Feb 8, 2011

My Brief Career Writing Online "Content"

Several weeks ago, I signed up to write that dreaded stuff called online content, for Aidem Dnamed (spelled backwards, you can figure this out). Or you could just move a couple of letters around and call it "Damned Media." I thought oh, what the heck, it's easy money. I can use a pseudonym to avoid the shame.

First, I set up an account and then they sent me their list of "titles" for me to claim, so that I could then write how-to articles based on the titles. These are computer-generated strings of gibberish based on searches, mostly technical. I scoured the arts and literature lists, which were empty. I looked up food, pets, family life, anything nontechnical, so that I could claim a title. Nothing. I found nothing. And then I came to my senses and had them delete my account.

But I do want to share with you, dear readers, some titles that captured my imagination, with brief answers that I made up. Yes, these are real computer-generated titles. But just for fun, I prefer to think that these particular ones were composed by a stoned beat poet, or perhaps Jimmy Webb in his MacArthur Park phase.

How Make a Stone Crock

Easy peasy. Enroll in a pottery class and they'll give you some nice clay and you can make one on a potter's wheel. Or--I could lend you mine!

How to Make a Wine Glass out of Wine Charms

Hmm. This is a tough one. This would imply that you are trapped in a room with wine and wine charms, and no receptacles. Let's think outside the box. Put the wine charms on your fingers. Drink the wine out of the bottle. I hope it's a screwtop!

How To Dress a Horse in a Renaissance Costume

Rent a horse trailer. Go to a Renaissance Faire, as they like to spell them. Lure a horse already dressed in a Renaissance costume into your trailer. That way you get out of having to put the massive, sweaty creature in the costume yourself. Choose the smallest, gentlest horse you can find. Don't stand close behind it. Good luck!

Feb 2, 2011

And the Latest Shiny New Appliance is . . .

. . . a food processor. The last one had developed tiny hairline cracks that were making me nervous. We gave it away and went without one for a couple of years, because it just took up so much room and we didn't use it that much. But now that everyone in my family loves hummus, I'd like to make it at home. And lots of recipes from my latest healthy cookbook, The Food Matters Cookbook, depend on one. I am trying to increase the amount of vegetables and fruit we eat, so anything that makes it easier to chop, dice, and slice is a good thing. And . . . I love it. In fact, I just sliced half a red cabbage, a cucumber, and a carrot. I don't want to stop. This is great! Now to make ginger tahini dressing.

We got a Cuisinart this time, and it's plainly much better than the old Hamilton-Beach. It's heavier, the blades are sturdier and sharper, and it includes a special lid for when you mix doughs and batters.

Next on my agenda: to watch the hour-long DVD that came with it.

Just kidding. But it really did come with an hour-long DVD.