To protect the innocent devilishly awesome, let’s just say a friend of a friend of a monkey’s uncle knows someone who’s been posting really interesting things on Facebook lately.
Now I know I just talked about the social media ‘over share’ disease in my last post. Normally I have an allergic reaction to my Facebook wall, and simply just try to remember to wish people a happy birthday, but hearing this tale unfold like an episode of 90210, well… I’m riveted.
This FOAFOAFOAMU (Friend Of A Friend Of A Friend Of A Monkey’s Uncle, geesh, try to keep up) has been posting about their newly lavish lifestyle. There are expensive houses (okay, just one. THAT I KNOW OF), vacations, big parties, pricey day trips, you name it. Something new on the daily.
You see, it just doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t add up. I mean, literally. The money. It doesn’t add up. Where is it coming from? My first thought was: Well, they probably just inherited dough from a relative.
But where’s the fun in that? Here are other options I’ve come up with:
founded a covert but obviously successful Mail Order Second Husband business. …Dang. Why didn’t I think of that? Oh wait, I did. Score
developed a frozen margarita that doesn’t cause brain freeze or bad decisions
figured out a way to make cars punch people when they don’t use their blinkers
discovered bacon that doesn’t splatter molten hot grease when you fry it
invaded Gayle’s mind via her dreams (a la Inception) and got the number to Oprah’s Swiss bank account. The one they were using to pay for their secret wedding and deserted island
are murder-for-hire assassins, but that’s not how they made their fortune. While they were hunting down terrorists in really awesome disguises and black leather pants, they stumbled across a fountain of youth in a remote part of the Australian outback, and now sell each drop for anywhere from 100k-1 million, depending on how old rich you are. By the by, did anyone else love the book Tuck Everlasting when they were kids? Why didn’t they make all these awesome books into movies when I was the appropriate age to enjoy them?
These posts talk about flaws and sharing those flaws, whether they’re the flaws of your fictional characters or yourself. Please don’t mistake this, however, for the social media ‘over share’ disease. The intent behind this movement is to allow yourself (or your characters) to connect on a more real level.
As someone who swims in the memoir genre pool, I’ve stuck to the shallow end a lot. Deliberately so. After reading these wonderful posts, I thought, “You know what? Sure I’m shameless about sharing my silliest guilty pleasures, but I’ve never even used the word sex on my blog, and my memoir’s working title is Virgin!”
Aw cruddy stink nuggets, you’re probably thinking. It’s like someone just told me Danny Tanner is totally raunchy during his stand-up routines.
I know exactly how you feel (c’mon, Bob Saget), and I promise, I won’t get too inappropriate on you. Or too sullen-like-Edward-Cullen.
In Virgin, I wrote about things that made me uncomfortable, that could even get me in some hot water. It’s no Shades of Grey, but it’s not rated G, either. I wanted it to be raw and honest; I’ve never cried harder than I did writing that first draft. I called it Virgin not to sensationalize, but to capture the heart of the story. Being a virgin influenced almost every event the book covered, something I couldn’t have realized until looking back.
Ultimately, I wanted to write the kind of book I love to read.
While I worry I hold my feet too close to the ‘over share’ fire in Virgin (and in this post!), I’m willing to take that risk. I’m Go Jules Go now, and I want to tell you about the ugly awkward stuff, too. Awkward stuff like flaws. Like the flaws below.
That’s right, Chipmunks – here is some major, major ammunition if you ever want to hit me below the belt (like Babs). At least you’ll be prepared if Virgin ever sees the light of day.
I have massive (pun intended) weight issues. I’ve lost and gained over 100 lbs multiple times in my life. I (voluntarily) went on my first diet when I was 9, and it’s been a hot, gooey, cheese-covered mess ever since. Food is my ultimate vice. Speaking of vices…
I worry I drink too much. But that usually goes away after a couple of drinks.
