How to Make Small Talk

Today’s post is brought to you by Speaker7.

Oh…um…Hi. How are things? …um…

Well…er…how ’bout that rain? It’s been like raining with water and stuff.

So…um…I’ve been asked to write about small talk so…okay…um…I’ll do that now?

1. Introduce yourself. It will give you something to talk about for two seconds. You might be tempted to make up a name to give you something else to talk about it– “Hi. I’m Casey Anthony!”–but don’t. You could possibly run into this person again, and the next bout of small talk will be even more awkward if you can’t remember what name you gave.

2. Stick to safe topics. Some suggestions:

  • weather 

weathertalk

  • the room you’re in — “How ’bout this floor, huh?”
  • Donald Trump’s hairpiece — “So, do you think his hair is made out of urine-soaked hamster bedding?”

3. Stay away from hot-button issues like:

  • politics 

politicking

  • religion

religion

  • motherhood

motherhood4. Make eye contact. It can be off-putting if you look like this:

noeyecontact5. Don’t make too much eye contact, however. Don’t look like this:

toomucheye

6. Ask questions. Feign interest in your small talk participant.

dodew

or

zombieboinking

or

splash

7. Do not piss your pants. Same goes for poopy.

8. Under no circumstances, should you ever say this:

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The Official How To Blog is your one true source of everything. 

I like your shoes.

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How to Find a Therapist Who Isn’t Completely Cray

Hi, there.

I’m a therapist.  I’ve also been a client.  I eat, sleep, and breathe therapy like it’s my job…probably because it is.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of crazy therapists out there, and I am here to tell you how to avoid them like how Freud didn’t avoid cocaine.  …you know what I mean.

freud crazy

1. Google that shit

Got a referral for an awesome therapist recommended by your cousin’s girlfriend’s mongoose?  Better type the name straight into that magical search bar of truth.  Avoid this therapist if you end up seeing: naked pictures of mongeese, horns protruding from his skull, or any sort of online dating profile that mentions sushi.

2. Educate yourself

Credentials can be tough to understand, since they vary from state to state, and from one locked psych ward to another.  Does this therapist have a bunch of letters and numbers after her name?  Good.  Once you’re sure this isn’t her vehicle’s license plate number (but if it is, then be sure to write that down to save for a rainy day), make sure none of the letters stand for words like “experimental,” “fucktastic,” or “Canadian.”

3. Do the drapes match the carpet?

The way a therapist decorates her office says a lot about who she is.  How does the couch look?  Can you picture yourself spending hours uncontrollably sobbing into the armrest?  Check. Next, look around the room.  If you don’t see any inspirational sayings or posters of cats desperately trying not to fall to their death from a tree with an inscription reading, “Hang in there!” then you get the hell outta there.  There had also be some smelly candles and one of those soft foam bats for days when the shit really hits the therapeutic fan.

Cuteness is inspirational.

4. Test the therapist to make sure he’s listening

Throw in some important tidbits about yourself and see how he responds.  Be sure to mention your compulsion to projectile vomit when you hear the sound of a vacuum cleaner and that you secretly become aroused watching old people feed birds at the park.  Any response besides “mm-hmm,” “go on,” and “tell me more about that” are winners.

5. A good therapist matches your language level

Make your therapist really work for your hard-earned money cannibus (see next section).  Use a Boston accent and swear like a drunken sailor in your first session, and if you don’t have your therapist saying “That’s wicked awesome!” or “That fackin’ sucks!” or “How ’bout dem apples?!” then that’s a bad sign.  Next, move on to speaking like you’ve walked right out of Downton Abbey, followed by an imitation of the Crocodile Hunter, may goddess rest his soul.

6. The price is right

Find a therapist who will negotiate with you in terms of payment.  Will he accept regifted shirts from Tommy Bahamas?  How about The Gap?  If all else fails, offer to fold his fitted sheets in return for some Good Will Hunting style bear hugs, followed by repeatedly being told that it’s not your fault.

7.  Finally, don’t come knocking at my door for any sweet, sweet cathartic bliss, because….my schedule is all full up.  Now pass the cocaine.

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Four out of five therapists say writing for this blog is cathartic, and way cheaper. In fact no money is ever seen by anyone.  

The Official How To Blog is the one-true source for all information and psychiatry needs

How To Be a Bloghole

Today’s guest post first appeared on When Crazy Meets Exhaustion. I liked it because it reminded me another favorite topic: the humblebrag. I wrote about that and now you will read my post immediately, then follow me and then like everything I do and then put a clause in your will demanding the same servitude from your descendants. I think I’m getting the hang of this blogholeness, and you can too! Take it away When Crazy Meets Exhaustion:

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I started blogging so I didn’t stab myself in the eye with a rusty fork.

