5 Signs That You Are an Internet Troll

As a blogger with connections to writers all over the world, I hear a lot of complaining about the trolls ruining the comment sections of articles, especially those posted on the bigger blogs such as  Huffington Post or Scary Mommy. My own work has earned the gaze of trolls along with their pithy (often misspelled and expletive-filled vitriol) explanations for why I should "just kill myself" or my personal favorite to, "get a life." ...more
Amen, sister! more

Has a Comment Ever Made You Want to Quit the Internet?

A few days later, I received a comment that tore me to shreds. This person accused me of writing regurgitated garbage just for the sake of luring traffic from search engines. "I bet you're not even Jewish." His evidence was that I knew nothing of Jewish culture, because I used the word "menorot" and everyone knows it's menorah. ...more
I have received my fair share. Just last week, somebody sent me a message that said, "b*tch, u ... more

Why My Children Can Say the F-Word: Words Don't Have Power

I live in a sweet little Bible Belt southern town. In some ways this is great (friendly neighbors, low crime rate)... and in others... well, maybe not so much. (I have a list, but today is not the day). Sometimes small-town living has crashed headlong into some of my more "unconventional" parenting approaches. One of these subject areas is my children's language. ...more
M.M.J. Gregory You know, one of my high school students did some research and wrote a blog post ... more

Why My Children Can Say the F-Word: Words Don't Have Power

I live in a sweet little Bible Belt southern town. In some ways this is great (friendly neighbors, low crime rate)... and in others... well, maybe not so much. (I have a list, but today is not the day). Sometimes small-town living has crashed headlong into some of my more "unconventional" parenting approaches. One of these subject areas is my children's language. ...more
Very interesting. As an English teacher and parent, the discussion I could have about words is ... more

10 Things Not to Do When You Get a Tattoo

During the day, I play a tattoo artist on TV. Okay, I really am a tattoo artist (not to be confused with my night job of a ninja assassin), and I love my job. There are certain things about my job that seriously make me want to head home and crawl back into bed, though. And, it's not just me; I've talked to the guys at the shop -- they have the same pet peeves.So, I'm going to help y'all out and give you the hook up from an insider source ... me. ...more
I'm concerned that a lot of commenters here have reading comprehension problems.  I didn't see ... more

Let’s Talk About White Privilege

White privilege. It's a touchy subject. The term is often bantered about among racial equity discussions, but among the people who could be described as having it? Not so much. Recently, there have been quite a few posts from bloggers—white bloggers, to be specific—about this topic. BuzzFeed even published a quiz How Privileged Are You? in which people can test just how they measure up. ...more
Very interesting. I began a discussion about privilege with my students last week. Many people ... more

5 Reasons I Take My Kids Out in Public

Once again, I am seeing a lot of posts about kids. Specifically, I'm seeing all sorts of kid hating on Facebook. Like this gem... It seems that this happens every winter, so let's think about that for a second. It's winter. I'll wait because it's winter and we are all suffering some polar vortex cabin fever and all that... oh wait! Moving on. ...more
PREACH! I love it.  When I first started blogging a hundred years ago (or 3), I wrote a piece in ... more

I Did Nothing While She Hurled Abuses At Them

I imagined her saying I don't need your help. Truth be told, I didn't have anything to help her with other than maybe talking to her kids while she zoned out for a while. My daughter and I got on the bus, our first day of catching it together. Our first day of her getting off and transferring to another to go to school; me staying on to get on the subway, me staying on to watch her walk to a bus stop that leaves a lot to be desired as far as safety. Please pay attention to your surroundings. Please. ...more
So hard. I would not have said anything, partly because I wouldn't know what to say and partly ... more

False Alarms: Negative Comments and Deleted Posts

The first comment (all were "anonymous") said that I obviously had such little regard for my students that I was clearly an unfit teacher. One wrote that my "reductionist view on society" clearly indicated I was a "raging lunatic." Another said it was obvious I was the worst teacher who ever existed. One simply said: "I'm a graphic designer. I work hard." (He might not have actually read the entire post.) One said that all God's children are different and unique and cannot be classified in seven simple categories. And another said it was apparent that I had no conscience if I was willing to throw my students under the bus to promote my worthless writing. These hit me so hard, I threw up. In my hand. ...more
Love this post. I've had my share of crappy comments, too.  I haven't deleted the posts, but I ... more

A Letter to the Moms of Mean Girls

I’d like to say a few things to their mothers: Your daughters are watching you. They look to you as an example of how to be a woman, so when you stand around in packs in order to whisper, and gossip, and cut other women down, don’t think they don’t notice. Remember, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree....more
@AlexandreaMerrell  @AprilTara  @MondayFunday The real world is the one where you interact with ... more