I married my one and only boyfriend. I made the first move. If you don’t think that’s a flaw, well, just know that my chronic singlehood wasn’t for lack of trying, heaven vodka knows. I have enough rejection stories to, well, fill a book. I’m still shocked when the male species says anything nice about me, but…
I think I’m pretty. In clothing. With the right make-up. From the right angle. With good lighting. All of the pictures and videos on this blog are very carefully selected and/or executed to make you think I look a lot better than I do (read: I’m vain). Except for that one time when I was high on those heroin cough suppressants.
I want everyone to like me, and sometimes keep opinions to myself and agree just so they will. But you know what? I don’t like everyone. I don’t like a lot people! (…Did that make you paranoid? I’m sorry; I totally wasn’t talking about you. You still like me, right?)
I used to have panic attacks. I assume they stemmed from either abandonment issues or bullying. Or both. They were so bad I missed a year of middle school, and…
I never went to high school. I got my GED, took the SATs, and went to college, but I never got to wear an embarrassing prom dress still feel very intellectually inferior. Don’t ask me about chemistry unless it’s the kind between Jim and Pam from The Office.
Well there now. Don’t we all feel better? …No? Just me?
How do you feel about sharing flaws in a public forum (yourself and reading others’)? Do you think it’s necessary for honest writing? If you’re uncomfortable with all of this, who’s your favorite character on The Office (mine’s Jim. Duh.)?
Photo Credit (“It’s all your fault”): stickerchick.com.
When I was 16, I worked at an independent bookstore in an affluent town in northern New Jersey. My first job. The owners trusted me with everything from the keys to their kids.
It was a great job, even if it paid peanuts. I still get mad when people assume I got to read all day. I didn’t. There were books to order and file, display windows to arrange, and customers to rip off encourage to support their local business.
On the weekends, the store would often host book signings. The authors were never particularly famous or popular, and I’d sometimes have to entertain them for 3 hours because no one showed up.
One day, we had an author of romance novels come in. You know the kind. Mass market paperbacks, with Fabio and a blonde-haired woman in a too-tight corset on the cover. The titles would scream words like “Destiny” and “Stallion” and “Get a life.”
I had no idea what to expect as I waited for the author to arrive, but it wasn’t the woman who came into the store that Saturday morning.
She was a plump, middle-aged woman who looked like she was about to bake a cake. She was nice as could be. She might have been your mother.
I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed chatting with her.
“I paid for all of my kids to go to college with these books,” she told me, while I tried to scoop my chin off the floor.
How could that be? I thought. I’ve never even heard of this woman.
I was never quite the same after that. Seeing the face behind the throbbing parts and quickening pulses did something to me. I had a whole new level of respect for the books I once thought belonged in the slush pile.
Which brings us to present day.
I finally picked up FiftyShades of Grey this weekend. My mom, Babs, was kind enough to leave the trilogy behind on Father’s Day.
As you know, on top of the story I just shared, I have absolutely zero qualms when it comes to being a sheep, never mind indulging in guilty pleasures. That is the name of my shame game, Chipmunks, and I let that freak flag soar.
But I barely made it past the first line.
Because that line was:
I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror.
And should have been:
I scowl in the mirror.
I doggedly read on, and watched the author blatantly steal the entire premise of Twilight. Except instead of vampires, we have a sadomasochist* on our hands. I think. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m hooked I can promise you this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing on the topic (right, Renee?).
You’re welcome in advance.
Have you read it? How do you feel about romance novels?
*I know! Same diff! And you thought I was shameless.
You Chipmunks are so clever. That’s why I do these things.
And you’re no fools, either. Most of you wisely appealed to my vanity and/or fantasy life with your amazing ‘win a pair of mustache glasses‘ entries, in which I asked you to submit a juicy, probing question.
As promised, I have picked a favorite question and am answering it here. This particular entry really stuck with me; much like scorpion paperweights, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, even when I wanted to.
So please, raise your tiny, adorable, chipmunk paws and give a warm round of applause to…
If you and [your mom] Babs had a cage fight, who would win and how?
Louise, needless to say, it got really, really ugly between Babs and me. Before I reveal the winner of the cage fight, let me take you back in time, to how it all started…
Babs and I were spending another typical Saturday out shopping, me shielding her from mom jeans, her encouraging me to spend actual money. Of course we were ultimately killing time until booze o’clock. We figured we could make it until at least noon.
