Category Archives: Blogging

I’m Hangry. Please Don’t Jack Around

WARNING:  I’m a big fan of foul language. The following post includes a pinch of spicy and green leafy cuss words. Please avoid this article if you have delicate sensibilities.recipes1

 

Dear Foodie Blogger,

For the love of God, please choose  – preferably in the advanced planning stages before launching your wonderful new blog, whether you are a storyteller, photographer, or, and this is a big one…a fucking cook.  Because here’s the thing:  YOUR BLOG CAN’T BE ALL THREE.  At least not very well.  And definitely not if you want me to subscribe and tell all my friends about it.

I get it.  I know what you are trying to do.  I’ve seen it done well but not often, and not unless you can legitimately add graphic artist to your resume and know how to skillfully design a page with photos of sumptuous food logically arranged around the ACTUAL RECIPE IN A READABLE FORMAT. That’s a lot of work for the average Foodie blogger.  Try not to get too fancy about it.  If you don’t pay a large staff to do everything except the cooking, just post the recipe with a few photos of the finished product. Really. That’s all you need. If you absolutely must write a 17-paragraph narrative about the recipe, maybe do it after you’ve posted the ingredients and cooking directions.  A couple of people will be interested.  Not me but maybe some others.

I love and enjoy each of these specific blog genres  – storytelling, photography and cooking –  but when combing them, if they each carry equal weight, what you end up with is a blog that is, at first glance, big and beautiful and envy-inducing, “Oh my God I wish my hot dogs looked this pretty!”  On further inspection, however,  when I’m trying to find the actual recipe, if the blog becomes complicated and confusing because I’m spending way too many of my expensive minutes searching and scrolling and clicking and pressing arrows to find the F&(*ing  ingredients or oven temp, you’ve lost me in a mad fury.

 

Yum

Bologna sandwich with huge tomato slice. Easy.

The photos may be stunning, the narrative captivating and the actual recipe may be to die for – but I’ll never know. And just so you know, right before I slam my cursor on the X at the top right side of your page, I’ve uttered several violent missives directly at you. Personally. Likely something uncouth about your waste management apparatus. I’m hateful like that.

If your blog is a slice-of-life narrative about how you’ve gotten healthy and trim following a certain eating plan, I’ll follow along because I love stories of success and personal victory.  I love seeing the before and after photos and I’m inspired to try your plan  with you and encourage you along the way.  But that’s different. I only read those blogs when I’m already too full and disgusted with my piggish self. When I’m hungry I don’t care how fat I am.  That’s the point.

If I’m looking for a recipe, bets are, I’m hungry, I’m in a hurry, I have a slab of thawed meat I don’t know what to do with, and likely several people standing around asking me what we (translate: me) are doing about dinner.  If all of these elements happen to be in place at the same time, which they so often are, I may also be approaching homicidal. Now is not the time for me to read about your personal relationship with lean, non-GMO, organic, grass-feed, free-range pork steak. Your farm-to-table adventures hold no sway with me. I especially don’t give any effs about how you filched the recipe from your husband’s mother after she accidentally ate a magic brownie in the backseat of a yellow Volkswagen in 1973.  I swear I don’t. That story is only interesting to you and your siblings.  And maybe your children if they’re old enough to be told about the ‘70s.

If I have to click more than once to get to the actual directions on how to make the recipe—I’m gone. Tempted to do a slideshow style recipe?  Lose my number. I’ll never be back.

Seriously?

Seriously?

Generally speaking, and I’m guessing I’m in the majority here, when I’m looking for a specific kind of food or recipe, I Google it.  I need directions for an interesting way to make something to eat. Something different for a change.  I’m looking for an easy-to-read list of ingredients and directly below/beside that list- the actual directions to mix it all up and cook it.  I don’t want editorial comments after each ingredient. I know cumin is spicy.  I’ll cut it back if I’m feeding kids or sissies. I know cilantro is pungent. You don’t need to warn me that if I don’t like it I should use less.  Let’s assume here that I have at least an iota of cooking experience.  I know where the kitchen is. I know how to turn on the stove. Trust me.  Also, if you must tell me in the list of supplies needed section that I should use a clean cutting board (as opposed to…. what?  A dirty one?), you’ve misunderestimated me. I can’t like you at all and maybe forever if you say something like that. If I’m smart enough to find your blog, you must trust me as a reader.  I know about Hepatitis.  I was in the army.

I love a good story.  I’m a huge fan of photography blogs.  I’m always searching for good recipes.  I never combine these activities. I don’t have time.  Here’s a news flash: NOBODY HAS TIME.

I block out daily reading times and (too) often, I allow myself some (precious) online minutes to admire the interesting collections of art and photos on various blogs, including food blogs. But not when I’m hungry.  When it’s dinner time, I’m looking for food ideas.   I want the deets, the 411, the goddamned ingredients. I don’t want the history of Turmeric and beet juice in America. I also don’t’ want to do an additional search to find out how many shrimps make up eight ounces or what size package of meat makes up “28 ounces of pork roast” (1.75#s, FYI).  For God’s sake.  That’s just cruel. Please. Be merciful. One more thing here while we’re discussing mercy: any recipe that calls for “X amount of cups plus 1/2 teaspoon” is just showing off. Just trying to make the author look like some kind of fancy chef. I mean really.  That extra 1/2 teaspoon is more or less a few pinches. Everybody knows that. Don’t be fancy. You lose credibility.

