WordPress Won’t Return My Calls

On Saturday I published my hundredth blog post. It would seem that WordPress no longer loves me. Or maybe somewhere along the way I disappointed the website and WordPress doesn’t feel like cheering me on anymore. Once upon a time though, from January to March of this past year, WordPress and I were besties.

Every time I published a post on WordPress, it would send me emails “You’ve got two more followers! Hurray!” or “Can you even believe ten people looked at your work today? That’s terrific, we’re super proud of you” and I was all “Thanks WordPress, I really need the encouragement and you make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.”

But like all relationships, at some point WordPress’ interest in me started to wane. It didn’t feel like lighting up anymore when one hundred and fifty people looked at my post “Lighting Fires in Public Places”. However like many people in unrequited love I held on to hope.

Sometime in October I realized that my hundredth post would fall in this month. For awhile I debated throwing a party to celebrate my achievement. However that would involve people. And as a self confessed hermit this would not do. Instead I figured that my old friend WordPress would come through and do something special to mark the occasion for me.

While composing the hundredth post I thought of all the things WordPress might do. Maybe it would jump out from behind my computer with a cake. Perhaps it might make balloons fall from the screen. Or even best of all, put up a quote saying how proud of me the site was and that I was no longer bad at grammar.

On Saturday night, with a heart full of anticipation, I clicked the “Publish” button. Holding my breath I waited for surprises and joy to fill the screen celebrating my commitment to writing and the WordPress community. Instead my post appeared as usual on the right hand side of the screen ready for me to edit next to a perfectly ordinary message on the left saying that I had published one hundred posts.

English: Toy balloons Русский: Воздушные шарики

WordPress didn’t bother with balloons.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No parade. No band. No balloons. If I hadn’t been so shocked, I might have shed a tear. Sure I had seen that WordPress was increasingly disinterested in what I was doing and yes it had been awhile since it brought me emails of congratulations but I hadn’t realized our relationship was that bad.

Hence I’m writing to tell you, my Unwashed public, that in a little over a month my blog turns a year old. Everyone is invited to come celebrate with me as I push the “Publish” button. Except for you WordPress, you can stay on the internet all by your lonesome while all of my true friends ring in a new year of The Great Unwashed with me.

English: A bouquet of flowers.

WordPress didn’t bring me flowers either. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neil Patrick Harris Turned Me Down Again Then Asked Me To Stop Calling Him. But This Is Still An Awards Show.

In my estimation of when I would put up this post, I allotted for the time change and for travel however what I neglected to consider was after arriving at my vacation destination at one am Sunday morning, Ontario time was that when I awoke I wouldn’t be able to piece together a sentence much less be able to edit. So I apologize sincerely for the lateness of this post.

Air travel. Many lines, lots of sitting and you feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck afterwards. For whatever reason no one from the travel industry has approached me to advertise on my site.

“Travel like The Great Unwashed; Walk around the corner and then call it a day!”

Normally that is my version of traveling, however it’s been a year since I stepped foot onto an airplane and much like child birth, I forgot the pains associated with it.

Moving on.

So ages and ages ago Erica Funi of Finding The Funi nominated me for the Liebster award. I posted the first of the four steps two posts ago but the next steps in the award are choosing ten bloggers, posing ten questions to ten bloggers and then finally putting up the Liebster award logo.

Without further adieu, my questions.

The Great Unwashed’s questions to ten talented bloggers.

  1. If you had to choose between Anna Karenina, War and Peace and Steve Martin’s acclaimed novella “Shopgirl” which book would be the best weapon in a bar fight?
  2. What is the longest period you’ve ever gone without bathing? Please note, stays in Turkish prisons do not count.
  3. You’ve decided to take on three additional husbands and or wives, who are they? Both living and dead people may be included, although admittedly an attraction to the deceased is a little beyond me.
  4. What is your most unfortunate public transportation story?
  5. Go back in time, you’re attempting to sell your five year old sibling, what is your asking price?
  6. In a bid to secure the Guinness World Record for “Longest and Highest Transport of Tom Cruise” you’ve decided to piggyback this superstar across the Andes. What phrase do you repeat to yourself during the tough parts of the trek to spur yourself onwards when Tom’s pointy hip bones are digging into your spine?
  7. What do you consider to be a valid reason for a hunger strike?
  8. Name three items you hide from your spouse or significant other or even better, yourself.
  9. Where are the hiding places for these items? Wait! Don’t tell me, I’m a terrible secret keeper.
  10. How do you feel about my interviewing skills? Will they make Oprah love me?
Isn't it the most swanky pants logo you've ever seen? It doesn't even matter that it's writing's version of a participation ribbon.

