Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

Tag Archives: writing

Hey…it’s Friday…everything will be ok, right?

It’s Spring Break here in our house and my daughter has spent the past week in Washington D.C. with her school group. She’s an 8th grader and has really enjoyed the trip.  The tour is organized by one of the teachers that seems to love to take a group of 8th graders every year back to D. C. and do a whirlwind tour.

Only two kids have been lost.  Both of them were boys and both of them had their mothers as their mini-tour group leader.  It looks like those helicopter moms left someone behind.  That goodness they don’t work in the military.   I can’t wait to hear the whole story and then to hear their (Mom’s) version of the incident.  Of course, after I heard the stories from my daughter, I really wanted to text the moms about what happen…but I didn’t. I didn’t even post a question on Facebook about how they managed to lose their own kid.  They shall remain nameless.

Have a great weekend.  Don’t eat too many French fries!

National Hot Tub Day – March 28 – Worthless Tips to Make It Awesome!

sa-1807454_1920.jpgAh, March 28 is National Hot Tub Day according to some random website I stumbled upon when I was bored one evening (who says this internet isn’t helpful and only spreads “fake news”?).  Throw on your speedo, thong, or your bikini, play some Kenny G, and hit the hot tub because it is National Hot Tub Day!!

On a side tangent, I noticed that romance writers love hot tubs.  They write the hot tubs into their stories all the time.  Yes, I read romance novels.  In between rapid reading of my gun magazines, truck magazines, and muscle car magazines, resides my collection of romance novels.  Since I am a caring and sensitive guy (just ask my imaginary stalker Cyndi), you know that I am a great fan of romance novels.

But let’s get back to the focus of National Hot Tub Day and that is Hot Tubs.  Hot tubs are a wonderful way to soak away your problems and worries.  It’s like a vacation at your own home.  I like to make sure my hot tub is properly maintained.  Lucky for me, I don’t have sensitive skin, just sensitive feelings.  OK, we know I don’t have any feelings but we still want to have some nice hot tub water.martini-1117932_1920.jpg

Lately, we have had some cold and rainy weather.  After all, it is Seattle and we don’t get sunshine until July.  I’ve been feeling cold lately, so I love to enjoy the hot tub when it is chilly out.  My muscles and joint loosen up and I can just sit there and float.  For roughly 15 minutes, I can just relax.  I can pretend I’m at a ski resort or on the beach on the island of Kauai.

Tips for Successful Hot Tub Party Day:

  • What if you don’t have a hot tub? Find a friend or a neighbor that has one.  Then invite yourself over on National Hot Tub Day.  You owe it to them to honor this day!

  • Avoid Alcohol – Wait, what? Yes, we all know I enjoy a nice whiskey but alcohol and hot tubs aren’t a good mix.  Hot Tub water dilutes your cocktail too much.  The warm water in your hot tub can speed up the process of inebriation, and can increase your chances of a hangover

  • Avoid Falling Asleep in the Hot Tub – you should focusing on the soaking and relaxing of the hot water.  Enjoy this moment, save sleeping for your bed.

  • Have Music – What to play?  Some Depeche Mode? Some Kenny G? Some Lady Gaga remix?  The theme from the movie “Jaws”?  It’s up to you, but don’t keep that stereo or iPhone too close to the hot tub.  You don’t want your imaginary friends to knock it in.

  • Have Extra Towels Available – you know some goofball will forget his towel and then wander around your house looking for one.  That’s a good way to ruin your hardwood floors.  Have a stack of old towels ready for him.

  • Clean! – Keep the area around your hot tub clean.  Vacuum up all the lose dirt, dog hair, old fern leaves, and candy wrappers.  You don’t want to drag all that stuff into your hot tub.

  • Take A Shower – Encourage your guest to shower BEFORE they come over to hot tub.  The less body oils, old sweat, stripper dust, and daily dirt you have coming into the hot tub, the better!  It cuts down on chemical use.

  • Check the Chemical Levels – You should be doing daily or weekly check of the chemicals.  Use those water test strips.

Those are my awesome (or rather worthless) hot tub tips for National Hot Tub Day!  I know you won’t bother to play attention to them but at least pretend you read the whole blog post and give it a big “LIKE”.  Can you do that?  Thanks!

 

 

Writing Your Novel Tips! Worthless Advice that won’t help you in the least!

