It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Hosted by Mel and me on the 1st & 15th each month, this one is SOOOO easy!
* * * * * * * * * *
Selfies. We’ve all taken one. Or hundreds. They can showcase your whereabouts, your accomplishments or sometimes just your new haircut. Showcase being the key word. Because they’re often regarded as vane and not very community-minded, maybe it’s time for a new trend.
Enter the USIE (sometimes spelled ussie, always pronounced fussy). And we want to see yours. Need some examples?
Most famously, taken by Bradley Cooper at the 2014 Academy Awards.
It all started innocently enough. I was scrolling through my daily writing gigs when I came across one by Henkel, a worldwide business leader in the areas of home and beauty care based in Düsseldorf, Germany. (I should point out for clarity that the overeating, chocolate aficionado from the original Willy Wonka movie, Augustus Gloop, hails from the fictitious town of Düsselheim. I’d hate for you to lose the same kind of precious time that I did when researching that detail this week.)
Anyway … Henkel posted a job opportunity asking writers to create a 200 word post promoting their Flush to Paradise project and video below.
Unfortunately, I didn’t meet their “minimum qualifications.” Which, of course, prompted me to write a letter. I’m not sure I’ll ever hear back from them. But I hope they’re reading now because, meine deutschen freunde, I want you toknow this. *I* can promote a toilet project as well or better than any fancy-pants 50 sverve.com scorer. Any. Day. Of. The. Week.
Why don’t you try me and see for yourself? Or at least reply to the email I just sent to half of your upper management.
Hi, new friends at Henkel.
I’m writing about a new opportunity your company just listed on sverve.com, a website designed to match up companies and online writers/bloggers for paid promotional jobs. (Hopefully) your listing can be viewed here … http://www.sverve.com/user/campaign/1394553189683/
Here’s my problem. Your minimum requirements for participation call for a sverve applicant score of 50 or higher. I’m still new to sverve … and growing … so my score presently stands at 33. But I’m not new to blogging. I’ve been hosting my website for more than two years now and have attended the last two international BlogHer conventions (NYC & Chicago) featuring thousands and thousands of bloggers from all over the world. I was even named a Top 25 Funny Mom by CircleOfMoms.com, a website boasting more than 6 million readers worldwide.
My point … and I DO have one (totally stole that from Ellen DeGeneres, but it’s okay because we’re both from New Orleans) is that I don’t think I should be excluded from your campaign. To date, I’ve written plenty of promotional posts and product reviews. And I always like put an interesting, personal spin on them so people will actually read and be engaged in what I write. That’s better for you AND for me.
Here are just a few samples. (I’ve got more if you’re interested. Or even still reading. Please still be reading.)
But the most important reason you should include me is because of my dedication and years of experience both in toilet usage AND maintenance. I’ve been potty trained for literally decades now and consider myself somewhat of an expert in this area. Plus I’ve potty trained two kids. And cleaned my toilets I’d estimate an average of 847,624 times in my lifetime. Oh, and I’ve actually written two (TWO, HENKEL!) posts completely revolving around my toilet. One was even published in the New Orleans Picayune newspaper. (How many people can make that claim?)
So (beware, toilet puns approaching) all I ask is that you don’t flush away the opportunity for us to make a splash. I’ve got lots of ideas in the think tank. So let’s plunge in to this one together. We’re number 1! (Using number 2 here just seemed too gross, plus I was shooting for the top.)
Goodbye for now. I’ll be sitting by computer until you respond so please don’t take too long. My kids are bound to get hungry at some point.
Michele Robert Poche
Sometimes I fear I’m just helping the FBI build a thick case on me that will, one day, land me in a padded room. Although the privacy and in-room food delivery doesn’t sound half bad actually.
So I’ve taken on a big writing project. Huge. At least by my standards. (We’ll talk more about that later. Maybe.) Anyway, in the meantime, several things are liable to take a hit. Like laundry, timely bill paying, my interpersonal relationships, basic hygiene and sometimes, just maybe, the blog.
I know. There are six people who are really upset right now.
Well relax, six people. I won’t let you down. My point, and I do have one * … is that I’ll just be trying to make you laugh … or cry … or go hmmmmm a little faster these days so I have enough time to get to everything. Which brings me to today’s writing prompt, brought to us by MamaKat. It’s soooo easy. All I’m asked for today is “A funny text exchange.”
