1/31/12

The Post You Write By Sharing Your Junk. The Good Kind.


I've not been a very good blog reader. 

If the unread posts in my Google Reader were actual rabbits, then it would be the episode of Hoarders that breaks Twitter.

My heart has been sitting at your blog's feet listening intently, but my ADD has been running in circles in your blog's backyard twitching and quoting lines from Clueless

SO CHECK IT.

Please link up something in the comments you wrote in January that demands my attention and I will give it. It can be funny,  moving, informative, or poetic. 

And by "poetic" I mean it should rhyme.

{image: Jamie}

1/29/12

The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.107

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate. Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here. 

Listen
My affection for karaoke in my kitchen has led to a love of cover songs. There's something about a great artist paying homage to another great artist that makes me want to sing out loud like a not-so-great artist.

Here's 10 of my favorite covers.

1. The Civil Wars covering Disarm by The Smashing Pumpkins

2. Katy Perry covering Black and Gold by Sam Sparro

3.Lady Antebellum covering Learning to Fly by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

4. Brooke Fraser covering Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

5. Bon Iver covering I Can't Make You Love Me/Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt

6.Kelly Clarkson covering I Know You Won't by Carrie Underwood

7. James Blake covering Limit to Your Love by Feist

8. Eva Cassidy covering Fields of Gold by Sting

9. Vampire Weekend covering Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac

10. Adele covering Love Song by The Cure

Bonus Rabbit: Sara Bareilles covering Single Ladies by Beyonce

What covers do you love? 

I need to know so I can ignore the inclination to put money in savings and spend it on more music.

P.S. Did you enter the Roku giveaway? It ends tomorrow. I'm serious.

1/27/12

The Post About A Photo Every Day and 16 Apps To Help

I'm that annoying person who wants you to stop the car, the fork, or whatever you're doing so I can take a picture with my phone.

January 2012 has led to even more mobile photography aggression because of a Photo A Day Challenge created by Fat Mum Slim.

I like everything about it. I like:
1. Telling my story with pictures.
2. Being guided in each chapter of that story.
3. Snooping on other folks as they tell their stories.

I'm already being nosy with many of you (thanks for not blocking me) but I want us all to do it. ALL OF US.

So here's February.
You can share your pics on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or simply send them directly to my inbox : jamiesrabbits@gmail.com

I'm serious about prying on your life. 

If you're using a smartphone to capture moments, might I suggest the following apps?
Camera+, Snapseed and PolyMagic are my favorites, but every one of my children gets quality attention.

Another way to go is simply snap the pic with your camera and call it a day. You'll have to spend all that free time hanging out with friends or sleeping in, but whatever. 

Comments? Concerns? Suggestions for therapy topics?

1/26/12

The Post About TV Kids I Wouldn't Want To Parent

I'm fond of the TV show Parenthood.

I love Adam Braverman and Joel Graham and Mark Cyr. I love the premise and plot.

What I don't love is Haddie Braverman.
  • 17-year-old daughter of Adam and Kristina. 
  • Caught with drugs.
  • Whines.
  • Pocket dials her parents in the midst of having sex with her older boyfriend who used to be homeless.
  • Whines a lot.
I wouldn't want to parent Haddie. I would push her out of a moving minivan.

Here's 5 more TV kids I'm not interested in raising.

1. Candace Flynn, Phineas & Ferb
Obsessive, controlling, panicky, and paranoid. I'm pretty sure I was her carbon copy at 15. So, not good.

2. Stephanie Tanner, Full House
Jealous of one sister and annoying to the other. How rude, indeed. And those bangs. I can't help a girl who clearly can't help herself.

3. Scrappy Doo, Scooby-Doo
More like Scrappy Doo Doo. Acted tough as nails, but he's a faker. His uncle should have let him at 'em and then we would have been free from this irritating pup.

4. Henry Mills, Once Upon A Time
JUST LISTEN YOU STUBBORN FAIRYTALE PUNK. I wouldn't want to be Henry's mom, but I'd definitely want him as my lawyer. You know, if I ever needed it.

