The Irony & The Ecstacy

Wednesday Advice Smackdown

Amy: Hey, remember the Wednesday Advice Smackdown?

You:  No, not really. Was it like wrestling?

Amy: The thing! With the advice! On Wednesdays! I used to do it every week. Until two weeks ago-ish.

You: Yes. Two whole weeks have gone by. It is forgotten. Over. We have moved on to bigger and better and more frequently-updated weblogs.

Amy: Fine then. Fuck all y'all. I will just give out advice to my own damn self then and I hope you and your new favorite weblog will be very happy together.

You: Nooooo! Amy! I'm kidding! I could never love anyone as much as I love you. Never! I'm sorry! Look, I will give you money for no reason!

Amy: Well...okay then. I do enjoy money.

You: Wait. I totally did not just say all that stuff. You typed it yourself. That is so not cool.

Amy: La la la.

You: Give me back my money, bitch.

Amalah, I seek your sagilicious advice, since you are so experienced in blog-related drama.

I think I have a blog stalker. See, after my very first blog post ever, this girl commented that she loved my site, so--yay! Why don't I check hers out. Which I did, to find out she had copied my "about me" word for word as her own. Weeks later, I mentioned this to a friend, who then commented on the stalker's site--why are you stealing (insert secret identity blog name here)'s stuff? Stalker promptly apologized, removed my writing, and all was well with the world.

Until another comment popped up on my blog from someone with a secret identity extraordinarily similar (different by one word) to my own. She's started a new blog. Just like my own. Using my template at blogger (I know. I use a Template. Hate me forever and flog me twice). And with a catch phrase also similar to my own. She would like me to link to her on my blog. I am certain from her description, location, and--hell--MO that this is the same copy cat as before.

Here's the thing. I admire your brattiness. I could probably use some more of it myself. She's not a mean gal, and I don't wish to be mean toward her. How can I tactfully say to her: no, I do not want to link to you, Miss Copy Cat Stalker?

Real Girl

Can you believe I have never been plagiarized? Everybody's been plagiarized. I honestly don't think you're somebody until you've been plagiarized. I'm a nobody! Nobody wants to steal from me.

Possibly because they sense that I would personally break their index fingers if they did.

Anyway, you need to fight Crazy with Crazy. Here is what you write to Little Miss NutJob:

Dear Little Miss NutJob:

Thanks for commenting! You type very pretty. I bet you have handwriting like a serial killer.

As for your request for me to link to you, there's a bit of a problem. If I linked to your site, I would actually be linking to MYSELF, as there is so much copy-cattitude going on at your site I fear that linking to you would rip a hole in the blogosphere time-space continuum and Blogger would crash and suddenly we'd be in some parallel universe where I was copying from you and doing it in Chinese, for some reason.

And none of us want that. Only communists want that.


Real Girl

P.S. I heart Cheerios!

Hopefully she won't bother you again, because clearly, you'll have her beat in the unbalanced department. Suddenly emulating your site won't sound so great to her anymore and she'll go copy somebody else. Like me! And then I will get some violence, and everybody will be happy.

And then you go get somebody to make you a custom template. Just sayin'.


I know you are Very Busy right now, but I have a pressing question: We adopted a dog two weeks ago. Jelly is not as tiny as Ceiba, but she is small, and she has a lot less hair than she used to due to the grooming we gave her (necessary to get rid of all the crap - figurative AND literal, I'm afraid) that was in her fur. (See here for the before-and-after.)

Anyway, Jelly seems to be an elderly lady and she's cold a lot. She shivers and her little gums even flap. She does have an outside coat, but I'm afraid we may need to break down and buy her a sweater to wear indoors, esp. at night when we turn our heat very low (because we are cheap and also because it's nice to burrow into warm covers in a cold room).

So, here's my question: What does one look for in a dog sweater? Any styles, colors you think might be appropriate for an aged shih tzu/lhasa mix living in Maine (pleeeease don't say flannel!)? And, finally, how do we avoid being laughed at by all the other dogs and people?