Fortunately for me, I am surrounded by a gaggle of half-baked lunatics … card-carrying nut jobs … sharp-witted comedians with which I often exchange my idiot brand of humor. You guys remember Vanessa, right? Here are just a few samples:
Three days later, when I was a little less shy about it …
Two weepily nostalgic mothers looking at baby pics of their giant kids …
… Or just daily minutiae.
* The first book written by Ellen DeGeneres who, by coincidence, does a recurring segment on her show called “Clumsy Thumbsy” about funny text exchanges courtesy of auto-correct. Sadly, I text with the dexterity of a fifteen year old so I don’t encounter many of the errors. Don’t worry though. I’ll keep trying.
I love you, Ellen. I assume you’re reading, right?
I took my kids to see Oz The Great and Powerful recently. (No, this post is not a movie review. Nor does it contain any spoilers). The kids and I liked it. A lot actually. It helps that I was raised on the original 1939 movie. Every year, we watched as a family when it aired as a “Special Presentation” on one of the three networks of pre-cable television. I probably know the dialogue and the music well enough to be cast in the show. And, for my money, the new Oz film did a pretty nice job of “prequeling” the familiar story. (NOTE: For my fellow musical theater buffs, throw everything we learned in the Broadway production of Wicked out the window. It is of no use to you here.)
Of course, seeing this new movie brought back a big beef I had with the original film. Since the beginning, we knew we were dealing with three witches. One was good and the other two evil. Allow me to elaborate.
Nameless, black frock with green skin, cliche witch cackle, travels by broom
The Wicked Witch of the EAST
Nameless, striped stockings & infamous ruby slippers, dead so no voice, travels by coffin
Do YOU notice that something is missing, too?
What the hell, 1939 Wizard of Oz movie?!!? Do you think we’re all just a bunch of simple coonass, rednecks who aren’t sophisticated enough to have our OWN witch? We have evil down here, too, you know! We just call it hurricanes … and humidity … and mosquitos … and VOODOO! Yeah, that’s right. Down in the South, we call a witch a priestess. Which would do just fine in your movie.
We were good enough for Pirates of the Caribbean!
Anyway, here’s what I’m thinking. Right now, there are already two bad witches and only one good one so it stands to reason that the South will have to represent the good side. It’s a stretch but I think we can do it. Yes, we’ll still work the Voodoo angle but what if we took one of our most harmless native daughters and put her in the position? Let’s stop and think a minute.
YOU: Sandra Bullock?
ME: Nah, she’s too busy these days with little Louie.
YOU: Julia Roberts??
ME: Mmm. I don’t think so. She would literally tower over those tiny munchkins.
YOU: Reese Witherspoon???
ME: Nope. She was way too convincing in those Blonde movies. I need someone who can help break down the dumb Southerner stereotype.
YOU: (ready to punch me for shooting down all your ideas)
ME: Holy shit, I’ve got it!
Presenting a More Promising and Prestigious Priestess
I think Ellen would kick ass as The Good Witch of the South. And she could travel by … (thinking again, this time independently so you don’t get so pissed at me) … Gator? Nope, too cliche. Pirogue? Also too stereotypical. Plus most of you guys don’t even know what I’m talking about. Oooh! What about a flying streetcar? It’s never been done before. Perfect! She could seat 52 comfortably. 75 if some were willing to stand.
I should call the Transit Authority to see if they can “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” one of these bad boys for me. Oh, and Ellen! I need to call Ellen to give her the good news. She is going to be SOOOO excited.
Now … we just need a name for her. Any thoughts?
Submitted for MamaKat’s writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word help. Because I know she shares my love for fellow New Orleanian Ellen DeGeneres.
At exactly 2:23am this morning, the following message was sent to me:
Not everyone will survive. An ancient alien race, known only as “Reapers,” has launched an all-out invasion leaving nothing but a trail of destruction in their wake. Earth has been taken, the galaxy is on the verge of total annihilation, and you are the only one who can stop them. The price of failure is extinction. You are Commander Shepard, a character that you can forge in your own image. You determine how events will play out, which planets to explore, and whom to form alliances with as you rally a force to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all. How you wage this war is completely up to you: go into combat with guns blazing or use cover to plan a more tactical assault. Utilize your squad to full effect or take a lone wolf approach. Rain death from a distance or go toe-to-toe with enemies using devastating melee attacks. Mass Effect 3 will react to each decision you make as you play through a truly unique experience of your own creation.
I thought about it a lot, but followed up with this firm but kind refusal:
Dear Selection Committee for this Ominous Position,
Okay, first of all … What the hell, man?
Can I just say that I feel GREAT PRESSURE to save the Earth for a Monday morning?!!?
