Tag Archives: advice

Dear Abby

Between you and me, I would love to have a job that required me to write a humor and/or advice column every week, kind of like Carrie Bradshaw minus the fashion sense, sexual escapades and nicotine addiction.

dearabby

However, no one seems to want to pay me a salary — or anything at all — to do this because life is unfair and TV lies.

But I’m not giving up on the dream to offer unsolicited advice, and thanks to weirdos who Google strange things that lead to my blog, I can pretend that I’m the next generation of “Dear Abby.”

Along with random search terms such as “sugar-coated bullshit,” “rabid badger with a banana clip,” “somebody just sneezed in the living room and it was grandpa” and “I thought it was you but it was the wine,” I also get some questions in my spam folder that obviously need to be answered.

How do you tell if old people are addicted to bingo?

For your own safety—and that of geriatric gamers—it is very important to look for the signs of this affliction. Luckily, I have experience that I can share.

As I’ve stated before, these people have been through wars, marriages, children, Depressions and depressions. Now they no longer worry about recessions as much as they do if Gertrude next door stole the extra Nutter Butter from their snack tray.

My point? They’ve got nothing to lose and they play for keeps. Or rather, they play for candy, which along with popcorn is the geriatric equivalent of crack.

Signs of addiction include hoarding the Bingo chips/cards that have no inherent value, distracting opponents by faking physical ailments like “my oxygen tube is kinked!” sabotaging fellow players’ lucky charms—creepy Troll dolls, figurines, a favorite snot rag, etc. and mumbling things in what they claim to be “Binglish.”

Does sticking feathers up your butt make you a chicken?

First of all, you get points for the “Fight Club” reference, but those points are immediately deducted for taking this quote literally. In a metaphorical sense, it means that you shouldn’t try so hard to be something that you’re not. Not only is it a lot of work, you’ll probably look incredibly stupid in the process.

But in case you’re a freak, I’ll address the literal sense and say that sticking feathers up your butt will result in you looking like a pornographic peacock, not a chicken. If that’s how you roll, more power to you, but perhaps you should pick up a book now and then.

If I were a turkey, where would I be?

My guess would probably be that you would be on a farm, glad you’re not a chicken in the presence of the person who asked the question up above.

Is it bad if you go through a car wash with Vanilla Ice?

Interesting. I would say that if Ice offers to take you through a car wash, you shouldn’t turn down the offer. The car wash isn’t cheap unless you go through the $5 Happy Hour special, at which point I would ask Ice to also take you out for a drink and to include that footage in whatever low-ratings reality show he is gearing up to debut. Be sure to drop in my name.

Have the squirrels found you yet? You should run.

Do you know something I don’t? Crap. Perhaps I should take your advice.

Until next time, my friends!

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Ask Abby Anything, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 in the “Ask Abby Anything” series that makes me feel selfish but that I’m writing because I am a WARRIOR who will do anything to make you people happy. Plus, it’s a holiday week when nobody’s on the Internet so I’m less insecure about such a self-involved post.

So without further ado—nobody likes too much ado—here is Part 2.


“How is it you’re single?  I don’t swing that way, but I do like your warped and twisted sense of humor.”

Yes, I take “warped and twisted sense of humor” as a compliment, which might be why I’m single. Or I’m single because I don’t date. I think that’s kind of how things work. There’s a long history of things that have lead up to this decision, but it boils down to the fact that I’m totally okay on my own.

I wouldn’t completely dismiss the possibility of dating a bit. However, I don’t put much effort into it, so unless this suitor comes to my door selling avocados, I’m pretty much destined for spinsterhood.


“How did you decide on your comfy couch?”

As you probably know, my couch gets me. We spend our weekends and weeknights together. There’s nothing I look forward to more than hanging out with some snacks and reading, writing or watching TV (see “Why are you single?” above.)

When I bought my house I found this one at the second store I went to. It matched my new paint, the ends reclined with foot things that came out and the price was right.  My thinking was that if it was what I liked, there was no point in searching for something better—even though now it’s covered in a blanket to protect it from hairballs.


“Do you have a favorite hummus recipe that you use?”