Let me start over.

I started blogging because, as a work-from-home-mom-of-two, I didn’t have time to take a crap in private.

Dammit. Trying this one more time.

I start blogging because I love to write.

There it is.

I love the feeling of pride and catharsis after hitting publish. I love getting comments and feedback from readers. I love that it is something I do just for me.

What I don’t love is that there are some real jerkfaces out there masquerading around, pretending to care about my writing. Yours, too. I didn’t coin the term, but it’s perfection: bloghole. According to Tara at You Know It Happens At Your House, Too, a bloghole is “someone that talks, tweets, and acts poorly in a blog.”

I don’t make a good bloghole because I can’t pretend to like something when I don’t. Once a gal commented on my blog and, out of courtesy, I checked her out. This chick’s blog was dedicated to the Mesozoic idea that women are on earth solely to please their men, suggesting that wives always wear make-up and look “dressed up” when our husbands come home from work. I’m sorry, but even 1952 thinks that’s ridonkulous.

Even though I’m a sucky one, there is hope for those aspiring blogholes out there. Here are some tips to help them become the very best blogholes they can be:

blogholery

1. Seek out other bloggers’ Facebook pages, “like” them, and then leave an annoying message such as, “Liked you. Here’s my page.” You should always assume the other party is interested in you and excited to reciprocate.

2. Follow 23,8893 people on Twitter. The second one of them follows you back, unfollow immediately. It’s *super* important to have your followers outnumber those you follow because it makes you closer to Jesus.

3. Participate in blog hops but not really. Link up for exposure, but don’t show any interest in the other writers. This is cut-throat. No need to play nice.

4. Stalk the Top 25 fill-in-the-blank bloggers. Within 17 minutes, leave a comment on every post they’ve ever written, and then tag them on Twitter like you’re BFFs.

5. Contact all of your favorite bloggers via e-mail and ask them to write for you. They would love to hand over their ideas  for nothing in return. It’s not like they’re attached to their writing or anything.

6. Piggybacking off of #5, if you like another blogger’s post, feel free to reblog it without asking permission and/or giving it credit. Plagiarism only means something in a high school English classroom.

7. A legit bloghole doesn’t try to find writers with a purpose or style similar to his/her own. They are indiscriminately obnoxious.

8. When commenting on others’ blogs, find a way to work your own into it:“Loved this post! You really made me laugh. I bet I can make you laugh. Just give me the chance. Seriously, give me a chance. I’ll make you shart in your pants. Check me out at http://www.blogholemanners.com.”

9. Completely ignore the fact that there is a real person behind the computer. Judge every word, rip apart every post, and don’t rule out mother-effing them if they don’t respond to your Tweet, e-mail, Facebook message, and comment. We’re not in this to make friends.

10. If you don’t remember #1 – 9, remember this, the most important guideline to becoming a successful bloghole: write about anything that you believe will increase your readership and popularity. Staying true to yourself and finding your voice is completely overrated. Be a traitor to the truth. Be a sell-out. Be Elton John serenading the homo-hating Rush Limbaugh at his 2010 wedding. Whatever you do, don’t be you.

I have more stretch marks than I have Twitter followers, and if I cared any less, I would be my husband watching the Beyonce HBO special I forced upon him. But I sure hope that these guidelines prove useful to anyone who strives to be a big ol’ bloghole.

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Reread step 5 and pledged your servitude to me realize that writing for The Official How To Blog is all you ever wanted and more. 

The Official How To Blog is the one true source for all information and blogholery.

How To Write A Blog: 10 Obligatory Blog Posts Every Blogger Has To Write At Least Once

Today’s guest post is brought to you by the letter X better known as the List of X. To read more about guest posts, see step 6.

I have been reading WordPress blogs for months now, and I have noticed that certain types of blog posts are more common than others. So I thought I’d aggregate these most common blog posts into just one short post for your enjoyment. Alternatively, you can use this post as your blogging guide which will save your valuable time by providing you with the pre-written template blog posts that you can simply copy and paste into your blog.

English: Kim Kardashian at the 2009 Tribeca Fi...

I was planning to write a separate post about 10 most common blog photos, but this woman is in 9 out of 10 of them.

