Comical true life, Division of Labor, Non-Fiction

#699 Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t: The New Rules of Work by Division of Labor

 Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t: The New Rules of Work by Division of Labor Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t: The New Rules of Work by Division of Labor

Oh goodness, just look at the title of this book. Obviously, this isn’t necessarily a serious book. It’s about work, part of which is serious. This whole book is meant to be funny, including motivational sayings with nice backgrounds, but it’s also got some truth to it.

In this book, Division of Labor, which is not a government agency, but is two guys who write about boring tweets, apparently. They encourage everyone to never hit “reply all” when sending an email at work. They encourage everyone to be careful about office affairs. They encourage everyone to be careful about what they tweet and who they friend on social media, because you just never know what will get you fired. They also encourage you not to steal school supplies for your kids.

What I liked

This book isn’t that funny. I mean, it’s ok– so still good if you want something a little humorous to read. This book is marketed as something silly; it has silly pictures, the whole works, but some of the advice that Division of Labor gives is good advice. You really should watch what you put on social media. You really never know who will fire you for what. It could be a big deal, like you posting naked pictures of yourself doing stupid things, but it could also be something more benign, like having a political opinion. A lot of people will find almost any way to get rid of you at work, especially, if you can replace them.

I also agree about tweeting boring things. Nobody wants to read about your #eatingmacandcheese as an #adult, even though it’s #delicious.

I thought the pictures, quotes, whatever they are, were a nice touch, but, honestly, cliche.

What I didn’t like

I read this book to read something. I don’t think I learned a whole lot from it because most of this is already common knowledge. Don’t friend the HR person and then do a bunch of stupid stuff and post about it on Facebook. Capisce?

Overall

You know, since all of this book is mostly things people already know, it could be considered that Division of Labor is writing about boring sh*t, and therefore, violating their own advice.

Weigh In

What do people do at your workplace that you think they should not do that is common sense?

Sarcastic motivational posters–awesome or cliché?

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Blomquist-Rich, Comical true life, Non-Fiction, Random fact, Schall-Kristen, Social Commentary

#693 The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex by Kristen Schaal and Rich Blomquist

 The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex by Kristen Schaal and Rich Blomquist The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex by Kristen Schaal and Rich Blomquist

Sex is sexy isn’t it? Well, Kristen and Rich are bringing you the ultimate book of sex. They start in the beginning with a brief overview of how creatures used to reproduce asexually. Then they take a look at sex throughout history. Then they move onto subjects such as dating, foreplay, and aids.

This book is supposed to be a funny book about sex. It’s not very gratuitous. It’s more goofy. There are plenty of pictures and comics and short stories to go along with whatever subject Rich and Kristen happen to be talking about.

What I liked

This book wasn’t as funny as I would have liked, but it’s still humorous.

The information, well, a lot of it, that Kristen and Rich put in this book is true. The whole deal about reproducing asexually. Then sex throughout history. Then all the other facts about sex, they’re real. Now, you would think that most people over eighteen might know all these things already. They don’t. So I think this book can serve as a goofy sexual education book, which is really a good way to teach sex ed. Take some of that taboo out of discussing some of these things and then laugh about it. You’ll remember what you learned more so than watching disgusting STD slides, but no joke, STDs can be disgusting and unfortunate.

I liked some of the comics. They made me chuckle silently.

What I didn’t like

I kind of wish it would have been a little less goofy. Less pictures. Less silliness.

Sex is a very interesting subject, not just actually having it is interesting, but learning about it is interesting, and, no, I don’t mean pornography or the Kama Sutra, or what have you. Learning about cultural ideas about sex, sex in regards to history, and how to do it safely are all highly interesting. Some very pivotal parts of history have centered around sex and I think I would have liked to have read a book about that more than this book.

This book was more like The Human Sexual Response by Masters and Johnson, if Masters and Johnson had been stand-up comedians and sexual researchers instead of just sexual researchers.