5. Harriet Brindle, Small Wonder
Nosy and hyperactive and solely focused on capturing the heart of a boy. Wait, that doesn't sound so bad when I type it out. Those are really adorable qualities.

Add to the list. Which TV kids would you not want in your custody? 

P.S. Have you entered this month's Rabbit giveaway? It's a Roku. And unlike the above, you want it to live with you. Pinky swear.

1/25/12

The {Guest} Post About Rabbits And Their Lucky Feet

Today's guest rabbit chaser is Carl Carter from Carl's Lost & Found. I met Carl in real life at a blogger shindig in Birmingham and he immediately agreed to let me be his friend. No one can resist my stalking charms.


 
{image: just.Luc}

It’s not superstition. It’s simply physics, or biology, or something…

Pity the poor rabbit.

Not the effervescent Jamie who follows her bunny trails here, but the kind with fur and long ears. People kill them, cut off their feet, dye them, add cheap chains and sell them for $2.

For the moment, let's ignore the fact that the rabbit actually had four “lucky” feet. Cultures all over the world respect the rabbit’s foot, but they have rules. In North America, it’s believed to have grown out of the African-American hoodoo tradition. In that case, it had to be a left rear foot, killed or captured in a graveyard, preferably under a full moon and shot with a silver bullet.

We all have our own ways of controlling the universe. Tim Tebow's PDR (public displays of religion) have called attention to our habit of praying for a win. Last year, during the NFL playoffs, someone posted: "The Texans have had so many challenges this season. Please pray that God will give them a win on Sunday." He didn't give them that win.  Having thousands praying on both sidelines must put God in a terribly awkward position. 

Leaving issues of faith aside, it still comes down to engaging in some behavior to control some part of the universe.

We pick up a penny if it’s face up and leave it behind if it’s face down. Even the penny tradition can get complicated. At Texas A&M, students on their way to an exam will stop by the statue of former Governor Sul Ross, a former school president. Supposedly, ol’ Sul had always been willing to help out a student, but he would never accept more than a penny for his trouble. So the idea must be Ross is helping turn their wrong answers into right ones.

The real luck may belong to the person who comes along next October 20 and picks up those pennies. The Aggies play LSU that day. Welcome to the SEC.

I’m not immune to this human need to control the universe. In my case, it all started when I was a kid at the railroad tracks in Woodlawn, Alabama. Everyone pretty much accepted you shouldn’t be touching anything with your hands or feet when your car crossed the tracks. Whenever we approached the crossing, we raised our hands and lifted our feet off the floorboard. It's an impressive feat when driving a straight shift.

But most of my superstitions developed independently over time. As noted in a recent post on my blog MediaGuyCarl.com - one of mine is watches. I own several. When I've had a bad day, it’s because the watch has run out of luck, so I try a different one the next day. I’ve been known to go home in the middle of a very bad day and change watches.

Another is a fear of turning 360 degrees. This only applies when walking or standing, and I’m very strict about it. When I shower and turn my back to rinse, I’m careful to turn back the same way. When I cut the grass, I make sure I alternate right and left turns. This one can get downright comical when I’ve got my two dogs on leashes and they start circling in opposite directions.

I’ll let somebody else figure out the complex psychological, biological and physical origins of these. For me, it’s just a matter of covering all the bases.

How do you cover the bases? Do you have any superstitions? 

Carl Carter is a PR professional, media watcher, woodworker, grandpa, and pen turner. He loves good dogs, good beers and good burgers. Read his blog. Follow him on Twitter.

1/22/12

The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.106 GIVEAWAY

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate. Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here. 

Watch
Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman and the Holy Spirit combined their efforts to convince me to spend less money. On anything.

I evaluated my monthly expenses by carefully reviewing the Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks and Arby's receipts populating my handbag. The budget item of excess was clear. 

Entertainment.

I asked mah internets how to make the cable bill bend to my will and the answer was "Roku." 

