Friday, August 01, 2008

Pinching Her Lemons

Lemonade and Kidneys
Aug. 2008

Lemonade and Kidneys. It's not a new taste treat, thank God. Ruth has polycystic kidney disease, her young son has it, too. She's fighting the disease and raising money for woefully underfunded research. Ruth's blog is conversational. The detailed information about what it's like living with kidney disease is very readable. She doesn't shun proper use of caps or use strange punctuation (remember the guy who used two periods for each sentence?) to make her point.

She's trying to do something good for humanity, but I have some issues with her site. Am I rotten for picking on someone with kidney disease? Well, as a matter of fact, I am a card-carrying bitch. You can ask my husband. He'd probably lie, because I give good head and he doesn't want to endanger his sex life.

Anyway, Ruth covers a lot of ground blogging about polycystic kidney disease, her life, George Clooney, fund raising and cookie sales. I got a flash of what ADD must be like, as I jumped from topic to topic reading her blog. See? Saying anything negative about this lady makes me feel like I just kicked a puppy and it belonged to one of Jerry's kids. Oh well, life's a bitch. Moving on.

I spent HOURS in her archives, with nary a cookie to sustain me. There's some great content there, but quite a bit of it is mind-numbingly long. Ruth, child, you need to get out your scissors and trim your post's length, my love. This tiny snippet got my attention. This one, on weight loss, a subject near and dear to my Fatty McFaterson heart, needs some surgery. You have wonderful content, but it's hidden in laborious posts. Free it from the bonds of literary diarrhea.

Dramatic posts, like this one, grabbed me with both hands. While you've got me, could you rub down and a little to the left? Harder! Oh, that's it. By the way, about that post, I think those fellows were trying to flag you down to hurt you and I am damned glad you didn’t stop. Readers, if you haven't read that post, back up and read it.

Here are some easy fixes that will help your blog:

~ Seven posts on your main page are just too much, especially if you tend to be verbose.

~ Make that donation link at the top stand out better. That seems to be one of your primary areas of focus, but it's visually weak.

~ I don’t like the line of stars between paragraphs to set off different topics. Your choice, but that's my opinion. When the posts are so long that you need chapter dividers, get out the pruning shears.

~ A drop down archive listing would be better than what you currently have.

~ Consider using HTML code that opens your blog links in another window, this eliminates traffic loss from your blog as people visit your suggested sites. Let me know if you need that code. For that matter, import your blog to Wordpress, a much better place to live if you're a blog. You can make links open in a new window automatically.

~ Edit your content. Don't make me spank you. Now this doesn't mean every post has to be five lines or less. Just take out the extraneous stuff and polish up your lemons.

~ Enlivening your template. Your banner/footer is OK. The second line is hard to read on the lemons, but I am a fool for yellow. How about throwing some of that color elsewhere? Hang on here, I mean, without going nuts and making the whole damned thing yellow. Captivate the eye a little more. Patterns, colors and fonts make our visits more enjoyable. Your blog design is, quite frankly, a huge yawn. Although, I have seen worse. Much worse.

I give her because she needs to work on her dismount.

Ruth, punch it up and bring your juicy lemons back for another shot in six months or so. This topic and your own personal battles, are far too important to not let your blog shine.

Thus ends the review ... or does it?


For those who feel I was way too easy on the Geezer: I took a hard look at this blogger. I didn't cut her the slack that I did the old guy. But my personal opinion is that she fucking rocks for having the energy, devotion and sheer balls, to help others when she, herself, is ill.

Live long, prosper and feel free to bite me if you don't agree.


  1. I'd be inclined to cut her some slack myself. I had a kidney removed when I was a teenager. (It was defective from birth.) I'm healthy as hell, for an old geezer, but can relate to a person with kidney problems.

  2. Love the yellow. Lemons make me feel happy and clean, which is odd, because usually when I come here I feel all dirty and rauchy. The combo is a bit kinky. As for her blog? I like her. She's a wee bit longwinded, so she goes on the favorites list, not the blogroll.

  3. I like her, too ... but, um, even I, recently cited for my own long-windedness, found her a bit over-wordy in places. I love the lemony header. I've never seen such pretty lemons!

  4. Seriously? Everything she says is completely vanilla. Not even's that flavorless ice cream old malt shops use for shakes. Nothing she writes surprises me, and that post about the guy with the note?


    Lifetime movie. They're all so goddamn Lifetime movie.

  5. It's always nice to see Rassles spitting out hate in the morning.

  6. Long winded?! That's the last thing I expected to hear, but I can live with it. Thanks and a chocolate truffle to Queen Mutha for the constructive comments -- those are exactly what I was hoping to receive, having been foolhardy enough to ask in the first damn place.

  7. To Queen Mutha:

    If you second guess yourself and/or your reviews too much you won't have fun. And is there any other point to all this? As the reviewer, you get to say whatever the 'F' you want to say. It's not a bad thing to be nicer than the average brutal commenting public:)

  8. Mmmmm. Truffles.

    When do I get my paycheck, anyway? Are there benefits with this job?

  9. The benefit is more of the intangible sort. Pay is negligible.

  10. I want truffles. If I'm nice, do I get truffles?

  11. Absolutely, Captain Steve. Hazelnut or Grand Marnier?

  12. 17 hits to my blog in one day ... interesting. Any suggestions, rather than just mentioning that I'm "much worse" ?

  13. (oh yeah, guess I should have clicked "e-mail follow up comments")


Grow a pair.