5 Brilliant Ways To Name Your Stupid Blog

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CONGRATULATIONS on joining the masses of former English majors, home chefs, and stay at home parents who think their opinions are either relevant, insightful, or funny! You are (or will be soon enough) a blogger, the lowest common type of writer out there. There’s a dog on the Disney Channel who is a billionaire off of this already, and somehow you are stressing about finding kitschy pictures to annotate your paragraphs with.

We welcome and love you – the blogosphere can be a safe place. Often though it’s a hellscape of paranoia and anxiety and posting and editing at odd hours, hoping your small raindrop makes a wave in the universe of oceans of words out there.

We want to help you name your newest blog that will either go nuclear-ly viral or fold within six months. The name, however, can be something you’ll spend forever thinking about until you realize that literally a million people have already done this and done it better than you could have thought to do. Or not.


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How To Name Your Stupid Blog

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.05.45 AMCONGRATULATIONS ON JOINING THE MASSES OF FORMER ENGLISH MAJORS, HOME CHEFS, AND STAY AT HOME PARENTS WHO THINK  THEIR OPINIONS ARE EITHER RELEVANT, INSIGHTFUL, OR FUNNY! You are (or will be soon enough) a blogger, the lowest common type of writer out there. There’s a dog on the Disney Channel who is a billionaire off of this already, and somehow you are stressing about finding kitschy pictures to annotate your paragraphs with. We welcome and love you – the blogosphere can be a safe place.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 10.51.26 AMThe kind folks at Nerdy Dad Shirt Corporation and Speedy Bread Sludge HQ (a subsidiary of Brand-Mart Corporation) want to help you name your newest blog that will either go nuclear-ly viral or fold within six months. The name, however, can be something you’ll spend forever thinking about until you realize that literally a million people have already done this and done it better than you could have thought to do. Or not. Do not lose heart! Do not despair! Back in grad school you were going to be Isabelle Allende or John Updike, but you’re currently searching your brain for the perfect quiche metaphor or fart joke. And soon you’ll be writing thousands of words about trending topics and wondering where your integrity went. Just think of a blog as a start in the right direction of the career you’ve always wanted, without the risk of painful failure. Right now anyone with enough money for a coffee can Free-WiFi-it into the internet hall of fame for a day with the right snark or hashtag.

But first you need a name.

Side note – “blog” is an awful word. It was originally coined as an ironic joke, and then somehow became a overused, daily, easily-reportable word. “I write essays” or “I write for the newsletter” sounds distinguished. “I write blogs” sounds like you stencil names on silly putty.

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So let’s name that blog – er – distinguished website featuring your ingenious prose : Disclaimer: ALL the cool mom, dad, media review/reporting, and foodie blog titles are taken, so it’s up to you to be original and clever with whatever words or phrases are left.

– You want something catchy or at least forgivable when it’s been read and said two thousand times. Remember, you can always say “I always hated that name” if you tire of it, or you can embrace it if it brings you success. FartyDadBlog as a title you might regret when Rolling Stone publishes your top ten reasons babies are like senile orangutans.

– Pick something your grandma and best friend would think is clever but doesn’t take too much to explain, although sometimes people like a difficult name because it sounds interesting, albeit foreign or confusing. You’ll have to say this name over and over to web designers, friends, strangers, and then see it every day online when you’re checking your abysmal stats, so be careful. Like a long-lasting professional-type email, be obvious but not too obvious. SassyGurlxyz781@hotmail.com never looks good on a resume.

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– Unless your blog name just presents itself to you, you might have to work on it a bit. Pick an adjective, noun, and -or- vice/niche word combination and go to work. The words don’t have to match, and sometimes juxtapositioning an odd combination just feels right, even if it doesn’t make total sense. CrumbBumMum, a mom blog about all things Holden Caulfield, just might work.

– Use a phrase, song title, band name, or word all-too-familiar and make it yours (FrackSabbath would be an awesome blog about fracking – take it, it’s all yours). If this blogging thing feels like it might be more than a hobby, just use your name or a really clever pseudonym. Like a band naming their LP the same name as the band, it’ll take a few rounds or albums before becoming the iconic, one-of-a-kind you site.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 7.53.01 PM– In the end, it’s your talent, content, and voice that matters, and although the sea of blogs is wide and deep, your vessel matters. Still, Oedipal’s Edibles would be a great name for a foodie blog written by a former Classics Major.




