Off The Rails
Mysteries of the Universe, Part One

Wednesday Advice Smackdown

Yes, I know it's really Thursday, but it's still Wednesday in my mind.  So I don't want to hear another word about it.


Got it?

Okay, on with the show...

Dear Amalah,

I always feel presumptuous when I put a link to other people's blogs on my own. So I'll ask this time around, may I?

I mean, I know that's how it works. Link to blogs you really like. But my blog has an ego problem, it doesn't feel good enough to link to really good blogs.

Which brings me to my advice needed question. And I wouldn't be terribly disappointed if Special Guest Advice-Giver Guy Dude took my case.

How do I boost my blog's ego?


OKAY THEN, so now Special Guest Star Advice-Giver Guy Dude is getting REQUESTS. Y'all like him better than me, don't you? I knew it.

Well, he wouldn't know the first thing about boosting blog ego, because he DOESN'T HAVE ONE. And I'll be damned if I let him show off on mine ever again. It's terribly bad for my blog's ego.

Although you may have noticed that my blog has more than enough ego to spare. In fact, it's so damn uppity that it gets a little ruffled when people call it a blog. It's a journal now. Which is different. I can't explain how.  I think it's better though.

Anyway, you could try that. "Oh, I don't blog anymore. I journal. It's just a simple form of self-publishing, really. A way to keep the creative muse active while I wait for my bajillion dollar book deal to come through."

You could also try getting snooty about memes. Roll your eyes at surveys and go "oh, pish-posh" to Quizilla results. Your blog is too good for these trite little shortcuts, right? I mean, your journal. Your outlet to the world. Your voice in the maddening crowd.

Also, get stingy with the blogroll. Resist linking to just anybody and everybody who links to you. They might suck. Do not be afraid to think that they suck.

(Try to link to all your commenters though, because they are lovely, wonderful people with taste and wit and also look so damn pretty today.)

If all this fails, maybe read a Tony Robbins book out loud to your blog. I hear he has really big teeth.


Dear Amalah,

I have  this really cool, really popular blog. I won't say who I am, because I don't want to brag, but my name rhymes with Krill Eatin' and Still Bleatin' and Chill Heatin'. Anyway, I don't know if you've ever been to my site, but it's really cool. It's kinda like Huey Lewis meets Jimmy Stewart. Really accessable and positive, but also some wild fun!!! I'm like the Chicken Soup For The Soul of blogs (which was a really important book, and touched a lot of people's lives, and sold a lot of copies).

I like to put a metophorical arm around my readers and give them the big brother noogie on the head and tell them "I love ya buddy! In a non gay way, heh." Because really edgy humor something you'll find a lot of at my site, if you want to come by and check it out. Kinda like when Steve Martin used to wear that arrow that looked like it was going right through his head. Dude, that was so funny. And cool.

Anyway, I'm a little worried because instead of getting my usual 10,000 hits a day, I've only been getting about 9,900. I'm afraid I may have offended my readers, and I might not win a Bloggie this year. Not that I care about that stuff, because I just have to be who I am ya know? I'm secure in who I am, and if people don't like me for who I am, well I wish them the best.  But if I've alienated anyone I would just be so sad. I mean I am a good guy, and there is nothing whatsoever offensive about my site, if you ever want to check it out.

So do you think I should write an open letter telling my readers that I'm sorry and I really appreciate all their support? Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Wishing you all the coolest experiences life has to offer,
"Kill Cretin"


Let me say this, Guy Whose Name Sounds Like Bil Beaten: Your popularity baffles me. Yes, you were on T.V. once. On That Show Whose Name Sounds Like Bar Check. But it was pretty much accepted that you sucked on it. Nobody liked you. I believe you spawned a lot of fan fiction that mostly involved you dying in many interesting and painful ways.

And now you have this site. This painfully corny and upbeat site that looks like a bunch of kindergarteners did your HTML. And you have a bazillion readers! You have your own category on FARK! What the hell?

So advice? For you? Is to shut up. This is one blog/journal/publishing revolution that will not drink the Gil Geaton Kool-Aid. Blah.


(Sheryl actually wrote that last question. And oh, how I love her for it.)


Dearest, prettiest, Queen of Everything,

I am considering getting a tattoo. Since this will last a lifetime, I want something that will look tasteful now and when I am an eighty-eight year old granny. Do you have any suggestions as to design and placement?

Lovin' You,
One of your "trained seals" (arf,arf,arf)

Oh, the eternal tattoo dilemma. I have two. I still like one. Do the math.

The one I like is a small heart with little flames. The whole thing is about a square inch in size. It's red and yellow and orange and quite cute. Placement? On the ass. Upper part, anyway, the part that (I hope and pray) will remain relatively smooth and unchanged throughout the years. Plus? Totally hidden 99% of the time. Only the tiniest bikini will reveal it in public.

The other one was gotten in a fit of impulsivity, infatuation and maybe a wee bit of intoxication. It's Jason's name. On my lower back. Visible above the waist of low-rise pants and every bikini in the world. I cheaped out on it too so it's not even nice looking. Stupidest. Thing. Ever.

Because now? People come up to me all the time and ask who Jason is. If I'm with Jason they'll go up to him and say shit like, "Heh. I hope you're Jason, right?" HAR. DEE. HAR. SHUT. UP.

So. Names are stupid, even if you DO stay with the person and love them and whatever. Stupid. No names.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with the Jason tattoo. Do I cover it up? Maybe get Jason's name in Hebrew letters inked over it? Try to get a generic Celtic design to cover it? Or do I get it lasered off? Maybe I should post a poll. Or write a Quizilla thingie.

