Subway Sandwich Artists: Stop Smashing my Sandwiches

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I'm a sandwich shop lover and I especially enjoy Subway's Philly cheese steak and ham & cheese with added avo sandwiches. I like them so much for lunch that even though their relentless $5 promo song will be looping in my mind for the rest of the afternoon, I cannot resist spell of the Subway sandwich artist.

On several afternoons during the work week, I can be found waiting patiently in a moderate line at one of two Subways near my office. I look forward to my loafy lo-cal friend on Subway lunch days. I choose my bread carefully, alternating varieties for Philly or ham fixings. I watch the Subway artists keenly as they place the trimmings I request on my sandwich, making sure they don't overlook the extra feta and withhold the salt, but add the pepper.

'Anything else?' they ask. Nothing else. We're home free and I turn my attention to the register as the sandwich wrapping paper crinkles. Out the door, back to the office, behind my desk with my precious freshious at last!

I unwrap the goods and DAMMIT! Again. The fat, fluffy number I last saw before the wrapping process is smashed down to a mere sliver of its former self. Its innards squishing out on all sides, flattened avocado goo sticking to the paper and rogue onions refusing to go down with the ship poking out all willy nilly. Enough. I will Not Stand For It any longer.

I will go back to Subway. This situation is most certainly manageable. I will not stray from my sandwich until it's safely cocooned in its plastic tube bag and we're both on our way, far from the devil hands of the flattening sandwich wrapping Subway artist. You've been warned. Watch your subs.

Kanye West's Fugly Singing on SNL Called Out!

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Kanye West's Inflated Ego

Radio, TV and now print media buzz about Kanye West's horrible "singing" performance of Heartless last week on Saturday Night Live. Dare I hope? Is the media finally prying its lips off of his onion?

Ever since Kanye and his formidible ego arrived on scene, I've been equal parts of amazed and aggitated at the praise and reverence lavished upon him by music critics and other media talking heads. If his perpetual "na na na na, na-na-na-na, naa naaaaa" cadence is within earshot, I bring the hate.

Yes, he writes good hooks, beats and occasionally entertaining lyrics. Yes, he raps alright (and may I remind you I am an expert in urban musicality). But singer he is not. And that's what he mascaraded as on SNL, only everyone but Kanye noticed it.

Shawn Amos of the Yahoo music blog Get Back published an article today exposing Kanye's misguided confidence by making this sensible observation -
Kanye broke the cardinal rule of bad singing. He stepped outside of his preapproved vocal zone.
Oh happy day! Finally someone who has a voice inside proves not everyone is high on Kanye West. Amos goes on to say singers who know they can't sing are always forgiven. True. Consider one of my personal favorites, Mr. Johnny Cash, who said on countless occasions he talked a song more than sang it. But his showmanship and humility hit the bullseye as an entertainer.

Mr. West, on the other hand, thinks he is a most excellent singer and has told us all so on music award shows whether he's at the winners' podium or not. In all fairness, I may take my Kanye criticism more seriously than most. Afterall, he is banned from my blog as you can see over there ---->>. But not without good reason.

Amos' article is a good read. You can browse Yahoo's top list of singers who can't sing and all 11,000+ comments. They take some good shots at Madonna and her carnival arms. I only take issue with Celine Dion's mention. Sure, she's drama and I disliked her odd chest thumping stage, but she can most definitely sing, sang and sung.

Humor Happy Hour Specials for 12/26/08

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All that holiday frenzy has driven me to drink and I invite you to join me. Introducing a little experiment here at the Swizzle Stick Lounge every Friday called Humor Happy Hour. Throw back Sip your favorite cocktail and check out my menu of the funniest, cleverist, or snarkiest blog posts I've read this week.

Feeling judgmental? Rate posts in the sidebar poll by dropping olives in their glass. If someone gets a pile of olives, I'll ask them to guest bar tend here. The poll's open until next Friday. Invite your readers over to drop you an olive, perhaps?

