, or family member. You dread having to talk to them because you will have to pretend like their smell doesn’t want to make you projectile vomit all over them. For Christmas you give them a Starbucks card, but really you wanted to give them a toothbrush, a bar of soap, and a power washer.

If you aren’t showering, brushing your teeth, deodorizing your pits, etc on a daily basis, please do us all a favor and NEVER LEAVE YOUR HOUSE!

The hippie:

Since when has it been socially acceptable to walk around shoeless? Unless you are homeless, it’s probably okay to expect you wear some freakin’ shoes at work, on an airplane, in a nightclub, or while you are walking down the street. We’re not living in the 1960’s anymore, shoes are the standard now! I get it. Being shoeless is  “comfortable”. Maybe that’s true for you, but for the rest of us it’s a freakin’ nightmare. We don’t want to smell your feet.

The Overcompensator:

This might be the worse offender of them all. No this person doesn’t emit crazy body odor. Their mouth doesn’t wreak of garlic and onion. They even have shoes on their feet. I gotta break this category down by gender to better explain…

Women: Please be aware of everything you put on your body. If you wash your hair with cucumber and green tea body soap, lotion up with vanilla bean shea butter, and spray 98 pumps of Chanel perfume on your neck and wrists, please avoid coming within 200 feet of me. That is unless you catch me on a day I’m wearing my Hazardous Material full body suit. I understand you want to smell good, but all you are doing is giving me a headache. Tone it down.

Men: Axe body spray is not a shower replacement. Contrary to popular belief, you will not be able to avoid bathing yourself for an entire week, throw on a bit of Axe, and expect the ladies to throw themselves at you like they do in the commercials. This is the  real world buddy. The only thing worse than the smell of Axe, is the smell of Axe on a smelly frat boy. Vomit!

Please, for the love of all that is holy, forward this public service announcement to any coworker, family, or friend that might need to read it. It’s time, those of us with reasonable hygiene, take a stand against the forces of evil and demand a hygienic reformation! If you smell like a combination of hot garbage, death, and Cheetos please do us all a favor and take a shower! Together, we can change the world, one smelly person at a time.

Things I want to punch in the face: Apple Fankids

Today’s guest post comes from, Maria Rainier. She is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, where recently she’s been researching different music degree programs and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

See? I tried to be P.C. (no pun intended) by saying “fankids” instead of “fanboys,” since not all Mac users are male, nor are they female—there’s such a sex as intersex, too. See, I am progressive, but I still want to punch Mac lovers in the face.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate a nice Mac, even if I do have a vendetta against a certain $1499 iMac that’s sitting in a corner of the press office at my alma mater, probably losing data, not transferring files, and shutting down without provocation, or alternatively not shutting down at all until I rip the cord out of the wall, but I don’t want to do that because Steve Jobs might jump out of the spinning ball of death and spit on me and then make my Mac never turn on again—but wait, it won’t turn on again, anyway, and the stupid LED light is still on and it’s a terrible, terrible liar because it’s telling me with its blinding light that the computer is on and functioning (Ninja’s comments: Holy guacamole, that has to be the longest run-on sentence EVER!). Why would you lie to me, Mac? I wouldn’t lie to you. I told you from the very beginning that it wasn’t meant to be.

This is why I have a PC. Not that I’m in denial that PCs don’t work where Macs do. My PC shuts down when it gets too hot, gets infected even when I don’t click on ads or risqué sites, and slows down whenever I try running Photoshop with iTunes or really iTunes with anything else, and its screen isn’t as pretty as the Mac screens of the hipster-type emo kids who are still on their parents’ dime and complain about how Japan won’t stop killing dolphins while they eat a tuna sandwich and click/type away at roadside cafes—outdoors, of course, otherwise nobody would see them being hipster and emo and Mack-ie (Ninja’s comments: Second longest run-on sentence ever?).

And then these kids try to tell you that Macs are awesome. Their arguments usually consist of the following:

1. They never crash, freeze, or get slimy viruses.
2. They look cooler (duh).
3. They’re innovative and so am I, because I like indie music and click “Causes” on Facebook every day and walk around in skinny jeans with my hands in my pockets even though there’s decidedly no room left in said skinny jeans for hands or any other appendages (burn).

They mention nothing of operating speed, hardware or software options (or lack, thereof), or Steve Jobs’ stint at NeXT and open-source Linux. When you mention any of these things, their eyes glaze over and all they can do is show you their awesome music collection on iTunes and say PCs are for fundamentalists who don’t want to change their ways and try yoga and only care about Wall Street and don’t care about the little guy. Because Steve Jobs isn’t a millionaire or anything.

