10 Unusual Blog Post Ideas

10 Unusual Blog Post Ideas

1. Give step-by-step instructions on how to do something that I probably shouldn't do and didn't know I even wanted to do until you told me how to do it. How to Wear a Bear Costume and Drive a Car at the Same Time. How to Not Let Anyone Know You're Having a Baby Until The Baby is Actually Here.

2. Write a Do-Not-Wish-For list about all the things you're really hoping people never ever buy for you because you suck at pretending to be grateful. A Rubber Band Ball. Yoga Pants. Those awful Hershey's Cookies'n'Cream candy bars.

3.  The tale of your most harrowing encounter with an insect. The Butterfly who Bullied me Because I Had a Funny Hairstyle.

4. Write about your feelings for your husband on the day he told your grandpa that you two take showers at the same time. But that never happened, right? Please, tell me it never happened.

5. Make a huge announcement! Baby! House! Car! Debt! Diet! Puppy! I won Miss America! The President Took a Selfie With Me! I Bought Some Awesome Shoes! NASA Chose Me For a Not-Secret-Anymore Space Mission! Bonus: If you do it on April Fool's Day it doesn't even have to be true, it's the law.

6. "A Day in the Life..." of a random stranger that you stalk for the day. At 7:15 a.m. he walked out of his front door, wearing grey slacks, a navy shirt, and a red bowtie. I questioned the wisdom of the tie, but followed in my car until he arrived at the parking lot in front of his work at 7:37 a.m....

7. Write an "Unsponsored" product review of a product that doesn't actually exist. The product can be awful or awesome, you decide. The MyDream(r) Pillow guarantees that you'll only ever dream what YOU want to dream about every night for the rest of your life!

8.  Write a list of your least favorite blogs and why and give suggestions on how they could improve. Oh no. Better not do this one. It's mean, and people will be angry with you. Not worth it.

9. Create the most utterly ridiculous DIY craft you can think up, but write the post about it in a very serious way, and then laugh hysterically when your very kind commenters attempt to take you seriously and respond in a positive and encouraging way. I built my own DIY hairbrush out of twigs and twine and sap from trees, now you can, too!

10. When all else fails--you can too. Write about whatever you're worst at. The Tragic Tale of How I've Never Been Able to Whistle/Juggle/Drive a Stick Shift/Take a Fish off a Fishing Hook/Understand the Appeal of Korean Dramas

Sometimes we all just need a little bit of quirkiness in our blogging lives. What's the weirdest blog post idea you can come up with?

Art Versus Reality

This is the most recent drawing a student made of me.

Below is what I looked life in real life at the time:

Some might find it disconcerting to have others randomly draw you, down to the pleats on your dress and the dangling earrings in your ears, but I don't. Why would I? I'm intrigued by cartoon Rachel and her adventures. I wish I were as cute as she is, for she never seems to have a hair out of place.

I'm also pretty much in love with the bazillion buttons that I sewed onto the back of this eShakti dress a few months ago to make it more exciting. Too bad they weren't featured in the drawing. I think I'm going to have to start requesting portraits in 360 degrees if all of the details of my outfit are going to be captured.

P.S. I love my job. I love my students, even if they didn't randomly hand me pictures of myself. I love dressing up for work and being Teacher Rachel (I would never punish my ESL students asking them to call me Mrs. G-unpronounceable-Spanish-word). Language learning is such a passion of mine that I'm only rather surprised that I didn't stumble into this career any sooner.

Saturday Morning with AT&T

While Angel wrangled with AT&T's online help chat this morning, I had time to:

Take a shower
Start the laundry
Eat a delicious breakfast of banana bread.
Sweep the entire apartment.
Mop the entire apartment.
Clean my glass coffee table.
Hang up all the laundry.
Study a new lesson in my Chinese textbook.


Let me back up. I'll try not to bore you with too many details. Suffice it to say, on July 22nd, the day before we left America, Angel dutifully called AT&T to cancel our home internet service. Lizzy and I remember this call vividly, as we were sitting on the floor in the empty living room, waiting for him to get the call over with so that we could all go swing-dancing.

Angel wrote down the confirmation number from that cancellation phone call, but unfortunately that piece of paper did not come to China with us. I say "unfortunately" because although we trusted the helpful man on the phone to actually cancel our home internet services, he apparently did not, as we discovered when we received a bill on the last week of August.

The discovery of that bill led to an interminable length of time spent with AT&T representatives asking why we were getting billed for internet service going to an abandoned house. Our story is easily verifiable, at least I assume that they can tell that there has been 0 internet usage at that address since we left the country. However, they somehow had no record of us canceling our account (so who was Angel talking to on the afternoon of July 22nd? It must have been an imposter.).

AT&T said it was against their policy to allow us to cancel our account unless we called to cancel by phone. (I said we already tried that, apparently it didn't work) We begged them, telling them that we live in China and it's not very easy to figure out a way to call America. Finally, we gave up, gave my long-suffering little brother Isaac all the information he needed and he called to cancel our account and the issue was finally resolved on September 5th, and we sucked it up and paid for a month of internet service to our former home address.

Or so we thought. Yesterday we received another bill from AT&T. Not again. That is what led to Angel's long chat with them this morning while I went on a cleaning spree to relieve pent-up energy. The result of his nearly 2 hours on chat this morning was that we paid the September bill for AT&T and it's possible that they may or may not award us a refund at some point in the distant future.