So, without further a do, here be the Specials. Open all night. Throw peanut shells on the floor. Tips appreciated.

Did you read a funny post worthy of your eyeballs this week? Comment me the links for consideration on next week's Triple H menu. Don't forget to leave your olive in the sidebar! (One vote per reader.)

I'd Like a Little House on the Prairie Christmas Right About Now

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As I sit here at my computer at 3 a.m. with burned up monitor eyes, comparing last minute holiday deals on mp3 players and cell phones for family members who will just die without them, I hear Pa Ingalls enraptured with his new flannel shirt sewn for him by little Half Pint.

I like to watch the TVLand channel at this sour hour of the morning instead of "Buy Houses for $300!", or "Get the Barrack Obama Limited Coin Set!". Little House on the Prairie comes on three episodes in a row tonight and each one is a Christmas show.

In the last episode, baby sister Carrie has saved her allowance for an entire year to buy a tin star tree topper from Mr. Olesen's store so baby Jesus will have a present, too. Let's remember chores on the Prairie would likely collapse kids today, so spending your allowance on Jesus back then is nothing short of angelic. Ma Ingalls is giddy with a new bolt of material for a dress. Laura Ingalls has secretly traded her treasured new pony to nemesis Nellie Olesen in exchange for a new wood stove for her mother. Gulp.

After watching the third episode of people going absolutely nuclear with joy over handmade gifts and thoughtful gestures, I have emptied my entire online cart of overpriced nonsense and am going to bed. I've got a lot of sewing, carving and baking to do tomorrow.

Want to Get More Blog Comments? Check the Junk Drawer.

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I love blogs that make me laugh. I'm the kind of girl that's jaded enough to roll my eyes at The Simpsons but quirky to the point of laughing into choking fits watching The Office, vintage SNL and Sarah Silverman. Enter The Junk Drawer blog. I love The Drawer for a couple of reasons. First, the junk drawer in my house is sacred. More times than I can count, I've found the essential lost item in my junk drawer--the spare car key, the Victoria's Secret gift certificate from last Christmas, the lone AAA battery (don't ask).

Second, the Drawer's owner Kathy Frederick is a real hoot. Don't believe me? Consider this: where else can you read about loving banana clips, runaway boobs and an ass table? Nowhere but The Junk Drawer. Read Kathy's near daily accounts of life and you'll laugh out loud, or at least snort suppressing it.

But you'll also notice something quite extraordinary. Kathy's readers comment, A LOT. Her posts consistently get upwards of 70 - 80 individual comments, bringing her collective comments to over 10,000 for a blog only 1.5 years old. And they're funny, insightful, clever comments that people who have obviously read the whole post take time to share. It's a blogger's dream.

How did Kathy become the most successful comment breeder this side of Dooce? That's just what I asked her and she was kind enough to respond. I sat down with one of my favorite snacks, a glass of wine and bag of Flamin' Cheetos, and wrote down my questions for Kathy. Here's what she had to say.

How do your readers' comments make you feel?
Like a million bucks! Reader comments are the life blood of my blog, my fuel. I cannot tell you how rewarding it is for me to get instant feedback for my writing. It’s a gift every time someone comments.

Did you get that many in the beginning or did they evolve along with your blog?
Glad you asked. Many people think I got a lot of comments right from the start because they see high numbers now. But if you dug back into my stats, you’d see that comments grew very gradually. Like all bloggers, I had single-digit comments for the first few months. There’s no way around that unless you’re Oprah.

Why do you think so many people enjoy responding to you?
I think it’s because I’m an open book. Some may think I reveal too much about myself and my life, but it may be the key to making readers feel comfortable sharing a bit of themselves with me. Also, a good friend once said I had self-deprecation down to a science. He might be right. Admitting my idiocy seems to generate a lot of comments. I still haven’t figured out if people are laughing at me or with me. Hmmm.