Well, I have no helpful writing tips for you and your upcoming bestselling novel.  This is my worthless advice blog, remember?  If you want some helpful tips, you might as well just click over to someone who is helpful like: Jenna Morcci.  She’s an author/writer/blogger I stumbled upon, while I was watching YouTube.  Before you judge me, my YouTube viewing is called “research.” While I was “researching” something…. (Truth be told, you know I was wasting time with Mr. Whiskers by my side, trying to figure out something on YouTube when Jenna Morcci’s writing videos came into my feed).

Let’s get to the point….She is hilarious!  Well crafted videos that are a bit sarcastic, but helpful on writing.  She’s informative, delightful, and has some great writing points.  Hmm, she could be more helpful than my worthless advice blog and that could be dangerous.  Perhaps, she could be my arch enemy?  Nah, that would involve me thinking too much of plot lines, character development, and how to write more than two sentences together and thus make something worthwhile.  One of my favorite videos is at the end of this post.

To combat her cleverness, I probably should throw together a witty list of “How to Write a Novel” tips.  Here goes my worthless advice tips list that won’t help you at all:

  1. Write in a Safe Space.  Yes, go to your safe space.  This could be an extra room in your house, under the stairs, the local coffee shop, or the pub down the street (see item #2).
  2. Consume large quantities of alcohol.  All the great, successful writer were drunks.  Why should you be any different?  Drink up!  You could even have a signature drink!
  3. Play music appropriate to your writing style.  Feeling romantic? Play some love songs.  Your story takes place at an all night rave?  Throw on some EMD trance music.
  4. Read.  Heck, you can’t write if you don’t read.  Read your genre or just read the classics.  Just don’t sit around and do nothing.whirlpool-1580294_1920.jpg  Pick up that Kindle and read!
  5. Soak in a Hot Tub – this is a wonderful way to relax, brainstorm, and not write.  You are in a hot tub, how could you write anything down?
  6. Surf the internet.  Remember I said not to sit around and do nothing?  Well, start surfing that internet and enjoy learning about how to snowboard in New Zealand.  It won’t help you write but you might end up with a great storyline, a blog post, or a new place to visit.
  7. Watch YouTube videos.  This is an awesome way to learn a new skill…how to change out a wheel bearing, how to paint your house, how to waste time watching You Tube videos about how to be successful.  It’s always just a big circle; watch a video and never write that next great American novel.
  8. Play with your cat!  What can you distract you more than your cat?  So cute, so cuddling.  It makes you want to watch cute cat videos on YouTube!  Am I right?  You know I am.
  9. Chat with your Imaginary Stalker Cyndi -You know you haven’t been paying enough attention to Cyndi and she doesn’t like that.  She will get you back….and she is your #1 fan!

Luckily, I know none of these tips will help you to become a better writer.  I know they won’t help you doing anything that moves you along to becoming successful, or happy, or the pride of your family.

Here’s a link to Jenna’s videos.  If you like a snarky attitude, you like to write, and you think I might actually have some good advice for you, just click on her video!  I don’t get paid to say how much I enjoy her videos, but she is pretty funny.  She should at least take me out to dinner for all of the web traffic my blog will be sending her…. No, I’m not in love with her…. (my wife will roll her eyes when she reads this part…).  Until Jenna comments on my blog….I bid you a fond farewell.

 

Worthless Travel Tips – Best Worthless Advice Tips for Your Next Airline Flight!

plane-50893_1920Let’s face it, you hate people, I hate people, and we really hate sitting next to them in the airplane.  Sure, we all wish we could afford First Class but we can’t.  However, we can use certain techniques to maximize your seat space on the airplane.

