Hello? Is there anybody out there?

Hi Frog Lovers. It’s been (counts the months/years on her fingers) quite some time since I last wrote here. I’m going to be here more often in the near future, I promise! I have loads to tell you.

Alcoholic beverages may be required. Yes for you too.

Five Frogs Blog

Do you have any requests? Any types of animals you’d like me to write about? If so, let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, here are a few of the frog’s best bits since I started writing here on the lily pad. I hope you enjoy them.

My Top Ten dumb-arse moments of all time (from August 2012)

Would you change your sex, if you could never change back again? (from May 2013)

Conversations with my brain: And then my Basal Ganglia went on strike (from March 2013)

Conversations with my brain: Tarsiers on crack (from November 2012)

And finally, we discover that the real reason women drink at the races is not because they’re keenly aware that they’re standing ankle-deep in mud while freezing in expensive-but-now-rain-soaked cocktail dresses in order to take part in an outdated social ritual based on animal cruelty. It’s to dull the pain of being slowly devoured by their ridiculously impractical head-wear. A revelation that will change human history (AKA you and your spermatophores are going home alone) (from August 2012)

I’m back, baby. Watch this space.

x

True facts about the frog

First I want to thank you all for the amazing response to Laugh Link we had last week. You all jumped on board with enthusiasm and I hope you had a good chuckle.

Second I want to say THANK FROG last week is done and dusted. The Lily Pad had a 9 year old’s birthday, a sleepover, a bad virus, and a very sick pussy all in one horrible week that tested this frog’s patience and ability to not KILL ALL THE THINGS.

Now, of course, my companion on the Lily Pad is sick.

I don’t have a funny story this week thanks to the aforementioned but I do want to share this video about me. I hope you find it helpful, and not at all disturbing. No, not at all.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Laugh Link. We can always do with some extra chuckles. Click on the button! Go on! I dare you!

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Laugh Link is nearly here – are you ready?

Laugh_Link_smaller
Hello darling Frog-Lovers. Do you blog? Do you have a funny post ready for Monday’s Laugh Link, premiering here on the LilyPad?

Yes?

No?

Better get on it!

In the meantime, here are the two funniest videos I’ve seen in… well, possibly forever.
From the Honest Trailer geniuses, here are the Honest Trailers for my two favourite TV shows. One that’s about to start its new season, and the other that has, alas, gone.

I hope they make your day like they did mine.

BEWARE SPOILERS

Frog of Pond, if you don’t mind. Click here for a history test with dragons. And boobs.

Click on this one to see decapitated turtle bombs and roof pizza. Mmmmmm roof pizza. And Malcolm’s dad.

Laugh Link is coming…

Laugh_Link_smallerHello Frog-Lovers, how are you?

I’ve been really, really busy, which means I’ve neglected you all. It also means that my house is more of a mess than usual and I’ve miss-placed a necklace I’d like to wear today. You haven’t seen it, have you?

Anyway, this isn’t really a post. I’m just dropping by to let you all know that we’re starting a new linkup-type-thingy on Monday 7 April. It’ll be a weekly blog linkup for humour blog posts. So put your humour hats on, sharpen those funny bones, and get a post ready! It’ll launch here and then move to a new home each week.

So keep an eye out.
For my necklace.
Please.

In the meantime, here are some things that have made the Frog laugh lately.

See you around the Lily Pad, my darlings.
 
Bryan Cranston roller skating
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC_nRYOzuP4

Ravers and Benny Hill doing… something…

 

Suddenly, there are deer in my bra

Oh deer

Oh deer

Hi Frog-Lovers. In case this is your first visit to the Lily Pad, between now and Christmas I’m hosting some wonderful and funny writers while I get some amphibious rest. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do. Who knew so many of you were so hilarious!?

Today’s guest is my memoir mentor and writerly friend, the inimitable Helen Patrice. Here she shares a story of exotic locations, wild animals, and underwear.

So, FiveFrogs starts asking around her writing bloggy cronies for those of us who are known as Humour Writers. I’m apparently one of them. I gaily say that, sure, I can submit a blog post for promotion on her ‘Check out this funny writer person’ blog thing. I’m a funny person. I make people laugh. (Let’s not go into my dismal capital F fail in Hawaii to do stand-up. The non-appreciation from the back of the van could be heard for miles, echoing off Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa as we travelled the Saddle Road between them. Both Poliahu and Pele thought I sucked.)

I spend the afternoon lying in the sunshine, reading ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Suskind. Not exactly a rip-roaring laughter book. More a grim but witty novel set amongst the scents and odours of France. Pee-hew! I’m up to page 90 and there’s already been one scent-related murder, with more to come, I can tell.

