The FYOOOTURE of this site and podcast

Maybe you noticed that I put some ads on this site. I want to know how that’s working out for you; and I want to know what you’d like to see and hear from my site and podcast in the future.

Why ads? This year, we’ll have two kids entering college and one going to kindergarten (which we pay for). These were foreseeable expenses, but then the family van suddenly succumbed a year ahead of my hopes. We haven’t visited or helped my parents, gone to Girl Scouts or other activities, or gone to our beloved new parish for many weeks, because we don’t trust the van to go — or, more importantly, to stop — when we want it to. We’re searching for a downsized replacement vehicle in our price range, and we’re hustling for more work; but it suddenly became clear that it was time to monetize the thing I already have established. So, ads!

Do I still need pledges? Oh, yes, please please. I’m immensely grateful for your support through Patreon, which made it possible to launch the site when I left Aleteia, and which has kept it going for six months now. (I haven’t forgotten that I owe many of you the promised perks for pledging. I have no excuse for dragging my feet on that, except that I have very large feet, and they are heavy.) Your pledges mean I can continue writing five days a week without worrying about being fired for, like, saying “balls.” I’m so grateful, and very much welcome your continued support.

Oh gosh, please, I don’t want to go back to cranking out SEO-optimized articles that aren’t designed to be read. The photo at the top, illustrating my creative process? I’m thrilled with that, as long the thing I’m writing with one hand isn’t twelve short essays about cigar wrappers.

Will the podcasts continue? In the words of Darth Vader: Nothing can stop that now. My husband and I have been producing weekly 25-minute podcasts which are available to patrons who pledge at any level, even $1 a month. They’re chatty, drinky, goofy, and non-political, and I read a poem at the end.

We’ve just upgraded our audio system, so we should sound less bottom-of-a-wellish starting this week. We’re also restructuring a bit. I’ll be returning to my original idea of doing interviews with guests once a month or so. I also want to have recurring features for me and Damien to cover. We have some ideas, but we nervously welcome suggestions. What would you like to hear?

Why this particular ad network? I chose Mediavine because they work to keep the site as uncluttered as possible, to load the ads sequentially so it’s not too slow, and to keep the content appropriate. So far, I’ve been happy with the results, and I hope you can read without disruptions, both on mobile and desktop. Please let me know if you are having any problems viewing the site, or if you see an ad that doesn’t belong.

Any other questions, suggestions, complaints, concerns, or offers for an all-inclusive package for a weekend at the beautiful, sun-drenched La Fiesta Americana Resort using the Hilton rewards I can’t seem to persuade you I don’t actually have? Hit me! Or just write me an email, sheesh.

Finally: Thank you. You guys are good friends.

Blog housekeeping, updates, issues, tissues, damned lies, statistics, and no end of stilton cheese

A little housekeeping today. Ha ha, no, not in my actual house. That’s crazy talk. Just blog housekeeping.

LINGERING SERVER ERRORS A little over a week ago, I switched to a self-hosted (well, brother-hosted) server, to gain more control over this site. In the process, whacky things happened, and not everyone could access my blog. If you’re still having trouble getting to the site, please add a “www” before simchafisher.com, or if there is an https in the URL, try taking out the “s.” These issues should be just about ironed out, but it may take another day or so. You may need to update your bookmark. Sorry about that! Thanks so much for your patience. The internet is tubes. The internet is tubes.

EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS I seem to have lost all my email subscribers in the migration. Boooo! If you want to get an email every time I post, you will have to resubscribe, using the form on the right sidebar. I miss you! I want you back!

PODCAST The weekly podcast continues apace, whatever that means. Starting yesterday, I’ve switched from Soundbutt to an integrated WordPress media player, so you can listen right from this site, and you can now download the podcast to hear later. The podcast is open to lovely subscribers who have pledged their support through Patreon, which is how I’m currently funding this blog. It’s fun! You should come along!

FEED The feed is a mess. Just a mess. It is on my list!

OTHER WAYS TO KEEP IN TOUCH Every post I write goes on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr, so you can follow all my nonsense in any of those spots. I have a personal Facebook page, where I post photos and all the silly stuff one posts on social media, as well as all my blog post. My personal page is maxed out on friend requests, but you can still “follow” me. I also have a professional page, which only shows blogs posts, which you can “follow” and “like” to keep updated.