Yes, it’s really super easy. I get in my car and go to the store, locate the Wild Garden hummus and bring it home to live in my fridge until I stuff it in my face. It’s organic and has only a few ingredients but a bite that I really enjoy (warning though—the jalapeno flavor is WAY spicy.) I thin it a little with water and use it as a dressing for salads a lot.


“C
an you ride a unicycle?”

I’ve never actually tried a unicycle, but I rode into both my mom’s rosebushes and a fire hydrant when learning to ride a 2-wheeler and my coordination hasn’t greatly improved from that point, so I’m going to assume that I can’t. (Although maybe I should try—blog fodder!)

But I can still do the splits all three ways and carry 8 bottles of beer at one time (skills mastered while working as a cocktail waitress—don’t ask.) I have talent.


“People keep telling me that when I stop looking for a partner, that is when I will find him. Is this true? If it is true, how does one stop looking?”

I’m no expert (see above) but I never understood people obsessed with finding a husband. Live your own life, create your own happiness and your energy will draw in people who are meant to be in your life.

I might liken it to trying to remember the name of something you forgot. The harder you try and think of it, the slimmer the chance of it popping into your brain. Then one minute you’re in the shower and “BAM!” it comes to you. (Not that a husband is going to appear for you in the shower, but you get my point. I hope. If a husband DOES all the sudden appear for you in the shower, don’t drop the soap. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.)


“Worst job you’ve had?”

I’ve had some crappy jobs, but I would say it was working at a video store in high school. The video cases themselves were always dirty and gross, as were some of the people that came in there for porn. My supervisor was a 40-year-old guy who still lived at home and giggled when saying “Adult Video.”

We were required to wear a white dress shirt, black pants and a necktie. Yes, a tie. Not only was the tie not fashionable for a female, it also wasn’t practical when I had to clean the popcorn maker—scraping out the burned-on artificial butter and caramel syrup while practically hanging myself with the tie.

Eventually smelling like burned popcorn every day and being told I had to work every holiday and holiday eve, I started to want to purposely hang myself with the tie and quit. 


“Where can I buy your books?”

OK. No one asked that, but you can get read about them here and we can wrap up this ridiculously long post. Now I’m going to ask the five people on the Internet this week to entertain me: 

 Worst job you’ve had?

Your Life Lessons

I meant it last post when I said that if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you people are funnier, smarter and saner than me.

Another thing I’ve learned is that most people don’t come back to read the comments, and considering everyone should know to never try to brush a cat’s teeth—thank you for that one, Dana—I’ve compiled another list of life lessons as added by you guys on that Life Lessons post.

Enjoy (and check out their blogs if I linked to them.)

Your Life Lessons

Robyn: Never underestimate a young child’s enthusiasm for discussing bodily function in public. Also, never assume that the doctor will knock before coming in the room when you’re putting on your paper gown – change fast.

Fishducky: Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s almost ALL small stuff!

Crazy As Normal: 1) Double check the smart-ass reply you are sending via email is really going to just your friend and not “Reply All.” 2) You should always check and make sure you locked the door in a public restroom. 3) If you forget how many days are in a month, you can count on your knuckles.

Heather: From the wrapper of the Dove milk chocolate square I just ate while reading this post: “It’s ok to slow down”.

Basia: 1) Write love letters, and not just to a guy. To your friends, parents, old English teachers, yourself. 2) Never watch Criminal Minds when you’re home alone at night. 3) Pet a dog. Seriously, it’s 99 percent of the reason I still haven’t been locked up in the loony bin.

Estelle: No one is getting any younger and life’s end result is the same for all of us.

Hazlnutt: 1) Always use spell check and 2) It doesn’t matter if you are right.

Jacquie: Two permutations on a theme — Live and let live and don’t judge others lest you want to be judged by them. I know both are old, but there does seem at least to me for there to be some merit in them.

Alex: I’m just going to quote Kurt Vonnegut who is like, WAY wiser than me and who said, “God damnit, you’ve got to be kind.” I try to be, mostly, except for when I’m not. Still…good advice.

Counting Ducks: “The wisest man is often the one who moves the least.” Unless he’s sleeping or too fat, in which case the saying doesn’t work.

Gia: You can make delicious brownies. Just read the directions first. Measuring cups are your friends.

Liz: There is no advance without adversity.