Roku is a streaming player that connects to your TV and Wi-Fi network. Then, you can access existing subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon On Demand, HuluPlus, and more sassy channels.

I compared this device to Apple TV, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and other devices and the internet kept chanting "Roku."
 
So I canceled my cable and this lil' gadget moved in. I'm hooked.

CNET recently named Roku as one of the best gifts for under $50. Here's a 3-minute recap of highlights. 


I love Roku and I want you to love it too, so I'm giving away a Roku LT ($49.99) to one lucky Rabbit reader. 

How To Enter:
Leave a comment answering the following: 
Name a must-see TV show.

**2 Extra Credit Entries**

Each of the following will give you 1 extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for each, whether you're doing it for the first time or you've already been there, done that.


1. "Like" Jamie's Rabbits on
Facebook.
2. Follow Jamie's Rabbits on
Twitter. 

Important Details: Open to anyone 18 or older in the US or Canada. Must enter before 11:59pm CST on Monday, January 30 to qualify. Winner will be chosen randomly using Research Randomizer and announced next week.

Note: Although Roku and I are in a committed relationship, the makers of this wonder don't know the first thing about this blog or this giveaway. Sponsored by yours truly.

{image: Jamie}

1/18/12

The {Guest} Post About The Unlikely Reciprocation of Irrational Crushes, Or How to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Today's guest rabbit chaser is Jessica from Meet the Buttrams. I prefer to think of her as JButtWhatWhat, as she is lovingly known on Twitter.  I've not met Jessica in real life, but I'm fairly certain I could not adore her more. We share a love for Krispy Kreme, a distaste for Les Miles and a not-so-secret crush on Schmidt from Fox's New Girl.

She is short and hilarious. You've been warned.
I define the word "crush" very loosely. 

I used to define it, "the super hot boy in third period my coke tab predicted I would marry," but now it's merely someone I admire and/or can laugh at (with) and/or long to store in my pocket for when I need a pick-me-up. (Smidget sister Jamie fits that criteria, PS. Traveling Rabbits!)
 
Additionally, I have always made it a practice to assume that my crushes were in fact secretly and desperately in love with me too, something that sort of continues today. And listen, it really helps with the self-confidence. 
 
Here's how that worked out for me:
 
1. The Dad - My first irrational crush was on my friend's dad when we were in the second grade. Her mom was also our girl scout troop leader. Later that year, they got a divorce. Coincidence? I'm still not entirely convinced it wasn't because her dad thought I was especially adorable in my Brownie uniform. In my mind's eye, he resembled a mustached Pedro in Hammer pants. Hardly Brad Pitt. 
Verdict: Single dad of two. Was I really prepared to be a seven-year-old stepmom?
 
2. The Coach - I've played soccer my whole life. When I finally got good enough to play on an elite traveling team, I JUST KNEW my coach had me sit the bench because he preferred my wit-filled sideline screaming to all the other girls on the team. Until he berated some of my teammates for being lazy by saying, "I don't expect Jessica to score any goals, but she works her butt off out there!" At the very least, he needed to work on his pick-up lines. Broken-heart revenge was mine when he later got arrested for assault. 
Verdict: Anger-Management Candidate.
 
3. The Teacher - When my crush definition started taking on more lax perimeters, I nurtured an artist's crush on the totally sketchy fella who taught photography courses at my college. Over the two semesters I took his class, we spent more than a few hours alone in the darkroom, as well as one weird day at his house when I used his personal darkroom to develop color film. I figured Artsy College Coed was practically irresistible to a fiftyish single man who spoke fondly of his biker days...until a few years ago when he got busted for owning child pornography.
Verdict: Pedophile!
 
So, as you can see, not only do I have questionable taste, but I also assumed the highly unlikely outcome of requited love was IN THE CARDS, YO. And assuming these characters were actually in love with me was, in some instances illegal, but MORE IMPORTANTLY a total confidence booster. 