Here's where the question of color comes in. If you get a colored tattoo, they're easier to cover up later if you change your mind. Black ink can only be covered with more black. HOWEVER, black ink is easier to laser off. Colored tattoos take more sessions and can remain visible. (Thanks to for all the science.)

Anyway. I will stop talking about myself for one whole damn minute and maybe answer your question. Take a good look at a really, really old woman and note what her arms and stomach and back and legs look like. There's just no good place, really. So put your tattoo somewhere that will remain covered up 100% of the time when you get to that age. Unless you plan to be one of those grannies on daytime talk shows who still wear tube tops and bikinis and whatnot, which in that case, you are gross and I have nothing more to say to you.

Got a question? Preferably one that I can make fun of? And one that doesn't really need an answer because I'm bad at that part? Send it to Now, suckah.




On tatoos - When my dad was thirteen he got a homemade tatoo at Woodstock. A peace sign on his inner forearm. Whe the eighties rolled around and he went all corporate, he decided to do something about the now unwanted tatoo.

He decided to have each segment colored a different color, so now, my father has a PIE CHART tatooed on his arm.

I am also sending you an e-mail about back tatoos that I was sent.


From a friend of a really vain and pretty tattoo artist: If you are pretty and want your tats to stand the test of time as best as possible, go for the usually really painful tat on minimal muscle and mostly skin/bone areas (e.g., breastbone, top of butt, ankle) the skin stretches less there and the tattoo holds its shape better. Worst area (according to third hand gossip) is on a man's bicep as the muscle can get bigger or littler over time and really make your ink look like silly putty.


Have I mentioned how gorgeous you look today? Here's a hug and a Strawberry Frapaccino.

I love Tatoos. Love. Almost as much as I love MrZ, maybe more because he has four and I love his dearly. SO my vote? Yeah Tatoos!

Also? I would like the say that getting your mom to offer people money to comment on your blog is the best way to increase traffic. It worked for me.

Finally - should I be ashamed of like Pill Seatin's blog?


Zoot -- yes, you should feel much shame for liking Phil Gleason.

Fraulein N

Hee. I. Love. That. Picture. Also, Pie Chart Tattoo Dad.


Pssst. Morty. Pssst.

Don't move.

You have a little something on your face. Don't worry, no one will notice.


Dear Brilliant & Pretty Amalah,

I have copied your post-it note and it is now in a place of honor on top of my monitor. My buggy co-workers have been significantly less chatty with me today as a result. The Crazy is a good method in keeping The Annoying away.

Prozac is our friend,


So so funny. especially about still fleecin's blog. Literally am laughing out loud. And can I borrow your post it note for my secretary? I think she may need it worse than I do...


so. much. fun.


I covet a photo of that pie chart tattoo. Best idea ever.


I also think that's a flattering picture of you...r post-it note. ;)

I've been checking back for updates all day! Did The Crazy get you???


You may be a crazy, but you have really great hair. So just remember what I always tell my children, "the only thing that matters is what's on the outside, because that's what shows".

Scarlett Cyn

I'm thinking of wearing a post it just like my baby Amy's ... to any interviews I may go to, just so they know what they're getting....

No? Maybe not.

I freaking LOAVE that pic Amy. And I loave you too!!!!SMOOCHY HUGGY LOVE FOR AMY! (cause you are such a bad ass!)


Ooohh, tattoos!! I have one and am in the process of designing another. I've been paying attention to my mom on this one to see where her saggy areas are so I know where not to go. I don't know if saggy areas are in the genes or not, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something scientific.

Can it be Friday in your mind? That would make the weekend come a whole lot faster and that'd be super. Thanks.


(Hey Zoot! IkindalikeMilMeatin'too.)


Hi. And Happy Wednesday ;-)


HEY! Quill Keaton was a great actor! As an official Checkie, I have to say that I had serrrrious issues when Bean Rodankerry decided to pull his character. On the other hand, he did annoy the shit out of me. ;)


Reading Jason's comment? Made my head hurt. But I think I agree.


Also? I totally crushed on Nestle Thrusher growing up. I'm such a damn geek. I also loved him in Bland Rye Thee. I guess me loving Phil Pheeten isnt so suprising after all.

Now - if Rory Maime started a blog? I would totally make fun of it all the time.


Name Tattoo's hmmm... Well speaking from the wife's perspective on that I totally agree that if you get a name it should be able to be reworked somehow if the occasion arises... My husband who has one full sleeve and is working on the other has my name tattooed on his tummy ( low down on his pubic bone area... I told him I BETTER be the only one who sees that one *ha!* Other than that he does have our daughter's name tattooed on the back of his arm, In fact it was one of the first tattoos he got. Here's a pic of it:


Love your Journal. LOVE IT.
I'm not a regular writer, but I read constantly, and I MUST speak about the tattoo-thingy everyone is speaking of!
I was in the navy, and believe it or not, it's what everyone does at least once.
I have THIRTEEN tats, if you count one cover-up of a stupid girly butterfly that NEVER ONCE fit my personality and therefore had to disappear under something cooler and bigger.
You can see all of my tats if I wear a tank top.
I may look like a freak when I'm older, but now I look "sweet" and for that I am gratefull until things start sagging or rippling or getting just icky. Let me live in the illusion. Besides, it's a GREAT one up on my guy friends who are wussies and have their last names engraved on their backs.


Oh man, that Bil Beaton letter was the funniest thing I've read. I used to read BBDN until I realized how lame it really was. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's seen the light!

I think I'll have to read your journal more often!!

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