How To Be Snowed In

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.11.50 AMTHE SNOW WILL END, AND YOU WILL SOON BE BACK AT WORK, remembering the shower-less, shovel-heavy days of whatever nor’easter or blizzard we all just lived through. If your pipes don’t freeze, you don’t lose power, and you have Wi-Fi, you are among the luckiest top ten-to-twenty percent of the world’s population.

So in the interest of planning ahead for your two-to-three days of Carpe Diems in your pajamas (or layered boot-heavy shoveling outfit), here’s the breakdown for those a little older than the shovel-your-driveway-for-fifty-bucks-mister crowd, and assuming we all have off work:

Single with roommates: Chances are the landlord will have to shovel, or has hired someone to do it in his stead, so you’re free from a day of shoveling. You know the path to the packie and have cleared out a nice little spot for you to quickly smoke a cigarette outside while finishing off your Irish coffee. Chances are that your roommates will have friends over, and your apartment will become a den of iniquity in no time. Enjoy it while you’re young.

Single without roommates: This seems impossible unless you’re living with your parents and just not considering them “roommates.” You are a rare breed, so live it up. Perhaps you’re living in a studio apartment, or a small trailer in the desert of a Tarantino film, or you’re couch-hopping indefinitely until you grow up and start paying actual rent somewhere. Either way, we have no advice for you because you can do anything you want with only nature as a deterrent (and you don’t even have to watch all those documentaries and “classics” you put on your Netflix queue).

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Married/Living Together: Thanks to the 21st amendment and streaming media, you can do whatever you want, including sleeping in, sexy time, quiet projects in the next room, and avoiding killing each other because, well, you’re snowed in for like three days. This applies to young as well as older couples. If you prepared enough, you can enjoy cocktails all day long while binge-watching your shows or catching up on the dreams you had that you forgot about until you had some time to catch up on life. Todays are those days. You’re snowed in. Just don’t watch news coverage all day of other towns snowed in.

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Married with kid(s): You can play zone or man defense, but you need a plan. This will involve a strict don’t-wake-us-up-until-7-morning decree (that will probably backfire), followed by yelling at the kids to go play in their rooms for a while until you’re ready to take them outside, then fun in the snow to tire them out (that will be short-lived), and then maybe a long afternoon of silent reading or movie watching; no matter what you do, it will go quickly and you won’t want to clean up, so get ready to let the paints and play-doh dry out until you give up the ghost and throw them out (you can only stare at them on the table for so long). By the end of the last snow day, it’s okay to just give up on cleaning and laundry – that’s what spring is for.

If the kids let you sleep in (and they won’t), this gives you roughly thirteen hours to entertain children who need constant stimulation. Do NOT feel bad about screen time. The Puritans wished they had DVR and video games. They also wished they had enough materials for blanket forts. Hopefully you prepared by purchasing exactly the right snacks for them and exactly the right drinks for you and mom. There is no take out for a few days, so you have to prepare for this. There will also be no trip to Target, Starbucks, Ace Hardware, local shops, or the Mall for days, so be ready to suffer at home with the people you love more than life itself. We are also sorry you and the wife will get no sexy time unless you really plan ahead, and if you’re lucky you’ll both at least shower and brush your teeth at some point before we all return back to work and school.

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How To End All Prejudice Everywhere And For All Time (Part 1)

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The Department of Neighborhood Babies:

Every citizen will be mandated to babysit his/her assumed enemy’s babies and/or children for one year before allowed to kill, maim, impose sanctions on, or starve assumed enemy people. This goes for all people.

Babysitting will have to be carried out by males and females of the people of proposed aggravated attack and with strict supervision. This will apply between nation states, city-states, neighborhoods, and small villages.

Babysitting will take place at least two hours a month, while the baby or child is awake. This will apply first to all army personnel, then larger mafias and gangs, and at its least, to neighbors who just don’t like each other and may do something like cause legal action to get them out of your neighborhood. The same may be proposed for potential gentrification of poorer neighborhoods.

If there are no babies or children involved or existing between aggravated parties, then the aggravated parties will be forced to share a meal, coffee, tea, or times of such celebration at least for two hours a month, with shared monetary coverage.

If a party is planning on using rocks or smaller weapons against proposed enemy, the time to babysit or celebrate may fluctuate based on amount of proposed damage. Otherwise one year of babysitting two hours a month will be the normal sentence. The larger the proposed aggravation and attack, the longer the babysitting hours will be.

This should curb the need for violence, aggravated assault, and smaller battles based on acquisition of territory or violent resolution.