That they actually weren't is probably the more beneficial outcome.
 
'Fess up with your irrational crushes, and make me feel more normal. Cool? Cool. 

1/17/12

The Post About How Spanx Will Mislead Your Doctor


Isn't that a snazzy lookin' plate? We'll come back to it. 


Peace. 

Immediately after publishing that post, I drove home to find my 16-year-old lawn boy/neighbor had hit my house with a truck. You know, because God has AN AMAZING SENSE OF HUMOR.

Rabbit Sidebar: Twelve of us stood shivering as we watched my neighbor and neighbor friends take turns tying a chain to different vehicles in order to pull the truck off my house. Could I be more Southern?

God continues to challenge me in the area of peace. But instead of Moses' bush, God has been chatting it up through a wonky liver.

I've woken up on two different days and discovered a yellow version of myself staring back in the mirror. 

I've been distraught. 

You see, I'm a "winter" with blue eyes and mustard is not a good color on me. Also, jaundice means a trip to the doctor and the following two encounters. 

My general practitioner starts feeling my abdomen for swelling.
Dr. Gray: You look like you've lost weight. Plus, your abs feel tighter which is good.
Me: Those are Spanx.
Dr. Gray: Umm...what's wrong with you?
Me: That's why I'm here doc. 

Technician performing my abdominal ultrasound. Spanx removed.
Tech: Did Dr. Gray suggest what might be wrong?
Me: No, but I'd like you to locate a 30-pound benign tumor that can be removed prior to the end of my Biggest Loser contest at church.
Tech: Wouldn't that feel like cheating?
Me: Wouldn't it feel like winning?

So I find myself still undiagnosed but back to a delightful pasty pale color. I also have a new adopted nutritionist who says my plates should look like the above. 

I'm on board. For now.

When you eat "healthy" what's your go-to dish?  
{image: Jamie}

1/11/12

The Post About Sharing Your Faith at Work

"Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda.
Wise words from a wee man. The same truth applies to exercise, driving the speed limit and giving birth.

It also rings true for sharing your faith in the workplace. 

I'm talking to some college students this week about that very topic. As I've prepared blanks and handouts and dry erase board maps shaped like my breakroom, I realized I have a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips - you.

So answer one or all of the following:
1. What are your tips on sharing your faith on the job?
2. What trauma have you experienced in this area?
3. What trauma have you induced?

Rabbit Illustration: 
A coworker who told me she was an atheist once asked me to pray for her father who was battling cancer. I quickly agreed and asked if I could pray with her right then. She said "Yes, but don't ask God to follow up with me after He heals my dad. This is a one-stop shop."

Fast forward a few years and she loves God with her whole heart. And she bakes Baptist breakfast casseroles like a ninja.

{image: Jamie}

1/10/12

The {Guest} Post About Social Media: For Better or Worse

My guest rabbit chaser today is Andrew Brasfield. Andrew and I bumped into each other on the Internet. YOU CAN MAKE FRIENDS THERE MOM. We're both bloggers from Alabama and that really does bind you. With the literacy and all. Since that chance encounter, he and I have become fast friends connected via Twitter, Facebook, and all other ways except in person. But I'm sure we will meet some day and the relationship will end. 

I'm much cooler on the Internet. Which is still not that cool. - Jamie

{image: webtreats} 

Social media is everywhere.

Facebook badges and Shazam icons on TV commercials, QR codes on posters leading to Twitter pages, circles, friends, groups, direct messages, it's EVERYWHERE! 

That could be a good thing.

The first bit of news about the Miracle on the Hudson was Tweeted. I first heard of the untimely death of Michael Jackson on Twitter. I have had celebrity interaction on Facebook and Twitter (Jason Isbell follows me. Just sayin') and I really do keep up with lots of my friends on Facebook. I have "met" people on Facebook, then met them in real life.  I have met people in person once, had them friend me, then when we talk again in person a few weeks or months later, it's like we've known each other for - eh - vor.

