Happy Buffer Zone Day!

July 31st is Buffer Zone Day! It is one of our favorite holidays, along with Christmas (because, well, it’s Christmas) and Halloween (because you can’t tell how dysfunctional our family is when they are dressed in costumes). It’s a day we celebrate creating a Buffer Zone, putting distance between ourselves and the wacko relative we all have.

Since everyone, yes, EVERYONE, has a relative like this, we throw a big party every year, with lots of yummy cheese-laden food and abundant alcohol. After a quick catch up and a nosh, each guest takes a turn telling a story or incident that best demonstrates the craziness of their particular relative.

Again, we do not want to hear the heartbreaking stories that, unfortunately, are all too common. We are only interested in those dysfunctional family moments that amuse us, and make us glad we are not you.

After each story, we laugh, raise a glass, and congratulate the speaker on the fact that they have established a Buffer Zone of X-number of miles from the offending repellative. If they have not yet established a Buffer Zone, we are there to commiserate, and offer helpful suggestions, such as “Dude! You’ve got to get away from them!”

Oh, the stories we have heard. They seem to get more absurd every year, so we like to reward the guest with the best (or worse, if it happened to you) story with a trophy (this year’s coveted award is pictured). There is no significance to the trophy we choose, only that we chuckle when we think of it displayed on the winner’s mantle for the next year.

photo-502Besides the good food, drink, company, and the excitement over the stories and trophy reveal, party guests leave feeling their extended families could always be worse.

We wish you the very happiest Buffer Zone Day, and another year free from family funk!

 

We Help Name The Royal Baby

Now that Prince William and his wife, Kate, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have welcomed a baby boy into their family, the world is anxiously awaiting the name of the wee tyke. Will they go for the traditional name with royal associations, or will they go for something edgy and modern?

Bookmakers can hardly keep up with the bets placed, with George currently at number one. Other “kingly” names such as James, Edward and Henry are hovering close by, showing most people think that the name chosen will be one of a former king, although probably not Athelstan, King of England from 925-939 AD. It’s interesting to see that Hashtag is even in the running at 500/1 odds.

It is understandable that the royal baby’s name has to sound and look impressive, since it will be forever etched into history books, deckled edge royal stationary, and on commemorative tea bags, mugs, coins, candles, key chains, plastic figurine play sets, and toilet paper covers. The easy way out would be to combine the top eight names on the betting board, since royals have so many middle names they need two signature lines.

If the royal family had followed baby name trends in the states, it wouldn’t have taken them a month to come up with the name (Prince) Charles. Allow us to offer a few tips to make picking a name for the new prince easy as pie.

Of course, there are some couples in the U.S.A. that honor their fathers with the same name for their baby, adding “Junior” or “the II” behind it, but they really end up calling them “Big” Hank and “Little” Hank forever (even though “Little” Hank outweighs “Big” Hank by 90 pounds). In the southern states, using a family last name as a first name is popular. Spelling a last name backward, and using it as a first name, is another way to ┬ápay heed to past generations. For example, my son would be named Ledar or Suirelav, which I have to admit doesn’t sound any more ridiculous than some of the trendy names I’ve run across recently. However, no one knows the royal couple’s last name, so that would just be wasted effort.

Have a lucky number? Seven or La3sha would incorporate your go-to number into the name. Got lucky? The place where the baby was conceived is sometimes commemorated by giving the baby the same city name. Denver, Vegas, Paris, and Malibu (both the city and the Chevy car) will be explaining their moniker to their friends, while trying not to form any mental images, for the next thirty years at least. Little Kensington might not want to do that.

Adding an apostrophe or a few extra capital letters to the name allows you to pronounce the name quite dramatically. Say these out loud- Dante, and then D’Ante. Notice the difference?

Naming your baby after a fruit, direction, color, or animal is always sure to make your little one stand out at kindergarten roll call. Watching the expressions on people’s faces when they hear one of these names will also provide endless hours of entertainment. Just make sure you have established a trust fund for your child’s future therapy sessions.