A few [dozen] Long Island Iced Teas in, Babs decided she couldn’t stay away from Talbots any longer.
“If you do this, Babs, we’re through,” I threatened. Had she forgotten so soon? This was the very same clothing store that suggested, just one year ago, I try their curvy line of pants.
“Just five minutes,” she pleaded. I watched her pass through the wretched red doors in disbelief.
She emerged, as promised, five minutes later, wearing pleated khaki pants, a braided leather belt, white mock turtleneck and navy sweater vest with apples and pears stitched on it.
“I can’t even look at you,” I muttered.
“Listen, Chipmunk-san, do you want to take this to the cage?”
I considered her for a long moment. In that get-up, she wasn’t my mother. She was the enemy.
“You’re on!” I cried.
A Talbots saleswoman in a referee jersey appeared, and pretty soon we were pulling out our best roundhouse kicks and other things that people may or may not do while cage fighting.
“I loved you too much, was that the problem?” Babs cried, shielding herself from my [cute yet affordable] high-heeled kicks.
“You never bought me that American Girl doll!” I hollered back. “Samantha was all class, all the time! I had to learn how to eat petit fours by myself! What did you think was going to happen?”
“You never comment on my Facebook pictures,” she continued in the same martyred voice.
“Tap shoes! I said. “Remember those? Of course you don’t! I don’t either!” I ducked before she could ruin my make-up.
“And we never talk about ‘NSync anymore. Remember when you bedazzled that striped fleece shirt to say ‘Justin’ for the one concert?”
I narrowed my eyes, “Just for that, I’m never having kids.”
Babs paused, her fist in the air. She lowered her arm and replied, “Good. I don’t even like your dog.”
My jaw dropped. While I tried to gather myself, she clocked me right where it counts – in the heart.
And so, unsurprisingly, the winner of the cage fight is:
Now that my slap bracelet giveaway/comeback campaign has wound down, I feel a little empty inside. Or I did, until I realized something.
Those amazing glasses in my header and profile picture! Why did I not buy them when I had the chance?! Back in April, I simply tried ’em on, took that picture, and moved on. While I loved them, the price tag seemed steep. I had no idea they’d become the new me.
Last week, I realized I had to rectify this grave error in judgment. Immediately. So I went hunting for that same pair of mustache-y goodness.
I was deeply moved to find there is an entire ARRAY of ‘stache glasses to tickle your follicle fancy. (Note: I am in no way associated with this company, but am happy to sell out at the first opportunity, so please. Email me.)
Now that I’m marvelously mustachioed once more…
That’s right. I want to send you a pair of mustache glasses! So, in the comments section below, ask me a juicy, probing question (PG-13 or safer please, Chipmunks; Babs [my mom] reads this blog).
I’llchoose a favorite and answer the question in a post on Friday, June 22, 2012. This winner can pick a pair of ‘stache glasses(by browsing here), and I’ll have them shipped as a gift, from my guilty pleasure-full heart to theirs.
Deadline: 12pm noon EST, Thursday, June 21, 2012.
…I love you.
Print that’s as fine as that Liam guy from “90210”: This giveaway is open to anyone who is willing and able to ask a kick-chipmunk-tail question, and to email me their address in the event that they’re the winner. If you have any trouble leaving a question in the comments section below, you can ask your question via email: Julie (dot) Davidoski (at) yahoo (dot) com. Multiple submissions are acceptable.
I love blogging, and I love bacon. For some reason, I rarely talk about either.
One thing I love about both is their ability to bring people together. Run a contest on your blog, or put out a plate of bacon-wrapped appetizers, and the result is the same. Better yet, run a contest with a bacon-chocolate bar prize.
I love when other bloggers talk about blogging and/or bacon. Like Peg and JM. Yet I feel self-conscious doing so, like eating bacon and not having a napkin. You guys don’t mind if I make a mess though, right?