1) Hello, World!  This blog will be a platform for my thoughts about me, myself, my thoughts about myself, and occasionally about _____, _____, what I think about this, and Kim Kardashian. I will write as often as I can, since I usually think daily about different things, I think. See, I’ve just thought again! I better start posting stuff right now!

2) The Day Of Outrage:  I don’t normally get outraged about things, but ______ was outrageous! Did you see how outrageous that was! You didn’t? This is so outrageous that you haven’t seen it yet! You gotta check out just how outrageous this was! See! Told you! Wasn’t it outrageous? Please share your outrage in the comments section, because I’ll be outraged if you don’t!

3) The Away Message:  I apologize, my dear readers, for leaving you without your daily fix of information about me, and temporarily abandoning my blog for almost three hours. I am really sorry that you had to put your life on hold because you did not know what’s going on with my life. But I was busy with things. It’s not like I don’t have a life, you know? Haha. Honestly, I promise to write three times a day from now on. It’s not like I really have a life, you know? Haha.

4) Search Terms Of Endearment:  I have to share the good news with you! I am on Google now! Yes, you can enter something in Google and it will find my blog! Isn’t it cool? And apparently, people enter completely random things and still find my blog! Check out this hilarious search term: ______. Isn’t it hilarious? And what about this: _________? Even more hilarious, right? And this: ___________. What’s up with that?? Hilarious. But you know, seriously, even though all these result are hilarious and all, but the search for “most totally amazing blog ever” doesn’t lead to my blog for some reason. I’m gonna have to call Google because I think there is a problem with their search.

5) The Freshly Pressed Hangover (posted the morning after). Thank you everyone for such thoughtful comments! I have never seen so many thoughtful comments saying “Congrats on being Freshly Pressed” ever! It is so great to be Freshly Pressed! It’s like a total vindication of my life’s work! My blog got so many page views that my computer totally crashed! Well, I was actually jumping for joy, and my foot tripped over the wire and my computer actually crashed! But now that I am a famous blogger, I have bought a bigger and better computer to write bigger and better posts!

6) The Guest Post: This amazing post is brought to you by the amazing blogger named ______ . He/she won’t be writing about me today, which is sad, but I get a day off from my blog, which is good. Please check out his/her work, he/she’s almost as amazing as me. But please read all my amazing posts first! You don’t actually have to read them if you don’t have time, but please click on them at least! Then come back tomorrow and read them! Or just “like’” them.

7) Gems From The Junk Filter:  Check this out! I just found out that WordPress is blocking some of the comments on my blog! These people have been leaving the nicest comments like “this is an excellently wrote post”, or “I have learning so much from this site”, or “your qualification is for among the best blogs of the internet”. Why does WordPress block these comments??? Who are they, grammar Nazis or something???

8) The Traffic Report:  Check out this picture. This is my page views stats. This looks just like Manhattan skyline, doesn’t it? I removed the numbers so you don’t get jealous. At least I was hoped you would get jealous but I wasn’t really sure you would, so I deleted the numbers just in case. And then here is the next month, and it now looks more like New Jersey skyline. And look, here is this month, and it looks just like Nebraska. At least I think it looks like Nebraska, because I flew over it once and from up there Nebraska looked completely flat and sad, just like my recent traffic. Where is my traffic? Why isn’t anyone reading my blog??? I hate Nebraska!!!

9) My Amazing Cat:  My cat is totally amazing. It is so warm and fuzzy and smart. I wish my cat could write a post for my blog. I just know this post would have been so warm and fuzzy and smart that it’s gonna get Freshly Pressed instantly and I would get traffic again. I need traffic! Where is my traffic! Damn you cat! Write the post now!!! And make it warm and fuzzy and smart, damn it!!!

10) The Trends I Am Seeing:  I have been reading blogs for months now, and I have noticed that some types of blog posts are more common than others, so I thought I would aggregate them for your enjoyment and make fun of all of them at once.  Check out the whole amazing post here.

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Do you want to write a how-to about how to love your amazing cat then this is the site for you! Just submit an email request and watch the magic and hairballs happen.

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How To Read 50 Shades of Grey

Alice of Alice at Wonderland has been slogging through the literary anal dribblings of E.L. James for what feels like an eternity. There is only so much “Fair point, well made Miss Steele/Mrs. Grey” and “Laters baby” one can read before one feels as if they’ve been sucked into a Groundhog-Day-like reality of which there is no escape.

If after reading the above paragraph, you still desire to pore through the monotonous ramblings of an author who knows neither plot or character development, then Alice has prepared a handy how-to on how to slog through this pile o’crap.

