With my inability to cook (aside from my awesome lasagna last night — you’re WELCOME), you think I wouldn’t complain so much when someone else is doing it for me. But I have problems — some would call phobias — about certain foods in public.
But then, last weekend I had a CRAB ROLL IN MY MOUTH by accident. I cannot fault myself, as I am a newfound sushi lover, having eaten regular fish for the first time this past year after over a decade abstaining. Just as I was chewing away at its delightful texture and rawness, AB told me to spit it out.
“You have my crab sushi.”
Thank you, sushi restaurant for combining orders on multiple incorrect plates. When AB told the waiter, he switched out the proper combination of food orders (back in the kitchen).
But he never did bring me a new napkin (or take away my old one… ew).
Thankfully, no bathroom stalls or walls or floors were harmed by projectile vomit or a nervous breakdown as a result with this incident. I’m sure it helped that I was already drunk.
I can’t so much as label this a food PHOBIA, being that it’s an actual ALLERGY (thankfully, not deadly… but doubly thankful that my friend had an EPI-pen on her), but there are certain food items I will stay away from.
JUST IN CASE.
And mostly as my past experiences dictate.
For instance, meat in Mexican restaurants. Caused likely from too many episodes of Kitchen Nightmares, I do not order chicken, beef, fish (and of course, seafood) at any eatery that serves a glob of refried beans and rice on my plate. I opt for yummy, incredibly delicious cheese (and sometimes onions, if not mixed with green peppers) enchiladas. And extra sour cream because I’m dangerous.
To save face, err stomach, if it’s ANYTHING at Yo Rita, I’m eating it. I would seriously even consider the potential shellfish allergy effects. DAMMIT those are some good tacos.
So, when I joined Downtown Pittsburgh Lunch Club this past week, what did I get? Enchiladas with chicken. *puke* Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long for a correct replacement (as I was already starving from the rationing of chips that day).
Speaking of chickens (and their deliciousness outside of a wrapped corn tortilla), I completely lose my appetite if I have to saw/cut/dismember any piece of one with bones. If the chicken is in a scrumptious wing or drumstick shape, breaded and slathered with the best BBQ or buffalo sauce, then I am fine. But I cannot see it in its natural form. Excavating an entire chicken nearly caused me to turn vegetarian.
I also fear buffets. And potlucks. Especially from homes with multiple cats and coworkers with body odor and messy desks.
And I cannot stand the smell of popcorn in public spaces. It smells like vomit. And then you’re stuck in the small theater in the middle row and EVERYONE around you decides that the LARGEST POPCORN for sale is awesome and then you can’t move because then you can’t see the screen because you forget your glasses. Again. NOMNOMNOM — MORE BUTTER!
Excuse me… I have to throw up.
What are your food phobias?
I get a lot of spam on this blog. While Akismet sends most of those canned responses to the spam filter, it also sends ACTUAL, REAL comments there, so I have to approve, spam or delete everything in both folders (the plug-in, it only assumes so well). It’s so time consuming, but hilarious reading fun at times. While, I’m used to the typical porn/medication/celebrity sort of spamminess, recently I started receiving compliments from my spammer friends. I was even tempted to approve a few, if not for the duplication of shit I know I would receive:
This post is so amazing, I almost spontaneously conceived a child just from reading it. Just incredible.
That would be from a funeral home. For serious!
I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true. . .
This gets a capitalized WHAT THE FRICK?! From the movie cast of Showgirls, nonetheless. Heh.
But now the shit’s getting dirty. I’m getting spam comments that are ripping on me, my blog and my writing:
Uhh are you making this up? This post is some f-ed up sh*t kid. Ive met braindead chimpanzees who were smarter than you.
Nowhere within your rambling, incoherent post was there any sign of intelligence. I provide you with no points and might God have mercy in your soul.
Well then… Internet Spammer: 1 – Mel: 0
Have any spam to share with the rest of the class?
