Category Archives: Social Media

Today’s Chuckle Brought To You By A Funny Conversation I Had With My Husband The Other Day

Brian and I have a knack for maintaining conversations using random, and often nerdy, references. Yesterday morning was no exception.

Brian was slaving away in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of his deliciously light and fluffy pancakes. I was sitting at my computer, banging out the most exciting blog post of my life, when I absentmindedly scratched my cheek.

I’d forgotten there was a blemish on my cheek, and the scratching led to subsequent bleeding of said blemish.

I grabbed a tissue and dashed to the bathroom mirror to check out the damage.

As I walked back through the kitchen, Brian said, “Everything alright?”

I walked up to him, showed him the bloody tissue, and said, in my bed Funny Blood Kid voice, “BLOOOOOD-UHHH.”

He shook his head, laughed, and went back to flipping flap jacks.

Never one to lose character, I poked him in the shoulder and said, “Not funn-ay, Bwian! BLOOOD-UHHH.”

“You’re right,” he said. “It’s not funny.”

And then we both laughed.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve either been living under a rock for the past few years, or you somehow managed to miss this video when it went viral:

You’re welcome.

Woooooo! Zzzzz…

Where in the cotton-pickin’ world have I been lately?

Good question, readers.

You see, I’ve had a lot of folks ask me just what takes so darn long between one post and another. Well, folks, there are a couple of answers for the time lapse as of late. And they are as follows:

I’ve been busy decorating for Christmas.

Because what’s the point of having a New Kids on the Block shelf
if I don’t get to decorate it with tiny Santa hats and a teeny tree?


I’ve been blowin’ up Pinterest with fun and festive holiday ideas.


Because we’re so broke, everyone in my family will be lucky
to get these candles instead of a pair of socks for Christmas this year!


I’ve been helping Brian plan for his big graduation from nursing school on 12/12/12.


He has to wear a tux,  y’all!!!


I’ve been wishing my pal, Arielle, a happy birthday in a most-Laverne inspired way.


Arielle is a Leo girl all the way (particularly Leonardo Circa Titanic.)


I think that about covers it. I mean, that’s how I’ve been spending most of my free time. But I feel like there was something else….

…oh, right, I’ve been WRITING A BOOK SINCE NOVEMBER 1st!


That’s right! I did it! I completed the 50,000 words necessary to win NaNoWriMo 2012. Paired with last year’s half-manuscript, I now have almost 250 pages worth of book. I don’t know about you, but that’s a serious reason to throw around confetti.

The only problem? Things have been so busy (and stressful) around here lately that I haven’t had much time to really think about my major accomplishment. I actually finished Nano on Monday, after an 11,000 word marathon on Saturday afternoon. (Yes, I actually meant to include that many zeros.) I finalized my word count, posted on Facebook that I was all finished, and then promptly went to sleep.


Hence, my big celebratory WOOHOO!!! moment was actually more like WooZZzzzzzz…..

But the good news is that now that I’ve wrapped up the intense writing of NaNo, it frees me up to start blogging regularly again. Hooray for December! And oh, boy do I have some awesome posts coming up.

(None of which are as awesome as the one my friend, Leslie, wrote over on The Bearded Iris today. Especially if you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars. Seriously. If you need a laugh, go read it. I promise. It’s awesome.)

So bust out the signs, readers! Balloons are welcome, too! And if there are enough of you to line up and do the wave, I’d be most appreciative. Because I am officially a NaNoWriMo 2012 Winner!!!

Bring On The Turkey!

“What are you thankful for this year?” I asked my husband today.

“My loving wife,” he said, tongue in cheek. “The fact that nursing school is almost over. Supportive friends and family…I’m thankful for new beginnings.”

Isn’t he so sweet, y’all?

I have to agree with him (especially about the loving wife part. Except insert “husband” where “wife” is, and we’ve got a winner.) But there are a few…unique things that I’m thankful for this year, other than the usual. And what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t write about them (in list form)?

