Blogger Problems #5

Blogger Problems

Greetings!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted Blogger Problems, hasn’t it? Probably because I’ve been fading in and out of the blogiverse. Remind me to make a Blogger Problems about that.

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This is me. Every. Fudging*. Time. Any questions as to why I disappeared?

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When designing your site, EVERYTHING can go wrong, and usually does. Your clipart isn’t transparent, your graphic design software freezes, your theme is deleted, and even if you manage to get everything up and looking good, someone goes and plagiarizes your design. This has happened to me once or twice, and it’s the worst.

What are some recent Blogger Problems you’ve been having? 

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*That was for you, PhoenixPhaedrana**! 

**For those who are curious as to what on earth I’m talking about, PhoenixPhaedrana and I are both nuts and talk to each other so often that we have our own slang dialect, complete with swearing-but-not-swear-words. ‘Fudging’ is one of them. Now go check her blogs out.

 

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In Which I Talk About Valentine’s Day

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Why, look, it’s Chocolate Sale At Walgreen’s Eve!

Before I start waxing satirically philosophical and making fun of Valentine’s Day, a disclaimer; I don’t know much about the romantic side of the holiday. And by ‘not much’ I mean absolutely nothing. I’m 13, guys, and all my romantic passion has been poured out upon fictional characters and cats. You have been disclaimed. (I have been disclaimed? What does the verb ”disclaim” modify?  This is way too complicated, please ignore me).

Now, according to Wikipedia (which has the answer to all questions, except the one pertaining to Life, The Universe and Everything, and that’s common knowledge), Valentine’s Day began as the celebration of the feast day of an early saint who was named, of course, Valentine.

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Time wore on, and the rest of the world decided this was an ideal time to sabotage people’s New Year’s resolutions and send the chocolates, plus exacerbate their pollen allergies and send them flowers, all in the name of love. And Bing Crosby produced an album of what I hear is terrible music.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that….

Nowadays, Valentine’s Day is great if you’re in a that perfect [read: fairytale/nonexistent] romantic relationship.

There’s a dancer meme that circulates every February that I always snicker at.

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Although it’s partially to make myself feel better about my pathetic singles and very rare doubles. And I stumble out of them a lot. It’s really not pretty.

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Isn’t it horrible?

Otherwise…well, do you like mass-produced flavorless candy with cheesy abbreviated messages and horribly GIMP’d heart shaped images of kittens that disgrace the feline race?

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No? Huh, go figure.

  • 144 million Valentines are manufactured and sold in the U.S. alone, according to Hallmark.
  • According to a National Retail Federation Survey, Americans spent $18.2 billion on Valentine’s paraphernalia in 2017.
  • 3% of pet owners purchase valentines for their pets every year (…don’t ask).
  • And yet, 3 in 10 Americans say they skip Valentine’s Day.

And, of course I hear Valentine’s Day can be downright excruciating if you’re single, so some lovely, caring soul created Single Awareness Day, to be celebrated (wallowed in?) on February 14th.

Yeah, I thought that was somewhere between slightly odd and completely ridiculous.

If you’d rather not celebrate Valentine’s Day, but still want an excuse to celebrate something, not to worry, you have options!

  • National Ferris Wheel Day-But depending on your fear of heights, it might make you just as nauseous as reading a cheesy card.
  • National Library Lovers Day-You can go sit in the library with a book, and maybe even fall in love with another fictional character who will probably break your heart and/or die! (Wait, why was I so cheerful…?) Or give chocolates to your favorite librarian.
  • National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day-need I say anything? Chocolate, guys.

Or wait until the 15th and celebrate Unofficial National Chocolate Sale Day. (One day, it will become official, I’m telling you guys).

So even if you have a terrible 14th, the 15th has discount chocolate, and what’s better than that?

I leave you with that semi-encouraging thought. And a picture of my cat.

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Favorite kind of chocolate? Red or pink?