My laptop has lazed at my side. Twice during the afternoon, PizzaBoy has hunkered down behind it, and in a mousy voice, said: “Use me for blogging”.

To which my response has been: “Fuck off, Canada! Don’t pressure me! I’m a delicate writer.”

I lay there, and wondered what to be funny about. I could riff on my trip to Japan and China. I could, but…. Ho hum, I am such the weary traveller that it’s all very ho-hum, and what can I say that someone like Bill Bryson hasn’t said better. Not that he’s ever had the problem of too many deer in his bra at Nara.

I suppose I should explain. The shrine at Nara has a park with many charming deer roaming about. The deer mob visitors to the shrine. Many of the pathside vendors sell deer biscuits. No, not biscuits made of deer. Wafery type biscuits that are good for the deer to eat.

I wanted a not-your-usual tourist pic. Never mind me feeding the deer. I wanted the deer to mob me and eat off my body.

I lay down on a path where deer were seated nearby in the shade. I covered my clothed(must emphasise this, CLOTHED) body with pieces of deer bickie. Nothing. The deer looked away. Fool woman lying on the cold ground, desecrating the Nara shrine with her foul white ways.

Two Asian tourists took my photo and sniggered. Walked away.

I had to gather up my deer biscuits as best I could, which wasn’t very, because they fall to bits as soon as touched, and skulk away. Meanwhile, the Asian tourists are being flocked upon by deer, and they don’t even have any biscuits.

Bollocks.

A bit later, I try again. I sit down on a bench. I coax deer over with biscuits in hand. Then biscuits in lap. Then I lie down and put biscuits upon my person. The deer back away. Fine then, no prone deer mobbing. I sit up, and inspired, shove biscuits into my cleavage. Crumbs make a break for it, due south. They bypass my bra and somehow my singlet and top and end up in the knees of my leggings, where they itch like mo-fo’s. (I am up with hipster language like mo-fo, LOL, and er…other things)

Deer approach. One reaches into my cleavage, turns its head a bit sideways, and delicately selects a wafer of biscuit, leaving behind wet, sticky deer drool and a warm nose-imprint. Suddenly, there are deer in my bra. Many of them, and they all want the same biscuit. Easy guys, easy! There’s enough cleavage for all! Truly. I’m a 14DD, wearing a totally unsupportive Aah-Bra.
I get my photos. The Asian tourists get photos. Possibly the deer do, too.

I am content. I have my photo. Enough now, deer. But the deer are relentless. They can smell the crumbs festooning me. One tries to get up under my skirt to get at the crumbs around my knees. I am the Tippi Hedren of deer.

“Nature! It’s all over me! Get it off!” I say to PizzaBoy, quoting ‘Madagascar’.

I stand up. The deer butt me gently under the boobs. I have to retire to a toilet cubicle to de-smear, de-deer, and de-crumb myself. I never do get those leggings completely biscuit-free. They get washed twice more during the trip. I am sure I can still feel crumbs in them.

I sit back and look at this blog entry. Is it funny? I can’t tell. I feel morose. There is nothing amusing any more. Nothing. The pup loathes me – he is sleeping with his back to me. Looking at that sunshine. Nothing funny about that. I think about yoga this morning. I know we laughed at something. It’s gone now.

I think this is the blight of every comedian – the strain of finding the funny means that often, nothing seems to be when examined closely.

Then I start fretting that this is part of me coming off my full dosage of anti-depressant and seeing how I fare at 10mg. Am I tipping headlong into The Bad Place? It doesn’t feel like it.

Oh, I drive myself mad with this kind of thinking. If only I could think it was funny.

Tell me, readers. How many deer are too many to have in your bra?

Helen smaller

Helen Patrice is a Melbourne poet, memoirist, and blogger. She lives with her husband, son, and a small crowd of animals. You can find her blog here, her Facebook page here, and her book of Poetry, “A Woman of Mars” from here or from the author herself.

 

Working from home – the ugly truth

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Appearance of actual person working from home may vary*

Hi Frog-Lovers. In case this is your first visit to the Lily Pad, between now and Christmas I’m hosting some wonderful and funny writers while I get some amphibious rest. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do. Who knew so many of you were so hilarious!?

Today’s guest is the gorgeous Lana Hirschowitz from Sharpest Pencil. Lana and I share a lot in common, not least of which is the questionable joy and doubtful privilege of working from home. Here she shares the ugly truth about the experience.

