The blog just celebrated its first anniversary, and for that I could not be more grateful. I am blessed beyond belief to have an amazing network of friends and family who have been incredibly encouraging and supportive of my endeavors….not to mention all of the support I have at home. I couldn’t do it without you, Kevin Bacon 😉 You are my biggest cheerleader. I humbly thank you.

This past year has brought with it so many changes it is simply mind-boggling. The company I worked for recently shut down, and I currently find myself unemployed. It has been a time of transition and decision making, to say the least.

I need to decide whether or not to find a new job, or to really try to make a go of this whole writing and jewelry thing. What started out as a hobby of sorts, now presents itself as a truly viable opportunity to not only be self employed, but to have a ton of time with my family and loads of flexibility….and do something that I genuinely love.

Although the position I just lost was as a graphic designer, my professional background is in advertising sales and marketing….which would lead one to believe that I would know what the heck I’m doing in reference to marketing myself, my writing and my jewelry, but I’ll be completely honest with you all….I am lost.

I have sold advertising for both daily and weekly newspapers, and I have helped schlep everything from diapers and frozen kids entrees with happy little penguins on the package, to aerospace and agricultural tires, to weight loss programs (someday soon I will tell you why Jenny Craig wants you to stay fat….but that’s another story for another time).

I have a confession to make.

I hate advertising.

I want to write about what I want to write about. I don’t want to have to try to work in keywords or products and use affiliate links to sites that will sell you those products. It all feels just a bit skeazy and manipulative. Call it what you want….selling out, selling your soul or jumping the shark.

You know, the way Matthew McConaughey did lately. Have you seen those Lincoln ads? Seriously, I want the old Matthew McConaughey back….the naked, bongo playing, “alright, alright, alright” guy….not the “I drove a Lincoln before it was cool to drive a Lincoln and before they paid me to, but now that they are, buy a Lincoln” guy. That ad disturbs me…it gives me the feeling that he’s cruising the city, looking for a lady of the evening to chop up in to bits and shove in to the generously sized cargo area of his cool Lincoln. Yuck.

I also have no desire to represent products that require legal disclaimers attached to them. “This may suck, I’m not sure, but I make money if you spend yours so clicky clicky here to buy some stuff!! Oh yeah, use at your own risk!”

I fully acknowledge that disclaimers are often necessary. Without them, how else would your 4 year old daughter know that the “doll does not actually walk and talk by itself?” Of course you and I know (and regrettably advertisers are savvy as well) that most 4 year old’s can’t read, and even if they could, they will still believe every stinking thing they see on TV is real. The company gets out of a potential lawsuit by putting the disclaimer at the bottom of the commercial in the most miniscule type available, but you don’t get out of witnessing your 4 year old’s soul-crushing realization on Christmas morning that her Barbie cannot, in fact, walk and talk on her own. Thank you, Mattel!

I was thinking about the lack of a disclaimer the other morning when I made Toaster Strudel for one of the kids. I popped it down in to the toaster and waited……but lo and behold, an uber peppy Aryan kid wearing lederhosen did not magically appear in my kitchen screeching “Toaster Strudel!!” That’s really a shame, because sometimes kids are hard to get motivated in the morning, and nothing gets you going quite like a creepy blonde kid screaming at you in German. So guttural…so staccato……why German isn’t considered a romance language is completely beyond me.

Pillsbury really needs to take some action here and put a disclaimer on the packaging. If someone can sue McDonald’s and win for ordering, then subsequently spilling hot coffee on themselves, then clearly I have a case for the lack of the above mentioned lederhosen boy not appearing in my kitchen upon the toasting of the strudel. Either that, or they need to pony up a shouting Ricola horn-blower-in-training. Otherwise I’m on my way to an attorney. I feel a class action coming on.

Deception occurs frequently in advertising, specifically as it pertains to false claims. This usually presents itself in the form of a guy with a fabulous British accent, caressing you with his words and lulling you in to a trance over the superior suction of his $800 vacuum (he just sounds so trust worthy, doesn’t he?), or with weight loss, hair growth or anti-aging products.

Why just the other day I was perusing the latest ULTA catalog (which oh so conveniently shows up in my mailbox once a month) where I ran across the description for a new anti-aging cream made from synthetic snail venom or toxin or something like that.

I never knew snails were venomous or toxic. Snail venom is the new Botox. You learn something new every day.

I started to wonder how someone even discovered that snail excretions had anti-aging properties…they’re pretty slow critters and I can’t imagine anyone sitting long enough to see results, but at over $100 per ounce, a diy might be worth a shot. I’m thinking about rounding up the kids and going snail hunting. If it doesn’t deliver the intended results, we can always have escargot. Ooh-la-la….that’s some fancy upcycling, y’all.

They say if you build it, they will come…and that may or may not be true. I think that before I can respond with an affirmative or a negative, I need to decide exactly what I want my field of dreams to look like.

I know that I would adore making money doing this, because it’s what I love. But I also know that I’m not willing to give up my artistic vision or alter my voice in order to make that happen. I suppose that time and the inevitable end of unemployment benefits will tell the tale.

Folks, reading my blog won’t make you thinner, younger, fill in your bald spot or help you find the love of your life….but every now and then, it just might put a smile on your face and make you laugh a little. And that, to me…is priceless.

Peace, Love & Blessing to All….