There could be babies or children in the way, you see.


Just Don’t Be A Shitty Dad

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DADS, STOP HIDING IN THE BATHROOM, GARAGE, SHED, BACKYARD, BAR, and WORK. The kids and wife will find you there eventually. It’s okay, all you have to do it play with your kids, be nice to your wife, and give them your entire mortal life and all the attention and beauty and care inside it. That’s all.

Those are secrets to a long, beautiful life, and one day, when the kids are out of the house, you will have the bathroom all to yourself (between their college years and your death) and you’ll miss being interrupted all the time with urgent matters like who hit who, who needs to really really really go to the bathroom right now (so it’s not okay to have the kids pee in the tub while you’re occupying the throne?), and who is bothering who.

If you’re reading this, and you’re a dad, you’re probably not needing the “advice” I’m going to shell out. But most people out there can be shitty, awful people, and especially to their kids. But if, by chance, an awful human being has become a parent, I’m hoping he would someone stumble upon this post. Somehow.

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So chances are you’re not a shitty dad. But if you were tending toward that reality, here are some pointers to pass along.

Be there. Just be there. Absenteeism by dads is an epidemic in America and the world. There is no greater struggle, archetype, or therapy-prompt than “talk about your relationship with your dad.” By just being there all the time you’ve saved a future broken human being from suffering from thoughts of insecurity and abandonment at their current and future age. Fight hard against the struggles and obstacles of life to be there for every moment you can.

Don’t be a selfish asshole with your time. Your stuff isn’t that important. The kids want your attention, and if you don’t give it to them, they will get the hint and not bother you again, or give their attention to anyone else, preferably not you. For life maybe. But don’t helicopter over them all the time either. Everyone needs some time alone sometime, but not that much time. One day you’re going to get home late and realize you haven’t talked to your kids in a few days, and you’ll wonder where all the time went. Play this scene over in your mind and adjust accordingly. This also goes for your precious stuff that you don’t want them touching.

Just play Princess or LEGOS with your kids. Just do it. Whatever you’re doing is not as important as tea party, princess ball, picnic, kitchen, school, construction site, or any of the wonderful games you could be playing with your amazing, perfect children. Whatever they’re into, they’re looking for reinforcement and approval. Play all the games they want, and engage them on their level as much as you can before they fade out and revert to only playing by themselves. You are the most important person in the world to them, for now.

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Turn off the t.v. after a little bit, or for good. Remember Jim Carrey’s character in The Cable Guy plummeting to his death? His last words were, “Kill the Babysitter,” referring to the boob tube that had “raised” him. This goes for the YouTube, handheld device, and iPad. Kids should be experiencing plenty of fresh air, free play, and whatever it is you’re doing away from the couch. Or in the house – whatever you’re doing, include them, even if it’s “above their heads” (which will probably never be the case unless you’re splitting the atom or making toxic chemicals – even then, that’s pretty cool to share). Once the television is off, you can actually feel the parasites leaving your brain to go onto more creative uses of your time with the kids.

Learn with your kids. Kids are crazy sponges and love to explore and learn. So expose them to all the not-so-boring things you want to learn, and be pleasantly surprised when they take it as seriously as you. They are literally blank slates, so fill up their brains with great life stuff.

Talk a lot and use big words. Successful adult humans often have strong educational backgrounds because of their parents’ education and willingness to share words and ideas. It’s not too late or too early to get all the knowledge in your head into theirs. You are your child’s first teacher, so have something good to say, and don’t water down your vocabulary. And read to them and with them, and make sure they see you reading.

Don’t hit your kids. Getting a switch from the tree or “bopping” your two-year old just isn’t necessary. Time outs, taking away privileges, and a loud, mean voice of authority work just as well. “Spoiling the child by sparing the rod” makes no sense when you consider that hitting your kid with a rod would be awful. A grown man hitting a little kid because he spilled his juice or did something naughty has no correlation in the real world unless you’re equating violence in prisons with people actually learning something about life, which isn’t happening. Most people hit their kids between ages two to twelve, and then don’t hit anymore when the kids get older (although we all know that some hitting and forms of physical abuse continues long after twelve or until the child is big enough to hit back) – doesn’t that seem illogical? At the most precious memory and skill-forming time in the child’s life, you’re using physical aggression and violence to teach important lessons. They can’t learn any other way? I think – and know – not.

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Just be yourself, or the better version of yourself you hope to be. Your kids are going to solidify an image and character of you and stick with that for life, so give your best to them, always. Don’t worry about being perfect, and don’t be afraid to learn from new mistakes.