There is a conspiracy, I am sure of it.  Thousands of people all around the world are working from home, in fact the 2013 Regus Global Economic Indicator reveals that 64% of Australian business leaders manage someone who works remotely for at least some of the time. And that’s not counting the people who are working for themselves. Yet nobody is telling the truth.

There are manuals and blog posts, webinars and courses outlining what you need to know about working from home.   I’ve read so many of them and I’ve discovered that none of them tell the truth. Not until now.

You see I have recently given up an office job to go back to working from home but, unlike the blumph I have read, I am willing to share the real truth about what happens when you work where you live:

  1. Some people think working from home is code for “not working that hard”. You will soon start to see red when you hear this, you may also feel the need to inflict bodily pain. But you can’t because you won’t even have a free moment for pain infliction.
  2. You will be inundated with calls from charities. There is a distinct possibility that you end up donating more than you actually earn.
  3. You run a very good chance of forgetting that people don’t actually wear slippers out of the house.
  4. Further to point 3 above, even though you won’t always feel like it you should get dressed and brush your teeth as soon as you wake up. It’s easier to forget later in the day and picking up the kids in pajamas with a cappuccino moustache will only serve to worry the other parents.
  5. You will eat everything in your fridge. Once the fridge is empty you will move on to the entire contents of the cupboard. The only way to avoid this is to only stock food that you are allergic to.
  6. When you go to the shop the person behind the counter will inevitably ask if you are having a day off. You will immediately feel bad that you stepped out of the house with no regard to the fact that if you were in an office and you left to go to the shop, you would feel nothing about it at all.
  7. You will be tempted to do all the house-work instead of working. Don’t worry about that – this will pass very quickly.
  8. Daytime TV. You have been warned.
  9. There are days that you will feel like you have achieved nothing at all. Just remember that you started out in your bed and you are no longer there so that’s something. Unless of course you work from bed.
  10. There is a tendency to think that you will be lonely without other people in an office. Remember that these concerns first saw the light of day in in the time before Twitter. In fact you will never be lonely if you have an internet connection, you will also never get any work done.
  11. If you do want to see other people try the Medicare queue, that way you will get to form meaningful bonds with people in a work environment. That’s how long you will spend in the queue.
  12. During school holidays your friends will confuse you for an occasional day care centre. If you can work with ten kids screaming at your desk you will be fine with this.
  13. If you plan carefully you can sneak in naps. Just be prepared to work all night to make up for it (which kind of defeats the purpose).
  14. The sound of the washing machine will become such a constant companion that sometimes you will find it hard to work if it is not on. The plus side of this is if you are indeed running a laundry service from home.

Anything else you’ve learned from working at home?

Any questions you want to ask before you make the move?

lana head shotLana Hirschowitz is a writer, blogger and social media consultant. She was the launch editor of iVillage in Australia and Managing Editor of Mamamia (Australia’s largest independent female website) for over three years. She’s also a lover of toast, her family and Candy Crush, but not necessarily in that order. You can find her blog at Sharpest Pencil or follow her on Twitter @lanahirschowitz and on Facebook at SharpestPencilOnline. Go say hi – tell her the Frog sent you.

* Is it just me, or does this woman who works from home look a little too pleased that her screen isn’t turned on? Either that or she’s about to fart. Personally with that desk arrangement I’d be likely to try to drink my plant and water my coffee. That plant looks spikey. Working from home is dangerous, people.

We’re moving lily pads!


Gird your amphibian loins, Frog-Lovers. On Friday the gorgeous Kelly Exeter is moving the lily pad across from Blogger to WordPress and onto OzBlog Hosting.

Kelly is all shades of awesome and not only has mad technical skillz, but gives excellent hugs.

In the meantime, I had another natter about superannuation over here. Please go have a read. Your 65-year-old self might thank you.

I’ll leave you now with this, until Friday. 

 

Have you ever been complisulted?

Problogger and how to dilute the Awkward

Awkward – the elephant in the lobby of QT.
Image © Victor Zastol`skiy | Dreamstime.com
 

Last week I attended the 2013 Problogger Training Event, where 450 bloggers got together to learn more about their craft. Many bloggers more accomplished than I have written fabulous posts about their experiences. 

So, in keeping with the tradition I started last year, I won’t be talking in-depth about the conference here. In case you’re curious, here are the messages that resonated with me this year:

  • It’s OK to be multi-passionate
  • We should be wary of the trap that is accidental competency
  • Instead of working on improving your weaknesses, work on making your strengths world-beating.

With that out of the way, I want to talk about the elephant in the conference room. In fact I don’t want to just talk about her, I want to pop a purple tutu on her, sprinkle some glitter on her tusks and parade her around the room to some particularly jarring circus music to make sure she catches your attention.