Overall

This was my sexy review of The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex.

Weigh In

Is sex education best taught on a more familiar and laughing manner, or in a serious manner?

If you wrote a book about sex, how would you approach the subject?

Comical true life, Non-Fiction, Smokler-Jill

#682 Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler

Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill SmoklerConfessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler

Jill Smokler doesn’t like kids and was disappointed when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. Things changed a lot. Jill knew of all the “shoulds” for pregnant women and mothers, but that didn’t stop her from telling someone, “He’s kind of an a**hole, but he’ll grow out of it,” in reference to her toddler son.

Jill started a blog about her adventures in motherhood, because she was bored to tears and frustration. She had to have something to do when she wasn’t working as a graphic designer. On her blog she made observations that no one tells you about motherhood and she eventually opened up an anonymous confessional for parents everywhere. Their confessions are at the beginning of each chapter in the book.

Jill eventually has three children and she doesn’t want anymore, except for when she sees a newborn baby, but she only wants another one for a minute or so. Jill’s book is all about how everything doesn’t have to be perfect when raising kids and that, essentially, no one knows what in the heck they’re doing when raising children.

What I liked

Jill tells it like it is and it’s pretty funny. Motherhood isn’t always this special thing. I don’t have children of my own, but after helping raise my two youngest brothers, I understand what Jill is saying, about all of it.

I liked the confessions from other people. When more than one person has the same kind of thought or experience and then tells you about it, you know you’re not alone.

What I didn’t like

While this is funny, some of this stuff seems awful. Most of what Jill says, or does, is completely understandable. I get it. Some of it, though, seems a bit, I don’t know, more than should happen or not happen? I’m not really sure how to describe it. It’s more or less something that kind of pricks a nerve with me, but overall, I think Jill is doing a fine job of raising her family.

One thing I don’t like is the chapter on husband’s saying that they’re the biggest babies of them all. First of all–sexist, but that’s not the part I care about. Second of all–it’s true and that’s what is so irritating about it. Good, freaking, Lord–why does this one chapter ring so true? Be an adult, not a baby.

I used to be married and this whole “husband is a big baby thing” is one of the main reasons I never had kids with him. I would have been doing all the work and I’m not cool with that, nor am I cool with looking after a grown man as if he is a child. I feel you, Jill, I feel you, and I never even had kids to take care of along with the “man-child.” I know not all men are like this, but why in the heck are there so many of them?! It’s so frustrating that it makes you just want to sit down and cry about it. Newsflash–men, if you’re going to conform to sexist stereotypes, like being a big, over-grown baby that your wife has to take care of, you might as well as conform to a couple of the other sexist stereotypes, like being ripped with muscles and looking sexy in lumberjack plaid, and generally looking like the Brawny guy, at least your wife might get something out of that.

Assuming that all men are big babies is sexist, but also is conforming to that assumption. You can’t go around claiming that someone is lumping you into a negative sexist stereotype, while actually conforming to that negative sexist stereotype and expecting people to just be fine with it. It’s like self-fulfilling sexism or something. If you don’t want people to lump you into a legitimate negative sexist stereotype, like being a big man-child, then don’t be a big man-child. Granted, there are those people who are going to lump you into negative sexist stereotypes anyway because they make sexism a life goal. You could be a female rocket scientist with five doctorates in math and they would still say that women aren’t good at math and science, to your face.

Overall

Funny book, I enjoyed all of Jill’s mommy-isms.

Weigh In

Do you think it’s human to do those things that society says mothers shouldn’t do?

Where is the line for a bad, or good, mother drawn?

Comical true life, inspirational, Memoir, Miller-Donald, Non-Fiction, ponder provoking, social commentary

#561 A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

 A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Donald writes about his life, when some movie guys called him up and said, “We want to make a movie about your book about your life,” Donald was in, but he soon discovered that his life wasn’t very exciting. The story Donald tells in this book is not only about how to tell a story, it’s about living a life that would be worthy of a story.