Why am I the “only one” who can prevent this “extinction?” (Yes, you DO hear whining in my voice!) Geez, even on a fat day, I’m still only about 120 pounds. And if you ever heard me say I was 5’4,” then I was lying. I’m 5’3.75″ at best. Plus, um, I get winded pretty easily. Ooh, and don’t even get me started on bruising. I am like a banana when I so much as brush against the footboard of my bed.
So, to whomever is in charge of tapping a ‘Commander Shepard,’ PLEASE KEEP LOOKING. I am whole heartedly disinterested. I’ve already got my hands full with two kids, a husband (a term many women would liken to a third child. Ladies, am I right?), a cat who can’t decide if he really likes me or not and, you know, lots of other stuff. I wouldn’t have the first idea who to call to form these so-called “alliances.” Neptune? Jupiter? I don’t know anybody on those planets. I’m still working off basic cable and a couple of VCRs in this house. Seriously, I really think you’ve got the wrong guy here.
It’s true. I can spin a good tale from time to time. But what good is that going to do all of us really when our bodies are somehow suspended in time while the ‘Reapers’ attempt to replicate and/or alter our DNA? (See! I know nothing about science fiction. I can’t even come up with a good illustration of what they’ll be able to do to us with me in charge.)
My point? I can’t emphasize enough how inappropriate I am for this global responsibility. Perhaps you should consider someone better qualified like, I don’t know, Barack Obama …. Leon Panetta … or, ooh, even Clint Eastwood maybe. Or … if it has to be a woman … how about Queen Elizabeth … or Ellen DeGeneres? The common denominator of all of these people is that they are well-connected. They have resources. And people listen to them.
In summary, I’d really re-think the decision to put me in charge. Just my two cents. But if you need help finding someone else, this job sounds important enough that I’m happy to offer my assistance in recruiting someone. Else.
Thanks for asking though. You can’t imagine how flattered I am.
It’s been five days since I checked in here. Glad to see that number down a bit. Pretty impressive considering the cheese consumption in this household this week. And we’re now headed into Mardi Gras weekend. The good news is … lots of walking. The bad … lots of food … and drink. Sigh. Promise to be honest with the stupid weigh-ins. Ugh.
1. I attended a Polyphonic Spree concert with my brother and my friend, Vanessa. I realize most of you probably aren’t familiar with this band, so please allow me to pontificate. There’s something about their music (especially live) that elicits an inexplicable feeling of euphoria usually only indicative of a nice muscle relaxant. Or, well, something like that. Maybe it’s the 16 people taking the stage at once wearing choir robes and carrying with them an orchestra’s worth of instruments that sets them apart. I don’t know. And, because I’m a big dork, I stuck around after the concert to meet the band’s frontman, Tim DeLaughter (even his freakin’ name sounds happy) and snap a quick photo. I’ve included the picture as well as a shameless plug for the band (a video of their appearance on Scrubs in 2004 – Love this band. Love this show).
2. While Googling the above song for a good video for this post, I was reminded of a movie (in which the song was used) that I always intended but never actually got around to seeing. (Story of my life.) So this week, thanks to Netflix, I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Anyone besides me ever see it? That is one unconventional film. And it involves Jim Carrey in a serious (as opposed to manically stupid) role which (like Robin Williams) is always a good thing. I won’t ruin it for you by rehashing the whole plot. Just go see it for yourself some time and come back and tell me what you think.
3. Ellen DeGeneres used one of my jokes on her show this week. “ONE of my.” That’s funny. Like I have an arsenal or something. Anyway, she was seeking corny Valentine’s Day jokes and I tweeted her one. What’s that? Well, YES, I tweet. It’s 2012, McFly. (Great. Any hipness Twitter just bought me was erased by my cavalier use of ‘McFly.’)
4. I lost half of my face to a little snafu with a women’s skin care product, uncharacteristically cold weather and my own, full-on ignorance. Apparently, Retin-A does not double as a moisturizer. I’ll bet any woman worth her salt already knew that. In the area of cosmetics and girly savoir faire, I am not worth any salt, mine or anyone else’s. Which, apparently, is only about $2.99 per pound, thus rendering me pretty useless. Except that when I complained of my Retin-A debacle, one friend actually said I was ‘making leprosy cool.’ Um, thanks?