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O N E Y E A R | M Y B I R T H D A Y

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Why, hello, dear readers!

It feels strange to think that I’ve been typing that phrase almost every week for a year.

Then again, my poor little brain is also having difficulty with the fact that I’m now thirteen years old. Like, woah.

There’s two parts to this post, because today is a double celebration, which means double the party and double the cake.

Part One//My Birthday

Let me just be completely unreserved for a second;

HOW THE MONKEY FRITTERS AM I THIRTEEN?

Heck, if you think about it, it’s a wonder I’m still alive. From all the stupid, crazy, and dangerous things I did when I was younger (riding down a steep hill in a rusty wagon, anybody?), it’s a bit of a statistical miracle I didn’t end up with a traumatic brain injury or something.

My wry morbidity aside, yesterday was great. Fabulous. Wonderful. Fantastic, Grand, Marvelous, Terrific, Tremendous, Wondrous. Take your linguistic pick.

I baked a cake (and yelled at anyone who dared set foot in the kitchen), went shopping with my mom, walked the dog (don’t get excited, we’re dogsitting), got my hair cut (I have bangs now!), showed off my pastry expertise (if you can call binge-watching Tasty videos ‘expertise’), and then called my cousin and laughed about video games and song lyrics.

I chose not to have a party because a) A good chunk of my friends live hundreds or thousands of miles away, and b) I don’t like being the center of attention. Seriously, when my family sang ”happy birthday” to me at dinner, I just wanted to go all Opal Koboi and yell, ”’Don’t look at me, it’s bad for my skin!!”.

But, y’know, cake was next, and I wasn’t about to miss that.

Ah, yes, the cake! It was chocolate-chocolate fudge, with vanilla icing decorations.

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Yep, I made those flowers, and they were delicious.

As I piped the flowers, I realized I was singing a snippet of a song without even thinking about it. I smiled when I heard the words.

I’d rather pick flowers
Instead of fights
And rather than flaunt my style, I’d flash you a smile
Of clean pearly whites

It’s some Owl City song I like, I don’t remember which.It fit the moment perfectly, though!

As for gifts, I received an a-m-a-z-i-n-g new Nikon camera as a joint Christmas/Birthday present, and that’s what I took the pictures with. My mom also surprised me with the fabulous jacket I’d been eyeing at Old Navy, plus a shopping trip there. (I got some new tops and the COOLEST shoes) And of course, bangs, which I’m SO pleased with, and (the best part) they hide most of my skin problems (See, I told you looking at me was bad for my skin).

Yep, it was an awesome day, especially because I got so many incredibly sweet birthday wishes from so many people. My lovely IRL friend Joy sent me a birthday text, Bayance left me the best-ever birthday comment that literally made me choke up, and both my Grandmas sent me emails and cards.

I’ve decided that thirteen is pretty great, guys.


Part 2//Blogiversary

Onto the second and slightly more relevant part, TTC’s first blogiversary!

And now, it’s story time, so gather ’round, and I’ll tell you the previously untold tale of how Taking the Cake became an actual reality.

When I launched TTC, it was after planning and tweaking. The idea had floated through my head for a while, but it only really ‘stuck’, so to speak, during a long, late ballet class, during my least favorite combination (I really hate rond de jambes, guys).  Of course, the first thing I had to figure out was a name. However, because it was 7:53 (yep, I clearly remember what time it was), half my brain was focused on my rond de jambe en l’air, all I could come up with was….wait for it…..

Mugfuls of Mayonnaise.

I can see you all staring at those words and reevaluating whether or not you think Natalie is actually sane.

Fortunately, the smarter part of me realized that a name like that is about as unappetizing as you can get, so I frittered the idea away for another time.

Then a few days later, sitting on the couch, the perfect name came to me; Taking the Cake.

Don’t ask where I got the idea. I just remember that eureka moment on the couch. Which was also when I decided I’d release it on my birthday, only a a week away.