When I started this blog in February 2011, I had no idea what lurked behind the blogging curtain. I thought it might be scary. And not in the hey-girl-you’re-almost-out-of-bacon way, but more in the I-like-to-make-pictures-out-of-toenail-clippings way. I didn’t fully appreciate the prevalence of blogs; I never thought about the fact that some websites I frequented, like Perez Hilton, were really blogs.
My favorite bloggers inspire me to step up my game and invite me to participate in their dialogue. As a writer, this is such a gift. And it’s free! So, you know, you can still bring home the bacon.
To pay tribute to all of those who inspire me (and if you’re wondering who that is, my Blogroll page is a good start!), and to those who are new to this wacky and wonderful world of bloggy deliciousness, I thought I’d offer a few wise words.
Dang, Chipmunks. This is exciting.
Here are the 3 most important things I’ve learned from almost a year and a half of blogging. You may or may not be surprised to find the same principles apply in every day life.
1.) Sincerity – “enough about my bacon, let’s talk about yours”
There is no faster way to shoot yourself in the foot drop your bacon on the host’s white carpeting than to leave a comment that proves you didn’t read the post, or to leave comments plugging your own blog. Typically, if commenting on another blog, you should try to keep the focus on that blogger and their content.
I had no idea when I started a blog that it was a community, and a community that wants to TALK! I didn’t ask questions of my readers (not that I had many!), and I didn’t even realize I should respond to comments. Now I crave that dialogue, and try to answer every single comment I get. Often that’s far more rewarding than the writing itself.
2.) Generosity – Share those Tips Strips (of bacon)
One surefire way to increase readership is to read other blogs. Be generous with your time and support, and you’ll reap the rewards.
When I started blogging, I only read 2 or 3 other blogs. Now I follow almost 100. It’s not realistic to keep up with everyone, of course, but I genuinely enjoy all of the blogs I follow, and typically devote over an hour a day just to reading them. I also almost always comment. Leaving thoughtful comments is one of the only ways to get noticed in a world jam-packed with people vying for the same bacon.
If you’re intimidated by big name bloggers, like Kristen Lamb or The Bloggess, don’t be. Remember they feel the same as you do about getting comments. And probably bacon.
3.) Perserverance – Makin’ Bacon
We all experience writer’s block, have personal obligations that take our focus away from writing, or simply just don’t ‘feel like it.’ Even if you miss a week, or a month, don’t give up. Blogging can truly open doors.
When I started this blog, I had very few followers. My mom. My husband. I tried to post 2-4 times a week, but even after 6 months, I had posts that didn’t get a single comment. I kept at it, increased my engagement, and as of this year, I’ve had almost 100,000 hits on this blog. I’ve also gotten several paid writing jobs and opportunities to write for highly trafficked websites. I say this not to be a Braggy McBaconBoaster, but just to encourage you and let you know: You don’t have to be serious to take your blog seriously.
…Is anyone else hungry?
What are some lessons you’ve learned about blogging? Or a question to fellow bloggers? To non-bloggers: What keeps you coming back to your favorite blogs?
Recently, I may have suggested my dad was only one of the great things to come out of Long Island. The truth is, not a lot of people can do the things my dad does. Like, he can read in the car without getting sick. And hemakes really good steak. Not at the same time; don’t be ridiculous.
Oh and when I was 2, I was way ahead of my time and awesome I saw a swimming pool and was like, “Deep end, here I COME!” Bam, I jumped in to join my older brother and sister, and my chubby bum sunk straight to the bottom. Without a second thought, my dad lept in to save me, breaking his glasses along the way.
I think that’s why we get along so well. I could have been all, “Well, you brought me into this world, it’s your job to keep me here,” but instead I was like, “Thanks for that, Pop. One day I’ll join the swim team and make you proud stay afloat.”
As if that wasn’t enough, he used to take me on father-daughter trips to Bowcraft, this tiny, creepy amusement park next to a highway, and then across the street to Burger King. Those were the days, back when trans fat was what was for dinner, and winning enough tickets to get chinese finger cuffs was all you needed.