5. I made cheese. Yes, that’s right. I built it. From the ground up … or the milk up, as it were. There were powders, liquids, cooking thermometers and oversized, cauldron-y-looking pots involved. And then there was the whole curds-and-whey-separation, a rather tedious process. And kneading. Dear God, was there kneading. But, in the end, there was cheese. Mozzarella cheese. That we promptly used on a homemade pizza for dinner last night. I made cheese. (Sniff.) I may try walking on water later this weekend.
6. I watched my girl kick butt in her third year in the school talent show. She channeled a young Michael Jackson beautifully in her own take on ‘I Want You Back,” although I think she was going for Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice who recently covered the old J5 song. And, as always, we got to see a lot of other kids strutting their best stuff on stage all evening. One of my favorite acts involved two nine-year-old white boys popping and locking better than a 1980s Alfonso Ribeiro. (Without googling him, please comment below if you actually know who I’m talking about. No cheating!)
7. With the help of a few friends, I compiled a list of of people we’d like to see cloned and sent it to @GeneticsView who (foolishly) decided to follow me on Twitter. They hung in there for most of my shenanigans but finally unfollowed me because, I think, I got greedy and asked for too many clones. Who was on the list, you ask? Using the input of others as well as my own ideas, we sent them the following names: Brad Pitt, Jane Russell, Johnny Depp, Julia Child, Bono, Ellen Degeneres and Orlando Bloom. We were really just getting started when they unfollowed. Cowards. What crappy customer service.
8. I learned that I am an unteachable monkey when it comes to the computer. As such, there will likely be many more ‘This is not a real blog post‘ blog posts until I get this crap straightened out. Feel free to ignore them.
9. I learned that I know someone who knows Paul McCartney. That’s only two degrees, people. Meaning YOU are only three degrees of separation from Sir Paul. Go run and update your Facebook statuses … now!
10. I accidentally emailed my kids’ teachers from my ‘tits’ email again. Bear in mind, my daughter’s teachers include a nun. Please say a prayer for me immediately.
11. I an effort to throw off the many cheesy porn autobots of the world, I tried reprogramming my Twitter account by using hashtags like #Osmonds, #GirlScouts, #PBS, #BillCosby, #7thHeaven, #milk, #Crazy8s and #Waltons. It worked, but only for about five hours.
12. I devoted a day of my life to thinking good thoughts about Doug Henning. Doug Henning, you guys! Am I the only one who misses his big, buck teeth? Did you know he was a magician, illusionist, escape artist AND politician? Didn’t see that one coming, did you? A moment of silence for Mr. Henning, please.
Oh, yeah. And we passed 25,000 hits on this six-month-old blog. Yay, us! Thanks to all for reading. Happy Mardi Gras! I’m off to THE paradeS.
Today, I am attending a party in your honor. I will be watching the game, cheering you on with a great group of friends. I am ordering a party tray of food. And, in addition to the rest of the city, I will actually be wearing clothing inspired by your team.
We all know this stuff doesn’t happen every day with me. And I take a lot of ribbing about my spazzy (What? Well, then it should be a word! Are we all still using ‘explevatory?’) knowledge of football and whatever it is you guys are doing out there. The entire city is really counting on you. My sweet, moon-hanging son is counting on you. Ellen DeGeneres is counting on you. And, damn it, I am counting on you.
So, please don’t let me down.
Plain and simple. Not while I’m sitting there wearing a Saints jersey and everything. People in these parts were already pretty let down by the performance of another home favorite earlier this week. And they could really use something to lift them out of that funk. And me? Well, I could use seeing that unbridled glee I remember seeing on my son’s face two years ago. Not to mention on the faces of everyone else I know. Including mine.
You guys have what it takes to go all the way again. And every point you score, every yard you gain, every pass you complete and just about every move you make gets us all one step closer to that big game on Sunday. Just think. You could get a trip to Indianapolis and score yourselves another nice, new piece of jewelry for your collection. Yes, I said collection. ‘Cause I’m hoping there’s lots more to follow.
You’ve done so much for my hometown, at a time when we needed it most. No matter what happens, thanks for that. Of course, I’d rather be thanking you late on February 5. That rush was incredible two years ago, wasn’t it? So, allow me to give you a little pre-game advice.
Please listen today whenever the coach is talking to you. Have a good breakfast and make sure to empty your bladders before you head out on the field. Keep your cleats laced up tightly at all times and don’t fidget with your uniforms. If you don’t know where to go or you get lost today, ask someone for help. And always remember to have fun.
What? I never said I was Knute Rockne. I’m a mom … with a heart very much in the right place. Which I think for most of the city means in our throats right about now.
See you on the other side of today’s game, guys. When that heart of mine is bursting with pride back in my chest where it belongs.