When Donald met with the two men who would turn his life into a story, they almost immediately got him doing things he normally wouldn’t do, like sledding around on the snow in kayaks. They told Donald he would have to edit his life. He had to turn his life from the book into something that would be interesting to watch as a movie.

Donald found that writing a movie was different from writing a book. A movie had to keep people engaged at all times, while a book could meander and roam. Books could involve a lot of thought, while, in movies, you can’t really tell what a character is thinking unless they say it aloud.

When Donald started looking at his life he realized, even though he was a writer, that he was a bit boring. He did safe things. He did familiar things. He did things that were not risky.

Over the course of coming to this realization Donald learned that he had to make his life special. He wasn’t going to grow as a person if he did the safe things. He didn’t want to work his entire life for a Volvo.

He changed things. Donald took chances. Donald made mistakes. Donald got messy.

(Yes, I do have a particular love for The Magic School Bus.)

By the end of the book, Donald has made his life into something interesting and something worthy of living.

What I liked

I did not know this book existed before I started reading another book. I started reading a memoir and the author of that book said she had to read this book. I stopped reading that book and found this book. If a book is enough to give another author inspiration in life, it’s probably good enough for me too.

I was not disappointed. Donald seems like a great guy. Donald realized that he needed to step up his game in life. I am at a similar point in my life myself. Do I hang onto a boring story or do I move forward with my life? You don’t get anywhere in life doing all the safe things.

It’s a great message for anybody. Instead of sitting around doing things because they’re familiar, push yourself. Be that person you always wanted to be in your head.

This book gets an A+ from me.

It’s similar to The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in some ways. Both books are essentially about taking the risky steps you need to take in your life to be the person you need to be. Donald’s book is a little more real-world applicable, especially to writers.

What I didn’t like

There isn’t really anything I didn’t like about this book. Go Donald.

Overall

I will look forward to Donald’s other books as I come across them.

Weigh In

If your life was going to be a movie, would it be a boring movie or an exciting one?

Do you think we fall into ruts of being too comfortable? Why or why not?

Comical true life, Keck-Kevin, Memoir, Non-Fiction

#545 Are you There, God? It’s me Kevin by Kevin Keck

 Are you There, God? It's me Kevin by Kevin Keck Are you There, God? It’s me Kevin by Kevin Keck

Margaret asked God if he was there years ago, but Kevin Keck also asked God if he was there, although Kevin’s story is much more grown-up than Margaret’s story.

Kevin does not have a come-to-Jesus moment that makes him believe in God. Kevin and God have had a complicated relationship. First of all, let’s get this straight, this is not a story of a man who found Jesus. This is the story of a man who is trying to find some kind of meaning in all the craziness of his life. Let me tell you, Kevin has got some craziness going on.

Kevin isn’t exactly a bad egg, but Kevin does some things that I wouldn’t do. I mean, I really wouldn’t do a lot of the things Kevin did. With all of that said, Kevin is freaking hilarious. Parts of his story made me laugh out loud. I mean it, the whole “lol” thing. I don’t know if Kevin embellished the truth in some of these moments, but they sure were funny.

Kevin wavers between believing in God and not believing. One of his friends told him to be a cow, but Kevin didn’t understand. The advice was to just be, but Kevin didn’t know how to just be. There were difficult times in his life. Kevin tried drugs. Kevin tried becoming a priest. Kevin tried bad relationships. Kevin tried being a teacher. Kevin tried taking care of his grandmother. Kevin goes through many things in his life trying to figure out what he wants to do and where he wants to be. It seems there are always things that side track him from doing other things, but that’s life.

Kevin finally finds himself a place in the world. It’s not come-to-Jesus moment and there is nothing spectacular that happens, but Kevin finally ends up being himself.

What I liked

Kevin is pretty funny. I truly did laugh out loud on several occasions. I don’t know how much of this he made up; he did admit that he took a few licenses with his stories. He’s still funny though.

