December 22, 2016

Hen's Grown Up Christmas List

Does he come with the suit?
Maybe one day I'll have a major following and make millions from The Cackling Hen if I start writing and posting regularly. Until then, please enjoy my sporadic online presence!

I've had clucker's block. I still have plenty to cluck about because things still annoy me and I'm a really funny bird, but sometimes it's hard to find the time and motivation to write while working 4-hour days. Alas, in the holiday spirit, I'm here to deliver!

Now that I'm an old, gown, immature hen, mother hen and father goose still ask what I need for Christmas. I don't really need anything other than money, a job, or a sense of purpose in the morning, and those are hard to fit under the tree. Instead, I just remind them that I do not need anymore clothes so they can buy me clothes and put them under the tree.

In the spirit of Christmas and American greed, I've compiled my official Christmas wish list so you all know what to get me.

November 16, 2016

HEN FOR PRESIDENT and My New Careers!

You're hired? 
Well, it's been over a week since that big event happened and over 60 million Americans voted for a 4-year return of "The Apprentice." Only in America do we have the freedom to elect a leader based on lies and hateful speeches instead of a highly-qualified woman. God bless it. Freedom's great, right? Right?

But in times of sickness and tragedy, laughter is the best medicine, and The Hen delivers. So instead of being distraught that this election was the biggest embarrassment in the world, or being worried that your rights are in jeopardy, let's focus on the positive from this travesty! Every cloud has a silver lining, even if it's just a speck.

November 2, 2016

In Zayn We Trust

Something important.
Once again, it's time for a huge Hen comeback! I'm aiming for more comebacks than Cher to increase my exposure and justify my common writing droughts. I have not been ignoring my faithful coup; I've just been searching for right inspiration. There is truly nothing funny about this horrid election - that onslaught of coverage has been filling every media wavelength and crushing my soul. So I had to think of other important cackling topics to peck at. My mild depression? No. My search for life meaning and a salaried job? No way. Thankfully, there is a shred of hope left in 2016: ZAYN PUBLISHED HIS OWN BOOK.

Part of my mild depression stems from the gradual dissembling of One Direction. I cried purchasing the last calendar that would feature all 5 of them together, and I still sob hearing their final single, "History." But Zayn read my dramatic 3 a.m. tweets and came to my rescue.

September 27, 2016

Alternatives More Qualified Than That Loud, Orange Balloon Running for President.

In typical Hen fashion, I have taken a hiatus longer than expected from clucking away on my volunteer blog. (I'm still accepting donations and endorsement deals.) I have been busy with partial employment, crying about new Hens on Ice shows starting without me, and getting enraged by political posts on Facebook.

I scrapped my original plan to write about becoming a Hens on Ice groupie, but that may come later. Instead, I'll focus on what's hot in the (social) media and join in the 2016 presidential debate. But instead of beating a dead hen about which candidate is fit to run the country and which candidate is the devil residing in a pompous orange windbag, I'll focus on who is more fit to get my vote than the previously mentioned pumpkin nominee. (Happy Halloween!)

August 25, 2016

LinkedIn or LinkedOut?

Does anyone still use Linkedin?

Better yet, does anyone gain meaningful connections and job prospects through Linkedin?

These are some tough questions in today's online world. If the answer is "yes," then I'm probably using Linkedin in all the wrong ways.
Cute, blonde, and/or professional?

I remember first learning about Linkedin and creating an account in my early 20s, like many people my age. It seemed like a great idea at the time, having a professional social media presence so my Facebook could focus on drinking and cat photos. I also felt productive, networking (whatever that means) without really doing anything. I didn't have a great use for Linkedin when I made my account in college, but I was convinced that this would be an important and handy tool in the professional job world.

August 15, 2016

Twitter and the Other T Word.

The primaries and national conventions are now over for the the 2 major political parties, leaving each candidate just one target to maim and brutalize until November. When my newsfeed isn't filled with babies, it's filled with pictures of that other huge, orange baby who's apparently still running for president. I sometimes aim for original material, but writing about how awful, scary, and orange Trump is epitomizes the expression "beating a dead horse." So I'll keep it simple: Trump sucks. (Read about more things that just suck.)

At least laughter is the best and cheapest medicine. So until we need morphine in October to stomach the 2016 election, let's enjoy some of the beautiful wit of the Internet. I missed the #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes fad for article, so I'll settle for some classic Twitter responses to Trump.

July 18, 2016

I Quit. Part II

Did you read "I Quit?" That's part 1 and you'll be confused and left out if you don't read it first.

...Continued from "I Quit."