If you have social media interactions with people - the getting-to-know-them rate skyrockets.  What used to take 6 months of hanging out every few weekends to know somebody can happen within a week or two and certainly within a month. To me, that is insane. However, it is nice to meet someone in person, then really get to know them on the web. Sometimes you realize you really aren't very similar and never talk again. Sometimes you meet a friend or gain a fan for life.


By the same token, it's also a buzz kill. 

If you have good news to share and tweet it or update your status, then all of the friends you would talk to in person already know about it. So when you open your conversation with, "I just got a new job and I love it and you'll never guess who I saw" they reply with, "Congrats on the new job, I hear the community college is awesome to work for and yes I also heard that Jess is back in town and will be here for another month until she flies back to Korea to teach English."

BOOM!


A whole conversation just got had and you weren't even actually in it. You were foiled by the buzz kill of social media already doing it for you. No worries, you still have plenty to talk about. Like...your Starburst wrapper chain from 8th grade (no one would blog about that.)

And so friends, let me conclude by saying social media is here to stay, even if it's people on one platform talking about why they don't understand the people who are still on the other outdated/passé/uncool platform.


What good have you seen come from social media? What's been a buzz kill? 

Andrew Brasfield is a guy living in the rural South who likes to write songs, play harmonica, guitar and ukulele. He cooks and hangs with his wife and 2 daughters. Find him on Twitter

1/5/12

The Post About One Word in 2012

One Word 365 encourages folks to drive past New Year’s resolutions and take a load off at just one word.
One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012.
Based on this principle, I chose the word "cheese." 

I want to be, live, and achieve cheese.  

However, I've probably mastered that both in terms of food and ridulousness.

So I started chatting with God in December about what my word could be. 

Me: Maybe my word could be "entrepreneur?"
God: You'll be able to spell that all year?
Me: Maybe my word should be "focused?"
God: With or without medication?
Me: Okay...what do you suggest?
God: I'll tell you...
Me: {blink....blink}

And He does what He sometimes does which is to go radio silent.

So I waited. And drove to Nashville.

While there, I attended Cross Point Church where Justin Davis shared this message:
Sermon Notes

It was crazy good. Please know "crazy" means surrounded by hipsters and mood lighting and illustrations of life's disappointments that include "...when you don't get your record deal..."

But "crazy" also means Biblical truth that's clear and sharp and destined to refine if given half a chance.

So my word is peace.

And I won't have to be the one to go buy it or grow it or whittle it out of wood. Jesus will give it.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
This week, I took some awkward* medical tests.

And God gave me peace.

This week, a favorite coworker - a partner in good and evil - resigned.

And God gave me peace.
 
This week, the sun came up and then went back down.
 
And God gave me peace.

I hope you get peace in 2012 too. 
 
With a fabulous side of cheese.

What's your word?

*Awkward because I couldn't wear Spanx.
 
{image: Jamie}

1/2/12

The {Guest} Post About Super Serious Resolutions

Today's guest rabbit chaser is Ellie Ann Soderstrom.

One Friday, many moons ago, @ClayMorganPA on Twitter recommended folks follow @EllieSoderstrom. I didn't know Ellie Ann, but her 140 character bio included a love for reading and writing. Since I also love to read and write...on dry-erase boards, I embraced the suggestion and followed her.

I don't think it's a leap to say we've become BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. I mean, come on. We're now even friends on Facebook, which is the second base of online friendship. 

Ellie Ann is smart, funny, and most importantly - engaging - which is the key to all things good and holy on the Internet. Minus cats falling off things - no engagement needed.