My dad is also a genius. I mean, yeah, okay, the real kind with a doctorate and Ivy League-y things, but whatever. I mean the practical kind of genius. Street smarts. Case in point: We used to go on long road trips in a small car, with all three kids crammed in the backseat. It was a recipe for disaster. So he came up with something called the Points System. We earned points for being good, and got them taken away when we were bad.
If we didn’t have enough points by the time we got to Burger King, we weren’t eating.
I know, right? Genius.
Happy Father’s Day, Pop! (Does this post win me any bonus points?)
As I explain in my updated About page, the reason for saying goodbye to the “Go Guilty Pleasures” blog name can be boiled down to: I got tired of search engines sending people here after they sought ‘naked gypsy girls’ and ‘strippers covered in ketchup.’
Other than that, you’re gonna find the same ol’ side pony-sportin’ Jules with the same ol’ stories about the guilty pleasure-ful life. Except better. Because I have so many hilarious tales that don’t involve guilty pleasures. …That may be a lie. I’m pretty sure every story I have involves a guilty pleasure of some kind. And I haven’t even realized it yet.
Maybe I’ve made a huge mistake here.
A Few Notes:
A big thank you to anyone who’s ever mentioned my blog on your site. I still own goguiltypleasures.com, so folks using the old link will be redirected here.
I am retiring my fledgling GoGuiltyPleasures Facebook account and focusing my attention on Chipmunks-4-President this exceptional blog and Twitter (@JulieDavidoski). For now.
Well, fashion-forward Chipmunks. The time has come. I’ve given away nearly 200 slap bracelets since December, and your response has made my guilty pleasure heart soar.
I think we’ve done it. We’ve brought them back. A quick Google search of “slap bracelets” proves this. They’re everywhere. (Add “chipmunks” to that search and see what happens!)
Congratulations to you for being so awesome.
Oh and a final tip before we view some FLIPPIN’ FANTASTIC PHOTOS – I’ve noticed my few remaining slap bracelets are suffering from lackluster snappiness. Perhaps it’s the gawd-awful Jersey humidity. Anyhoo, it seems they like being stored rolled up, instead of flat. Here’s a helpful illustration:
And now – onto the final pictures (posted, as always, in the order in which they were received)! If you’d like to see past slap bracelet pictures, or Go Guilty Pleasures slap bracelets across the blogosphere, scurry over to my Slap Bracelets page. And of course,if any other photos roll in, you know I’ll be thrilled to brag about post them.
A.J.’s Mom and I bonded over the gloriousness that is guilty pleasure gift basket giveaways. Her submission [to win the basket] was wonderful (and earned her an Honorable Mention). I’m very excited to post her pictures and introduce any newcomers to her blog! I mean, just look at her annotations! You do me proud, A.J.’s Mom.
Chipmunks, I don’t even know where to start here. Peppermeister (Husband #1) just told me that I was talking in my sleep the other night (I blame the heroin cough suppressants); apparently I said the name “Angie” as I was chattering away incoherently. When he asked who I was talking to, I sleep-responded, “My bud, Angie, from Go Guilty Pleasures!” (I’m absolutely certain I used my own blog name so he would understand.)
Angie, I’m sorry if that creeps you out, but I really just love you a lot. You even got me to share my horrifying kid pics. If people don’t understand why I feel this way, all they need to do is read this slap bracelet letter and see the accompany photos, which take us back to a simpler time, when slap bracelets weren’t yet shanks.
I received my snap bracelets in the mail and couldn’t be happier. They are everything I ever wanted in vinyl wrist accessories.
In fact, what I would’ve given to have them years ago. (I could’ve been the coolest girl in high school.) What I would’ve given to have them in the summer of ’93, just in time for my senior year photo shoot.
Can you believe we’re seniors? It’s gone so fast!
After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands — quite literally. Because who says you can’t reinvent the past?
That’s right — with my very own snap bracelets, I decided to recreate my senior pictures. I happen to have some of my old clothes even — the early ’90s certainly paved the way in high fashion. I think you’ll agree that we gave up the hair bump far too soon.