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The very first header for TTC

Due to an unplanned rescheduling because of  a snowstorm, I was in Philadelphia when TTC went live. I woke up in the hotel, and my mom came in and said ”Happy birthday!”
I blinked. ”Birthday? Who’s birthday-Oh, right, mine!”

Yep, I was so excited about TTC that I actually forgot my own birthday. No joke, people.

The hotel had a pool, and I remember smiling ear to ear with my hair dripping wet because of all the insanely sweet comments people left.

Seriously, getting birthday wishes from people across the country and world takes your day to a whole new level. On TTC’s first 24 hours on the internet, I hit 25 followers…how flipping amazing is that?

And now for stats:

3,258 Views

1,029 Visitors

829 Likes

740 Comments

Most Popular Day: Monday

Most Popular Time: 11 pm

Top Commenter: AGsInAlaska

 

WARNING: ABOUT TO GET SAPPY. TISSUES ARE RECOMMENDED

I owe every single one of you a huge thank-you. This blog has meant so much to me since the day I started it, and you are the ones who made it a reality. It’s so amazing to be able to have a place to talk about life, the universe, and everything, plus have amazing supportive friends to support you.

It’s been an amazing year. I started TTC, had my lifelong dream come true (POINTE SHOES!), got a new cat, and a new fictional obsession. You guys patiently listened to me ramble on about shank sizing and the blue eyed Irish geniuses, and didn’t brush me off as nuts.

This year certainly hasn’t been all fun and games, though. And you were there through it all, listening to me lament about dance drama and blue-eyed Irish geniuses. And you were so funny and supportive and amazing, just asdfghjkl.

So thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

Sappiness is now over. We now resume normal emotive states.

Part 3//Giveaway!

Haha, tricked you all! I made you think that sappiness and cake photos were all I was doing! Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Well,  okay, I guess declaring that red is now green and pine trees now sing opera is farther from the truth, but at any rate….

I really wanted to do a giveaway, but I wasn’t sure what to give away. I have so many different people with so many different interests reading my blog that nothing seemed like it would appeal to everyone.

Until I realized that everyone likes candy!

At least, the vast, vast majority of people like copious amounts sugar, so I figured it was a safe bet.

So, how would YOU like to win a mystery box full of 1.57 pounds of delicious, all-natural candy?

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I’m giving away this lovely plastic box. Aren’t you just jumping up and down with excitement?

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I forgot to mention that there’s stuff inside. My bad! Inside is some pretty blue tissue paper and 1.57 lbs. of awesome, high-quality candy. (selected by yours truly)

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The box includes a bag of caramel truffle hearts and brownie fudge squares….

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A bag of the longest sour gummy snakes I’ve ever seen (7.5 inches, guys, I measured)

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A bag of cherry vanilla gummies and candy eggs…

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A bag of strawberry gummies (and these are the best strawberry gummies you’ll ever taste. As in, they taste like real strawberries) and jellybeans…

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A bag of mint chocolate malt disks…..

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A bag of crispy chocolate drops….

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And last, but not least, a milk chocolate bar! Now, for any of you who are gawking because it’s from IKEA, let me tell you that IKEA has amazing chocolate bars, along with flat-packed furniture. So trust me here.

Would you care to enter? Just fill out the form below!

{Note: For some reason the form doesn’t show up in the reader, so you may have to go to my actual site to enter}

The deadline to enter is January 17th, and the winner will be announced on the 18th.

Thank you again for an amazing year, and here’s to many more (btw, spoiler alert-I’m not ever leaving the blogiverse  because Bayance threatened to steal all my AF books, and I need those for relative sanity so…)

Cheers, cupcakes!

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My Completely Unrealistic Birthday Wishlist 2019

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Hello there, readers!

So tomorrow I turn 13. Which according to Wikipedia, is a natural number occurring between 12 and 14.

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I’m pretty sure you all knew that, so instead of writing a research paper on the number 13, I decided I’d do something else as not to force you guys to chew your own knees off with boredom.

