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Posts Tagged ‘Hugo Schwyzer’

Marketing Shmarketing. I wish.

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:00 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I completely suck at marketing myself (she writes to the handful+ of readers she has managed to “amass” via blogging sans marketing).

Well, okay, there was that ONE BLOG where I attempted to market myself.

Sorry, folks. Just fell off my chair laughing. Oh yeah, that worked AMAZING.

Not too long ago, I tried to hire a friend at a dismally low fee to do some marketing on my behalf. She immediately took the job, exclaiming she would do it for free! (But I insisted on paying) – and then even more immediately did nothing, for an entire month, until she admitted she had no time to help me.

Everyone has time. What we don’t always have are priorities. Specifically, marketing BatSheva’s creative endeavors don’t ever seem to be mine or anyone’s priority, even if I try to throw some money at the problem.

Back when I had a band, “marketing” meant sending flyers via postcard, and later, emails, every time I had an upcoming gig. (Pre-YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Modern Word Years)

It was exhausting.

I gave it up – the marketing & the band – when I just couldn’t do it anymore. The marketing, of course, I would have loved to continue playing. Just not to the same audience of 20 friends plus random stragglers.

I worked for five years on a novel that I was SOOO proud of. Until 45 or so agents rejected me, some after asking me to just ‘rewrite the ending’ or whatever, tantalizing me then slamming the door in my face.

Yesterday, my sister urged me (yet again) to self-publish. “It’s easier than ever now to do it!” she promised. “Everyone is doing it!

I have no doubt.

No doubt, that is, that I could do it, in a heart beat. And then…

… it would languish there, on the digital/metaphysical shelves, for eternity, as yet again, its author neglected to do the one thing that would prompt people to buy & read it – market it.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

PS: Here’s one of my songs that COULD have been a hit… right? If only I knew how to – come on, all together now - MARKET MYSELF!
BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Cradle you – the SONG


...Me, pretending I'm "Someone"

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Wiper, no Wiping! Aw, Man!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 10:45 AM
Thursday, May 24, 2012

As Monday’s blog may have subtley alluded to, I’ve been a bit tired lately.


Which is why this week I’ve been a bit off my game, and didn’t deliver the bloggage on time as usual.

Yeah, well, sue me.

Or, conversely, read on, about today’s tantalizing subject!

Baby wipes.


For those of you who don’t have kids yet, you are missing out on a lot of things. Sleep may not be one of those things. Cracked nipples may not be another. But one thing you ARE FOR SURE missing out on (until you read this blog), is the wonder and magic that is….. baby wipes!

They clean ANYTHING. Seriously.

Smudges on the wall? Baby wipes.

Stain on your shirt? Baby wipes.

Poop on your butt?

Okay, sorry, but you had to know that was coming. I’m actually a huge proponent of adults using “baby” wipes for their bathroom needs too! (the flushable kind, anyway) – Who said just because we got bigger our poop suddenly is less sticky & disgusting? And let’s face facts: we are not a “bidet society.”

You are welcome.

Oh, and a special shout out to Hugo Schwyzer, who not only had a new baby recently and therefore has a whole new excuse to buy endless boxes of baby wipes, but who also came to my rescue yesterday when I was out and about doing errands with my kids and stuck in his neighborhood with a poopy diaper. Well, not MY poopy diaper, per se, but it basically became “mine” as soon as it landed in my daughter’s diaper and started smelling up the car.

In swoops Captain Hugo, beloved by men, women and children everywhere! He did a drive-by – he actually drove to our location (Beverly Hills mini mall where my older daughter takes karate) and dropped off a small box of wipes.

Now THAT, my friends, is a true hero.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

More precious than gold. Cause let's face it, when your kid's got a poopy diaper, who's going to wipe his ass with a gold bracelet?

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I want you, Mr. Mow

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 3:30 PM
Monday, March 5, 2012

Who knew period underwear could be so sexy? I certainly didn’t. I gave all men who stumbled across that particular (yeah, I know, kind of raunchy) blog ample warning that the blog was going to focus on period underwear and nothing but period underwear, and that they should run for the testosterone hills instead of reading about said subject matter.