Ellie Ann shares her snazzy New Year's Resolutions. These made me feel better about already failing at 2 of mine. Stupid bed-making.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My Super Serious Resolutions
1! 
Use exclamation marks more. 
It’ll add extra excitement to what would be! mundane! sentences!
2!
Get in more food fights.
Madeleine's Food Fight 058
When I was a young girl (about two years ago) I spent all afternoon making pudding, spaghetti, whipped cream pies, jigglers, mashed potatoes, and a host of other food-fight worthy foods. I called everyone out to the porch to eat the pudding I had made for them, and as we started eating I insulted my husband in mock anger and threw a SPOONFUL OF PUDDING AT HIM. Oh my gosh, everyone’s eyes widened and the look on their faces was priceless. My husband threw a spoonful back at me, and then I got to yell at the top of my lungs the two most awesome words in the world: “FOOD FIGHT!”

What fun. This shouldn’t be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it should be more like a once-a-season experience, and we can experiment with different seasonal foods to fight with. I’ve never thrown a pumpkin pie at anyone *pouty face*, something that I will remedy come this Thanksgiving. This will be the year of food fights.
3! 
Read More Comics
Phantom of the Attic
Being home schooled, I never got to read comics, and instead was given A Tale of Two Cities, Grapes of Wrath, Middlemarch, The Deerslayer, Robinson Crusoe, The Book of Virtues, Elsie Dinsmore, and The Scarlet Letter

Just kidding, I never got to read The Scarlet Letter. I think it was about global warming or taking prayer out of schools or other such liberal agenda...does the scarlet letter A stand for abortion? I don’t know. 

But this year, after 26 years of Classical Reading, I think I’m entitled to read some comics. So I’m going to pursue a comic book education: Batman, Captain America, Fantastic Four, Hellboy, Superman, The Flash, X-Men, The Walking Dead ... oh, and does anyone know if there’s a graphic novel of The Scarlet Letter?
4!
Declare War On My Closets
closetfactorycloset01
(my closet by the end of the year)
Let’s be real. I have the organizational skills of a toddler orangutan doped out on Monster drinks and sugar cookies. And my closets look like said orangutan is living in them. It’s time to kick that monkey in the butt, and get serious about tupperware storage bins.  
5! 
Give Random Items To Neighbors
This goes along beautifully with number 4! 
Hangers
I’m good friends with some of my neighbors, but I want to get to know some of my other neighbors better. What better way to make friends is there than to come bearing gifts? Instead of waiting for them to ask if they can borrow a cup of sugar, why not bring a cup of sugar to them first? Or hangers! Everyone needs more hangers. I could give them a bundle of hangers and then the next time we pass each other in the parking lot we can have a nice friendly conversation about the usefulness of hangers. And possibly whether we prefer plastic, metal, or wooden hangers.

I’ve also discovered we own about a dozen deck of cards. Time to give some away to the neighbors! Then the next time I pass them in the parking lot I could ask them their favorite card game, and possibly invite them over to play. And maybe ask them to bring snacks made from the cup of sugar I gave them. By the end of the year of random gifts, I suppose I’ll have tons of new friends.
6!
Eat More Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Eggrolls, and Homemade Doughnuts
365.125 - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Some days I’m in a bad mood for no apparent reason. I do not like that quality about myself. However, I find it impossible to be in a bad mood when I’m eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Eggrolls, or homemade doughnuts. So obviously I need to be eating those foodstuffs more often.
7!
Play more Games With Toddlers
Little Creations - Monkey Class
Much like number 6! it’s hard for me to stay grumpy and unthankful when I’m gallomping about the room playing Alligator Attack with my kids. Hide and Go Seek, Simon Says, Mother May I, Red Light Green Light, Treasure Hunt, and last but not least: Ring Around the Rosies are good for the soul. Plus, I’ll get my excercise in. Quality giggle time with the kids should never be underestimated or forgotten, which I am wont to do sometimes. But not this year! I declare this the year of Duck Duck Goose!
What about you? What New Year's Resolutions do you have?

Ellie Ann Soderstrom is a reader, runner, watcher, cooker of eggrolls, wife to the best man there is, and mama to three adorable children. She likes to write. A lot. Currently she's collaborating on a YA steampunk with Albert Berg, and if you like aliens, robots, and a boy desperately in love with a girl then you might like it. Read her blog. Follow her on Twitter.
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