  1. Bring Your Own Smelly Food – Since the airlines want to make a profit, one of the first things to go was the food service.  But this is an awesome time to bring your own food along!  And it had better be extremely good and stinky.  We all know that the stinky food is the best food!  Pickled eggs, sauerkraut, sardines, garlic bread, cat food, and maybe some strange food that would make a billy goat puke is just what you need on your next flight.
  2. Stake out the Armrest – the seats and the armrest aren’t getting any bigger on airplanes these days and you need to stake your claim to them.  As soon as you sit down, stretch out and take as much space as you can.  When your neighbors arrive, just cough a lot, and wipe your hands all over the armrest.  Ha, these armrest belong to me now.
  3. Take Those Shoes Off and Let Those Stinky Feet Breath – why should your feet be trapped in your shoes?  These flight is the beginning of your vacation.  Take those shoes off and relax.dirtyfeet
  4. Don’t Brush Your Teeth – nothing says “I don’t care about life, you, or your comfort” than skipping the brushing those pearly white teeth.  Your mouth should smell and taste like the inside of a elementary school dumpster on a hot spring afternoon.
  5. Don’t Shower – Again, you want to push people away.  With your awful breath, you can add to the sensual pleasure by not taking a shower for a few days before your flight.
  6. Dress Poorly – dress like a slob AND make sure you wear the wrong travel clothes.  Pants that are too tight – check!  Coats with not enough pockets – check! A big hat that gets in the way – check!bum
  7. Have a HUGE Carry On Bag – The heavier, the better.  Just like all the unsolved resentment you carry around in your soul, your carry on bag should be just as heavy.  Make sure that you can’t lift it over your head.  Ideally, your bag should make a professional weightlifter pop a blood vessel as he lifts it.
  8. Talk to EVERYONE…be loud and proud!  Everyone wants to hear about how you had an awful time on the taxi ride to the airport, or how Aunt Megan thinks you drink too much.  Make new friends by asking questions that are way too personal.  Remember, make them feel uncomfortable and they will scoot away from you as far as their little seatbelt will allow.

As always, I know these eight awesome travel tips will really bring you to the top of your worthless life.  What better way to make it to the lower bottom of life?

Crazy Teacher Night- Spanish Teacher Introduction

Bueno Dias!  Ya, that’s about it for my knowledge of Spanish.  But for some reason, my son’s Spanish teacher thought she should give her Parent’s Night speech in 80% Spanish and 20% English which equals 100% Annoying!  Now, I admire someone who wants to flaunt their foreign language ability as much as the next guy, however, I would like to understand what the heck you (the teacher) are saying.  Really, when I’m in your classroom (wasting my time), listening to you rambling on in Spanish, I’d like to know what the hell you are saying.  If I wanted to listen to an all Spanish dialogue, I’d flip on one of the many Spanish cable channels. (On a side note, why are the Spanish actresses so hot looking?)

Most of the other parents present,  were just as confused as myself, no doubt thinking that perhaps they were suppose to be fluent in Spanish BEFORE their child took her class.  Maybe they should know spanish so they could understand what she was yelling at us about.  (Why do Spanish teachers always seem like they are yelling?)

I’m was only in her class to see her grading system and how much percentage she allotted to homework points (grade) versus quiz and test points.  However, since most of her speech was in Spanish, I really don’t know what my son will be learning (besides Spanish…I hope).  I’m still not sure how she grades.  Maybe after I become fluent in Spanish, I can ask her.

There was a Question & Answer session at the end of the class period, and it took all my sarcastic willpower to not ask a question in German.  I just want to ask her ANYTHING in German, then when she said she didn’t speech German and didn’t understand, I could say “Exactly. You don’t speak German, I don’t speak Spanish, but we both speak English. Perhaps next time you could speak English and all of us could understand you.”

But I didn’t because I’m trying not to be “that” parent.  You know the parent that the teacher (and everyone else) hates.  And because the teacher hates the parent, the student gets a bad grade and the teacher acts like a jerk to kid.  My poor son has enough problems dealing with me, he doesn’t need a pain in the ass Spanish teacher bugging him as well.

So I bit my tongue and rolled my eyes in a passive aggressive way.  Then I decided to blog about it and express myself so my three followers know how upset I am.  I’m sure Cyndi (my imaginary stalker), my mom, and Mr. Whiskers are equally upset.

Enjoy your Friday! 

 

Oh, I’m sorry, did you say something about how I talk?

I’ve been having problems with certain “words” in my life.  I’m making the effort to eliminate the following words and phrases:

Basically

Actually

Technically

….And something

… And stuff

I think…

I’ll try….

Let’s get into the meat of the situation, we all have phrases that we say that begin to drive us crazy. My least favorite is my habit of saying “and something”. 

For example:

“The battery is very large and something.”  Of course the battery is “and something”.  I feel like a dork every time I say it.  Please, help me stop the use of the “and something”.

And like Yoda says I shouldn’t “try”, I should “do” it.

Instead of me saying “I’ll try to mow the lawn.”

No, instead “I will now the lawn.” (Unless it is raining….who wants to mow the lawn in the rain?).

In an effort to be specific, I’m switching to:

I will….

