I never dreamed of being an accountant…

I swore I wouldn’t look at the numbers.

I blog for me, I said.  For my own happiness.  Do I enjoy my time writing?  Does it help fulfill my creative side?  (The answer to all those is yes, by the way.)  Numbers are just that…numbers.  What an impersonal way to think about RFTM.

I made it about three days.

So yeah, I caved and checked the stats, and you know what?  That made me feel good, too.

No, I didn’t go viral and touch a million lives in 2017, but I already knew that.  I did find out that RFTM follows the Slow and Steady philosophy.

2015 to 2016, then 2016 to 2017.  Each year grew, both in total and average daily views.  Just about doubled, as a matter of fact.

Writing RFTM makes me happy.  The fact that more people enjoy visiting?  Well, I’m tickled pink.

Center Stage: 12/29/17

Top Five Problems with Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – And they have nothing to do with the nose: nickclaussen.com

The red nose needed to guide the sleigh through the fog – I fail to see how someone’s glowing or shiny nose is able to make that much of a difference in the fog.  Why can’t Santa just fly above the fog?  What is Santa worried about running into, other flying reindeer?  And if the nose really is super bright, wouldn’t that be a detriment in the fog?”

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What NOT to F’ing Give Your Wife this Holiday: Baby Sideburns

“5. Do not give me my present in the Amazon box.  This includes popping a bow on top of the Amazon box.  This also includes putting the Amazon box INTO a gift bag.  Step one, open the Amazon box.  Step two, put the item in a gift bag.  Step three, kick your own ass if you don’t do this.”

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Center Stage: 11/4/17

10 Reasons My Kids are A-Holes: All In A Dad’s Work

“I wrote once that I wanted to keep my kids from being a-holes so that when they grew up they could be respectful, contributing citizens of wherever they live.

But right now?  Right now they’re a-holes.  Especially, to each other.  I thought it was just a phase.  I thought it would pass.  It’s been 10 and 6 years.  It hasn’t passed.”

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Where’d my funny go?

I’ve lost my funny, you guys. 

It tiptoes around the edge of my consciousness like the wisp of a dream I can’t quite remember.  Bits of ideas, a sentence or two, but nothing I can grab onto with two hands. Nothing that turns into a paragraph, let alone a blog post.

I got a big fat nothing.

I’ve been pretty sick for the last week or so – gotta love those sinus things that morph into full on ugly – but it’s more than going through a box of tissues every other day.  It feels like the solemn has dug in deep and settled in the pit of my stomach.

It seems like day after day of disaster.  Riots in our cities, terrorist attacks across the world.  Flooding, hurricanes, people whose lives have been torn apart.  A country where some people enjoy more equal rights than others, and then yesterday’s news that we had yet another mass shooting on our hands.

I stood on that street with my kids this summer.  I pictured them and I pictured the mayhem, and I just checked out.

Time to work on righting my world again.

Center Stage: 9/15/17

A Slightly-Too-Long Note to My Stitch Fix Stylist: The Ugly Volvo

“Hoping to compile a cute, “mom-friendly” wardrobe, but hey, if you wanted to throw in a few pieces that are mind-blowingly impractical I would totally be down for it because while yes, I could probably use some versatile cardigans, in my heart of hearts what I’d really love is a motorcycle jacket and maybe some boots that make me look like I’m the type of person who’d casually put out a cigarette on a guy’s face?” 

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Throwing shade at the solar eclipse: Nickworthy

“An eclipse is a great and historic thing to see, except for that you can’t actually look at it. Don’t hype up something for several months and tell me how amazing it is but then say I can’t look at it. That just makes me want to look at it even more. It’s like if I was on a diet (I’m not) and my wife made me doughnuts (yes, please). I have very little willpower, so it’s going to be tough not to look at the eclipse. I’m not supposed to look directly at the sun on most days but I still do that, just like I stare at light bulbs. Maybe this is what happened to the dinosaurs. They all looked at an eclipse, went blind and then became extinct.”

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Registering for your kid’s birthday party presents, WTF???: Baby Sideburns

“I totally get registering for a wedding or a baby shower. I mean there’s a bunch of shit you NEED (like no one’s gonna buy you nipple shields unless you ask for them) and you’re just starting out in the world, but eight-year-olds don’t NEED specific toys. And this is not a Christmas wish list. I am not Santa Claus….I mean God forbid little Miss McPartypants opens up a Lego set she didn’t ask for. Awww don’t worry, sweetie pie, we’ll go make sure NO ONE gets you the wrong Barbie doll so you’re not disappointed on your birthday.”

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5 Rules for Black Cookouts … and Life: The Root

“As one of the world’s leading cookoutologists (I would say I’m the leading authority, but my aunt Phyllis hasn’t officially retired), I feel it is my duty to keep you updated on the latest in cookout culture. (Always remember: White people barbecue, black people “cook out.”)…

1.  Bring something to the table.  Showing up empty-handed to a black cookout is one of the worst offenses a human being can commit. If you’re wondering why everyone is giving you a slight side eye, it’s because you waltzed into Aunt Phyllis’ backyard with nothing but a cellphone and a beer. One beer! What kind of motherfucking savage are you?”

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Fuck Status Symbols: Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together

“We don’t want our parents lives. Don’t get caught in the same traps they did…Below is a list of the shit that nobody hip cares about, and makes you look like a superficial idiot.

1.  Expensive wine.  Studies have debunked the relationship between wine taste and wine cost. That $30 or $40 or $60 or god forbid $90+ bottle of wine is bullshit. You are not a sommelier, you are like a kid awarding blue ribbons to mud pies and it’s embarrassing. Science agrees. Find a bottle you like under $15 and get drunk like the wise millennials do.”

Share Your World 6/26/17

What goal are you working on now?

Horribly embarrassing my children at least once a week.  This presents a greater challenge than usual in the summertime seeing as car rider lines provide ample daily opportunity to horrify them with riotous car dancing, but I’m doubling down.

What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?

Tennis.  We don’t speak of it.

Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?

My first profession chose me.  Teaching called me from a young age, though I don’t think I truly embraced it until my first year in college.  I’ve been choosing my professions since I left teaching.  It’s worked out pretty well so far.

Have you ever gotten lost?

Oh my, yes.  I have a particularly horrible sense of direction – none, really – and it’s gotten me into trouble more than once.  The most recent time was when I was driving T-man to a friend’s house on this tiny back country road, the kind where house numbers are hit or miss from the street.  We drove past his friend’s house three times before we managed to find the driveway.  Even my GPS couldn’t save me on that one.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week we went to my husband’s summer regional meeting in Myrtle.  I loved watching the kids reconnect with friends, make new ones, and enjoy the perks of being among the older kids.  Despite my health problems (stupid infection!) I think I laughed more at this regional than I have in years.  It was good times.

Bear’s at a camp that looks ah-maaa-zing this week – based at a nearby college, filled with cool learning opportunities, with a diverse group of kids.  T-man is enjoying basketball camp, so I’m grateful for quality dog time during the day and looking forward to traveling to someplace new this summer.


Cee’s Share Your World is a Monday treasure.

What’s happening in your world today?