When all else fails, just say to yourself, Just don’t be a shitty dad. Whatever that means to you, apply it and stick with it, and enjoy your kids while you can. Tell them you love them at least a hundred times a day, and show them that you love them that many times and more.

They’ll love it. Because all they want is you.

How To Decide What To Do In Life

WHEN IN DOUBT, CALL THE DOCTOR. I mean, when in doubt, see Rule #1. If you don’t hear the distinct sound of the Tardis flying your way, here’s what to do in life, or of who and what character to ask “what would so-and-so do?” in that internal hierarchy-building way we’re all accustomed to ask and act.

Seriously, in life we face a hundred decisions a day from what to feed the kids to whether or not we should have that third beer.

Here is a short list of what to do in those times of peril and who can help guide us through each shadowy valley.

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Act like Han Solo.  Or Indiana Jones. Rough, rugged, skeptical, pirate-like Han was always my go-to growing up, rather than the bratty, whiny, privileged-with-Jedi-powers-he-somehow-didn’t-figure-out-until-he-was-much-older towhead gringo Luke Skywalker. Han murders another scoundrel, outruns a mafia boss, helps the good guys (acting as the deus ex machina), stays loyal to his co-pilot and best friend (without ever betraying him, as pirates do), suffers the torture of being frozen alive, and gets the girl (the only girl in an entire universe, it seems). Then he goes on to become Indian Jones, a somewhat morally pure professor whose line “this belongs in a museum” is simply crawling with good intentions for stolen, privatized goods that an aboriginal culture may or may not have been worshipping at the time. It’s also a great guiding directive for how to think about material things. Plus he outsmarts millennia of gold-seekers as to what cup Christ would have sipped from, just to save his dad. Be either of those guys.

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Act like Spock. In the Aristotelian rhetorical triangle of life, we all need to appeal to Logic a bit more, without committing the fallacy of only appealing to logic a little more. In that logic, good luck finding the logic in only ascribing to Logic. That’s why we have the Kirks of the world, but I never liked Kirk, so I’m going with a modified Spock. And Spock was modified because he was half-human and half-Vulcan. He was the go-to adviser, and always knew the right answer. Do you always know the right answer? If not, just channel Spock through a hands-free mind-meld, and you’ll be all right.

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YESSSSSSSSSS PICARD. When was the last time you took on an Ultra-God AND a race of cyborg killers? AND it was on your very first mission, nonetheless? You think life is hard? What, you’ve got needy kids and you’re tired? Your job is hard and days are long? Try being Picard. Seriously, try it. Or assume what it’s like, call upon his center-bald spirit, make that hot Earl Grey, and decide. Make it so.

Remember that all these characters were real people and had stable, steady lives of being married and spent a good time raising multiple children in the real world.

I worked tirelessly on the Venn Diagram version of this here.

How To Properly Beach It (or Why All Men Hate The Beach)

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Or maybe, all men hate sunbathing. Or maybe it’s that all dads hate the beach. Ask any man (and we’re talking men here, not teens or college-age boys or men who, fully clothed, like to walk their dogs at the beach after hours). I’m sure it’s a mixture of all varieties of men, although I’ve seen men sunbathing here and there, and I just assume that they fell asleep.

Men go to the beach for two reasons: women and kids. Or to launch a kayak. And don’t forget scuba classes. But almost no group of men will say to each other hey guys, want to sit, lay, and run around in the direct sun all day? The answer is always that I already work in the hot, direct sun all day. I don’t want to do it surrounded by sand. And old men in sunny beach-side cultures who fished for a living and spend their retirement days at the beach don’t count. That’s like hanging out near where you worked, which a lot of men do. In fact, legend has it that the first boat was invented when men were bored at the beach with their families and had to devise a way to break up the monotony of heating up and then taking a dip, heating up and then taking a dip, heating up and then taking a dip. You’ve all been there.

There’s just something about being in the hot sun for hours without getting paid that makes men restless, resistant, and adverse to the lazy day at the beach. Don’t get me wrong – I love doing nothing while my skin isn’t burning and I’m showing signs of dehydration. Well, now that the kids are able to play on their own, I can do more nothing at the beach, in the shade, guarding my stuff from the wiles of the desert sands.