Kim: 1) Swans hate children very much, and will attack them. 2) If you laugh at your brother getting attacked by a swan, you will get grounded. 3) It is much easier to judge someone and hate them, than listen to them and love them.

Jen: Don’t grab a goat by his horns. Also, never wear black hose with white shoes. It’s just bad.

Katie: 1) When you think something is a bad idea, it probably is. 2) Don’t be afraid to let go of a toxic friend just because you have known them for a long time. 3) Oh, and don’t expect to have a clean house when you have kids…it WILL not happen and you will just be disappointed.

Rach: There is power in looking silly and not caring that you do.

Phil: You got a brain, use it. Go outside and play – at least 10 minutes a day – no matter the weather (although if it’s flooding/ blizzard you might want to adjust that a bit?)

Theresa: You have to fall down to grow up.

Alison: I before E except after C or when sounded as A as in neighbor and weigh. Plus some other exceptions that they don’t have rhymes for.

Paige: If the Tupperware has been sitting in the back of the fridge for more than six months, cut your losses and throw it out. What waits inside is worse than most nightmares.

Carrie: Treating others how they’d like to be treated sometimes goes over way better than treating others as you’d like to be treated.

Julia: All you really HAVE to do is breathe—everything else is optional.

Eva: If the package says four servings, it probably means two.


I love you people.

The end.

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P.S. Feel free to add more to the list.

Live and Learn

Not to stereotype, but the Internet is full of people who proclaim to be experts on everything from parenting and cooking to pictures of animals wearing clothes (thank god for that last group though, right?)

I am no expert on anything other than how not to do various activities, but I have still learned a few things in my 31 years. So while I don’t always follow my own advice—or remember everything that I say—I’m sharing a few things below.

And if you make it through my list, I demand—demand, I say!—that you add a couple things you “know” in the comments as well. Why? If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you people are funnier, smarter and saner than me.

That’s one thing I’ll never forget.

Life Lessons—So Far

  1. The universe owes you nothing. You owe it to yourself to make things work.
  2. You can get through anything if don’t look too far past today.
  3. Righty tighty, lefty loosey.
  4. You don’t have to win—or participate in—every argument.
  5. It’s far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without you having to tell them.
  6. There are those who dust and then vacuum and those who vacuum and then dust. The latter group is wrong, by the way.
  7. Work is work. Most people don’t love their job, but most people also need money.
  8. Time spent doing what you like is never time wasted.
  9. Hurt people hurt people. Often those who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most.
  10. The best way to make yourself feel better about having to wait in a long line is to look at the people behind you.
  11. Teeth are jewels, not tools.
  12. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  13. You learn by doing, even—or especially—if that means doing something wrong.
  14. For every action, there is an equal and opposite overreaction.
  15. There is no baseline for normal. Once you realize this, it takes the pressure off.
  16. What you do every day is more important than what you do once in a while.
  17. Share.
  18. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  19. Non-stick pans and self-cleaning ovens? Lies, nothing but lies.
  20. Everyone has a story. Not everyone has plans and not excuses.
  21. A writer writes. A painter paints. Action trumps intention.
  22. The best sign of a healthy relationship is that there’s no sign of it on Facebook.
  23. People think their way out of doing everything that’s worth doing in life.
  24. Read. Books.
  25. Sometimes life does give you more than you can handle. Never be ashamed to ask for help.
  26. Don’t pull the tail of a goat or scratch the top of a buffalo’s head.
  27. Envy is a waste of time. Be better, not bitter.
  28. If you have more than one junk drawer, you have too much junk.
  29. Take your time.
  30. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
  31. If a car is held together with masking tape and plastic wrap, always let them merge. They obviously have nothing to lose.
  32. Drop the ego. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. No. 32 is really hard.
  34. Busyness does not equate with productivity.
  35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  36. People rarely RSVP to pity parties.
  37. Thinking, “Could I make a bigger mess?” is basically just issuing a challenge to yourself.
  38. No matter how lonely you might feel, there is always someone who can relate to you.
  39. Never judge a book by its movie.
  40. If you mean it, say “I love you.” Say it often.
  41. You can—and will—always be humbled by something or someone. This is a good thing.
  42. Overprepare and then go with the flow.
  43. When in doubt, just take the next small step—even if you’re clumsy.
  44. Old people are wise beyond our years.
  45. Sundays are for washing floors and clothes, not for washing hair.
  46. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  47. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” –Buddha
  48. I hate ending things on an odd number, so this is the last one is basically filler.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

P.S. I have been nominated as one of the Top 25 Humor Blogs over at SkinnyScoop. While I’m not sure what that means, I would be most appreciative if you could to click over, scroll down to my blog icon (the second one under When Pigs Fly) and click “like.”

