Tag Archives: Are You Kidding Me?

Stacey Gustafson Gives Graduation Advice

Graduation Advice for My Daughter

Teachers, valedictorians and school administrators spoke at your high school graduation and offered advice like go to college, get a job, work hard, pursue your dreams, and travel. This is great for most graduates but just the tip of the iceberg. Since they did not ask me to speak at commencement, now I Graduation Advice for My Daughter Stacey Gustafsonoffer graduation advice for my daughter. It includes the little stuff that people often forget to mention that makes life meaningful.

Dear Daughter,

Congratulations! Today you have achieved a major milestone, graduation from high school. You’re moving onto a new chapter in your life, one filled with great adventure and the unknown. At times you may be scared and question all that you know as fair and just.

As you begin this new chapter I have graduation advice for you, most of it is common sense. Remember all the times I told you to pay attention and you ignored me? For your sake, I made a list to refresh your memory.

Pick up after yourself

Return things to the place that you found them. When you leave this house, maid service ends. From now on, unless you are staying at a hotel, the crap you put on the ground stays there. Forever. Or until you get around to picking it up. Don’t be the slob roommate in college. Represent yourself in the best light possible. We taught you way better than that. You only have one chance at a first impression.

Treat your siblings with kindness

Your brother is your closest blood relative. You will need him one day. It’s important to maintain a relationship with siblings. That means treat each other with respect and love. When you throw off-handed comments, or insults, it can leave deep wounds. Love one another. When your father and I are older, you will need a shoulder to lean on. I am an only child and wish I had someone to turn to when dealing with my parents, as they grow older.

Be careful of social media

Never put anything on Facebook, Twitter, email or any social media that you wouldn’t want your grandma to read. I know it is easy to get caught up telling the world about your latest achievement, biggest failure, and the type of sandwich you ate for lunch. Keep in mind, the pictures you post now may seem cool, like one of you after too much alcohol or freak dancing, but will come back to haunt you later, I promise. One day you will interview for a job, God willing, and a potential employer may come across that picture. The job you thought was yours will go down the drain. Don’t do anything that can limit your potential.

Keep the laughter

Humor makes difficult times more manageable and great times even better. Surround yourself with people who have a sense of humor. Never be too old to pull a prank or tell a knock-knock joke.

  • The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. — Mark Twain
  • The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. — E E Cummings
  • Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron
  • Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh. — W. H. Auden

Put your hair up in a ponytail

When preparing food keep the locks tied up. People don’t want to eat a hairball. Take it from me, this advice in invaluable.

Use moisturizer with sunscreen on your face everyday

I can attest to the importance of properly treating your skin. Growing up in the 70s, sunscreen came in two types, SPF 2 and baby oil with iodine. Both of these were horrible for you. But as a kid, I didn’t know any better. Around 20, my mother got diagnosed with skin cancer and that was my wake up call. From then on, I avoided the sun with a hat and layers of sunscreen. Learn from my mistake and cover up. Avoid the sun.

Treat others, as you would like to be treated

Never act a snob. Don’t con yourself into believing you are better than someone else. Remember that waitresses at Chili’s? You never know, that could be you.

Make a sincere apology

A bad apology is worse than no apology. Forget about the lame ass apologies like, “I’m sorry you’re mad.” That’s the worst one I’ve ever heard. You’re sorry that they are mad? As if you had no accountability? I learned from Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, a proper apology has three parts. First, admit that what you did was wrong and say, “I’m sorry.” Then let people know that you feel badly that you hurt them. Next, ask how you can make them feel better. You will keep friends for life this way.

Give your friends and family the attention they deserve

Do not use your cell phone or any other electronic device when others are speaking. Their time is valuable too. You show disrespect when you stick a cell phone in front of your face when others are talking. Who do you think you are to talk to others and texting at the same time? The Kardashians?

Pick the same qualities in a date as you would a future mate

Listen to your gut. If that guy on the dorm floor is always in a bad mood, don’t think that you can change him. Find a guy you can talk to and one that makes you laugh. A sense of humor will conquer many obstacles because life is too short not to be happy. When you think you met the man of your dreams, pick carefully and treat kindly. Take your time. This is one of the most important decisions you will make in your entire life.

Nothing is free in life

Lastly, remember that nothing is free in life but your parent’s love. And never let anyone rain on your parade!

I love you, Mom

Need more advice from mom? Read That Perfect Letter from Grown & Flown http://grownandflown.com/perfect-letter-to-college-kid/

BUY MY BOOK Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon and ebooks. It’s filled with stories you’ve never read on my blog, like the time I called SWAT on my neighbor or faked a heart attack in church. Hoping to make you laugh one story at a time. Get your copy now!! Click to purchase on Amazon.Need More Laughs?

Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon and eBooks. It’s filled with stories about crazy families, holiday chaos, school disasters and more. Hoping to make you laugh one story at a time. Get your copy now!! Click to purchase on Amazon.

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Author Stacey Gustafson Book Signing

Towne center bookstore

Magical Holiday Evening Author Book Signing Towne Center Books with Stacey Gustafson

Let’s help support our local favorite indie bookstore. Meet Stacey Gustafson at Towne Center Books in downtown Pleasanton on November 22 from 5-7 pm during the Magical Holiday Evening, the annual open house including a visit from Santa. The streets will come alive with the sights and sounds of the holidays.