I am thankful for…
…the gift of humor.
I like to laugh. A lot. Most days, I laugh at myself, my husband, my cats, my friends, and my television. Sometimes, I just laugh at life in general. (And usually, I document it all here, for you to see.)

my godchildren.
It’s a brand new shiny thing–one that I’ve never been able to say until this year. But knowing that there are two adorable little ones, just a relatively short drive away, that I’ll get to spoil outrageously as they grow up…well, that just gives me the Warm-and-Fuzzies. I love those little babies to bits.



…social media.
That may seem to be a shallow thing to some, but social media has opened up a whole new world of communication for me. I’ve honed my stalker skills, made some amazing new friends, and gifted myself with a voice solely my own. Tell me that’s not something to be thankful for!

…my fuzzy, four-legged children.
When you’re all by your lonesome most of the time, it’s nice to have a soft kitty, a warm kitty to come sit on your lap. Those little balls of fur own my heart. My house is full of happy, sleepy kitties, and they all like to purr. (If you don’t recognize the lyrics I just ripped off of Sheldon Cooper, then your nerd card is revoked, people.) I am also HUGELY grateful that they are all over the stomach bug they passed around for the better part of a month! Yay for no more cat puke!



…having the time to hone my skills as a writer.
I know that, if my life were any different than it is at this moment, I might not have the time to be working on my very first novel. And so, I will be grateful that I have this opportunity, and hope that it will lead to future opportunities down the road.

…wine, chocolate, and other stimulants that make life fun.
I’m particularly looking forward to the apple cider sangria we will be enjoying with our turkey and our stuffing today.

…and lastly…I am thankful for Photoshop.
Because without it, I couldn’t wish you a Happy Thanksgiving in a traditional, Abby Gabs sort of way.


Enjoy the pumpkin pie, y’all!! 

It’s The Happiest Tuesday of All the Tuesdays

Up until yesterday at approximately 4 p.m., I was feeling pretty great about life. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and my life was, all in all, pretty great. In fact, if you’d taken a picture of me, it might have looked a little like this:

Yes, that was me, without a care in the world.

And then my husband came home and informed me that my life was about to change forever. Only in the best, most wonderful, most geeky way possible. 

Because after months of waiting, of grieving the loss of my Droid 2 Global, and living with the dying pixels on the screen of my recycled replacement phone, of dreaming and wishing for a brand new iPhone of my very own…my husband told me he’d managed to find me one. Not just any iPhone, but the brand new iPhone 5. And people—it was the LAST ONE in Charleston, South Carolina. Seriously. Every single store–including the Apple Store–was completely sold out of iPhones, except for one. On the OTHER side of town. And they had ONE PHONE left. 

Brian, being the dutiful, awesome husband that he is, immediately hopped in the car, drove almost 30 minutes to the store on the other side of town, and purchased it.

Therefore, today, if you were to take a picture of me, it would look more like this:




In case you weren’t paying attention, or you didn’t read the above paragraph, please let me reiterate using the following close-up.


That’s a brand new shiny iPhone 5 in my grubby little hands, people. 

And so, I’ll be spending the next several days snuggled up with my brand new piece of awesome technology, learning the ins-and-outs of being an Apple user, and setting up my phone so it’s Perfectly Abby-Tastic.

Also, you should now understand why Brian gets this:


Now…who wants to join me in a rousing rendition of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow?” Seriously—record yourself singing it, email me the video, and I’ll totally compile them all into one video. Cuz that would be awesome.

I’m off to figure out Face Time. Who wants to chat?

Someone Please Inspire Me

I’ve been totally uninspired lately.

I was so uninspired I couldn’t even whip out the real camera for a decent photo.
Sorry, readers…it’s a fuzzy cell phone photo for you. 🙁


Ok, wait…let me backpedal a bit and rephrase. Because that’s not 100% true. I’ve been inspired to write, just not to write blogs. Which is good and bad, all at the same time. I mentioned last time that I’ve decided to turn my focus toward writing a novel. And I’ve put a lot of time into it over the past few days.

(Which, let’s face it, is totally awesomesauce. Right? RIGHT??)

I get SO EXCITED every day to sit down and start writing that, by the time I look up, six hours have flown by, I haven’t eaten anything, and my coffee cup is sitting in front of me, empty and sad. It’s wonderful and exhausting and exhilarating and draining and wonderful…wait, did I already say wonderful? Well it is, so I’ll say it twice.