Mac fankids don’t understand that Apple is basically trying to rebuild the wheel that Microsoft made like twenty years ago. They consider right-click and the ergonomic mouse “innovation” when everyone knows that right-click has been around LITERALLY for decades, and anyone who’s tried one of those ergonomic things knows that Apple owes them several hundred dollars in chiropractic fees. Righteously flouting mainstream industry trends like the HDMI port (which for Macs are a novelty) and pursuing a completely non-intuitive Dock that doesn’t actually close any programs or allow you to drag files to new destinations without having both source and destination files open, I suppose, appeals to scene kids and wannabe nerds who want to write for CNET while editing together their indie-but-still-blockbuster psychological thriller film.

They are unable to back up their three-point argument (see above) with anything factual and cannot refute my opinion that a Mac is like a good date gone bad: the guy (or girl, or intersex, whatever) looks great, dresses nice, has beautiful eyes, has a great laugh, and then he/she/it disappears into the bathroom for twenty minutes and loses his/her/its utensils and very conveniently his/her/its wallet after spilling the soup all over me.

My point is this: I don’t care if you like Macs or PCs as long as you can back up your opinion. Macs and PCs work different ways with basically the same OS and therefore appeal to different users with different needs. That’s fine.

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong? Maybe I just want to punch scene kids in the face?

Ninja’s comments: Maria’s treading on thin ice here, considering both Girl Ninja and I have Macbooks, I have the iPhone, and we both have like 87 iPods between the two of us. I am probably an Apple Fanboy for life. But, I’ll be honest. I don’t really know much about the technical stuff Maria wrote about. Macs probably are more limited in what they can do, when compared to a P.C., but that’s exactly why I like them: They are simple! So what’s it gonna be debt punchers: Mac, PC, or Indifferent????

Things I want to punch in the face: Weathermen

Evan is a fellow personal finance blogger over at My Journey to Millions.  He blogs about financial freedom, estate taxes and his personal finance situation.  You can also check out other random things that piss him off.  Make sure to Subscribe to his blog or Follow him on Twitter!

While there are some people who want to punch people who love babies, or even punch cute adorable innocent kittens, I have a real group of people that should be punched right in their cocky faces: Weathermen. When other men and women are telling us about important world events these “people” are gearing up to talk about the potential for a little precipitation.  I am sorry but my need for an umbrella should not be broadcast on the same show as news stories focusing on death, destruction, and even the recent financial apocalypse.

But even if we were to ignore weathermen’s lack of importance there are some core attributes of the ‘profession’ that anger me and thus they should be punched in the face.

No Accountability

During the day I work as a back office reference for a financial planning firm, want to know what happens if I tell someone the wrong tax information? I get reprimanded.  At night, I have a very small law practice, want to know what happens if I fail my client? I get sued for malpractice.  What happens if Ninja fails to prevent the next assassination of a world leader? He’d be locked away in Gitmo.

Now tell me what happens when Al “I can’t decide if I am fat” Roker gets the weather wrong? NOTHING. What happens if Jillian Reynolds tells me that it is going to be raining for the Falcon game (so I bet a ton of dough on them cause they are awesome) and it doesn’t rain? LITERALLY NOTHING.

The only thing that makes this lack of accountability worse is the very fact that people don’t seem to care! Despite being screwed over the day before, they still go back to listen to the weatherman’s ridiculous predictions.  Day in and day out.

They Act Like they Know Everything

According to Wikipedia Meteorology is

the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and short term forecasting (in contrast with climatology). Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the eighteenth century. The nineteenth century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries. Breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved in the latter half of the twentieth century, after the development of the computer.

While a weatherman is

A TV or radio presenter, communicating information from meteorologists

So these weathermen get up there in front of their green screen with their smug attitudes talking about what is going to happen, but how do they know? Because some smart guy with a lot of interdisciplinary degrees told them!  Most weathermen aren’t experts, nope, just flashy men or really hot women.

Inexplicably Vague Guesses

My final bone to pick is a simple one, and if you aren’t with me yet, then the following image should sway you…

Do you see Saturday? A 50% chance of rain should NEVER exist.  Let met get this straight – This weekend it MIGHT or MIGHT NOT rain?  Ummm isn’t that true EVERY day? This is insanity!