Kevin is a bit of a screw up, he is. I’m not going to sugar-coat Kevin’s life. Kevin does a lot of crap, but he’s not a bad guy. At one point in Kevin’s story, he helps take care of his grandmother who is descending into dementia or Alzheimer’s. Kevin helps his grandmother to the bathroom. He gives her a shower. This part of Kevin’s story really touched me. I have a soft spot in my heart for people who take care of their grandparents, especially in the manner that Kevin helped his grandmother. There are not many people who would do this. There are not many people who could look at one of their grandparents naked. Kevin may be a screw-up in a lot of ways, but he is a good person inside.

What I didn’t like

At the same time that I admire Kevin for some of his screwed-up-ness, I also kind of want to slap him in the face. What was with all the drugs? What was with the unprotected sex and Kevin admitting that he had been having unprotected sex for years? Why? What was Kevin thinking? There are more things I could point out about Kevin’s wavy path through life, but I’m not going to. Kevin really makes life harder on himself. I know I’m giving Kevin a hard time about the things he has done, but all in all, he turns out ok. He’s a screw-up, but you know what, he pulls himself together.

It’s a good thing Kevin did straighten himself up a bit. I don’t know Kevin, but I’m glad he was able pull through some of the difficult things in his life and then laugh about them. I’m glad he found some type of idea of God in his life. He could have done it with less drugs, less sex, and less cussing, but the important thing is that he found a way to be a cow.

Overall

If you like rambling memoirs, Kevin’s quest for God is something you might be interested in.

Weigh In

Are stories of found faith better if they come from a wayward person or a person who has been on a straight path their entire lives?

Do you think hard won faith is more valuable than constant faith?

Comical true life, Halpern-Justin, Memoir, Non-Fiction, social commentary

#531 Sh*t my Dad Says by Justin Halpern

 Sh*t my Dad Says by Justin Halpern Sh*t my Dad Says by Justin Halpern

This is the first book in which Justin’s father says lots of things, most of them laced with profanity.

Justin moves back home after living on his own. He feels kind of awkward about it, but even though his father gives him a profanity laced explanation of him staying there, Justin can tell his father is glad to see him. Justin’s father is a doctor, although, I’m not entirely sure I would want Justin’s father for my doctor. I don’t think it would be very calming to go to the doctor for some ailment and then have the doctor be like, “Well, your @#*$##$ white blood cell count is @#(*$*$ high. I’ll have to prescribe a #$#(*$ antibiotic for you.” Of course, Justin’s father isn’t that kind of doctor. He works in nuclear medicine. It’s probably a good thing too.

Justin details his life with his father and the various advice, profanity laced of course, that he has received from his father. While being full of profanity, Justin’s father generally knows what he’s talking about.

What I liked

Justin’s dad is pretty funny, rude, but funny. He dispenses actual knowledge peppered with various curse words. While probably not the most grandmother friendly way to dispense knowledge, it does get the point across. Justin is lucky to have a father like his dad, even if it is a bit weird at times.

I really did like a lot of the advice Justin’s dad gives Justin. He’s a smart guy. It just goes to show you that you don’t necessarily have to be all lovey and positive reinforcement for your child to end up as a decent human being.

What I didn’t like

Justin’s dad is funny, but I’m not sure about Justin, maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, at least he figured out how to string all of this together into a book. Justin does write. He is a screen writer. He knows how to write. I’m just not sure he’s as funny as all of that. Justin’s dad is funny. Justin just observes his father and writes things down. I don’t feel as if this book is a display of Justin’s writing skills. I have read Justin’s book I Suck at Girls, and that book seems to display Justin’s writing skills better than this book.

Overall

If you want a laugh, this book is a good place to turn to.

Weigh In

Would the advice from your parents have been better with more profanity?

Do you think going to the doctor would be an easier experience with more profanity?

Comical true life, Halpern-Justin, Memoir, Non-Fiction

#509 I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

I Suck at Girls by Justin HalpernI Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

Oh, Justin….Justin, Justin, Justin….Hahahahaha!

