Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Inspirational as Fuck

Well, here I am at Perth airport, whiling away 5 hours waiting for my flight home. Wow, Perth airport is only slightly better than Hobart airport. Unless you like 12 hour-old fridge sandwiches and fried shit accompanied with so much grease that you could practice your backstroke across the terminal floor in it.

There are, however, that most rare and   precious of commodities at any airport - POWERPOINTS. 

I'm plugged into one now as I type this on my tiny iPhone keyboard, wishing I'd brought the laptop, cursing my stupidity.
Then I remember that my laptop went to computer heaven a few months back anyway.

So here I am, at Perth airport, typing away with my stylus on a tiny screen, covered in a thin layer of chip grease. I'm making the most of things. Staying positive. These five hours give me time to get some stuff done. 

In the last two weeks I've come in contact with a lot of very positive people. I like positive people; but I don't like the people who are endlessly cheery and energetic. 

You know the types I mean. 


It may come as no surprise to you that this doesn't work for me. I don't have bottomless supplies of energy, positive or otherwise. I'm not convinced they do either. Are they serious? I don't think anyone can maintain that stuff sincerely all the time. 

My theory of these people is the same for those who are always serene, forgiving and calm; they're lying and one day someone will dig up their basements and discover the ugly truth and all those uplifting memes were just a smoke-screen.

Or maybe I'm just jealous.

Either way, although today I feel positive, I know that won't last and I'm quite happy being the emotional train wreck that I am. I don't have the energy to be anything else.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Problogger and how to dilute the Awkward

Awkward - the elephant in the lobby of QT.
Image © Victor Zastol`skiy |

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?


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Problogger and lizards by the pool

© Mathew Hayward |
As this post publishes, I'm winging my way to the Gold Coast for Problogger 2013

So no posts from me for a few days. Keep in touch with me on Twitter where I'm sure I'll be tormenting you with photos of all the lovelies I smooch at Problogger and the lizards I hang out with by the pool (not at Problogger). You can follow the #pbevent hashtag on Twitter. 

After Problogger, I'm going to plant my slimey green arse next to a pool and drink a large number of tall, cold, brightly-coloured glasses of fruit-based alcohol. There may even be tiny umbrellas and maraschino cherries.

See you around the pool, Frog-Lovers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Superannuated hedgehogs

Good morning, Frog-Lovers, and welcome to Tuesday.

No post today - just a link and some hedgehogs. 

The next installment of my series on superannuation can be found here - please take a look.

Once you've sorted out your super, come back and look at a dog and a hedgehog.

Or maybe a pygmy hedgehog on a spoon? It's a canape that comes with its own toothpicks. Would he fit on a Jatz cracker?


I'm off to Problogger later this week. If you see me, come say hi (I'm not prickly like these little guys).

See you around the pond, folks.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gently Mental Podcast #1 - The PobjieCast

Hi there Frog-Lovers and welcome to my first Gently Mental podcast. 

Please go have a listen to three minutes of froggy goodness where I give you my review of Ben Pobjie's most recent show and demonstrate how to forget to breathe while recording yourself.

Now that you've had a listen, click on the poster below to see the details for Ben's new show:

Thanks for listening, Frog-Lovers. Please leave me a comment below to let me know what you think of my foray into froggy sounds. See you around the pond!