How much time do you spend replying each day?
About an hour, more if comments are heavy. A typical post sees 20-30 comments per day. I like to respond to them in chunks of 10 or 20 to keep it manageable.

Do you comment on other blogs?
Absolutely. I follow and comment on about 30 blogs regularly. If you’re looking for examples of commenting done right, check out a few of my favorites:

  • JD at I Do Things So You Don’t Have To: JD writes the best comment responses, bar none. When I read her gut-busting replies, I feel like I’m getting a bonus post. It’s like dessert after a good meal.

  • Jeff at View from the Cloud: Jeff has a razor-sharp wit and he makes humor writing look effortless. Trust me, it’s not. As is the case with JD, Jeff’s responses are as funny as the posts he writes. It’s not always easy to write humorous responses, but Jeff masters it.

  • Cardiogirl: “CG” writes passionately about a number of personal and thorny issues. By her responses, you can tell that she’s thought long and hard about what her readers say and appreciates every visitor. Commenting for her is serious business.

In all three of these cases, the bloggers are essentially saying “Welcome to my home. I’m really glad you’re here.” There is no better way to build a community and retain visitors than to engage those who took time to leave a comment.

What type of posts get the biggest reaction from readers and why do you think that is?
There are two types: 1) where I admit my stupidity or vulnerability, and 2) where I ask readers for their opinion about something. In the first case, readers react because they’ve either been there themselves, or they are flabbergasted by what I’ll admit to in the blog. In the second case, I’ve basically opened up the floor for comments. People love to talk about themselves or an issue near and dear to them.

Can you think of a particularly funny comment, or one where the reader was offended with your humor?
A funny comment? Oh, yeah. There were many, many hilarious comments left on my post about my grade school memories. Some comments were sad, too. A mixture of laughter and pain, that post and its comments had it all.

Anyone offended? Unfortunately, yes. It happened on a sarcastic post gone wrong. I felt bad I offended some readers and vowed to never to do it again. That crummy feeling stays with me to this day.

Do you moderate your comments?
No, and it’s not really necessary. I’m frequently in touch with my blog and watch comments roll in throughout the day. If someone leaves an offensive comment, I can delete it almost immediately. Luckily, I’ve only had to do that a few times. If anyone wants to leave an inappropriate comment, do it between 9PM-5AM EST, when I’m usually unconscious.

Do ‘real life’ friends comment or only virtual readers?
Many of my friends, work associates and family comment regularly, especially my two sisters and my niece. My Dad also reads my blog, but doesn’t comment. Not online, anyway. He’ll call instead to tell me how much he liked a certain post, which is sweet. Thanks, Dad!

Commenting really enriches a blog's sense of community. What advice do you have for bloggers trying to cultivate more comments and/or readers?
Make it a point to respond to comments. People want to feel heard. Show them you’re listening and that you’re glad they stopped by. You’re glad, right?

Ask a question! If you’ve covered some topic and you want feedback, ask away. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Comment on blogs you enjoy. Their owners and their readers may navigate back to your blog and comment, too. Over time, you’ll start seeing repeat visitors. Get to know them. You’ll make connections and the rest is magic.