EMAIL I am approximately seventy-three years behind in my emails. I am sorry. I read everything I get, and if you asked for prayer, I definitely prayed. I am working my way through the backlog. Please don’t take it personally! If it’s urgent, it couldn’t hurt to email again.

SPEAKING I am still scheduling speaking engagements for 2017! Shoot me an email at simchafisher[at]gmail[dot]com and let’s make some plans. For you, I’ll even wear heels. Here are a few popular recent talks:

Your Family Is an Icon
How your family as it is right now is an icon, a beautiful and powerful evangelical tool to bring people closer to God, because of its imperfections, not despite them.

Beautiful Stranger: Making Contact with the Mother of God One terrible year, I was forced to get past my silly ideas about Mary and finally get to know her — and let her help me.

Swimming in the Dark: Spreading the Good News When You’re Feeling So Bad Pope Francis has made it clear that evangelization is an obligation, not an option. But what if we’re not feeling joyful right now? Do we still have to put ourselves out there?

AMAZON As long as I’m mentioning All The Things, have I reminded you lately that you can help my family out a ton by using my link when you shop on Amazon? I’ll have a sidebar button soon. In the meantime, please consider bookmarking this as your Amazon page. It will be exactly the same shopping experience as usual for you, but I will earn a percentage of every sale. This helps us pay very important bills! Thanks!

NO END OF STILTON CHEESE
10 PRINT “STILTON CHEESE”
20 GOTO 10
RUN

Ask your parents, kids.

My interview with S. C. Naoum of EYE OF THE TIBER

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-12-57-40-pm

. . . will be my next podcast, which comes out next week! Eeee, I’m so excited! No website more consistently cracks me up than Eye of the Tiber (“Breaking Catholic news so you don’t have to”), and it’s been getting funnier over the years.

Example from the latest edition:

What The Hell Kinda Name Is ‘Marcial Maciel,’ Anyway, New Study Asks

“We ask a few questions in the survey,”  the congregation’s de facto superior Cardinal Velasio de Paolis told the press. “We first ask, what the hell kinda name is ‘Marcial?’ Second, we ask what the hell kinda last name is ‘Maciel?’ Third, we ask how the apostolate can redefine their charism. And finally, we ask how in the living hell you have the last name of ‘Maciel,’ and choose to name your son ‘Marcial?’” Experts say that these are all imperative questions to reflect upon for the new leadership.

Oh, my gosh. Don’t you feel better about eleven different things now?  And I’m not gonna lie, I was already a fan of EOTT before they came out with “Newspaper Fires Staff Writers Amid Allegations They Had Opinions, ” but now I’m a superfan.

So HOW, you ask, can you hear this fabulous podcast with the fabulous S.C. Naoum, who’s recently released his first book? C’est so easy. You simply become a patron of this blog through Patreon. You can pledge any amount a month, even a dollar, and I’ll send you a private link to my weekly podcast. There are also other, ridiculous perks you can earn in return for pledges at various amounts. I’ve been doing the podcast with my very patient husband, but I’ll be adding in more guests as I find my feet in this new medium.

This blog is entirely independent, which means that nobody tells me what to say or what not to say . . . and nobody writes me a check, either. I’d love to keep this site uncluttered and ad-free with the help of readers. Please do consider pledging. A dollar a month is wonderful. Two or three dollars is wonderful. Five is excellent. Ten is stupendous. And so on!

Yesterday’s podcast, creatively titled “Podcast #3,” included absolutely zero mentions of YELLOW JOURNALISM (except for the part where we pledged not to talk about it), but we did discuss parthenogenesis and whether or not the alternative would make Jesus His own grandpaw; whether or not a new model of the causes of addiction (“it’s the cage, not the rat”) seems true, based on Damien’s decade of experience as a crime reporter; which is better, the Roman Catholic Banjo Mass or eating as much lamb as possible at the Greek Orthodox festival; and the opposite of Ernest Borgnine. I also attempt to class up the joint by reading “Marginalia” by Richard Wilbur, with some help from Corrie, even though I TOLD them to keep her out.

Any questions for S.C. Naoum? Post ’em here, and I’ll see if I can work them into the interview. Remember, you can pledge as little as a dollar a month to get access to the weekly podcast.