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People keep asking me what I want for my birthday, but honestly, there aren’t a whole lot of material things I want. New pointe shoes because my current ones are dying, character shoes because I need them for the mazurka dance we’re doing, maybe some more cats…

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If anyone wants to give me a birthday present, give me this

The thing is, there are plenty of intangible things I want. A whole list, actually. And because I know that’s more interesting than rambling on about Triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) and in case any of you happen to be interdimensional beings capable of powers perceived by normal humans as magic (if any of you are, please grant at least one of my wishes and make me incredibly happy) here’s the complete list:

  1. The ability to nail single and double pirouettes every time, in addition to a perfect extension.
  2.  For every one of those stupid rainbow pride flags to be obliterated from the Earth, and for everyone who supports that cause to come to their senses and/or cease and desist.
  3.  To actually look good in a leotard and tights
  4. For some terrible misfortune to befall the production of the Artemis Fowl movie such that causes it to be scrapped (said misfortune must be irreversible in order to leave no chance of the movie being made again)
  5.  For Minnie Mouse to be erased from the history of the world and henceforth made illegal
  6.  For my friend Joy to spontaneously move in right next to me so we can hang out every day
  7.  Ditto the above with my cousin
  8.  For my cats to suddenly gain the ability to speak English and/or walk on their hind legs like Bucky and Satchel
  9. To have long, thick, straight hair that goes easily into a bun
  10.  To run into a certain dark-haired, blue-eyed Irish boy named Artemis, and a certain sarcastic redheaded elf
  11. For all the incredibly stupid drama at dance to cease and desist, and for everyone who participated in it to be thoroughly ashamed.
  12.  For several more siblings, and for the Russian Adoption Ban to be lifted
  13.  Oh yeah, and peace and goodwill to all mankind.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for my whole blogiversary/birthday shebang, including me being annoyingly sappy and numerous cake photos.

Most unrealistic thing you want currently?

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6 Words I Always Have To Add To My Phone

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Hello, lovely readers! Are you excited for Christmas? Yes? Great, you don’t need any help feeling festive. No? Also great, this post is completely free of holiday whatot.

I got a new phone last week, and after setting it up, texting my friends celebratory cat gifs, (shoutout to you, Joy!) and installing all my old apps, I realized there was one problem-this phone didn’t recognize a lot of the words I use.

For example, according to my new Motorola G4,  ‘fortytwoish’ is not a word.

”Well, it isn’t a word, Natalie, keep your pants on,” you say.

Excuse you, to paraphrase my dear fictional friend Bucky Katt, my talking websterizes wordage automatically.

”Now you’re not even speaking English!” you protest. ”Honestly, Natalie, did you hit your head? Really hard?”

Actually, yes, I did hit my head yesterday chasing after a two year old, but that is completely unrelated. What I said was that if I can say a word, it’s therefore a word and I should be able to use it in my texts. So there.

Obviously, I sat down and spent the next hour adding a rather long list of words that I personally invented. Here they are, and the story behind each one.


‘Fortytwoish’

As you all learned in this post, I’m a Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy junkie, and along with lollipops, the number 5, and printables, I’m obsessed with the number 42. This particular incarnation of the number was first used when I had this conversation with my brother:

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Now every time I type in ”f-o-r….” it suggests ‘fortytwoish’.  (and if you think I was being jerkish [see farther below], he had already eaten two bags of said M&Ms, and I wasn’t about to make it three)

‘LEPRecon’

Of course, my phone must recognize this. It stands for Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance, and if I must tell you, it’s from Artemis Fowl. Knowing me, you should have known that…

‘FuzzyTuzzBo/BuzzySchmuzzBa/TuzzyWuzzBo’

These are my pet names (no pun intended) for my cats. To get the full effect, you have to hear me loudly whisper them to my cat while petting them and mangling my grammar for effect. But recordings eat up storage, so a typical text conversation featuring felines goes like this;

kittytext.pngBecause as is clearly visible above, I have zero control when it comes to my cats.