I’m a sucker for a good burger — even more so if I can have the juiciest, bloodiest medium-rare burger. With cheese, of course. But those perfect hamburger dreams can quickly spoil upon receiving a sandwich that is blackened, char-grilled and cooked so dry that it is unpalatable. I don’t claim to be a cook (for seriously, ask my partner), but at least I know that a rare burger should have a lot more than a bit of pink in it. It should be oozing, dripping delicious juices… ahem.
But is it my place to tell you when my burger is overcooked?
This analogy can easily be compared to my work with clients. Sometimes my copy can be, well, over or under-cooked. Perhaps it could require just a bit more sales oompfh, or maybe I went a little overboard on the snark. Every business, industry and individual has its own target audience and its own approach to messaging. But what good is that message if I’m not writing it for its intended purpose and reader?
You hire me because you need SEO consulting or Web content, and you trust that you know what I’m doing (I do). But just the same, it’s more likely that you know your business better than I do. I try to get as much information out of my clients as possible during a first meeting (or email) — and most of that is through listening. I hear your tone, your company history, your goals, your adjectives, and most importantly, your PASSION. And I translate all that into words for your vision and visitors (and little bit for Google). And yes, I’m incredibly good at it (toot, toot). I sit back and enjoy my creation (and wipe the grease off my face from over-imbibing in that deliciously cooked cheeseburger). But for as much information as I gather before the start of a project, sometimes I get the wrong order.
Now don’t get me wrong, a little creativity and an extra piece of cheese rarely makes anyone upset — it could make a great project idea even better. But only the person placing the order can make that determination. I always take accountability for my misinterpretations, and as freelancers — just as that cook — we need to adjust our own ideas to what the customer expects. Client relationships require honest feedback and open communication from both sides, which doesn’t mean you tell me how to do my job… just that you have another preference.
Some times a redo is necessary and sincerely makes all the difference. But if we never tell someone, “this is not what I ordered,” — copy OR burgers — they will never be able to correct the mistake.
I sat and ate that stupid burger in silence — it wasn’t at all what I wanted, and I should have said something (which I beat myself up for afterward, especially after paying the bill). While I may have waited longer than the rest of my table for my meal, it would have made my experience better.
And my stomach a lot happier.
As a client, how do you tell your freelancers that his/her content doesn’t meet your expectations? And as a freelancer, do you include these necessary rewrites as part of your services?
UPDATE: Ha! And randomly, I discover this gem from The Oatmeal today about client relationships.
This blog has been many things: a dating and relationship blog; a travel blog (the world over); a cathartic piece of me on the internet to deal with my unnerving social anxiety, horrible breakups and various personal problems; an exposed diary; a fashion (help me) blog; a foodie blog; a roller derby training blog; a place to rip on my ex-boyfriends; and even a bit of a city guide. And hey, at one time, even a party blog. You don’t get voted Best Of Cleveland… for NOT being a bar fly.
But since many of you are new to me, perhaps are interested in how this was got started… so, here’s the big story:
I started “blogging” in LiveJournal in 2002, after a guy I was dating at the time started reading my ACTUAL journal. I had some shit going on in the relationship that I had to work out with words, so I opted for a “private” online platform to expunge all my demons (and cheating… whatever, you can judge me). Unfortunately, I do not have those “first” posts.
In 2003, I switched over to this thing called Blogger, where the idea of “Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Your Boyfriend” was incepted. I was on my way out of said relationship and began writing about my “interesting” dating stories, as I worked my way into the singles scene again. Oh, it was interesting all right. I’m also sort of happy that many of those early posts were deleted. Intentionally.
In 2004, my blog gained some momentum and popularity, being featured in the News-Herald, Cool Cleveland, Scene Magazine and Cleveland Magazine. I was apparently awesome enough to have a full story published on my life, which at the time, was ALL PARTY and nothing much else. For years. Hence, Best Bar Fly award in 2006. When I read my past entries, I cringe. I used to swear… A LOT. Like, classless, dirty sailor kind of swearing in a drunken Brooklyn accent. And to be honest, there was much I needed to learn about life AND myself.