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On the other hand, women love the beach. Like, insanely love the beach. My working theory is that because our species’ better half have monthly cycles like the moon, and the moon controls the waves, and women can control men best at the beach, women, therefore, love the beach. Maybe not all women, but at least 96% of them. Young women in bikinis can control men’s actions, and older women in bikinis with offspring of those men can control men’s actions. It’s a vicious and beautiful cycle within a cycle within a cycle, all dependent on getting us men to the beach.

And for women there is some magical moment that happens when the sun hits the skin, something beyond a vitamin D boost. Sunbathing or tanning is vital to a woman’s happiness. Learn this, men. Learn it and respect and never question it. Any chance women can get to sunbathe, they will. This, dear men, allows you to be free to do other things but only if the kids are being watched. And when you bring men to the beach, they can play with the kids and you women are free to sunbathe. See? It’s pure genius.

Before having kids, a beach trip might have been you and some friends, the wife, and a cooler of sody pop and sandwiches. Maybe you rode boogie boards ironically in your 20s or played frisbee. Maybe you showed up at the beach in jeans and a sweatshirt after hours for a BBQ or something youthful and curfew-free. But you weren’t sitting or walking all day long in the hot sun unless that included said sody pop and cigarettes and a boombox and bikinis. If you were lucky to get time alone with the missus at the beach, you frolicked in the water, bodies favorably close, and possibly took a walk or napped or did anything, without kids bothering you, in quick peace. Then after the beach you ended up somewhere with immediate access to margaritas or cold beer and chicken wings.

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A beach day with the kids means at least two hours prep at home dressing the kids and packing. Then there’s the drive. Then there’s filling up the Beach Buddy Buggy with cooler, chairs, blankets, towels, shovels, pails, and the like, and then dragging it a quarter of a mile to a spot of Earth that the sun will bear down on all day (oh you thought wheels on your Beach Buddy Buggy were helpful? Fool!). You then have to dig holes for the umbrellas and/or build a tent while setting up camp. Oh, yes. The beach is like camping except that when you are camping (or having a picnic), you don’t always have to worry about something falling in the grass because we all know the five second rule, and grass always seems kind of clean. But not sand. Not that cursed, desert material that rules the beach.

But while at the beach, dear readers, you’re in the blazing hot sun, half naked, setting up a complicated array of chairs and blankets while the kids bug you to just go in the water already daddy, guarding your food and perspiring water bottle away from the Earth because sand gets in and on everything. I don’t mind sandy feet or a little sand at home from the kids’ bathing suits, but this invasive alien craws into every space, wrinkle, and available niche it can. And please oh please let the kids already have sunscreen on, because lathering up children on the hot sand is the very last thing anyone wants to do, especially when they’re already sandy from the 4.2 minutes you’ve actually been at the beach.

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In the real world we seek shade, proper covering, and air conditioning – but not on a beach day. In the real world we never dig up the backyard to make dirtcastles – but not on a beach day. In the real world we hope for peace after death in a nice, cool, cloudy heaven- but not on a beach day. In the real world, we dress professionally or at least we cover up most of our skin – but not on a beach day. The beach allows us to be lazy savages in the hot, deadly sun.

There are only so many things to do at the beach, so you have to be inventive because you’ll be there longer than you want but just long enough so that the missus feels like it was a “long beach day.” So just get used to not checking the time. Don’t be like that, dad.

Okay we climbed the rocks, check. We swam around, check. Caught hermit crabs, regular crabs, and tadpoles, check. Took a walk, check. Tried to nap, check. Ate kids’ leftover lunch when they were not looking, check. Bought overpriced ice cream and goods from the beach restaurant or truck, check. Tried checking your smartphone for a distraction, check. Tried reading a book, check. Built a sandcastle or something like it, check. Tried to people watch, check. Checked checkered skin for sunburn check-marks, check. Time gone by: forty-three minutes.

SO, DEAR MEN, if you can hold out long enough, however, then driving home with your ocean-kissed skin adjusting in the shade of the car will make it all worthwhile. You don’t even care that you’re wearing slightly dried, slightly wet shorts. The trunk is sufficiently filled with sand – ain’t no thang. You’ll be dead tired and dehydrated at work tomorrow, who cares. Your pasty white skin is red but the wife looks great – that sunbathing makes her all the more delicious.

So it’s all good because the wife is happy and the kids are exhausted, and you get to drink cold beer at home and watch some t.v. You’ll do anything to get to this place because you are a man, and a dad, and alive in the summer.

Happy beaching – especially to my Gloucester Beach Bums. You all know the drill.

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All original material is copyright Nerdy Dad Shirt/Jeremy McKeen 2014