Ninja’s comments: Preach it brotha! Nothing is more frustrating than a weather report that calls for warm blue skies, but a look out the window shows the reality of gray clouds and heavy rains. I can’t believe these weather-folks can earn a six or seven figure income just for throwing out some random predictions about what MIGHT happen. I call shenanigans!

Things I want to punch in the face: Office Coworkers

Today’s rant comes from PDITF reader, Lesley. She’s the author of 23 to Life, a blog about Self-Improvement, Passionate living, Minimalism, and a bunch of other topics. If you like what she had to say, go check her out. Now on to her rant about punching her coworkers in the face….

annoying coworker

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you probably know the type of coworker I’m talking about. There’s always at least one crazy, annoying person who manages to fool the hiring department into thinking they’re semi-sane and semi-capable. Coworkers like that are like little nasty bed bugs: hard to get rid of once you’ve let them in the door.

Working in an office requires some semblance of decorum and this is what makes it so frustrating. You generally have to be polite, even when your fingers are itching to slap that better-than-you grin off their smug face! Nothing really phases me, but dealing with crazy coworkers day in and day out can push even the most zen person to their limits.

So here’s why I want to punch some of my office coworkers in the face:

Coworkers who don’t know how to use the computer.

I’m sorry, but the reality is that we’re living in a world that relies on a basic understanding of technology, this includes knowing how to use a computer. You may be a dinosaur but the rest of us have work to do and we don’t have time to show you how to use the mouse and keyboard.

I once had a coworker bring in an audio recorder because she wanted to record me explaining to her how to open a file. The first time, I right-clicked and showed her how to click on “Open”. The next time, I double-clicked on the file to open it. She physically stopped me with a hand on my wrist and said, “woah – back up there a second – WHAT did you just do?” She blamed me for confusing her by doing something two different ways and instructed me to only do it one way because she was “still learning”.

You call me stupid. I call you stupid.

Is there anything that makes you want to punch your annoying coworker in the face more than when said coworker points out that you did something wrong? Obviously, if you did do something wrong you’ll do what you can to rectify the matter, but it’s just irritating when your arch nemesis (who doesn’t know he’s your arch nemesis) had to be the one to bring it to your attention.

BUT, if you, in fact, did not do anything wrong and your coworker was just being stupid, then I think it’s okay to punch them in the face. For example, one time my coworker wrote me an email saying “are you quite sure this email address is correct because it’s quite unusual for there to be a dot at the end of it”. I was absolutely dumbfounded and momentarily stunned. I didn’t know whether to scream obscenities or laugh hysterically at the ridiculousness of this inquiry. I finally managed to reach a calm place and emailed her back saying that the “dot” on the end of the email was simply a period that is required by all sentences to be proper.

Inappropriate “friendliness.”

I understand you may not have a life outside of work, but please don’t invite me to lingerie parties disguised as “pyjama networking parties”. Also, please don’t invite me to go swimming at the pool (or any other activity that requires either one of us to don a bathing suit) with you . What makes it even more inappropriate is that you are a 45-year-old man and I am a 21-year-old woman.

Coworkers who do not know what tact is.

And, finally, we have the tactless coworker. These may possibly be the most annoying type of coworker in the known universe. They say blatant things that rankle your nerves and make you want to do violent things to them and their car. They’ll casually say things like “Wow, it must take you a really long time to get home on the bus. Man, it looks NASTY out there. I’m so glad I drive. Okay, bye! See you on Monday!” Or, maybe it’s “Wow, your lunch has a really strong smell. It’s why I don’t eat ethnic foods anymore.” Every time I think about vaulting over the desk and attacking, I have to remember a prison sentence is not worth it.

The horrifying truth is that annoying coworkers are everywhere. Even the most stringent office is susceptible to infiltration. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I don’t know about you, but for me nothing would be more satisfying or more enjoyable than being able to punch my annoying coworkers right in the kisser.

Ninja’s Comments: Fortunately, I don’t have any annoying coworkers, being that I work from home. Ha! That said, I think every job I’ve had in the past, has always had ONE person that just kinda sucked. Why is that? Why is there always “that guy” that totally make an enjoyable workplace, well, miserable? It’s like an unwritten rule all offices must hire one quasi-pyschotic quasi-drama person. Do you have any annoying coworkers? Tell us about him or her!

If you would like to be considered for a “Things I want to punch in the face” guest post get in touch with me and hopefully we can work something out. Only rules are it has to be funny and you have to be passionate.