But apparently, for some… period underwear is a MAJOR turn on.

Because twenty minutes after I posted my blog (PS, thanks to @RuthVaca for re-Tweeting me), TheGrownup Girl got a most enticing invitation. Lest I sell it short, I will re-post it here for you to feast your eyes upon:

How’s it going? I saw your site thegrownupgirl [dot] com and wanted to inquire about the possibility of working together. I work with a few adult dating offers that convert with the right targetted traffic. Right now we’re offering a competetive payout on free trial joins to our offers. Our webmaster tools generally include static banners, geo targetted iframe ads, and page peels, but we’re always open to discussing additional marketing methods as well. We’d love to have the opportunity to discuss working together. I’d be more than happy to send over the specifics about our program/sites. I can be reached anytime between 9am-5pm PST, Monday-Friday, through email or any of the contacts below. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Nick Mow

AIM: nickmowcp
ICQ: 620744965
MSN: nick.mow [@]
Address: 7040 Avenida Encinas Suite 104 PMB 300
Carlsbad, CA 92011

Who knew there would be a man out there who would find Period Underwear so sexy and “adult dating”-worthy?

(Or that ‘targeted’ could be spelled with 2 t’s, or “competitive” with 3 e’s?)

It is possible that he mistook my blog name for its porno stepsister’s URL (www.thegrownupgirl.comminus the “the”)?

Whatever the trigger – the period underwear or the enticing blog name – I’m flattered. So flattered, in fact, that I’ve decided to reply to his email with a “competetive” offer of my own:

Dearest Nicky,

Can I call you Nicky? Or are you strictly “Mr. Mow”? Ooh, yes, I like that. Sexy.

Anyway, I’m flatterrred that you actually think THE Grownup Girl would be worthy of adult dating web traffic. And since my Google Analytics numbers have been anemic ever since the most recent Hugo Schwyzer spike subsided, I’m up for anything.

Anything, Mr. Mow.

So… call me!  It’s toll free (for the first 51 seconds, after which the call will cost you a mere $25.99 per quarter-minute): 876-HOT-LUST.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Pssst! I'm ready for you, Mr. Mow.

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Flashback Friday! (Boy Talk)

posted by Sheva 8:35 AM
Friday, November 11, 2011

Flashback Friday!

Every Friday, I will post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memories, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

BTW, if you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Boy Talk – the BLOG

What the hell, man?

I’m a mother. I’m nurturing, caring, sensitive, forgiving… soft. Which is the best way to treat a child, right?

My husband? He can be soft, nurturing, sweet…

Flashback: to my son’s first day of homework for the new year of 1st grade, with his new strict teacher.

So, I’m helping my son get his homework done, we do some good reading together, but when it’s time for him to write his spelling words, he balks. He dreams. He doodles. All in all, he spends almost 45 minutes at the table without even writing the first word.

And me? I’m getting worried, angry, frustrated, concerned. Is this all he’ll amount to? (I know, I know. I’m just being honest here, I’m not defending myself or anything.) Will his teacher judge him, give up on him? Does he lack focus? Motivation? A love for learning? Is he tired? Hungry? Worn out?

I decide, yes, one of these last choices for sure, so when he tells me decisively he’s not going to do his homework ‘right now,’ I cave. I give him his shower and some extra time in the water just to chill out & play. I start fixing dinner and think to myself he’ll have more energy, more focus after he eats dinner (never mind that I already fed him apples and Pirates Booty snack).

As I’m cooking – oh let’s be honest, re-heating – I hear my husband come into the dining room, dragging my son with him. Roughly, he forces our child to sit with him. Then, my husband does what in my opinion, he all too often does – he picks a fight with our son. He rough-houses with him, rough-handles him, makes him cry, scream, flail. Which only makes my husband double his effort to even get more control over &/or more of a rise out of him – which one, I’m not sure even he knows.