Many thanks,

First of all, you will never avoid being laughed at by other dogs and people, because people? Are assholes. And a lot of them, apparently, are really really bugged by small dogs.

Is it the Paris Hilton thing? The Taco Bell thing? The assumption that EVERY SMALL DOG IS A CHIHUAHUA, because that’s the only small breed people know about?

I really don’t know. But after we got Ceiba, I was shocked by how mean people can be about small dogs. In the first month we had her, Ceiba was:

1) Referred to as a seizing, bald hamster,

2) Made fun of on an online forum, and

3) Called an ugly rat purse dog by total strangers.

And I got really fucking pissed off, each and every time. For Christ sakes, she was a PUPPY, in the CITY, where there are NO YARDS, and also? MY DOG.

Now I take it more in stride. I gently correct people when they say, “Yo quiero Taco Bell” at Ceiba like it’s the funniest thing ever, and I no longer punch people who ask me if I keep her in my purse like THAT’S the funniest thing ever.

And she wears her sweaters and coats unapologetically. Well, I put them on her that way, at least, because she fucking hates them. Luckily, a lot of people put coats on their dogs (big and small alike) in our neighborhood. The key is to buy ones that are practical. Simple. Not floofy.

Because if you’re outside waiting for your dog to take a shit so you can pick it up with a plastic baggie and your dog is wearing a pink fluffy cashmere sweater with flower-shaped buttons? You deserve to be laughed at. In fact, I’m laughing at you right now.

I’m also laughing at this.


In fact, let’s make that your first rule. No sweaters made from any type of luxury material. Mostly because your dog will end up eating most of the clothes you buy for her. Ceiba has destroyed three.

So just get a nice simple sweater, with no bows or bells or other dangly things. Be careful with turtlenecks, as they have the tendency to make your dog look like a giant Q-Tip. And no feather boas. Ever.

Dearest, loveliest, tartiest (in a good way!) Amalah:

What do you believe the shelf life of bangs will be this go 'round? Are bangs to go the way of ponchos or will they have the staying power of capris? Inquiring minds want to know.


All the cool kids are growing out their bangs.

Mine are already all the way down past my eye sockets!

(Sigh. I just spent 20 minutes trying to Photoshop some cool graffiti on a brick wall that says BANGS ARE DEAD before I remembered that I have no artistic talent whatsoever. And also that it was a stupid idea.)

Dear Ama lama ding-dong, and no, I don’t know what struck me to refer to you in this manner:

I am a married man seeking the advice of a married woman who might know about these things (I didn’t mean for that to come out like a personal ad, but there you have it) --

What would be a good present for the 2nd wedding anniversary? Mine is coming up soon and I am somewhat at a loss with the traditional “cotton” theme. The limited research I have done suggests things like sheets and pillows, which we already have in abundance. I’d like to do something that fits within the theme, but not so run-of-the-mill.

Any inspiration to share?

Okay, I'm going to tell you about The Greatest Anniversary Gift Ever now. Ever!

It was our wedding anniversary -- our ONE MONTH wedding anniversary. Couldn't you all just gag?

I was still in school at Penn State, and Jason knew that I read the Daily Collegian paper every damn day. (Because I used to work there for like, two weeks I felt I knew all the inner workings of the paper and finding copy editing mistakes totally made my day.) He also knew I always read the classifieds, so he placed the following ad that day:

Sun: This is it. Go to (such and such address) after class today. Dress sharp.

(Yes, his nickname for me was Sun. As in Sunshine. Shut up.)

The address was a jewelry store downtown, where the salesgirl had a little bag waiting for me with a necklace and earrings set in it. And a note from Jason telling me to head to Victoria's Secret in the mall.

There I met more salesgirls who were completely in love with my husband and presented me with a bag full of very sexy underwear that he'd picked out earlier. And...a note telling me to head home.

At home, there was a new dress laid on on the bed, a dozen roses on the table, and a note telling me to meet him at the Allen St. Grill back downtown. Which was the end, and dinner, and champagne, and la la la best day ever.

So yeah. Do that for your wife. Or you know, get her some nice cotton towels. I'm sure she'll like that just as well.