But the truth is, by the time I’ve spent a few hours writing my book, I feel like my creativity gas tank is a little low.


I’ll click over to my blog dashboard with every intention to write for Abby Gabs. And inevitably, smoke starts pouring out of my ears because my brain is over-heating. (Didja like that continuation of the car metaphor? Huh, didja??)

I had planned on getting up this morning and writing my blog before I did anything else, confidant that while I slept I would have some brilliant idea that would turn into the Blog of the Century.

That totally didn’t happen.

So I turned to the innerwebs instead.



You guys rallied. I got some great blog ideas. Robbie K from Fractured Family Tales came in first with the idea to write about all the things I hate about fall. I really spent some time marinating over that idea—you all know how much I love list blogs—but the truth is, there aren’t very many things I hate about fall. Except how EVERYTHING is pumpkin flavored (right Robbie?) I’ll take a pumpkin spice latte all the live long day, but you can hold the pumpkin flavored bubble gum, thanks.


Alex from Late Enough shared a unique idea of “my day in pictures.” Which is a totally awesome idea!!!…if I lead an exciting life. Truth is, I’m usually by myself, so you’d just be getting pictures of me and my cats doing a whole lot of household chores. That’s not very exciting, so you’ll just get a few drive-by photos instead. 



(A few other ideas by a couple of my favorite readers (Jessie and Rachel) have been filed away for a later date. Thanks guys!! If nothing else, I’ve got some awesome blogs ready for next week!) (I couldn’t remember the grammar rule about parentheses inside of parentheses. It’s legal in math, though, so I’m going with it here.)

As if it isn’t bad enough that I could not, for the life of me, think of any blog topics this week, I also had to take my fuzzy brain on a pumpkin carving adventure last night. Great way to tell your brain is overcooked—–sit around and watch all your cool and creative friends come up with nifty jack-o-lanterns while you drool on yourself and swat at imaginary gnats.

Seriously. I couldn’t come up with a single idea.


Thirty minutes into the process and my pumpkin still sat in front of me un-carved. That’s when I had the most brilliant idea ever. I can’t think of a single idea for my pumpkin, and I decide to try and jump-start my creativity with a little liquid encouragement.


It worked. Sort of. I wound up aborting the whole stencil thing and free-handed a pumpkin that said “Trick or Treat.” Friend and teammate, Steven, did one that read “Smell My Feet.” They were AWESOME. (Except after carving, the “e” in “Treat” sort of broke, and so mine looked like it said “Trick or Truck.” Which is basically the same thing.)

Arielle is credited with the cute monkey face. Fred did the Clemson tiger paw. And if you didn’t know by looking that Brian did the Autobot symbol, then you’ve not been paying much attention.


Wine + friends + a brain dead Abby = awesome Halloween pumpkins. 

Oh. Wait. I just figured out what’s missing from my blog brainstorming. Gourds!

Three Love Letters for the Price Of One

Dear Donnie Wahlberg,

It has been awhile since your name has been mentioned here on Abby Gabs. And I feel like I owe you an explanation. You see, a few months ago, my husband made the statement that he felt like my blog was more often a “Donnie Wahlberg Featurette” than anything else. He felt slighted that he was rarely mentioned in my daily writings, where you, dear Donnie, were always front and center.

This little statement led to a blog-wide stat counting endeavor, which led to the eventual score board you can see in the left-hand column of my blog. (Just scroll down a bit…yep…there it is.)

As you can see, Brian was sorely mistaken. Although I wrote your name quite frequently, Donnie, his was still mentioned the most. (May I interject that this in no way represents how I feel about you!)

Since the contest was issued in July, you have only been mentioned once–on August 21, 2012, also known as National First Twug Day (the first time you “twugged” me on Twitter.) (Thanks again for that, by the way. It made my whole summer.) (Can we do it again soon?)

But I have to tell you, Mr. Wahlberg, that despite my lack of blogging in your name, I have nonetheless been spending plenty of time with you (whether you realize it or not.) I’m still faithfully tweeting almost every day…


I haven’t missed an episode of Blue Bloods yet, and was parked in front of my TV for September’s season premiere…


I’ve been rockin’ out to The Block—in my car, at my computer, in the kitchen while cooking dinner, through my iPod while I’m working out—and even though it’s been 4 years, I still shake my bootie just like I did back in 2008…



And as of yesterday, my nose has been permanently stuck between the pages of the new NKOTB biography, “Five Brothers and A Million Sisters.” (I read the first chapter last night, and cried no less than 3 times.)