My husband even pulls me into it at one point – “you wanted him to do his homework, now, don’t disappear!” and I’m stunned because I hadn’t wanted it to go like this, not like this.

I stammer something and retreat to the kitchen. This happens twice. My shoulders are hunched to my ears as I prepare the food.

How could he do this?

Why didn’t he consult with me first?

Why does he always DO this with our son… push him like this?

And finally when my head is about to burst, I hear –


Because my son is suddenly focused on his homework. He is doing it methodically, and doing it well.

My son finishes quickly, and shows me his work. Glowing with pride. Afterward, he is still so happy, he hugs me and kisses me repeatedly.

What the–?

It calls to mind what a good friend of mine, Hugo Schwyzer, who is a professor in the field of Gender Studies, told me the other night. He is a very liberal, VERY liberal guy (at least in the social/personal side of life – don’t get him started about economics). So I was surprised to hear what he had to say about this subject… He told me that most boys, like my son, have been willful and undisciplined, wild and refusing to listen since the beginning of time.

So, he asked – what is the difference these days? How did those boys of yesteryear wind up quiet and obedient – in class, in Boy Scouts, in the army, etc.? Versus these days, when we hear endless stories of boys bouncing off the wall in classrooms?

His answer: the boys were physically disciplined. They were hit, smacked, shaken, screamed at. Teachers and parents, up until about 30 years ago, disciplined boys like this all over America, with stunning results.

The boys settled down and fell into line.

I am a pacifist. I don’t believe violence is ever the answer. [Side note: I actually took a semester in high school with Coleman McCarthy on pacifism, where he wouldn't give us any grade but A because he thought grades were a form of violence. Nice work for a student if you can get it.]

And yet…

When my husband roughed up my son, they traveled through a very uncomfortable space (for me) of high drama and a throw-down face-off… and then… they settled into an efficient, focused and productive work session.

Like I said – what the hell?



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Sure, we all know Ghandi was cool and for peace and everything. But you have to wonder... did his kids ever finish their homework? Doubtful.

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What’s in a W.A.S.P? I Mean, a Name?

posted by Sheva 2:16 PM
Thursday, September 8, 2011

The other night, my husband and I went to dinner with three other couples. (If you must know, this was the night I got drunk on fish.) It was a Kosher restaurant, so most men in the place wore yarmulkes or hats and there was definitely very little to no cleavage or inner thigh flashes going on. I eat only Kosher food but I still felt like a stranger in a strange world. I had a strappy dress on that night, and even though I was getting overheated at various times of the night, I kept my jean jacket on at all times.

Luckily, I was in good company.

All eight of us were longtime students of The Kabbalah Centre so we know about the spiritual significance of eating Kosher & we all tend to eat that way  (some of us more strictly than others). We are not, however, your typical Kosher restaurant patrons. Other than my Israeli husband, Betsy and I were the only Jews at our table. The rest were – in a word – WASPs.

Okay, except for one whose mom is Colombian/Nigerian, but she’s come a long way and could easily pass. Plus she’s married to Hugo Schwyzer, whose nickname may as well be Biff, if you know what I mean.

The WASPs immediately determined that we should all sit down in “WASP tradition” – man-woman-man-woman with no couples sitting next to each other. As we all took our seats, my husband asked, “What style seating did you say this was?”

We realized at that point that my husband was really the only authentic Jew at the table, since I grew up surrounded by WASPs (friends and step-parents) and Betsy’s friends were mostly WASPs too, plus she’s married to Charlie from Massachusetts whose name would probably have been Miffy or Bunny or Kitty if he had been a born a girl. Betsy even drinks like a WASP, whereas anyone who knows me knows I’ll take food over alcohol any time, thereby failing the first and easiest test of WASPiness.

When my mom realized that I was keeping Shabbat and eating Kosher and doing all the Jewish holidays and going by a new Hebrew name, she was understandably confused – I come from a long line of intellectual, socially liberal, non-religious Jews, not to mention two Jewish parents who divorced and re-married non-Jews.