Don’t forget about “basically”.  I recently started to listen to the radio show “Loveline” again (via podcast) and every time someone says “basically”, they ring a bell. Now, everything time I hear the word “basically”, I hear that bell go off in my head.  I have been conditioned just like Pavlov’s dog; I hear the word “basically” and the bell goes off.  Now where is my treat?

“And stuff”

I use “and stuff” when I’m talking and it is annoying. I wouldn’t write it but I find myself saying “Here comes Clark with the report and stuff.” Really?  That just came out of my mouth?

Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to come off as a snobby speaker of the English language. I’m a terrible speaker and mispronounce words all the time (I blame my parents….but who doesn’t blame their parents for all their problems?). I’m focusing on my own poor speech patterns and phrases. For pete’s sake, this blog isn’t about you, ok? These items are things I want to fix about myself. And who says I can’t change (besides my wife and kids?).

One more that I don’t use but I hate:

Honestly and To be honest with you….

“Honestly, I don’t know what you mean that I crashed the car.”

“To be honest with you, I’d never eat the last cookie.”

You weren’t honest before?  I don’t use those word phrases but they drive me crazy when I hear them.

So basically (ding), I’m trying to tell you that I need to work on myself and stuff, so that I think I can become a better person and something.

Actually, that was painful to write and then read.

Have a wonderful day! 

 

Do Nothing….and get jealous.

I hate to say this but I’m jealous of my friend.   Last night he told me he was writing a book. He has never expressed any interest in writing before and now drops this bombshell on me. I haven’t done anything except write a few blogs once in a while. And he mentioned he has 100 pages of rough draft. Talk about making me feel like I’ve done nothing with my life.

Holy cow, I need to do something right? At least whip out a few pages of something…a short story? I mentioned his book project to my wife. She said “Boy, what if his writing is better than yours? Considering I haven’t even started a novel, yeah, I think his writing is better than mine.

Should You Care About What You Post?

I am by far, not a prefect writer.  My sentence structure is poor and my grammar can be criminal at times.  I make mistakes.  However, I try to minimize my mistakes by proofreading.  I do eliminate as many typos as possible and actually capitalize the beginning of each sentence.  Why do I bring this?  Mainly because I’ve been reading a few new blogs and the bloggers don’t seem to think that it is important to capitalize anything.  To me, it is very confusing and annoying.  I also see it as a sign of laziness.

Should it bother me so much?  Am I being too picky?  No, I’m not.  I would rather read a blog post, a book, or a short story where the author actually cared enough to pay attention to the details.  I want my mind to gobble up the story and not have to slow down to interpret what the author meant when they should have capitalized “I”.  Did they mean to leave it lower case?Was the sentence supposed to start there?  Or maybe a comma should have gone there?

I just want the author to care.  I want them to care enough to take pride in their work and make me want to read it.  Trust me; I read a lot.  Some people are better writers than me and some are much worse.  But if they care about what they are writing, it shows in their work.  If they care enough, then they might hook me into finishing their writing, get me to care and be involved.

If you are going to write, at least have pride in your work.  Take pride in knowing I appreciate your hard work and effort to entertain me.  Thanks for reading my post; now get back to your writing

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Don’t Give Up Coffee! Give up your expensive, fattening Coffee Drink!

With all the New Year’s Resolutions flying around, the one resolution that particular bothers me is: People giving up drinking coffee. I understand people want to get healthier. But why deny yourself something so wonderful as coffee? That wonderful drink that helps you get through the day?  That old pal that helps you stay awake?  The drink that allows you to bond with your co-workers while complaining about your boss?  Why give up on that old friend?

I know you think giving up coffee is a good time…I understand you want to be true to your New Year’s Resolutions.  However, may I make a suggestion?  Load up that cup of coffee with all the bad stuff you can find.  Make that cup of coffee the worst possible drink out there (this is exactly what Starbucks does) and then give it up.

Heck, the coffee isn’t the bad part….just think about a “coffee drink” from Starbucks.  That is what is bad.

Think about it for a  minute.  Take a wonderful cup of coffee…

Add loads of sugar (or honey…cane sugar…sweetner)

…add in some whole milk or maybe even some nice half-and-half

…make that into a coffee drink (because it really isn’t a cup of coffee anymore is it?)

and now give it up.  Give up all that bad stuff that you have come to love in your coffee.  That will make you feel better about that silly New Year’s Resolution you made in the heat of a New Year’s Eve’s moment (when you were weak because your old pal coffee wasn’t there).  You know you wouldn’t have made that resolution on New Year’s Day in the morning at breakfast.  No, you made that resolution the night before when you were with our casual friend “Alcohol”.