So, I have this friend who recently found out that she's pregnant. She has told family and some close friends, but has not yet disclosed this information publicly on her bloggy website thing. And I know that she must be dying to. Because she's struggled with fertility problems for a while now -- shit, this woman went so far as to buy a three pound dog that some might say looks like a seizing, bald hamster just to quell her baby cravings. And now she's going to have a REAL LIVE BABY! And that is VERY EXCITING! Especially considering her past non-pregnant difficulties. And I say that she should let the cat out of the Coach bag and tell the world, or at least her internet readers. How do I convince her to do so?


Well, you could always out her on her own damn advice column.

Which I guess you already did! Huh.

(Do you think anybody will actually read all the way down to the end of this post?)




Mazel tov! You will be the hippest mama ever!


(Do you think Amalah will actually read all the way down to the end of these comments?)



*chills* Of course I read to the bottom...I hang on your every word always and forever and am left dangling and afraid when there are no words from which to grasp and hang!!!!



OH MY GOD! You sneaky little devil!!!!!! Many, many,congratulations.

jules of wisdom

Thrilled for you! Such happy news!


Congratulations, sneakybutt! I expect a full post describing everything that happened! (well, you can leave the conception part out, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE MUST BE SHARED!)


Congratulations, Amalah! I love how you're writing your story : )


I knew it I knew it I knew it!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

(Normally I'm not one for multiple exclamation points, but I do make exceptions.)

Her Ladyship

that? is fantastic! I'd been crossing my fingers that that was behind the vagueness of the past few weeks. yay!


I knew it. When the button pops off your pants, that's a pretty sure sign, when experienced with "phantom pregnancy symptoms".



Wheeee! Cat out of bag! Rock ON!

And RealGirl, I now LOVE "Hate me forever and flog me twice" and I think I'll have to use it for like, ever.

New Jan Brady



Yipee! When I saw the "phantom pregnancy" info disappear from the sidebar, I wondered if it was no longer "phantom." And then, when the hiatus included some stuff you couldn't get into right away, I hoped it was just that you wanted to be sure before you posted anything. And then when you switched to decaf, well, I just held onto even more hope.

Maternity clothes are getting so much cuter than they used to be, too. Mega-congratulations.


YAY FOR YOU!!. That SO rocks. If it's a girl, you need to name it "Weemalah", because...wel, just because.

Is it sad that I had to read the last entry four times before it dawned on me that you were talking See what you have to look forward to as a parent?


Yup I read all the way to the bottom and I want to say a BIG Congratulations.

Dude it must be the preggers season :)




SQUEEEEEEEE!!! I'm so happy for you! Woo hoo! (Hey, can you pass some of that along to Zoot?)


Best.outing.ever. Congratulations!!!


Congrats to you!!!!! hmmm there's some cool beatrix potter baby stuff out there...


OMG, I totally read this post yesterday and didn't get it at ALL. Then I read todays and had to come back and re-read to fully understand!
CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to the dark side.


Congratulations! I was so hoping that was what all the secrecy was about. Enjoy the rush that comes before the panic! Just kidding! (A little) I know how it feels to get that news after much disappointment. The waiting is all worth it! Motherhood is the greatest adventure. I never believed people who said it changes everything, but now I'm one of them. It does change everything. That saying that "having kids is like having your heart walking around outside your body" is not an exaggeration. Love and luck to you and Jason and baby as you start on this adventure.


YEAAA for you!!! How can I lurk with news like that. May you be luckier than I and escape some of the horrors that are morning sickness, but in the end it will all be worth it anyway!! CONGRATS!!! Have you told Max?

Amanda B.

Congrats kiddo! Big smoochy blessings for


Congratulations on being pregnant!

I need some advice, Amalah! I feel desperate!! I have a problem!!

Congrats on being pregnant!!!


like totally awesome.

may the gods of the proverbial bun continue to smile upon your oven.


I'm so happy for you. And really glad that I woke up, couldn't sleep, and decided to go through your archives. :)

All the best, pretty lady. I'm so excited for you!


i TOTALLY didn't get to the end of this and/or i am STUPID and didn't get it.


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