But don’t do that before you add your own Life Lessons here.

Remember No. 17.

Dear Abby

Hello faithful readers!

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, my name is Abby. This lends itself to people pointing out that writing “Dear Abby” reminds them of the once-popular advice column founded in the 1950s by Abigail Van Buren.

This picture doesn’t relate to this post, but it says “Abby” on my sweater.

I am not Abigail Van Buren—or an Abigail, for that matter—but I do like to dispense helpful advice to anyone who is brave enough to ask. However, in a shocking turn of events, a) no one has offered me my own syndicated column and b) no one has really come out and asked me for advice.

Perhaps I’m an intimidating figure, what with the tens of fans that I have, so I’m just going to go ahead and assume that the search terms that lead to my blog are actually anonymous questions from troubled souls looking for guidance from me.

Once I added a question mark to the end of these terms, it became clear that there are quite a few pressing matters to attend to! However, we’ll start with this one, as it appears it could be time-sensitive. 

Dear Abby

Q: Need to bury pet rabbit. How long does rigor mortis last?

A: I believe you’re actually wondering how long it takes to set in, as although I’m no doctor, I think it lasts forever. Either way, you stumbled upon my blog through that search for good reason. I can speak to this particular situation with personal experience (about the rabbit and not rigor mortis of my own, although as I get older I feel like I’m dead.)

When I was but a wee little Abby with issues, I had a pet bunny named Mitten, cleverly named for the white mitten on his black foot. One day I was at a friend’s house and distinctly remember that we made mini personalized pizzas in a janky E-Z Bake Oven.

Upon my return home I was informed that sometime between my departure and the pizzas, poor little Mitten had died.

While I was told it was of “natural causes,” it was later revealed that my dad—an unsavory character I don’t often speak of—had in fact cleaned Mitten’s cage with a mystery ingredient just hours before Mitten’s demise.

These were pre-CSI days, and I still harbor a wealth of suspicion.

But to answer your question—not about whether my dad was a Mitten murder, but rather about rigor mortis — the little rabbit’s legs were sticking straight out by the time we tried to put him in the shoebox/coffin, and this was only a couple hours past his “alleged” peaceful passing.

What followed was slightly traumatic, but necessary, as a proper burial was of course, a must.

So we cut holes in the end of the box, wrapped his body in a towel down to his little bunny thighs and shoved his stiff-ass legs through the holes.

After what I would like to recall as a rousing eulogy and chorus of “Circle of Life,” poor Mitten was laid to rest in the pet cemetery, gone but not forgotten.

According to the search terms there are many more questions I could touch on today—“is an ass crack sexual harassment” and “drunk nun book club,” for example— but I feel that’s enough for right now. I don’t want to overwhelm you with knowledge.

But if you, my dear readers, have a situation of your own in which you seek counsel — whether it’s serious or seriously funny — feel free to shoot me a note.

I’m just here to help, after all.

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Sweet Advice

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to only take advice from chocolate—namely Dove Promises.

I’m not a big dessert person, but I do enjoy a little piece of chocolate every night—something I consider my chocolate closure on the day. As such, Promises usually wind up in my cart over the other mini treats due to the fact that you also get a little note inside the wrapper.

Let’s take a look.

be

There’s a big difference between being busy and being productive, and I’m trying to remember that it’s called “conserving awesomeness” and not laziness. So often I’m already thinking of the next conversation, the next meal, the next post, etc. that I’m not really “in” the moment.

Note to self—human being, not human doing.

daring

I’m not that “daring,” so to speak, and I think it stems from an incident when I was little and pumping away on the swing set. “Someone” dared me to jump off and be like Super Grover from the Muppets. I had some good hang time, but landed directly on my tailbone. From that point on I carefully screened all my dares.