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Have you wondered what all the fuss was about with 50 Shades, but been scared to read it?  Of course you have!  With this simple guide, you can read 50 Shades of Grey and possibly keep your sanity.

How To Read 50 Shades

  1. Download it to your e-reader.  Then if someone asks what you are reading, you can say “Well it certainly isn’t 50 Shades!”
Still not reading 50 Shades!

Still not reading 50 Shades!

  1. Skip directly to chapter eight.  This is the one with the sexy times.  Nothing happens before then, trust me.
Nothing really happens after that either, but I digress . . .

Nothing really happens after that either, but I digress . . .

  1. Try not to get aroused by the references to “down there” and the frequent exclamations of “oh shit!”, “oh my!” and “oh, jeez!”
Cross the Beav with Desperate Housewives and you'll get the idea

Cross the Beav with Desperate Housewives and you’ll get the idea

  1. Move on to chapter nine.  Get introduced to Christian’s penis.  We now know all the important characters.
I don't believe you two have met . . .

I don’t believe you two have met . . .

  1. Skip to chapter eleven, appropriately the chapter with the sex contract copied directly off of some internet site.  First use of the fascinating email plot device.
So fire play is NOT a hard limit for you, hmm . . .

So fire play is NOT a hard limit for you, hmm . . .

  1. Begin drinking game.  Start reading every fifth page (this will not break continuity) and take a drink every time Christian and Ana 1) have sex 2) email 3) say something idiotic.
You'd better stock up.

You’d better stock up.

  1. Stop and read chapter eighteen, if you want to see Ana get a vaginal exam.  If you’re sane, move on to chapter twenty-three.  It’s safe, I promise.
Ana wants to know!

Ana wants to know!

  1. I lied.  This is the chapter of the infamous “tampon scene.”  You’re welcome.  Good thing you’re totally wasted, huh?
You will never be able to go down this aisle again without PTSD.

You will never be able to go down this aisle again without PTSD.

  1. Skim through scenes of Christian beating up Ana.  We don’t want anything to tarnish the momentum of this romantic novel.
Ah, the romance!

Ah, the romance!

  1. Last chapter: watch Ana sort of grow a spine, leave Christian, and “surrender to her grief”.  Stop now.  Pretend it’s the last book.  You’ll be glad you did.
Only bad things lie in store for our heroine.

Only bad things lie in store for our heroine.

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You can write for this blog too, you lucky son of bitch! Just submit an email request and watch all your dreams come true or not.

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How To Take The Joy Out of Education

Heather of Becoming Cliche joins The Official How To Blog today to tackle the issue of super-duper education policy that has thankfully turned our public school students into bubbling machines. You’ve got a circle that needs to be colored in? By all means, grab your nearest eight-year-old cuz that kid knows what’s up. Incidentally that same child might not know what’s up in the sky because science is optional.

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1) Determine the best way to measure success.  This means test scores. Duh! There’s no such thing as potential that can’t be measured. If it ain’t on the score sheet, it ain’t there, folks. 

2) Use test scores appropriately. Preferably to pigeonhole kids so we know where to focus our attention. No sense pouring money down a sinkhole, after all. Bad score? No Honors English for you next year. What? You didn’t take  Honors English this year? Sorry, no Honors English II next year.  That’s too bad. You should have studied harder when you were ten. Catch the bad eggs in fifth grade so they never taint an AP English class in high school.

3) Alert students and teachers to upcoming tests. At least three months in advance by means of signage in hallways, weekly notes to parents, automated phone calls during the dinner hour,  and when applicable, a morning cheer.

4) Schedule mandated testing strategically. Cold and flu season is preferable. It’s the only way to separate the sheep from the goats. Inability to test well when faced with raging fever and barking cough represents regression toward the mean and helps identify your weak links on whom you should not waste time or resources.

5) Cut the fat in the budget. Preferably the gifted programs. Those kids already know enough to be going on with. We don’t want them to get too big for their britches now, do we?

6) Establish a curriculum. And deviate from it never. It goes without saying that said curriculum must be Ministry of Magic approved. We don’t want teachers stepping outside the box and teaching students things that won’t be found on the tests and are therefore useless.  Learning just for the fun of it is pointless. And maybe dangerous. Look at what happened with Hogwarts. Students used their time inappropriately and ended up blowing up the school. Amirite?

7) Respond to current events. Knee-jerk reactions are preferable. Because adding armed officers at every school means a crazed person with a gun and determination will not succeed, but a second grader with a Poptart is sure to.