‘FanFic/FanFiction’

I’m pretty sure my phone would accept ‘Fan Fiction’, as two separate words, but because I like smushing words together and capitalizing at weird intervals, I write it like that and my phone has been forced to accept it.

‘Freddled Gruntbuggly/Micturations/Plurdled Gabbleblotchis/Gobberwarts/Blurglecruncheon/Foonting Turlingdromes’

You probably saw that and thought I had gone completely nuts. I assure you, I haven’t. The above nonsensical arrangements of syllables are part of only the worst poetry in the galaxy, and the third worst in the universe….Vogon Poetry!

*crickets*

….From the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Which I frequently text my brother when I have nothing better to do or when he’s not replying.

iphone-jD4nI do this quite a lot, actually….

‘Bloggage’

I like improving (mangling?) words by adding ‘-age’ to the end of the infinitive and using them that way with questionable grammar. For example;

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Other words I’ve improved (mangled); Jerk=jerkish/jerkishly. Food=foodage/foodishly. Fuzz=fuzzage/fuzzish.

Yes, I’m aware of the fact you all think I’m completely insane now.

Favorite invented word? Words your phone never recognizes?

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American Stereotypes Debunked ft. Bayance

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The long awaited part twooooo of our (mine and Bayance’s ) Canada and USA collab! Now we finally get to debunk and find out the truth behind Canadian stereotypes of Americans-and don’t forget to check out Bayance’s post as she debunks my preconceived notions of Canadians.

Q. When is America going to realize that they should ban guns instead of kinder eggs?
A. Uh…never? The 2nd amendment gives us the right to bear arms, so we are not ever  banning firearms, but at some point they’ve gotta make an amendment to allow Kinder Eggs…I mean, the FDA doesn’t allow them because of ”choking hazards” but seriously, nobody’s going to choke on that capsule…AND IT’S CHOCOLATE FOR THE LOVE OF LEMURS.
Q. Do all American schools have cheerleaders?
A. As far as I know, but I have like no experience with schools, so I can’t say for sure.
Q. Is every football player a jerk in America?
A. Nope, I know a guy who plays football and he’s pretty nice. Although I’ve definitely heard that football players often get really snobby.
Q. Is there a lot of racism?
A. No, not really. I’ve never actually witnessed any, and although some people blame it for not getting accepted into colleges and jobs, I honestly think we’re pretty racism-free. 
Q. Are people from Texas all cowboys (and girls)?
A. Nope! I know several people from Texas and some of them have never even ridden a horse..
Q. Do people is the US really get homeschooled because kids are mean?
A. Oh, no. I’m homeschooled because my mom loves teaching, but I’ve never even gone to school. I’ve heard of lots of people begging to be homeschooled because of bullying or just hating school, but most parents don’t just pull their kids from school and homeschool them just because of jerks.
Q. Are there really different accents in different US states?
A. Yes! In the south, people say ”y’all”, and in Boston people pronounce ‘er’ as ‘ah’ (chowder vs chowdah).
Q. Do most people have blond hair in America?
A. Actually, brunette is more common. A lot of brunettes dye their hair blonde, which could contribute to the stereotype, and then there’s Barbie dolls, so that might be it. But for the record, I’m blonde, haha.
Q. Do all youtubers really live in America
A. Um, no, I’m pretty sure Youtubers live all over the world. Exhibit A: Agoverseasfan. Boom.
Q. Does everyone really hate Donald Trump?
A. Oh, dear me, no. I certainly don’t, it’s really just the media who wants his head on a platter. Really, he only got elected because he was a  billion times better than Hillary Clinton, who would have killed the country a billion different ways, and is also a complete crook. So…yeah, no.
Haha, so clearly, Bayance’s got some warped views of Americans…go check out my probably even more warped views of Canadians in her post.
Thanks for reading, guys!
Favorite stereotype? Thoughts on Kinder Surprise Eggs?
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5 Hilarious Ways To Deal With Telemarketers

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It’s my 42nd post! Which, if you are an intelligent life form, you should know is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Cheers, cupcakes! 