I don’t fit in with my family, I don’t fit into the regular yarmulke-wearing Kosher Jewy crowd, and I’m not a WASP by any standards…

So I’ve decided… I’m making up a new word. Finally, I can be an insider!

How’s this: YISKBAIJLU (Yes, I Study Kabbalah, But Actually, I’m Just Like U!)

Hmmmm, this may need some work. Any thought?

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Are you my mother?

Are YOU my mother??

From the Files of “Ok, Now this is Getting Ridiculous”

posted by Sheva 1:23 PM
Friday, August 26, 2011

Come on. Drunk on one beer, ok, fine. Well, lame… but fine.  But drunk… on one fish? As of last night, I believe I officially hit a new low in the scale of being able to hold one’s alcohol.

It all started with my 40 day resolution to go off refined sugar, with a little asterisk that wine and alcohol would be included in that resolution too, simply because my body doesn’t process wine/alcohol very well. Or at all.

Case in point: last night I skipped a local Kosher wine tasting event at The Cask, where my husband joined three other couples (well – two & a half – the husband half of one of the couples is sober so he skipped it too). Why bother to go – I wasn’t drinking wine, right? So instead I went to a nice event in Hollywood, then met everyone, along with Sober Husband at a restaurant for dinner.

The food was great, the wine flowed (to the drinkers of the table, that is, everyone but me and Sober Husband), and conversation was engaging and entertaining.

At the end of the night, I had to take my nanny home, because – duh, my husband had been drinking wine all night. But as I dropped my husband home, I remarked that it was weird – I hadn’t drank even one sip of wine, but I felt tipsy! Even my mouth and my stomach had that sour feeling I get from drinking wine.

Had a gotten a contact high?

No, dear readers. I had eaten fish. FISH.

Cooked in wine.

I hadn’t even realized the fish was cooked in wine, but when I told my hubby how I felt, he remembered the waiter describing the dish (it was one of the specials), and apparently, it was indeed cooked in wine, or Sherry, or something of a similarly alcoholic nature.

And it made me tipsy.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Oh no! Could the Leader of the Free World also be a (fish) alcoholic??


posted by Sheva 12:49 AM
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Posting pictures of myself – wow, so unique for a blogging leo! And the pictures weren’t even new ones – many had already been used on my blog and/or Facebook before. I’m lazy like that. I LIKE pictures of me (duh, I’m a leo, were you listening??) but I really can’t be bothered to have someone take pictures of me all the time like some bloggers I follow (this one is the raddest: or to take videos of myself (like this awesome guy – read his book, check out his video blogs, and more importantly, search for the video where he pairs wine with his favorite breakfast cereals like Captain Crunch, it’s sublime).

I love to be funny and witty, but I’m not THAT funny or witty. For THAT kind of funny and witty, go check out the Queen of all edgy mom-bloggers, And I like to be thoughtful and make observations about life, but I just get TIRED of all the intellectual blah blah blah in the world. Strike that: I don’t tire of it because I read it daily, ravenously, Huff-Post style. But I feel too tired to post my own versions of that type of discourse. If you want to see how thoughtful and reasonable a boy feminist can be, don’t miss, obviously.

I would like to be edgier, and more wittily condescending while equally self-depreciating, like Andy Rapoport’s Facebook posts. But there can be only one Andy Fucking Rapoport. Besides, I don’t really feel comfortable cursing that much. I mean for f***’s sake, I’m a mom of three little kids! Plus, how edgy can I really, authentically be – I keep Shabbat every weekend which is WAY JEWISH of me, I can barely drink two alcoholic drinks before I’m ready to puke, and I wake up before the crack of dawn throughout the week to work out.

So that just leaves… me. The Grownup Girl. (For a laugh, forget to type in the “the” when you type my URL. Whoops, sorry, you are right, porn isn’t funny. Hey, hello?? Type back in that THE for God’s sake! Switch back to THIS page!

Aw, man. Lost another reader to something sexier.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

She's much funnier than me, I promise.

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