23 years old. After beating my sunburnt competitors for a silver medal in Hawaii, I found the fresh training environment I needed to reach my competitive potential to regularly finish "middle of the pack." I got so good, I could beat my toughest rivals when they made at least 3 mistakes! The 2009 Eastern Sectional Championships was my shining moment as a competitor. I skated my best performance, ending with tears of joy to a standing, slightly drunk ovation. I never knew I could be so proud of a 7th-place finish! I couldn't quit in my prime, so I continued to train for the next year.

July 15, 2016

I Quit.

"I quit."

Don't fear - I'm not quitting the volunteer blogging business. But these are words I'm not good at saying, along with "no" and "Britney's past her prime." I'm good at leaving things unfinished like cleaning and writing books, but once I'm committed, I'm not a quitter. I don't even quit jobs; I just move or I'm asked to stop showing up because I "graduated." And technically, I'm still working on my book and my room, even if my work's been on hiatus since 2012.

I have quit ice skating: many times. But in quitting skating, I've been an utter failure. I'm the hen who cried wolf of ending my skating career. After my tearful, dramatic farewell to Hens on Ice lasted a mere 6 weeks, no one believes me when I cry again at the next show and say, "This is it!" You'll all be sorry one day when you don't take my sobbing farewell to the ice seriously, whether that day comes this year or before my 2048 presidential run. Until then, let's reflect on my history of quitting.

July 1, 2016

PULSE and Other Things That Suck

Even the funniest birds don't cackle 24/7. The Cackling Hen is a pretty funny bird, but even this cackler gets blue. Sometimes blue can still be funny and I love self-deprecating humor, like look how I can't cope leaving Hens on Ice! or look how my bedroom is decorated like a 12-year-old girl's! But then there's the other kind of blue, a deeper depression and/or tragic shattering event. That recent, horrid event that out-blued the other tragic events in the news was the Orlando Pulse massacre.

I can't put fitting words to the tragedy that happened at Pulse. It's unimaginable. It's beyond disgusting, horrifying, senseless, and tragic. Seeing the news unfold jarred me at my core and sunk my heart to an unknown depth. It is just unreal, and I don't think my brain will ever 100% compute such a horror. Just down the road from me and knowing that my hen friends and I frequent the gay bar, it rattled me more than any other attack because it could have easily been any of us there. In my mind, just like we hope schools and churches to be safe havens, places like Pulse have been safe havens for many up to this point. Although acceptance of all people continues to progress, there are still many people all over the world who don't feel they can fully be themselves for whatever reasons. A place like Pulse is supposed to be a safe escape where anyone can come, no matter who someone is or who someone wants to be, and have fun. Great music, cheap drinks, fun, attractive people, drag shows - what's not to love? Tragically, just as the domestic terrorists and deranged souls have entered our elementary schools, our churches, our college campuses, our movie theaters, and our malls, one has now targeted and bloodied the gay bar. It just sucks.

June 7, 2016

The Power of the Unfollow (EXCLUDING UNFOLLOWING THE HEN!)

Sorry not sorry.
What happened to all the days between May 4 and today? It's too astonishing to address or consider, so I won't.

Instead, I write here today to urge all of you in my coop to take action in your social media lives and to teach something I've learned recently. I will not be teaching you middle school science, figure skating, or kindergarten phonics; I'm here to teach you the power of the "unfollow." You may have also just learned proper semicolon usage (see previous sentence).

First and most importantly, this unfollow lesson DOES NOT APPLY TO THE CACKLING HEN. DO NOT EVER UNFOLLOW THE CACKLING HEN. That would be a horrible life choice and you will cry when this bird takes off for entertainment domination and you're out of the coop.

May 4, 2016

Teaching Science

Don't know what I'm doing.
As I've written about pursuing a teaching career and having Mr. Cackling Hen's classroom, I've spent months reaching out to various schools for substitute teaching and applying to full-time roles. Many schools have their own application process for substitute teaching, so I've humbly jumped through the hoops, cut the read tape, given fingerprints multiple times (for multiple fees), and given up blood samples and my future first-born child. I even sat in on a 6th grade class (See "Mr Cackling Hen's Grand Debut."), but I recently had my actual debut where I was in charge.

I didn't fully know what to expect for my first time leading a group of students, especially 6th graders. I envisioned them laughing at my worldly stories and jokes, as I threw the lesson plans out the window and became the coolest teacher ever. I also envisioned utter chaos, with students running around the room, throwing things, cursing at me, and having no respect for authority. It would probably be one of these two situations, and I really hoped for the former.

April 12, 2016

The Best of the Unfinished Archives!