But honestly, at this point, my bets are on getting an October bill in a few weeks. They knew what good customers we were and are determined to keep us.

At this point we've paid $72 for internet service at an empty home, and although I had an AT&T cellphone for 6 years and AT&T internet for 4 years, I guarantee I'll never be back. This has been the most frustrating aspect of our move, actually (and I'm very grateful that there was nothing more frustrating), but all the same...anyone else have AT&T horror stories to share? I'm interested to know if this is their usual mode of operations.

I am a Writer

Tayler tagged me to write a post about my writing process, and I added a 5th question so I could join up with the ever-popular 5 things + Friday craze. Because only having 4 points in a post published on Friday would be heresy, apparently.

 Learning to play Chinese Chess deserves to be written about.

1) What are you working on?
Other than blog posts, I'm working on a manuscript for a possible book that has gone through several different forms. I'm at about 30,000 words of rough draft right now. The theme is basically hitherto unwritten yet true stories, working title at the moment: I Never Even Liked Traveling. If this ends up as awesome as I hope it will, I'm thinking of a possible self-publish release date next summer.

2) How does your work differ from others of its type/genre?
 I'm more ornery than the average blogger, I'd say. I like to write from the unpopular point of view--i.e. in favor of CAPTCHA or anti-yoga pants. One of my signature moves is to write about something utterly ridiculous in a very serious way. I'm more likely to write tutorials on how to send fake secret admirer letters than tutorials on how to host a surprise 30th birthday party for your husband. Possibly my favorite piece I've ever written was entitled: "On the Dangers of a Bowl of Canned Prunes"  (never published on the blog, perhaps I should add it to the book).

Also, my pictures are rather bad for a professional blogger. I recognize that, and I claim it as something that sets me apart from the majority of bloggers who aren't married to Angels who think that actually focusing and framing a picture is for normal people.

3) Why do you write what you write about?
 Because people need to know more about the art of fake secret admirer letters. That's one prank that should never die out. My blog has to be called "random" because the motivations for my writing are very different--sometimes I want to inspire and challenge people to live differently, to do more than what average society expects of them....sometimes I want to give others a glimpse at what an unusual life looks like...and other times I just feel inspired to write about how passionately I love my beautiful red microwave.

I want to be a writer, and I know I am one--even if no one but Angel and my mom read what I wrote, I'd still be a writer, but I honestly would like to expand my portfolio of published works as time goes on. I'm not overly modest. I know I have a talent for writing funny nonfiction, and occasionally I can produce an inspirational piece that's better than the average "viral" article. But all the aspects of getting read beyond simply writing and editing are beyond me. I did have that one secret plan to marry the son of a publishing tycoon in order to further my career but that strategy failed when I fell in love with a nurse. Bigamy is illegal, as it should be, however inconvenient it may be for my career.

4) How does your writing process work?  
It often starts with me pestering my husband or parents or siblings for writing ideas, and writing them all down furiously in a notebook. I then ignore the vast majority of their ideas, or twist them so that they are no longer recognizable, and write them down whenever I have a free moment. Posts that I'm absolutely in love with I always have to post right away. When I'm writing about a more serious topic, I usually like to sit on the post for a few weeks, keep going back and re-reading and editing to make sure it's saying precisely what I want it to say.

5) What is your most popular post of all time, and why?
 It's that ridiculous Anti-Yoga Pants post. By a long shot. That post is years old and it still gets regularly more views than any other post on my blog. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Did I somehow hit an SEO jackpot in my wording of the post? Are a lot of people searching for posts about why I dislike yoga pants so much? I don't know. It's definitely not the best post on my blog. In general, I've always found outfit posts to do best on the blog as far as stats go, even though they don't contain my most interesting writing. Weird.

Have any of you done the writing process tag? What's your most popular post of all time, and why?

Who Do I Want to Be?

If you're in the mood for a post about great men of history and how they inspire me to change the world, you may want to look elsewhere, as this is not really that sort of post. This is a post about fictional characters who shape the way I live on an everyday basis. These are who I strive to be:

1. Shawn Spencer - I don't want to solve crimes, or be anywhere near them for that matter, but I do want to be incredibly intelligent and strive to hide my intelligence behind an unceasing stream of utterly ridiculous comments about random fruits so that I trick nearly everyone into believing I'm a harmless annoyance.

2. Captain Jack Sparrow - I want to be stranded on deserted islands where it never, ever snows and make up stories about my past that are taken as true, thereby creating a legend around myself and becoming the worst pirate you've ever heard of--but you have heard of me.

3. Ginger Grant - While stranded on gorgeous deserted islands in the tropics I want to wear beaded evening gowns and be completely useless, but no one realizes it because I am so very decorative.

4. Captain Hook (Once Upon a Time) - I want to be able to wear eyeliner and be dashing.

5. Anne Shirley - I want to get my books published and marry a handsome black-haired boy and turn even the slightest of mishaps into a grand adventure worthy of writing about in an excessively dramatic fashion.

So, basically, I want to be a glamorous pirate detective and have red hair. Which is unfortunate, really, because I'm naturally law-abiding, I faint at the sight of blood, and I look much better with blue or purple hair. What can be done?

And who do you want to be?