Thanks, Mom.

flowers

Unless you’re at a funeral, it’s hard not to smile when you see fresh flowers. I don’t randomly buy myself bouquets, but I spend money on my flowers because I find calm in nature—except for bugs.

Especially that one bug that somehow manages to keep circling my head while I’m walking even though I’m flapping my arms around like an idiot to get it away. But other than those laced with neurotic bugs, flowers make me happy.

smileDove

Sometimes people look at me like I’m nuts when I smile at them—and no, it’s not when I’m flapping my arms around my head like an idiot to swat off the bugs—but I don’t care. A smile can make someone’s day.

However, this wrapper isn’t really advice and it’s a little bit creepy, no? I don’t really know this “Dove,” so how does “Dove” know what my smile looks like? (And honestly, it’s not that great of a compliment considering I don’t actually accessorize with anything more than cat hair at this point.)

tastedove

GAH! My laugh? How does “Dove” know what my laugh sounds like? And now that I’m thinking about it, what’s with signing all these notes with “Love” and using an exclamation point?

I think things are moving a little bit too fast. All that I wanted was a piece of chocolate, not some sugar-coated stalker. One more chance…

advice

Okay now, hold on. 

This wrapper is proof that “Dove” is not in fact a sugar-coated stalker, as they’ve obviously never read my blog and the “advice” that I spew. If they had, they wouldn’t make this ridiculous suggestion.

Now that I feel a bit better about things, I have no problem passing along the final advice I received:

treatdove

Be it chocolate or flowers or simply a laugh, treat yourself today.

And per Dove’s suggestion, your bill is in the mail.

Sweet advice, indeed.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

You Get What You Give

I’ve been given a lot of advice over my 30 years on this planet, and there’s no way I could ever single out what I would consider to be the “best” sentiment.

From my grandma’s endless wisdom and constant reminders not to park next to a white van with no windows to the nurse who told me to do one thing every day that scares me, I would say it’s all been valuable (and taken with a grain of salt—wise advice in and of itself.)

But I am always brought back to:

“You get what you give.”

And while most of the time it has nothing to do with materialistic things but rather a giving of yourself to the universe, the giving of gifts is brought to the front as the holiday season rolls around.

The gift of pets being terrorized by holiday garb.

Along with my aversion to gluttony when it comes to the food—I checked, and green bean casserole is still not on the endangered species list since my post—I have an even greater aversion to the gluttony of consumerism that happens each holiday season, a time often filled with overspending and underestimation of what kind of gift would matter the most.

Before you apply the Scrooge label on my, let me explain.

My line of thinking is that something from the heart trumps superficial items that no one really needs and/or no one really wants but receives out of obligation and convenience.

In other words, you won’t find me camped out at Best Buy for three days to buy some video game/phone that will be available for sale a week later, going into debt at the mall to show someone how much I care or knocking down old women in Walmart on Black Friday.

To each their own, but the obsession with things bothers me.

Unless those things are cats in hats. (Old picture, RIP Wendell.)

My family agrees, so we pick and choose a few special things to get each other and try and do something nice for those who can’t afford the “needs”—usually the local Humane Society—instead of buying things we want. It’s much more satisfying.

But with that said, I love finding a few special things for someone.

I love the second I see or decide to make it, and because I’m me, I want to give it to them that second. I have never been given the gift of patience, and when I have something special up my sleeve, it’s hard not to pull it out like the fabric softener sheets I usually find up there halfway through the day.

And when I get a gift like that, it isn’t the present itself, but the fact that someone randomly thought of me and took the time to let me know. I want to give that feeling out to someone else, and even though it might feel like a waste at times—does anyone even care?—I have to believe that they do.

After all, if frustration stopped everyone from giving a piece of themselves, then no one would get to enjoy the simple, thoughtful gestures that make the holidays—and every day—a little bit brighter.

You get what you give.

Although I consider this my one and only rambling holiday consumerism rant of the year,  this post was also in response to the Studio30 Plus prompt:

The Best Advice

P.S.  I truly am horrible at holding on to things I could give away—another reason I will never have kids—so I have to say that there will be something you can both get and give on this blog in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned.

Carry on.