So, Donnie, I just wanted to reassure you that, although I haven’t written about you lately here on Abby Gabs, I’m still very much a Donnie Girl. My husband knows this, as when he goes to bed each night, the last face he sees is yours.



I know you’re a busy guy, and you probably didn’t even notice. But I thought it would be nice to send you a letter today to let you know that you’re still very much a part of the Abby Gabs household, even if I haven’t blogged about you in awhile. (Brian says it’s psychological warfare, because I’m trying to prove a point by writing about him more than you. I say I’m trying to maintain a relationship with a man who’s jealous of your animal magnetism.)

Love always and forever,
Abby

PS: This blog is totally a point in your column. Oh yeah! Rock it!!

♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥
Dear Brian,
 
I love you to the moon and back with a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, no take back, oodles and oodles, to infinity and beyond, the end that’s all folks.
 

Love your slightly crazy wife,
Abby
♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥

 

Dear Faithful Reader,

 

Did you happen to notice that I’m wearing a pink ribbon today, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

 
Can you see it?

 
 

Well guess what…I’m not just sporting a pink ribbon on my shirt. Every single facet of Abby Gabs is donned in pink—and it’s easy for you to join me! Just click on the tab at the top of the page titled “Web Wide Pink Out” and you’ll find a TON of free graphics to use on your Twitter account, Facebook timeline, and more!  I would love you even more than I already do if you helped me on my mission to turn the internet pink in October. ♥♥♥
 

 
 

Have a beautiful Friday.
 

 
 

Love,
 

Abby

How I’m Feeling About Facebook Lately

The internet has been a hazardous place as of late. Especially on Facebook. With the looming election, paired with recent world events and football season, Facebook has gone from this:



To this:



I always wonder what I’ll stumble across each morning when I open my internet browser. Will I be smacked in the face with some crazy right-wing conspiracy theory, complete with hate speech and illustrations? Or will I (finally) be greeted with the things I WANT to know about…i.e. who’s at the grocery store/which friend’s kid won their soccer game/who found a Doctor Who collectible on eBay.

In years past, when the internet turns hostile, Brian and I have been known to “take a Facebook break.” We disable or delete our accounts, living a blissful, quiet life, free from armchair politics and the web-wide Whiny Wanda. (Because everybody has a friend like that, am I right?)

Believe me when I say my finger has hovered over the “Obliterate Your Facebook Account Here” button several times over the last few weeks.

But I can’t seem to make myself pull the trigger this time. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to go to the trouble of recreating my account in a month when I start going through withdrawals. Maybe it’s because Brian is gone a lot, and Facebook is my tangible connection to the outside world. Maybe it’s because I would miss seeing the daily posts from Jenna about my godkids

However, if I’m honest with you about why I haven’t just quit Facebook this time, it comes down to a simple answer.

It’s because Facebook created the ultimate answer when they came up with the “Show in News Feed” feature. I can be friends with you on Facebook all day long, but if I don’t want to read all of your rants, I can simply choose to take you out of my personal timeline. You’re nary the wiser, and my page is filled with the updates I’m most interested in. 


FINALLY! I can create a timeline that will greet me with unicorns and rainbows instead of gremlins and thunderheads!! I get plenty of pleasure out of making use of that little feature.


You posted something extremely offensive? HIDE FROM TIMELINE!

You continually post political statements that border on hate speech? HIDE FROM TIMELINE!

You complain about everything in your life to the point of exhaustion? HIDE FROM TIMELINE!



I feel like Shera with He-man’s catch phrase.



I’m sure at some point I’ll revisit those I’ve hidden and consider allowing them back into the lovely meadow of wildflowers that is my Facebook timeline. (Perhaps after the election is over?) But for now, I’m employing my own brand of The Timeline Police. And it’s working!