Sure you and Alcohol go way back, don’t you?  But Alcohol isn’t with you every day.  Do you know who is?  Coffee.

Old Alcohol was trying to get you to ditch your true friend Coffee.  Don’t ditch Coffee.  Alcohol only comes to hang out during the fun events like football games and birthday parties.  Coffee is there, day in and day out.  Don’t substitute a sure thing with something that only likes to party once in a while with you.

Of course, it isn’t too bad when alcohol and coffee get together at the same time to party with you.  A nice cold Sunday afternoon with your two pals Coffee and Alcohol makes a wonderful end to a weekend.  They get along perfectly and they make the weekend a blast.

Special thanks to Nick over at Nick’s Blog for this post idea…

Image from Flickr.com

Image from Flickr.com

How to Romance Your Husband

This evening I stumbled upon a blog post from a wife writing about “How to Romance Her”. It was six easy steps…or rather suggestions to romance her (or other women). I couldn’t help think to myself that as a man, I could use some romance in my life too!

Below, are seven (because six isn’t enough) romance tips to jump start that romance spark in your life.

Now, this isn’t to say my wife isn’t romantic but clearly my blog is about worthless advice and not about my marriage!! Besides, we all know my wife has to live with me and has to put up with my many highly entertaining comments. So when you see my wife’s comments below, just remember Cyndi (My Imaginary Stalker) will certainly be there to stroke my ego in the event my wife doesn’t. So if my wife isn’t romancing me, be sure to send her this blog post so she can pick up some suggestions.

However keep in mind Cyndi isn’t prefect….or is she?

Enough with Cyndi….Shall we begin with some ideas on how to Romance Your Husband?

Dress Up for Him:
Skip dressing up as a sexy maid or a hooker (trust me that ship as sailed). I would suggest dressing up as the something your husband really desires: a lawn maintenance worker that actually mows the lawn. Nothing says “sexy” as a freshly cut lawn! Or grab that leaf blower and clean out the gutters…uh, that makes you so yummy!

Write Him A Love Note:
What kind of love note? I would like to have a love note written on a $100 bill. Even if you aren’t my wife, you could still send me a $100 love note. Shh, go ahead and send it…I won’t tell!

Cook Him His Favorite Dinner:
What? It doesn’t have to be his favorite, it just has to taste good. We all want a wife that can cook and we really want one that cooks something that is actually edible. So if you are watching the Food Network 7 hours a day, for goodness sake, make sure what you serve up is worth all those hours you wasted in front of the TV.

Wear Perfume:
Sure, throw on some expensive perfume. Nothing like reminding your husband that you forget to shower for the past three days. Of course, the fact you are still in your pajamas at 5:30 in the evening and have cat puke in your hair might be a giveaway as well.

Let Him Enjoy His Hobbies Guilt Free:
Well, if your husband is into hookers and cocaine, who am I to say he needs to give up his hobbies? As a loving, supportive wife you should support his habits no matter how boring and mundane they may be. So that train geek running his toy trains in the basement isn’t so bad, is he? Maybe you prefer your husband liking hookers? It’s your choice….just be supportive.

Send a Sexy Text Message:
In between dropping the kids off at soccer practice and drinking your nonfat latte, send him a sexy text. Maybe something like “oh, I did the dishes AND the laundry today. Maybe I might just tackling ironing your shirts this afternoon….meow.” Trust me, that is a truly sexy text.

Be A Maid:
A bucket, a brush, and a clean house is way sexier than just wearing a boring old French maid costume! Don’t sell yourself short; you can be super sexy cleaning up the kitchen AND the bathroom. Don’t let anyone tell you different! Be the change you deserve in your life!

So get out there and let the romance ooze from your body! Show your husband you know how to keep the spark of romance alive!! Vacuum the living room, fold some clothes, enjoy your marriage to the fullest with my romance tips. Don’t say my blog of worthless advice didn’t you something to keep that marriage (or long term relationship) alive for one more day!

As always, your comments are welcome if you can drag your tired, weary hands across the keyboard. At least hit the “Like” button so I feel like someone (besides my mom and Cyndi) reads my blog.

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