This elephant’s name is Awkward.

The blogging world considers itself a community; a happy, loving band of like-minded people who share a passion for getting their message across via words and pictures. We like to be seen as a cohesive group of good-natured, professionally-behaved, amiable folk.

I think this is bullshit. Bloggers are no more an amorphous homogenous mass than any other group of diverse and competitive human beings.

Sure, most bloggers share a camaraderie which is truly delightful and this is one of the reasons I go to these events. I’ve developed some solid, lasting friendships with my blogging friends. However, when you get 450 bloggers in one place it swiftly becomes apparent how different we all are.

These differences can lead to discomfort. I love Problogger because I get to catch up with some fellow bloggers who I truly adore. You know who you are.

What happens, though, when bloggy relationships go south? How do you deal with having to see someone after your friendship has crashed in such a massive flaming wreck that it was visible for several miles and reported on the evening news?

Awk… ward.

Here are some handy tips on how to avoid Awkward at a blogging conference:

  1. When you see the person you want to avoid, rush up to them, give them a huge hug and plant a kiss on their cheek. Babble on brightly as if the plane crash that was your friendship’s demise never happened. This neatly transfers the Awkward from you to them. Use this technique with care – they may call your bluff and return the Awkward by pashing you. This leaves you with nowhere to go unless you’re prepared to sexually harass them. This could get ugly for everyone and lead to you both having to burn down your blogs and leave social media forever. 
  2. Challenge your nemesis to a drinking contest at the cocktail event. The loser must burn down their blog and leave social media forever. 
  3. Move around the conference in a small gaggle of people to always dilute the Awkward (450 people should do it).
  4. Don’t sit next to your ex-friend accidentally. I can’t stress this one enough. DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY SIT NEXT TO YOUR BLOGGING NEMESIS. Be alert at all times; particularly when sitting. Or standing. Or walking. 
  5. Slip something into your bloggy ex-friend’s tea so that they spend the conference comatose in a corner. Alternatively, do the same to yourself. Don’t do both; that would be expensive and wasteful over-achieving.
  6. Don’t go. This is a 100% fool-proof way to avoid Awkward. And everything else, for that matter.

The truth is out; bloggers don’t all like each other. I hope these simple tips will mean you don’t ever need to burn down your blog and leave social media forever, just because you forgot to dilute the Awkward.  

Have you ever experienced Awkward?
How did you deal with her?






A story about intent – and how I got run over

I got run over today.* It’s been an odd day so far. Full of good intentions (and poor outcomes).

There I was, minding my own in business, in the basement car park of Spotlight in Box Hill.

Now, some of you may be saying that this serves me right, shopping in a place like Spotlight. In the end that was a lie. I didn’t shop at Spotlight at all. That was my intention, but it was not to be.

So there I was in the basement car park, trying to work out whether I had enough change to pay the $1.00 cost.

I had 95 cents.

Of course.

Standing there counting my five cent pieces, I felt a sudden, solid nudge to my posterior.
I looked around and was fucking amazed quite surprised to see that a HUGE MOFO 4WD small black hatchback had reversed out of a parking spot behind me and ran me clean over and broken every bone in my body bumped into my arse.

I wandered over and the driver wound down their window. I politely asked them to be more careful next time. They hadn’t noticed that they’d run me over and killed me bumped into me.** They had intended to drive carefully -and failed.

As they drove away thoroughly chastised unconcerned, another exiting driver drove past me (damn I forgot to thank her for not running me over) and handed me her parking ticket. I had intended to pay with my credit card but now I didn’t have to.

A win!

I put my precious 95 cents away and headed up to Spotlight. Where I didn’t shop, despite intending to, because they didn’t have what I wanted. Note to Spotlight Box Hill: your staff suck.

As part of my homework from the Problogger Training Event 2012, I’ve created a manifesto, a froggy bloggy statement of intent, for what to expect from my blog:

What to expect from the frog

This is what I intend to do with my blog. You can call me on it if I don’t live up to my intentions.

I guess the moral of the story is that intentions are all well and good, but they won’t stop you from viciously running someone over running your car into an unsuspecting pedestrian’s arse. Nor will they get you the Stretch Magic you want unless you buy it on the internet and avoid Spotlight completely. Apparently.

*OK so maybe not run over. Bumped into by a car. Travelling at slow speed. My arse hurts, OK? So I was SO run over. Shit you people are a tough crowd to impress.
** I would like this moment record for posterior posterity. My arse is so small people run their cars into it and don’t notice. Thankyouverymuch.

When have you seen good intentions go horribly wrong?