Yes, Justin, I’m sorry, you do suck at girls.

Justin wrote about crap his dad says, then he wrote this book. It’s about Justin’s life and how he finally managed to snag a woman, but this is only after he not once, but twice, caused a woman to move to a different city to be away from him, but maybe that was just a coincidence?

Justin’s father is rather blunt on most issues. Justin recalls the first time he had a crush on a girl at school. He didn’t know how to treat her, so he picked on her. It ended up in him drawing a rather unsavory drawing of a dog pooping on a girl who looked suspiciously like the girl he liked. Of course, the teachers got upset about this, and the principal got involved, and then…Justin’s parents were called. His father, instead of getting onto him for drawing such a drawing of the girl, gets onto him for ignoring the laws of physics in his drawing. Dogs just can’t be floating in midair.

Justin’s father continued to give him this kind of advice throughout his life. He even forced him to learn how to drive stick, on the freeway, in California. I probably would have died.

Justin then catalogs his failures with women, for years. He got a date to prom, but it didn’t turn out so great. He tried to steal porn from some homeless men with one of his friends, but that didn’t turn out so great either. When he was twenty he and his friend Ryan went to Ibiza where they partied constantly, still didn’t get any girls, and Justin got severely constipated.

Eventually, he did clean his act up and started working seriously on his screenwriting and finally met the girl he is married to today. She dressed up as Fergie after she peed herself on stage for a costume party. Despite Justin’s father’s lackluster congratulations of Justin telling him that he was going to propose, after the proposal, he congratulates his son. Now, Justin seems happy and probably doesn’t suck at girls quite so much.

What I liked

Justin is no David Sedaris, but he’s pretty funny, but if I ever get the chance to hang out with David Sedaris, I want Justin to show up and also to bring Celia Rivenbark along. We can have a picture there of Erma Bombeck in memory. Well, I think we have to invite Justin’s dad too.

I feel for Justin to an extent and know what he went through, sort of. I was never that great at guys. I mean I was awesome at talking to guys before I was married, I just wasn’t awesome at dating guys. I did things later than most people do things in life. I do get how Justin felt to be that guy who was waiting and watching everyone else do the things he wanted to do. You’re not alone Justin, but I’m pretty sure I was still cooler than you.

Justin’s dad is what makes a lot of Justin’s stories hilarious. He’s this crotchety old man who goes around complaining about anything and everything with lots of cuss words. It probably wasn’t an easy house to grow up in, but it’s funny to hear about Justin tell about it now.

What I didn’t like

I thought Justin’s book was pretty great for the most part.

Here’s my deal though, Justin speaks of his desire for casual sex, before he was married of course. I don’t get this. I really don’t. I know it’s more of a male thing than a female thing, but I know there are women who also want casual sex. I’m sorry, it’s gross. You don’t really know this person, but then you have sex with this person. Do they have herpes? What if somebody gets pregnant?

In my opinion, you should only have sex with people who you know aren’t going to run the other way if somebody winds up pregnant, this means you kind of have to know the person. That Plan B pill doesn’t always work; I know someone who knows this personally; in fact, this someone is related to me and I now have a new relative on the way.

Justin’s dad says something I like. He says that Justin would know when he found himself a woman he could live with if he could stick his finger in her nose and not be grossed out. This means you have to know a person, well, in order to consider them long-term relationship material. I always like to use the analogy of somebody sticking their finger in your ear. If you don’t mind a person sticking their finger in your ear, then maybe you could have sex with them. If you really do mind a person sticking their finger in your ear, then you really shouldn’t be having sex with them.

Overall

Keep writing about the things your dad says Justin; it has served you well.

Weigh in

Do you think many of Justin’s problems would have resolved himself if he simply had more confidence in himself? Why or why not?

What would happen at a party with Justin, David Sedaris, Celia Rivenbark, and Justin’s dad?