If you are not creatively inclined, have no dictionary, or are just lazy, you can search google for any baby name list imaginable. Lists include the top Popular, Classic, Hipster, Unique, Ethnic, Star-powered, Literary or Disney Character names, as well as one for Secret Identities of Superheroes.

Then you have to go through the possible names, look up the meaning of each, and see what words the initials spell when put together. After giving careful consideration to all of these factors, it is apparent what the new little Prince of Cambridge would be named if he had been born in the states.

Pr’nce Edward “E” Nigma Veggie Frittata Fred

 

Giddy With Excitement (And Now Hunger)

It is just two short weeks to July 31st, The Buffer Zone Day! Since, like us, you are probably writing down the items you need from the grocery store on the back of an empty cable service envelope, here is one of our favorite recipes to use for your own celebration.

CHEESY CHEESE DIP

One big hunk of any kind of cheese

Another big hunk of a different kind of cheese

Some amount of cream cheese

Chop cheeses into similar size chunks. Place in heat proof bowl and put in microwave or oven. Heat at whatever temperature you need, for as long as you need, to get it nice and gooey. Remove from microwave or oven, and place bowl on hot pad in middle of table. Dip anything edible into cheese and enjoy. Serving size depends on cheese hunk size, and how festive/stressed/intoxicated the guests are likely to be.

Be sure to share this on facebook so that you don’t forget the recipe.

This Much Is Tru-ue

I started this blog after my sister and I finished the book we had been working on for the past 6 years. We wanted to post incidents and stories we found amusing for other’s weekly (or whenever we get around to it) enjoyment.

LIAR!

This blog and accompanying Twitter, Facebook, etc. were started to market our book. After reading countless marketing books and blogs, and watching every available video on launching a product on Social Networking Sites (SNS), we came to the conclusion that this is what we must do to be successful.

Beginning to tip toe into the confusing world of SNS, I set up account after account, hoping to remember the username and password for each. It took 3 days and a few phone calls to get this blog up, although I’m still not sure how to follow bloggers or get a photo to tile in the background. My first tweet (fittingly on April 1st) contained no hashtags, and was to my Twitter account, which had no followers. Just a little sentence whispered into oblivion.

The plan was to figure out what the heck we were doing before really putting ourselves out there and asking to be “liked.” The excitement was building until one day, out of the blue, one of the 68 followers, who happened to stumble upon The Buffer Zone, unfollowed us….Suddenly, I was back in junior high wondering who I was going to sit next to at lunch.

Although some might disagree, I think I am getting the hang of this and am ready to see where this journey takes us.

What have I learned? That I can purchase 15,000 followers, and tweeters unfollow you to keep their ratios tight. That being a social marketing ninja takes hours and hours everyday to keep up with what’s trending.

And that there is a vast number of clever, talented people all over the world. I have literally stopped dead while reading a passage to admire how beautifully the author crafted a sentence. I picture another blogger being my new BFF, sharing her humorous anecdotes with me over drinks.

I know this much is true. If The Buffer Zone book is never published, or we fail to reach even 5 more followers, I will still spend some time searching select sites. The rest of my free time will be spent reading the spectacular new books I’ve discovered there, and will be forever thankful to the people who sit typing in obscurity for the knowledge learned, insights provoked, and chuckles provided.

Only 29 More Days!

We’re sure you are bursting with excitement, and anxiously awaiting “The Buffer Zone Day” on July 31. Hopefully, by now, you have established a Buffer Zone from the crazies in your family, and have nothing left to do but organize the wine you have been stockpiling for this glorious day of celebration.

It’s also a good idea to research the noise ordinance in your neighborhood so you know how many A-scale (the scale that is closest to the way the human ear registers sound) decibels is allowed without a visit from the police. Closing your blackout drapes will help deaden the sound of the live band and ┬áraucous laughter, as well as keep undesirable relatives from peeking through the window panes into your party.

Count on us to share a few more helpful tips in the next few weeks to make this year’s “The Buffer Zone Day” celebration the best one yet!