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You can write for The Official How To Blog too. Yes, I’m talking to you…not that other guy…you. Visit the about page to learn how.

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How to peel an orange

Merbear of Knocked Over By a Feather felt compelled to write about a serious topic that has been affecting many, many people: the struggle of citrus encapsulation, or SOCE.

Before Merbear submitted her informative post, I had been peeling my oranges with a banana peel because I thought that was its purpose. Now I know more and you can too!

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Step one: Check to see how long your nails are. If they are short and nubby, your going to need an extra five minutes, if not longer.

 DSCN1721 (2)

Step 2: Squeeze the orange to check for thickness of the rind. Get a good feel for it. Rub it. Become one with it. Learn the language of citrus.

DSCN1722 (2)

Step 3: Gently place your thumb at the top of the orange. Press firmly, until you smell the delightful aroma of oranges permeate the air. Imagine yourself on a boat by a river…(This process can be used for tangerines as well!)

 DSCN1723

Step 4: In a quick downward motion, rip the first small piece of orange peel off, and fling it to the side, like the bitch that it is.

DSCN1724

Step 5: Repeat

 DSCN1725

Step 6: Repeat

Step 7: Repeat

Step 8: Re..fuck it, you get the idea.

Step 9: Behold your expertly peeled orange!

DSCN1726

  Step 10: Pick all that white shit off of there. Unless you like the white stuff. I don’t.

DSCN1727

Step 11: Section it, and enjoy!

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Do you want to write a post for The Official How To Blog? You don’t? What’s wrong with you. I really think you should reconsider. It’s so official and a tad how-tooey. 

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How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

This may seem like an insurmountable feat along the same lines as making a soufflé or listening to someone talk sincerely about Kimye’s relationship. But it can be done, if you follow these official how-to steps.

Step 1: Begin with a fitted sheet. This may seem obvious, but many times the act of folding a fitted sheet is derailed because one is actually trying to fold a McFish Bite™.

Step 2: Take the two lower corners and bring them together. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that fitted sheets do not have corners. It should look like this:

lowercorner

Step 3 : Then take the two upper corners and mash them around a bit. It should look like this:

uppercorners

Step 4: Kick at it for a little bit. Let it know who’s the boss. Tony Danza obvs.

footkicking

Step 5: Okay so that didn’t work. Punch a wall. Seriously. It will make you feel better. Now start over.

Step 6: This time fold one upper corner and one lower corner. How do you know which one is which? That is a really good question.

Step 7: Just keep folding until it looks less like a mushroom cap and more like a wrinkled pantsuit.

secondattempt

Step 8: Flatten it with a heavy book.

book

Step 9: Remove the book.

Step 10: Stuff the wadded mess underneath a pile of other sheets in the deep recesses of your closet.

Ta-da.

Ta-da.

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Want to know how to do something? Ask The Official How To Blog for help. 

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How To Attract Readers

You have just started a blog. No one cares.

Follow these sure-fire steps to increase your readership tenfold. Do not be swayed by the fact that this blog has no followers. It will once I follow the steps that I will create from consulting a magic eight ball.

Step 1: Write about popular topics. Simply mentioning Fifty Shades will drive traffic to your blog. Do not worry. You do not have to actually read the book. Other popular topics:

  • salsa
  • the dust bowl
  • sequestration
  • VHS vs. Betamax

Step 2: Include pictures. People like to look at stuff, but good stuff not crap stuff. Design your own composite of Christian Grey (seriously Fifty Shades will get you hits). Something like this:

The smoldering combination of Donald Trump hair, Michele Bachman eyes, Gonzo the Muppet nose and Gary Busey mouth. Holy cow!

The smoldering combination of Donald Trump hair, Michele Bachmann eyes, Gonzo the Muppet nose and Gary Busey mouth. Holy cow!

Step 3: Douse your blog in generous amounts of Axe Body Spray.

Step 4: Ask people to follow your blog. When they attempt to brush you off, start crying and peeing. They will immediately agree to follow your blog to get you to stop. You can use this tactic in person too.

Step 5: Pretend your blog is more important than it really is. Give it a title like “The Official Something Or Other.” Readers like to think they’re following the work of someone important. Name-drop in posts as much as possible, for example, “I was peeing and crying with Gary Busey the other day…”

Step 6: Porn.

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Want to know how to do something? Ask The Official How To Blog for help. 

Want to share your vast knowledge of insect excrement with the world? Write for The Official How To Blog, and experience all the satisfaction that comes with writing for free. 

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