Telemarketers. We all hate them. I mean, seriously, why? Yes, I know they make a living doing this, but most of them just will not give up trying to sell you some kind of car insurance. When you hang up, they call again, and again, and again….super annoying. In an effort to make these irritating callers go away, I came up with several great ways to make telemarketers leave you alone for good. Plus, they’re all hilarious, so what’s not to like? 

 Technique #1: The No English Trick

This one is pretty self explanatory-when you pick up the phone, string together a couple of non English words (any language will do, they don’t even have to be all the same language) and reply with that.

Telemarketer; Hello, I’m calling about a special credit card feature….

You; Quoi? Como estas mihi nomen revoir?

Telemarketer; Excuse me?

You; Je ne sais quoi? Hola nihao?

Telemarketer; *hangs up*

Sometimes it takes a couple of repetitions for them to go away, but since they normally are trying to bait as many people as possible, they’ll hang up as to not waste time.

Technique #2; Practice Your Singing

A personal favorite of mine, once you realize it’s a telemarketer, wait for them to finish their opening line, and then start singing whatever song makes you happy-very loudly. I love belting out Weird Al or songs from Hamilton (especially You’ll Be Back-gets ’em every time) but anything will work as long as you sing it loud and clear. If the person on the other end doesn’t hang up in 5.7 seconds, consider it a great compliment.

Telemarketer: Hello, I’d like to speak to….about a great deal on car insurance…

You; ”To ten million fireflies/I’m weird ’cause I hate goodbyes/I got misty-eyed as they said FAREWELL…(Fireflies//Owl City)

Telemarketer;….I’m sorry-what are you-can I just say-*hangs up*

Of course, you get the most satisfaction if the telemarketer splutters and keeps trying to get a word in edgewise while you’re singing.

Technique #3; Tell It Like It Is

This trick works especially well on numbers that have been calling you for a while and you just want to get rid of them-just inform them that you are a) a minor and therefore b) they’re wasting their time.

Telemarketer; How would you like to pay your mortgage off in two years?

You; Well, sure that’d be nice….

Telemarketer; Yes…but?

You; But I happen to be a minor female child with a lot of attitude who has your number…

Telemarketer; Um…oh…er…

You; So what was that you were saying about paying off a mortgage?

Telemarketer; *hangs up*

This one is sometimes the most satisfactory.

Technique #4; The Knock-Knock Trick

Okay, sometimes I like getting telemarketers just so I can mess with them. With this technique, just use your favorite knock-knock joke, and I guarantee that number will never call again.

Telemarketer; Hello, I have important information regarding an insurance policy that will pay for itself!

You; Knock-Knock!

Telemarketer; Uh…what?

You; Interrupting cow!

Telemarketer; What are you-

You; MOOOOOOOO!!!

Telemarketer; *hangs up*

Another tip-just saying ”MOOOOO!” very loudly until they hang up is also very handy.

Technique #5; Answering Machine

Another favorite, simply pretend the call has gone to voicemail. Feel free to make the voicemail for anything of anywhere-like Hogwarts or the LEPRecon.

Telemarketer; Hello, I’d like to-

You; Hello, you have reached Camp Half-Blood, 2245 Long Island, New York. We are currently not available due to the fact that we regularly decapitate bloodthirsty monsters, but if you would leave your name and number after the tone….

Telemarketer; *Hangs up*

I recommend using a fictional place everyone knows about for maximum hilarity, but anything works. (if I ever come across a telemarketer who knows what AF is I’ll be happy forever)

Using my techniques,hopefully you can at least have fun when you get junk calls. Because once you get the hang of these, it’s almost entertaining. Sort of like prank calling someone but without actually prank calling someone, haha.

Most ridiculous call you’ve ever received? Favorite way to deal with telemarketers?

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