This event coincides with the second annual Holiday Spirit Stroll. Twenty-one downtown merchants will be paired with local breweries, wineries and bars for a festive night sampling beer, wine and cocktails. Support your local stores today by shopping at locally owned businesses.

Win Two Tickets to Tommy T’s Comedy Club

Local author Stacey Gustafson released her debut novel, Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, a compilation of hilarious, surprising, and relatable stories. The book reached #4 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for its category during its debut week.Gustafson_Front_LO 092614
Meet the author at Towne Center Books in downtown Pleasanton during the second annual Holiday Spirit Stroll on November 22 from 5-7 p.m. This fun event coincides with the Magical Holiday Evening, a popular annual shopping event. Signed copies will be for sale. Buy a book and enter to win two free tickets to Tommy T’s Comedy Club. Gift wrapping will be available.
Featuring 63 tell-all tales from the trenches of motherhood, the anthology is a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. If you’ve ever called SWAT on a neighbor, faked a heart attack in church, or pulled your hair out while questioning the sanity of your family, her tongue-in-cheek brand of humor will resonate.

Stacey's head shot
Gustafson has been a Pleasanton resident for over 10 years along with her husband, two kids, and beloved dog. An author, humor columnist, and blogger, her short stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Not Your Mother’s Books. Her work also appears in print and online at Midlife Boulevard, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Generation Fabulous, ZestNow, More Magazine, Pleasanton Patch, Lost in Suburbia, Better After 50, and on her daughter’s bulletin board. She was recently honored as Erma Bombeck’s Humor Writer of the Month.
Signed copies of Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives will be for sale. Buy a book and enter to win two tickets to Tommy T’s Comedy Club. Gift wrapping will be available too.
For more information, click on the link, http://staceygustafson.com/magical-holiday-evening-author-book-signing-towne-center-books/

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Author Interview with Stacey Gustafson

Stacey's head shotToday, I’m pleased to participate in a blog tour and interview Stacey Gustafson, author of Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives.
Julaina: Since you are a friend of mine, I know you, but for our readers, who is Stacey Gustafson?
Stacey: I’m a humor writer, wife, and mom. I grew up in St. Louis. My high school English teacher picked me to be Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. I think she wanted to keep me busy so I would quit talking in her class. As my kids grew up and out of the house, I filled the void with writing. I’m a fan of Janet Evanovich and Lisa Scottoline. Their writing inspired me.
Julaina: What’s your book about?
Stacey: Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. It’s my life in a minivan. I write about family and everyday things like the laundry, public restroom, carpool, and parent teacher conferences. As a humor columnist for the local online newspaper, I realized I had enough material to start a humor collection. That’s when the idea for Are You Kidding Me? was born.
Julaina: How did you choose the cover?
Stacey: I wanted the cover to portray a frustrated woman, not mad or sad but hilariously outnumbered and outconned by her friends and family. Again. I wanted her to vaguely resemble me, but with younger face and better hair. It’s the way I imagine myself.
Julaina: Where do you get your ideas?
Stacey: My humor is observational. I take notes when something’s funny. I notice the mundane, like self-checkout machines, roundabouts, DMV, Brussels sprouts and pet hamsters then hope it’s universally funny.
Julaina: Who are your favorite comedians?
Stacey: Hands down, my favorite comedian is Kathleen Madigan. She’s from St. Louis, Missouri, like me, and really captures the Midwest attitude in her stand-up routine. Other favorites include Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, and Chris Rock. They tell funny, relatable stories about their families and growing up in the 70s.
Julaina: What does your writing process look like?

Stacey: I wake up around 7:30 a.m. and watch 30 min of comedy like Modern Family, The Middle, The Goldbergs or my new favorite, Black-ish. Then I check social media for an hour and write new material for 3-4 hours. Right now, I’m on a Blog Tour for Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, but I hope to get back to my regular writing schedule soon.
Julaina: Are You Kidding Me is available on Amazon http://amzn.to/147guNj where I noticed other books that have your stories included.

Stacey: Yes, most editions of Not Your Mother’s Book have my stories as well as the California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch’s anthology, and your book, Written Across the Genres. Crystal Ponti’s new book called Clash of the Couples: A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers’ Squabbles and Relationship Spats was published last month with one of my stories in it.

Julaina: Congratulations on your successes. What’s your next project?
Stacey: I’m collecting stories for my second book, Are You Kidding Me? Part Two. It will be geared toward moms with college-age kids, empty nesters, something I have first hand knowledge. Also, I’m writing a humorous murder mystery, fiction, of course. It will be a lighthearted chase through suburbia as the protagonist attempts to solve a local mystery set in my hometown of Pleasanton, CA.
Julaina: Thanks for stopping by my blog on your tour. As you know, I’m a big fan of yours and welcome your spontaneous humor whenever we’re in the same place.

Gustafson_Front_LO 092614

You can find Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives on Amazon and connect with Stacey on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter! And follow some of the other blog tour stops on the Blue Lobster Book Co website.

http://amzn.to/147guNj

 

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