Isn’t it the most swanky pants logo you’ve ever seen? It doesn’t even matter that it’s writing’s version of a participation ribbon.

The ten bloggers that I nominated are as follows;

1. The Byronic Man– Sometimes I send The Byronic Man fan mail in the middle of the night. Even though it’s completely incoherent, he makes a point of answering me.  He tells stories using a combination of the written word and stick figure drawings. His stick figures are the most expressive that I’ve seen.
2. Hold The Condiments– Hannah writes a fantastic blog but even better than that when a complete stranger (me) asked for her home address to send fan mail, she gave it out! Mind you she moved directly after that, however I’m certain that the two events are unrelated.
3. Listful Thinking– This is what Hyperbole And  A Half would look like is Ally Brosh made lists rather than Microsoft Paint inspired cartoons. Sometimes I pretend that I’m Stephanie just so that I can claim to be funny, interesting and photogenic.
4. The Good Greatsby– Paul Johnson of The Good Greatsby is my ideal imaginary third husband. He’s suave, debonair, extremely good looking and is excellent at turning a joke. He’ll get along splendidly with my imaginary second wife Martha Stewart. He’s also a blogger for the Huffington Post.

5. Carrie Blueberry– For a period of time Ms. Blueberry represented 66% of my Twitter following. She was gunning to usurp my father of The Great Unwashed’s Superfan title. On occasion she takes self portraits which ooze emotion. I’ve had to wipe joy from my keyboard after gazing at her online photos before. That sounds vaguely dity but it shouldn’t I’ve also dabbed despair from my screen after looking at her work as well. She has a large range of expression.

6. Ways Of Wanderers– I knew Jess before she was a wanderer. No that isn’t true, I knew Jess before she was an international wanderer. There’s a quiet pensiveness to her writing which is impossible to replicate. She’s quite popular and writes about her travels across the world with her boyfriend Brent*.

Side note -Brent is a very nice guy who gives excellent hugs which are longer than the acceptable average embrace length of 7.6 seconds, even if one accounts for a standard error of 1.2 seconds. I figured the world needed to know that. If you see Brent on the street and ask for a hug, you’ll get a good one. Although one probably shouldn’t follow my advice seeing as I’ve now said that i ask for stranger’s addresses and then advise you to hug them.

7. Rant And Roll– Vanessa is the daughter that my Mom meant to have. She runs an hour and thirty minute half marathon without training. This blogger also possesses terrific fashion sense that she displays by wearing really loud pants. Not loud as in pants that shout at you, although I’m sure Vanessa would be a fan of those too, but more in terms of prints.

8. Anna Gay Anna is also a photographer friend of mine. I say friend but really it’s a one sided relationship where I tell her she’s talented and issue complaints about how there are too many pictures of cats in hats on the internet and a dearth of her work.

9. Drinking Tips For Teens– This blog is just as hilarious as it’s title. Ross specializes in satire. Ross is also Canadian which makes him twenty funnier to me. I especially recommend reading him if you are from Quebec.

10. Olivethepeople– This blog is fantastic, Olive wrote a piece that reminded me of Shane Koyczan’s work. Also I like her site because it makes me think of the Olive Garden, even though to my knowledge Olive does not serve mediocre Italian food. She also used to work for Oprah, and as we all know Oprah is synonymous with greatness and I want her to love me. Adoring Olive’s blog is clearly the first step in the Oprah-loving-me process.

Neil Patrick Harris Declined My Offer To Host This Award Post

However the show must go on, and this is an awards show. For me. Just me. Here at The Great Unwashed we are super self involved but we are also about family. Big family. That last sentence may have been foreshadowing. Or it would be if Roscoe would let me have my way. On with the show.


Dear Faithful readers,

The day has finally arrived. I was nominated for an award. Not a big award. More like WordPress’ version of a participation award but gosh darn it, it’s an award. And I’m chuffed.  Now there are multiple steps to follow for this award, so many that I’ve decided to break it into two blog posts.

First you need to acknowledge and thank the person who nominated you. So thank you Erica Funi of  Finding The Funi, I do so appreciate being nominated, I was so thrilled that I called my Mom, who already knew because she went on my site and saw, but didn’t call me because that’s the kind of mother she is. Actually she may have texted me in her excitement, I’ll have to check my phone to see if there is a cryptic “k” from the day that you nominated me. This is my mother’s electronic way of communicating with the world- one indecipherable letter at a time. Sometimes she’ll put a “u” or an “i” in there just to mix it up.