As for gaining new readers, consider joining networks like Entrecard, and if you’re a humor writer, Humor-Blogs. You may want to try out Blogerella, a new directory run by the same person who runs Humor-Blogs. Bloggers in any niche can sign up there. Some services and networks may prove more useful than others. My advice is to simply try them out and see which ones bring you the most new readers. Happy commenting!

~~~

Thanks for your insights, Kathy. I hereby dub you Countess of Comments. I can't offer you your own kingdom, but I do wish you continued success with your spectacular blog.

This blog, Diva Cosmos, rarely receives comments. Why is that, I wonder? My friend said I sound too mean and people might hesitate to comment. To that, I said shut your mouth awww, c'mon now. I'm all bark and no bite. Well, I bite sometimes but I never draw blood. So please, share. I can only hope to learn from Kathy's success. I refuse to give up. I shall continue to court the elusive comment.

Back to The Junk Drawer. If you haven't opened it yet, I suggest you click over. You'll be entertained, and likely leave a bloody comment.

I Told a Stranger She Wore Too Much Perfume

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Have you experienced a perfume fugue before? I have many times--often lingering in elevators or dressing rooms, but not usually in confined quarters. Tonight was different. We were settled into prime seats at the movie theater waiting for "Slum Dog Millionaire" to start. Ten minutes before show time, it was already getting crowded. I heard the show was drawing big at the box office, so we left early so I could enjoy watching people scramble for seats. Good fun!

A couple sat down in front of us in two of the few remaining adjacent seats. My nasal cavity was assaulted with gardenia scent immediately. At first I was amused by the offending aroma; it's funny when someone smell weird. At first.

By the time the movie started, I was nauseous. The gardenia plume was not lifting in the least. I tried breathing out of my mouth but I tasted gardenia. My popcorn lost its seductive butter smell. My hair smelled like gardenia. I couldn't smell by boyfriend's musk (yes, I know musk is outdated, but he wears it for me because it makes me jiggy) even though my face was buried in his armpit. Only gardenia. And I've never liked gardenia.

The theater was too crowded to find new seats. I really wanted to see this movie, so we stayed. It was a fantastic show, by the way, and I highly recommend it.

Back to the gardenia. After the movie, during the credits, I leaned forward and said, "Excuse me, this may sound rude, but I'm fairly certain you're unaware that you're wearing too much perfume. Waaay too much." She turned to her male companion and asked if that was true. He said, "Well, now that you ask. Uh, yeah. It's a little heavy."

Granted the girl looked like she was going to cry, but here it is hours later and my pores are still oozing gardenia. She can't go around having that effect on people! How many opportunities has she missed by gassing people with gardenia? I was just trying to help. Honest.

Miley Cyrus Has a Mouthful of Marbles

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Miley Cyrus sounds like she has marbles in her mouth when she speaks. I heard her on TV tonight and it was especially noticeable. If this is true, mystery solved. If not, who cares. I'm just saying.


--->Don't get the cartoon?

"Whatever You Like" by Rapper T.I. Reminds Us Sugga Daddies Are Great

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Ladies, is the economy cramping your style some? Listen carefully to rapper T. I. explain why you might consider getting a sugar daddy, at least until the Dow Jones volatility stabilizes a little. His lyrics describe the good life that could be yours if "you da hottest love the way you drop it. Brain so good swore you went to college." Sound like you? I'm sure it's okay if you really did go to college. I think the most important thing is the 'way you drop it' part.

Still not convinced? I applaud you for being cautious, but T. I. sounds like he's livin' pretty large. Think of all the other successful bidness men out there looking for a shawty to lavish their successful lifestyle on (for those not as familiar with rap as I am, you don't actually have to be short for consideration. Shorty is just a term of endearment.) Check it:

From T. I.'s "Whatever You Like"

Ya need to never ever gotta go to yo wallet
Long as I got rubber band banks in my pocket
Five six, rides with rims and a pocket kit
Ya ain't gotta downgrade you can get what I get
My chick could have what she want
And go in any store for any bag she want

Alllllright! I have an obsession with bags. My eyes are bigger than my check book. This sounds like an excellent solution, and then some. T. I. sums it up nicely with this, "... You want it I got it, go get it, I buy it...". And all he asks in return are a few requests that are a bit too direct to post, even here. He does water it down towards the end of the chorus, saying, "...he want my body, need my body, long as I got him I won't need nobody".

Fair enough. Listen gals, with Christmas coming up sugga daddies are in high demand right now. You'll need to make yourself stand out from the competition. Do some research. Watch T. I.'s video below, beyotch. (Just practicing)


Lyrics | T.I. lyrics - Whatever You Like lyrics

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