Call me.
Like any famous author, The Cackling Hen has an overflowing library of unfinished, unpublished works. And instead of finishing just one of those articles and pretending it's still relevant, (May the partial articles on swine flu and Alex from Target rest in peace.) I am presenting the best of my unfinished articles for your partial enjoyment. You may call this a "cop out" like my article on or you might call it "Seinfeld-esque" like one drunk fan. I'm going with the latter to boost my self-esteem.
"Writing About Not Writing,"

In no particular order, here are some of the best "could-have-been," sensational articles that you'll never read in full. But knowing what you're missing might offer you some closure.

March 22, 2016

Waking Up in Lisbon

As I wrote in "Stages of Emotional Coping Leaving Hens on Ice," transitioning from life on the road to stationary, mediocre employment has its challenges. The coping still continues many months after my August departure. Some days, I coped fine, filled with excitement as I applied to new job prospects. Other days, I coped by joining another ice show for 2 months. As I still find ways to cope in March, I now wonder what may be clinically wrong with me. But pushing that aside, my recent coping strategy was a surprise visit to Europe to see my old show and hen friends.

Since September, my old Hen troop has been touring Western Europe in a similar route to my first year with Hens on Ice. When I bid farewell to dear friends in August, I vowed I'd try to visit during the European tour. It would be a great excuse to visit Europe and see my friends.

February 26, 2016

The Hen's Biggest Race Ever

It's just so good.
I am done acknowledging time gaps between Hen articles that are longer than I want. Typically, this is every gap between every article because I'd love to have a new article daily. But this is not feasible with my busy schedule of part-time work, getting fingerprinted for each individual teaching job I apply to, and keeping up with American Idol. Now that that's off my breast, onward with my huge announcement! (It's not Trump-related. Keep reading.)

Tomorrow is a big day for The Hen! I won't be trying to steal an acting role from a 12 year old - I've already done that. I'll be flapping in my first 5K run!

February 10, 2016

Mr. Cackling Hen's Grand Debut!

Today was a huge day for The Hen's new career - the first day in the classroom as Mr. Cackling Hen! I didn't get paid, I didn't teach anything, nor did I really talk to any chickadees, but I was back in classroom desks for the first time since USFSP mercifully passed me through their graduate program.

To become a potential substitute teacher, I sat in on a few classes, jittery off too much coffee and hungry for knowledge, experience, and a breakfast sandwich. And I knew today would probably be the big day where I was first introduced as "Mr. Cackling Hen." It was.

January 28, 2016

Bar Flies That Need Swatting

Lakeland's hot spot, once.
My friend SamHentha and I recently flapped to a local Lakeland watering hole for a few drinks, reminiscing, and hopefully a free drag show. It was a bumpin' spot when 3 casts of Hens on Ice were in town a few years ago, and it's never lived up the grandeur since. Regardless, it's fun to comment on how much less fun it is without 50 of our skating hens.

When the drag show took a horrendous turn into "stand-up comedy," all the crazies from Lakeland got bored with the entertainment and turned to us as fresh meat. We've all dealt with the random drunk stranger at the bar who just wants to be friends, but on this night, these hammered birds pulled up stools and joined our table for two. We had the fortune of dealing with multiple types of drunks, and it reminded me of the different kinds of crazies that I never want to speak to at the bar.

January 19, 2016

That'll Be "Mr. Cackling Hen" to you: Hen's Classroom!

Let's learn about sports and race!
The Cackling Hen is becoming a teacher! Call it a noble career change, a poor life choice, or a midlife crisis, but I'm out to educate America's youth! Maybe one day I'll have a world-wide education program and my own education system, but for now, I'm getting my ducks and hens in a row and applying to teaching jobs in the Sunshine State. I'm set to put Florida back on the map for education instead of gun violence and chewed-up faces.

I have been interested in pursuing teaching for years, and since leaving Hens on Ice, it just took one scary job interview to frighten me into actually doing it. Hearing the words "profit margins" and "office" from a man in a suit had me flapping immediately out of his dingy office and onto the Florida Department of Education's website. Please tell me what to do so I never hear "profit margin" again.

January 8, 2016

Surprise Instagram Study! Shocking Results!

In just 2 Instagram posts, I inadvertently created a social experiment that gave a glimpse into my friends' minds. My initial intention was not to cross-examine my coop, but rather catch up on posting very important pictures to this social medium. I had 5 free minutes and 2 pictures needed to be filtered and shared: a selfie of my new hair cut and a Bloody Mary from Sunday's brunch. After posting, I enjoyed checking the "likes" and comments, but as I checked the notifications, I realized these little red hearts and words were revealing more about my friends than any of us realized. In The Hen's first exclusive (marginally) scientific study, I'll reveal my findings so you can also conduct a study of your own! (In lieu of donations and flowers, please share this revealing article with your friends!)