 

The big payoff in being a considerate Foodie Blogger is that if I like the recipes I’ll be back for more.  I’ll subscribe.  I’ll re-blog.  I’ll spread the word like a cupful of softened butter. I’ll tolerate the annoying ads because I get how that works and I appreciate what you are doing.  I’ll even click the ads if they interest me because again, I get it. I do draw the line though with auto-play video ads.  I’ll only stick around long enough to damn you to hell before I click the X and be gone from your site. Forever. Have some respect. Or, lose me. Either way. Plenty of Sushi in the sea. I don’t need a science lesson or a fun story on how you learned to properly boil water.  I need dinner.

Meh... not bad.

So-so Mexican food from a local place. For when Google is down.

My one and only Foodie Post:

Best Black Bean Soup

I’ve never done a foodie post and I may not do another one. This one, half-assed at best, I only thought of while I was making my favorite black bean soup. So, bear with me while I try something completely new. The post, that is. The soup I make fairly often.  Read Article

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Cruisin’ for a Good Time on WordPress

20160124_215227[1]“…I’ve since evolved from the timid hope that someone will come over here and read my work and like it (and tell me so) to boldly inviting people to look at it. Hope wasn’t really working out very well. Inviting people works better. ” Continue

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Nursing: A free Pass to Heaven

20150518_194319To honor Beth for her words of wisdom and her funny stories, I’m posting a recent text I received.  It may only be funny  to nurses.   Continue

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Me, Me, Me. A Verbal Selfie

Writers, from all accounts that I’ve found, are often stumped about what to write on their blogs. There’s no shortage of blogging going on in the universe, that’s for sure, but writers generally have a specific kind of writing they want to do.

Some bloggers offer helpful hints and inspiration. Tons of bloggers, certainly some of my favorites, share recipes and cooking tips. Some tell funny stories. Some are funnier than others. Some can barely spell but they have something important to say and they manage to get it out there on that massive information highway. Wordes, wrds, words. It’s all good, as my kids used to say.

Lots and lots of bloggers reveal personal information about their lives, their romantic breakups, their pets. They write touching stories about their children or parents or fighting their way back from illness or some other kind of challenge. These aren’t all writers, necessarily, but they’re bloggers. They want to share something with the world. A piece of themselves.

Then there are bloggers who write about blogging. It’s a business for some folks. I haven’t figured out how they make money at it, at least not on WordPress but a few of them are hugely successful at it.

My favorite bloggers are those who are able to bring together elements from each category and draw me in with compelling ideas and fascinating perspectives about their lives—or about all life.

I recently started this networking blog, separate from my writing blog and I commented to a fellow blogger that I wasn’t sure what to write about on it. His answer resonated with me:

Write your world for us. No one sees it like you do 🙂

And, he’s right. I’m sure I’d be locked up for a long time if anybody knew what really goes on in my head. My kids have told me for years what a weirdo I am. I’m okay with that. I like my life. While I spend most of my time alone, I’m not a hermit or a recluse and I don’t have phobias and I’m not anti-people. Necessarily.

I love people. In fact, I don’t know anybody else who loves people like I do. I love deeply and usually forever, I’m just not needy about it. I even love people who don’t love me back. Sure, there are plenty of folks in my life that I don’t love and I even have strong feelings of dislike with regard to a few people. I’d still put them out if they were on fire.

Whaaaattt???

I am what I am ..

That’s not to say I am some kind of Pollyanna because I’m certainly not. One of my

husband’s cousins once called a me sailor and at first it so enraged me that I thought for a minute that I wouldn’t put him out if he were on fire. I calmed down and accepted that that’s just how he sees me and I supposed that there must be a reason he sees me that like that. Either way. It’s all good.

So, taking the advice of my blogger friend I’ve decided to share a kind of day in the life of story about myself. Me, me, me. It’s like a verbal selfie. It is, more accurately, only a few minutes in the life of story. My actual days go on and on sometimes. It might be best described as an expose of my boomer vanity. A split-second snapshot of my own private insanity. I should probably be embarrassed but I’m not. Maybe it will resonate with other readers and writers who mostly love people and definitely love life. If it’s not well-received, I’m okay with that too. This is my life. I like it a lot.

It might help to read my short introduction, Another Introduction to understand that I’m old but I’m not a grey-haired old granny. I don’t want to be young again but I miss certain parts of my youth. Looking younger would be nice. I only worry about it in short snippets though, because again, I’m vain, but I’m happy.

For a peek inside 30 minutes of my day, take a look.

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Networking, The Big Picture

peppersontheline 017Gaining 80 new followers in the past two weeks has forced me to think twice about slapping any old essay or article up on my blog. I have an obligation now to write something half-way decent.  Continue

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Look at all that Traffic! Where’s Everybody Going??

In recent months I’ve developed an internal debate about what it is I’m looking for on social media sites.

Each morning, shortly after getting out of bed, I open the Facebook app on my phone. It’s gradually become part of my wake-up routine and yes, that means I’m reading about my friends’ family dramas and favorite brownie recipe as I sit on the porcelain throne.

Continue reading

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Blogging. Why?

Why?

Why?

I’m posting a link here to a blog I read today and it expresses exactly how I feel.  It’s as if she peeked into my head and pulled out all the nagging, second-guessing, head scratching and self-recrimination in that half-empty cavern and threw them on a public post using clever words and perfect phrasing about why I continue to write. In particular, why I blog.  Continue reading

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