Of course, I could always just use my husband’s answer for Facebook nonsense and post this whenever someone annoys me (Warning: Foul Language Ahead:)

Source


Funny, colorful, and right to the point. But, I think I’m going to stick to my game plan. It’s reversible, it’s comfortable, and it’s keeping Facebook much more warm and fuzzy. HEY! It’s Facebook’s version of the Snuggie! And who knows, maybe one day, the internet will return to being a (mostly) kind place to visit. But for now, I’m gonna stick to my guns and wrap my little piece of the internet in the warm flannel of choice. Thank you, Facebook, for giving me the option to be the passive-aggressive peace keeper of my own page.

Sacrificing My Soap Box

Welcome to Abby Gabs…home of the silly Photoshopped picture. I’m sure this is one of those blogs on your list that you visit looking for a laugh. I’m rarely serious. I never take on political issues or rant about rant-worthy things here on this space. I like to keep things light. Fun. I like to think that this little corner of the internet is somewhere people can come to kick back, relax, and giggle about things that have nothing to do with the front page of your newspaper.

Sure, I have my not-so-funny days. I’ve shared with you my struggles with infertility, weight loss, and depression. But for the most part, I just tell funny stories about day-to-day life, illustrate them in a way that I think will make you laugh, and hit publish hoping that I’ve been a bright spot in an otherwise regular day. 

There’s a part of me that envies the bloggers who tackle the hard stuff–those that share their beliefs and their convictions with such heart that their words strike a chord with whoever reads them. I’ve always wanted to be one of those bloggers. But I know that it’s not my strength. And so, I write what I know. And I like to think that I know humor. 

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Passions. Things that I believe in so strongly that I want the world to know where I stand. I do. And I share them on other forums. But this place…this sacred place…I choose to keep it neutral. A safe space for everyone. A safe space for me.

Source


I can’t help but wonder if, by choosing to leave my political and religious beliefs out of my daily writings, that I’m somehow muddying the causes I support. That somehow my silence speaks more loudly than the causes I carry closest to my heart. Is it my duty to shout from the rooftops, to argue until I’m blue in the face, to post pictures and videos and diatribes to the point of exhaustion, just to make my point? Or is believing in something, with every fiber of my being, and living my life in support of that belief enough?


All I know is that the internet is beginning to feel like shark-infested waters to me. I never know, whether Monday or Friday, what sort of political debate is going to be shoved down my throat on Facebook. I can never judge if a bold statement made on Twitter is meant to be open for argument, or if it’s purely rhetorical in nature. Do I jump in? Do I agree? If I disagree, do I get involved in a discussion that, at its end, should be referred to as an “altercation” instead? Do I have to head into my News Feed everyday, dressed for battle?

Source


It feels like individuals can no longer put their opinions out into the world without opening themselves up to bigotry, hatefulness, or spite. And with everything going on in the world outside, paired with the growing pains of my own little world, some days jumping into the conversation feels absolutely daunting and exhausting to me. I choose to use my “social media filter” instead, panning for the conversations that feel safe, discarding those that feel hostile to save my own sanity.

I’m saving my soul by sacrificing my soap box.

I can’t help but wonder…does it make me close-minded that I’m unwilling to debate the concept of basic human rights? That negating free speech is a major deal breaker? That I would rather avoid conversations about religion rather than bicker with someone about my very personal, very private beliefs? That there are some things that are so resolute, so much a part of me, that no argument will ever change my mind?

I’m choosing to believe that the axiom “Be nice to people and they’ll be nice to you” is still the right one to live by. And that, just as it is my right to speak out against those seeking to prevent our nation from growing into what I know it can be, it is also my right to speak softly and carry a big stick. It is the sacrifice I make to maintain my voice, and to maintain my well being.

And so, Abby Gabs will continue to be what it is, what it was created to be. I’ll still read those other blogs, and I’ll still envy those other bloggers. And I will read their words and want to comment. But I will refrain, because confrontation is not my strong suit. I will return home, to my little blog, and settle into the comfort of laughter and the safety of silence, carrying those burning torches where they are safest–nestled next to my heart.

source

 

A Day of Stat-Keeping At Abby Gabs: The Man War Edition

My husband has always been my #1 Biggest Fan when it comes to my blog. In fact, just the other evening, he sat next to me on the couch, computer in his lap, and spent the better part of an hour sharing archived Abby Gabs with his friends on Facebook.