Getting back to the award. Erica is a wonderful writer. She also has a nice smile. And I have it on good authority that she does not smell. Erica, I don’t think I could have written a more winning recommendation if I tried. Thanks again for nominating me, I did my best to answer your questions which was of course the second step in the process.


What is your biggest pet peeve?

People asking about my pet peeves.  No that’s not true, like most people, I love to be questioned about the things that are bothering me. Most recently my biggest pet peeve is Roscoe’s refusal to take a second wife. I’ve gotten into the show “Big Love” of late and the concept of polygamy is really growing on me. I just love the idea of someone else cleaning and grocery shopping and vacuuming. Roscoe claims that I don’t fully understand the idea of multiple spouses.

Car-mel or Car-a-mel?


Are they both edible? Yes? Then why are we having this conversation and not eating sweets?


If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I can tell you who it wouldn’t be – my imaginary sister wife. I left her alllll of the laundry. The pile is taller than me, which isn’t saying much, but it’s also taller than Roscoe. I’m going to consider that an accomplishment. We’re out of laundry detergent but I’m sure my imaginary sister wife can take care of that.


What is the last website you visited?

Hold The Condiments. Occasionally I feel it necessary to send windy, rambling messages to other bloggers. Before that I wrote a fan letter to the Byronic Man.

Wait did I answer the question? No matter, moving on.


Toilet paper. Over or under?

Once again, I think you’ve missed the forest for the trees, or in this case the forest for the products of the pulp and paper industry. As long as you have TP, you’re good. Unless of course you have a house full of riotous teenagers and it’s Halloween, in which case you’re probably going to be out of toilet paper shortly. Also you’ll owe your neighbours a cake. I’d hide the eggs before you start baking too.


He's cool.

He’s cool.

What was the first concert you went to?

I feel like you don’t want me to answer Raffi.   I’ll go with someone much cooler instead- Hanson.


What is your favorite quote?



Is that not a quote?


They’re definitely cooler.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you take your coffee?

In litres, preferably in the morning.

Or in gallons for all my Southern reader friends.


What are you having (or did you have) for dinner tonight?

A sandwich, I was supposed to be making wheatberry salad, but then I started watching “Big Love”, and answering a never ending series of questions.


What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I feel like this is more than eleven questions, or possibly I’m answering more than eleven questions, or maybe it just feels longer because I keep asking questions.

Let’s say my ability to count.


What is your guilty pleasure?

Polygamy, but I haven’t actually done that, I just imagine other women cleaning my house and then making me litres of coffee. So let’s go with eating all of Roscoe’s special yogurt out of the fridge.


Stay tuned for part two of the Liebster award posts. There’s going to be a bar fight.

Friendship and Shameful Confessions


As you can see, short shorts are versatile. They can go from the beach, to the bank, to your grandmother’s 80th birthday party.There’s no need to change when the world is one inch of fabric away from seeing your butt cheeks.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once upon a time when I still thought that short shorts were appropriate attire for every occasion, I knew a girl called Beck. She and I had a lot in common; we both were working in a foreign country, we both loved to read and I recently discovered that we both enjoy writing.

Beck writes on a blog called “The Friendly Film Fan”. You should go check her out, if only because she survived a trip to the Everglades with me and Roscoe and nary an alligator attempted to eat her. Unlike Roscoe, who nearly embodied the nursery rhyme “Alligator Pie” (By Dennis Lee).

Becks recently wrote a review on the movie “The Host”, for those of you who are above the age of thirteen or who possess good taste in literature, “The Host” is a movie based on the book written by Stephanie Meyers of Twilight fame.

Now you may judge me all you like, but I loved Twilight. I read the whole series. I actually stayed up all night reading “Breaking Dawn”. Roscoe walked in on me at six in the morning bleary eyed with wild hair still deep in the pages. “What did you do?” he cried knowing that there would be hell to pay for me staying not one, not two but nine whole hours past my bedtime. “UHnnnehEEEurrrrn” I replied at which point I gave up and went to bed, only to return to the book six hours later, only slightly rested.

Polski: Drosophila melanogaster

My degree is in Genetics. This is a Drosophila melanogaster, it is not worth losing sleep over.  Unlike sexy vampires and werewolves, you should probably wait up beside your window just incase they exist and appear to whisk you away. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In university I made the Dean’s list every year. I never pulled an all nighter, not once, I never even came close. It’s more than a little bit amusing to me that my first all nighter was in the name of teenage vampire love, not something so pious as education.

For the record, Beck now goes by Becca, and we both went back to our respective countries. Also I no longer wear short shorts everywhere following an awkward job interview. Rule of thumb for the fashion challenged- the bottom half of your outfit should be larger than the interviewer’s necktie. In my defense I was wearing a very long shirt that day.