And… I was single for most of this ride (reconciling for a short while with aforementioned sneaky boyfriend for a brief engagement, which obviously never ended in marriage). Whether being single and finding “love” was a true course for the blog, I’m not certain, but it seemed like — through frequent comments and emails — you were all rooting for me, so I continued to put myself out there, no matter how painful.
I think it was in 2007, I switched over to TypePad, which at the time was the de rigeur of the blogging world. Which ended horribly in 2008 with just one lost post and a shit-ton of broken picture links and a lot of screaming… and swearing. And punching of computer screens. I switched to WordPress at that point, purchasing (finally) my own URL and becoming ever-so-slightly obsessed with social media. The blog was much of the same: dating super-amazing great guy, massive breakup, dating even MORE amazing super-great guy, massive breakup… until 2009, when I met my current boyfriend. Well, “met” is a loose term, as we “met” a year earlier, but it took me eight months to come around to an actual RELATIONSHIP with him. Point being, the blog changed significantly at that point, and as it continues to do, while the boyfriend & I settle into a life partnership of a commingling of comfort and bliss (which I KNOW makes you all want to puke).
So, where am I now? Somewhere in-between adventures of seeking out a new life in a new city with an old… I’m sorry, a younger-than-me, long-term (HOT!) boyfriend (who you will hear me refer to as, “AB” or “Arrogant Bastard”). POYB still encompasses many of my favorite things: shoes and roller derby and eating and drinking good beer and eating and even once in a while, some cheese porn (and a whole lot of penis). But it’s centered mostly on my life and some of its star characters — mostly the city in which I live — and all its randomness. As you may have noticed, it’s no longer “Pursuit of YOUR Boyfriend,” it’s now pursuit of MY boyfriend (but same URL as in the past, so no need to change bookmarks or RSS feeds), as we go wherever his career takes us. Because mine is awesome, and I can work from anywhere that there is an awesome internet connection.
For those who have been following for a while, you’ve been there through a LOT of emotional freak-outs and some really, really sad times. This blog keeps me sane, motivated, upbeat, creative, strong and mostly, from becoming bored. While I’m really only here to entertain, I hope that I make a connection too.
Why did you start blogging? Has that reason changed since you started?
It seems to be a theme for friends, family and coworkers (and nebbies) to think that when you a) travel b) move in or c) move with your significant other that engagement rings are somehow immediately associated with said life event. Like, THAT’S THE DEAL, UNIVERSE — change of zip code and the nuptials will follow! While I like to think I finally set my friends and family straight that I am no longer interested in wedding bands or bells, for that matter, I hear this same annoying and presumptuous banter from friends in long-term relationships and other relationship bloggers.
And yes, I heard it a few times before moving to Pittsburgh — mostly from friends-of-friends or random (male) Twitter strangers, but… still. NUNYA. I did not move here with the expectations that my boyfriend would propose. I ALSO did not move in with him in Cleveland because I thought he might propose. See, we had this discussion early on in our dating timeline that marriage and family was OFF THE TABLE. Sure we both grew up thinking differently (even, if oddly, we both wanted beach weddings/elopements) — and I was *SHOCK* engaged in my 20s. We even considered the financial benefits of doing so (because you know everyone thinks that… well, in our case, it didn’t matter). But whatever. It means that we mutually agreed and bonded over the fact that neither of us was particularly interested in this becoming a focal point in our relationship.
Then you go through the requisite rolling-of-the-eyes, then the explanation (once again) that you are not interested in getting/being married right now (because I am realistic on these things, and know circumstances may change in 80 years)… and then explain AGAIN because they apparently didn’t BELIEVE you the first eighteen-thousand times you said that. BECAUSE WHAT?! ”You’re a woman, and you’re SUPPOSED to WANT to GET MARRIED! AND HAVE BABIES!” I‘m certain even my boyfriend didn’t believe me at first.
Let me tell you, when the anxiety of all that was no longer a primary concern — because you know, the “expectations of society” and commercials of diamond wedding bands and happy couples arm-in-arm that THIS MUST HAPPEN? to somehow validate our love – our relationship was solidified. We are life partners, plain and simple.
Do you just chalk this nonsensical chatter to boredom? ARE YOU GUILTY OF THIS?!