I’ll always remember the homecoming party at T-Bone’s house when we karaoked to Ace of Base. I’ll always remember how you proposed marriage to Mark Calderon from Color Me Badd. I’ll always remember how we ruled the school in our band uniforms. My memory is a little fuzzy on that last one.
Stay cool, never change, and never stop wearing your velvet choker,
P.S. Why does my old letter jacket stink like Cool Ranch Doritos?
In a short time, L has become one of my favorite favourite Canadians. First of all, she makes delicious food for a living and has great stories, and second of all, she’s very funny. Her blog focuses on her effort to lose weight, and while she needs no help from me, I keep offering to take those croissants off her hands.
I just sent L’s bracelet out on Tuesday, so she neither confirms nor denies the authenticity of THIS photo:
I can’t even tell you how stoked bloody delighted I am to have another Brit in my corner. Kate has a great sense of humor, which complements her green thumb, and probably means I should never introduce her to Peppermeister. It would be love at first sapling.
She’s so thoughtful, she even brought the Jubilee to me!
Ashley gave me a right scare this week when she said her slap bracelets STILL hadn’t made it to Dubai after several weeks. I would have had to take down my ‘Number of Slap Bracelet Incidents: 0’ board that I keep next to my Second Husband shrine.
Luckily, there was just a little mix-up at the office, and they showed up on Wednesday, just in time for Ashley to snap some amazing pictures of…
The slap bracelet letter…
Her handbag, which didn’t think it could get any hotter, until…
Alfred, who recently graduated and is allegedly quite the braggart, never taking off his graduation cap…
Alfred’s pal, Creamy, who wanted to join the fun, but you can just imagine what Alfred had to say about that. Snob.
Pictures in Dubai – the famous Emirates towers…
…And the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa…
And last, but certainly not least, 3 of Ashley’s guilty pleasures: The Post-Its in her room…
And her all-time favorite, her love dices (now THAT’S what I call well played)…
Sprinkles is one of my oldest and most cherished blog buddies. I ADORE Sprinkles, the way some people adore, well, sprinkles. She just gets it, you know? I mean, just ask her about any of TLC’s latest offerings.
Meet Sophie, whose guilty pleasure is bubble watching (I could watch this all day):
And here is Sprinkles’ new(ish) tattoo, designed by her oldest daughter – how amazing is that?
Thanks again, Chipmunks. I really believe you are special. And not special like you can’t eat cereal without spilling milk down your shirt. Special like I’d totally watch your stand-up comedy even if you used props like Bob the Snake.
So you’re probably thinking I’m going to start this post like I always do, by greeting you as my fuzzy, wuzzy, li’l Chipmunks. Well, I would, but Peppermeister (First Husband) told me snakes eat chipmunks. And I just don’t want to take that kind of chance here.
You see, on Saturday, amidst hour number 8,002 of yard work, I went over to the pool filter and lifted the cover so I could clean it out. We had just had a big storm, so I knew it would be full of crud.
Oh, I was right about that.
I’d like to take this time to remind you that I live in New Jersey. The reason I stay here is simple: NO SCARY CREATURES (unless you count our politicians). No scorpions, no box jellyfish, no dementors, and no grizzlies (I don’t think. Don’t burst my bubble).
Now, okay, this snake was probably only 18 inches long, and a harmless garter at that, but that didn’t stop me from letting out a strangled cry and jumping back 5 feet.
I made Peppemeister repeat the process when he got home, so he too might have something to blog about. Which is when we discovered it was still very much alive.
Now that I’ve had a few days to recover, I’ve decided I’ve given this snake far too much power. And I know I’m not alone; so many people are terrified of snakes.
I’m going to take care of all that for you, right here, right now. It’s the least I can do considering you’re probably still pissed from hearing that I have a pool and haven’t invited you over.
Allow me to present to you:
BOB, the Worst Stand-Up Comic Snake of All-Time
And so you see, snakes are nothing to be afraid of. Until they start telling jokes.
Have you ever encountered any unwanted critters in your dwelling?