Entries categorized "Blogger Idol 2013"

It's the Blogger Idol Pageant Live!

(This post was written for Week #4 of Blogger Idol 2013. Contestants were paired and the challenge was to write an interview. My partner was Kristen Hansen Brakeman and we really enjoyed our collaboration experience.)


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Ladies and gentlemen, I’m your host, Heather Reese, blogger from My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream. We’re live at the 2013 Blogger Idol Pageant and relieved the horror of the swimsuit competition is behind us! Let's move ahead as we're only weeks away from crowning the next Blogger Idol! 

We know our contestants can write. This next segment will reveal just how fast two of our finalists, Kristen Hansen Brakeman and Liesl Testwuide, can think on their feet. Our judges have been given questions to ask each finalist and they'll be scored on their answers. 

 Let’s begin with a question for Kristen from our first judge, Mother Freakin’ Princess (MFP).

Judge #1: Kristen, I'm a modern day princess who enjoys mountain biking and cooking, so naturally I want to know, what do you think about the recent government shutdown?


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Liesl and Kristen backstage at the pageant. Although nervous, they enjoyed a laugh after former contestant, Don of all Trades, shared a filthy joke.

Kristen: Oh, totally great question! I'm such a big fan, MFP, because I love pink just like you! I believe the government shutdown is totes important! In fact, it’s just like my platform, “Books for Convicts.”  I believe that if we give convicts books, then they could read books and then they’ll know so much more, and then

I believe they could read books to sick children, the elderly and the homeless, and that is why I believe feeding the hungry during the government shutdown is so important!  And so is, “Books for Convicts!” Thank you!

Okay, uh, next question.

Judge #2: My question is for Liesl from Hairpin Turns Ahead. My blog is called I Need a Playdate. Besides a blogger, I’m a parent, teacher and have held a myriad of jobs, from pizza delivery person, to sex toy consultant. Therefore, I’m interested to learn your views on U.S. child labor laws.

Liesl: I’m not knowledged in child labor laws. I had my first child at 33. I’m 50% definitely sure I’m likely against child labor laws. For instinct, if a 13 year-old asks for a urinal- - I mean an epic urinal, during labor, it

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Every Dog Has His Day

(This post was written for Week #1 of Blogger Idol in 2013. The challenge:  Introduce yourself to the Blogger Idol audience by writing your own eulogy. )


Hey folks-

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I'm so depressed after Liesl's death, I don't even want my own reality TV series anymore.

I never imagined I’d stand before you at Liesl’s funeral. Since I’m a 150-pound St. Bernard, you likely never expected it either. By the way, sorry for sniffing your crotches as you arrived. My OCD (odoriferous crotch disorder) acts up in a crowd.

Liesl’s three sons asked me, Big Ben, her long-time companion, to remember her on their behalf. It's true I'm just a dog, but I knew her better than most and loved her dearly.

I found Liesl, a.k.a. Sleazel (the 80s), That Mess In a Dress (pre-sobriety), or Hurricane Liesl, with her hand still clutching a Diet Coke, dead on her office floor. She drowned beneath a raging sea of divorce lawyer bills. Although I attempted CPR, my excessive drool made matters worse, so I licked her face, and laid beside her.

Liesl may have been Wisconsin’s only lactose intolerant, recovering alcoholic resident. Rumor has it she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a complete blackout for seven years and still graduated with an English degree, but that was way before my time. On a recent trip to Madison, the boys told me Liesl said, "I'm not really sure where the library is..." as they walked past the library.

After college, Liesl followed the Australian boyfriend she had known all of three weeks to San Francisco. Always up for adventure, she applied to the San Francisco Fashion Design School. No doubt her Bob Mackie-sized shoulder pads made a good first impression in her interview. However, the two forgotten Clairol rollers, still tightly secured to the back of her head, may have her hurt her chances. I can hear her now: "Oh Christ! Details! I hate 'em!"

Despite her disdain for other people’s children, Liesl became a high school English teacher and worked in Milwaukee area schools. She married and blah, blah, blah, history, schmistory, let's just fast forward... divorced in 2011. For most folks, I hear divorce is devastating. In Liesl's case, it led to freedom, rebirth, and self-discovery. Was that too over-the-top? I'm a St. Bernard. We tend to like drama.

The last family photo. Liesl sure knew how to put the fun in dysfunction.

Liesl and I both struggled with our weight and despised exercise. We were really good at sitting on the couch. Liesl concocted crazy diets. The I'll-Eat-As-Much-Cherry-Pie-As-I-Want-Since-I'm-Getting-Divorced-You-Skinny-Bitch diet was a favorite. We rarely went for walks. I preferred sleep and Liesl believed that wearing her 1979 Dr. Scholl’s - the Original Exercise Sandals- counted as a work out.

I remember when one of Liesl’s friends bugged her to come to an aerobics class she taught. Finally Liesl acquiesced, and arrived in her signature pink bathrobe, with two-dozen doughnuts and a lawn chair. No slacker, Liesl stayed and smoked her Marlboros and drank Diet Coke until the very end of class.


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Photo credit: Boutique Photographer

Liesl’s motto was "go big or go home," and no doubt I'm a testament to that. In fact, when I spoke to some of you to prepare for today, many mentioned Liesl’s big smile, big hair, big parties, and big heart. One thing is certain, she had an infectious spirit and sense of humor. In my darkest days, when the snow had melted and there were no more rolling pins to eat, Liesl could still make me laugh. I bet she had the same affect on you.

Although she liked to do things BIG, the private Liesl liked the little things in life. She insisted hugs with her boys be a minimum of 6 seconds. She said it had to do with releasing oxycontin or something like that. She loved to tuck the boys in at night and say their prayers. She often added an extra Hail Mary for yelling “Holy F*#k!” after stepping on Legos in bare feet.

Liesl drove the boys to South Dakota to see "Rount Mushmore."

After her divorce, she fought loneliness and hoped to find love again, but she put her needs on the back burner to focus on her boys. She figured she'd have time for herself when they went to college. She was their rock, even though she sucked at story problems.

Liesl loved to be a bit naughty. We'd drive the boys to school and, not being a morning person, she'd wear nothing but a trench coat. If a student's father gave her a compliment on her coat, she'd reply, “You should see my sheared beaver," and peel out of the parking lot laughing.  It sounds kind of pervy now, but it wasn't. She was right. Her sheared beaver coat is gorgeous.

Just like her parents taught her, she instilled a sense of individuality in her boys. Liesl wanted them to do their own thing, not follow the crowd. If there was a road less traveled, Liesl took it. She planned quirky road trips, started strange traditions, and made the boys try new foods at teeny-tiny diners. They'd say, "Where are we again?" And she'd answer, "We're in Appalachia. Be grateful for what you have." Or, "We're in Kentucky. Try those grits." Or, "We're in South Dakota. It's called an antelope, not a cantaloupe." Then she'd finish with:  "Let's just take in this awesome moment of togetherness. This is what it's all about. I love you guys."

She loved us deeply and reminded us often. No better legacy exists.

Top 10 Reasons I Should Be America's 2013 Blogger Idol

Urine sampleI haven't been this nervous since the last time I had to pee in a cup. My hands were shaking then, and my hands are shaking now. There's something humbling about both putting yourself on the line for an audition, and slowly walking down a hallway with a cup of your warm piss. Competing emotions seem to emerge: feeling grateful for those cheering me on to succeed, and being scared sh*tless I'll fail because I suck ass.

At a time like this, who better to turn to for words of encouragement, but the golfer, John Daly? He's been up, he's been down, and he wears his

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