After sharing the links to some of his favorite “Brian” blogs, he abruptly closeed his laptop, cleared his throat, and turned to look at me. “Abby,” he said, “I’m a little worried that the Donnie Wahlberg blogs are beginning to overshadow the Awesome Husband blogs.”

 
Well, well.
 
“I think you need to institute some sort of scoreboard on your blog, to clearly depict how many blogs have been written about each of us. That’ll keep you honest.” Satisfied that he’d made his point, he turned back to watching the Olympics.
 
His little Man War diatribe got me thinking….maybe he’s right. So I did what any dutiful wife/blogger would do. I pulled up my blog and went through EVERY SINGLE POST, tallying the number of blogs written about Brian, those written about Donnie, and those in which both are mentioned.
 
I have to admit. There are a lot of DW mentions.
 
So I decided to follow Brian’s advice. But, before there could be a scoreboard, there had to be parameters for me to follow. Hence the following brief, but informative, interview:
 

With those rules in mind, I headed to the internet, certain that somewhere in the wide world of web, there would be SOMEONE who had created a completely customizable scoreboard widget. And that it would take me 10 minutes to whip one up and add it to the blog.

In fact, there is not. Or if there is, I couldn’t find it. And believe me when I say I looked. Hard. For about 5 hours.


So I decided to use my Photoshop skills to create a meme instead, which you will now see at the top right of the blog, until the end of time. I will do my BEST to update it as frequently as possible, so that Brian’s insecurities will be regularly tamed. 


Without further ado, here are the current standings on Abby Gabs. Out of 318 posts, Brian has been mentioned (gushed about, turned into a super hero, generally canonized) 104 times. Donnie Wahlberg has been mentioned (and occasionally worshiped) 31 times. And they have both been mentioned in the SAME blog (without incident) 21 times.

 

There honey. See? I do love you best.

The Visitor

Sometimes, I’ll wake up in the mornings and realize that I’m no longer alone. I have a not-so-frequent visitor–one that is never welcome–and he knows just how to bring me down. Having him around makes it nearly impossible to get anything done: from blogging, to house work, to anything remotely fun. In fact, this not-so-frequent visitor really only makes me want to sit on my couch, buried beneath an afghan, wasting my day while dirty laundry and empty water bottles pile up around me like so much trash.

 
My visitor doesn’t have a name, but if he had a face, I imagine he’d look something like this:
 

He makes me feel sad, worthless, and lethargic. Sometimes, he makes me so angry that I tremble. He brings with him all the bad feelings in the world and dumps them on my shoulders, clearly expecting me to carry his baggage throughout my day. 
 
Sometimes, my visitor shows up because of a repeating frustration in my life.
 

On most days, I can cope with these frustrations. I’ll cry in the shower, or watch Firefly reruns on DVD, or vent to my husband, or join a cause that makes me feel like I’m making a difference. Exercise helps. Writing, too. Sometimes throwing paint on a canvas and pretending I’m an artist is all it takes to keep the visitor from latching on, dragging me down. 
 
On other days, I’m vulnerable. And I’m only one Huggies commercial, one Facebook rant, one angry customer away from succumbing completely to the visitor.
 
But sometimes, the visitor shows up, baggage in hand, for no real reason at all.
 

There I’ll be, minding my own business, and suddenly—*knock knock.* And there’s the visitor, ready to drag me down into the depths of despair over something as trivial as bad grammar.
 
Most of the time, I can kick the visitor out after a day or two of torment. Sometimes (like last week) it takes me a few days. Regardless, at some point he packs up and leaves, and I inevitably crawl back in to the sunlight. 
 
 
 
My life resumes as normal: writing blogs, cleaning my house, enjoying time with friends and family. Living, and loving, life. It will take me a few days till Abby gets her groove back. I can still feel the visitor’s presence, vague as it may be. I think, maybe, he’s always there, lingering in the background, waiting for a chance to pounce. I guess my job, now, is to keep myself busy enough, silly enough, happy enough, that there’s nothing for him to pounce on. 
 
Not because there’s anything wrong with being sad, or angry, once in awhile. But because I miss who I am, who I’m supposed to be, when the visitor is visiting.