Friday, May 3, 2013

TMI Fridays: People I Want to Punch in the Throat

You guys. YOU GUYS! Today's installment of my awesome bullshit interview series,TMI Fridays, is JEN from People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Jen is smart. Jen is savvy. Jen is sassy. Jen has no filter. Jen spearheaded the book I Just Want to Pee Alone! I'm in that book! Naturally, I love Jen.

Jen started PIWTPITT two years ago after her husband (known on her blog as "the Hubs"), encouraged her to stop verbally ventilating her frustration with life (and stupid people) at him because it was "driving him crazy". The Hubs even came up with the title for Jen's blog. Jen's blog became wildly popular after her post Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies went viral. She has self-published two books and Random House just signed her for two books to be released in 2014. Seriously. I'm going to make her sign my boob when we finally meet. In short, Jen is bad ass. 

Johi: When did you start writing and what is your motivation to write?

Jen: As a little kid I liked to write stories. I wrote fiction, but I was never into journaling. In college, I was an English major. Then I realized that I didn't want to teach so I switched my major to Creative Writing, mainly because there is a lot of money in that...

Through the years, I wrote for jobs.

When I started my blog, it was a cathartic release. I don't take Xanax, Valium  or Prozac. I just rant to get things off my chest. It's my form of therapy.

Johi: You've published two books now. What has the publishing experience taught you?

Jen: Self-publishing has taught me that it can be done. Publishing seems daunting, particularly when you are looking at how many books there are on Amazon, but it just takes time and patience to figure it out. It is scary- nerve racking when you hit publish. It seems so much harder than a blog post. But it's an incredible feeling when that first copy sells.

Johi: What made you decide to write anonymously?

Jen: When I first started blogging, I made no effort either way. I shared it on my personal facebook page so people knew it was me. I called the kids by their real names. Then when my Elf post went viral I got a lot of backlash. People wanted to take my children away, because I was a horrible mother for not moving my stupid Elf. So I picked bizarre names for them and changed some of the old posts. It was all about protecting my kids from cuckcoos. Now my son is getting older and before I write about him, I check with him first.

Sometimes readers will say it's cowardly to hide behind anonymity, but I don't consider it hiding. I'm doing it for my kids. People who know me, know that I'll say these things to "your face." It's been nice being anonymous, because I want people to hear my voice, not judge me on my appearance.

Johi: If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing?

Jen: I would still write to entertain. I love it. But I would do it with less pressure and on my own schedule.

Johi: Do you have a superpower? What would be your chosen superpower?

Jen: I have a dark secret superpower. I am an AMAZING closet crafter. I have a craft room. I could have been the overachieving mom- or me. I don't come up with the ideas, but I can troll through Etsy and other crafting sites and make pretty much anything I see.

My chosen power is flying. I would wear a cape, a black t-shirt, cargo pants and a mask.

Johi: I think you should consider parachute pants. It seems like the right time to bring them back.
Do you believe in UFO's? Do you know anyone that you suspect has been abducted?

Jen: I'm a huge weirdo conspiracy theorist. I do not doubt the existence of UFO's. Have you been reading this week about that six inch skeleton found in desert? It totally looks like an alien, but scientists are saying it isn't because it has traces of human DNA and appears to be about six years old at death. OK, so let me get this straight, I'm not allowed to believe in aliens, but I can believe there was a six inch six year old humanoid who lived thousands of years ago with a big alien head? ( I don't think I know anyone who has been abducted, but I suspect Kim Bongiorno. She is way tall and she can getmore shit done in an hour than I can all week.

Johi: I concur. And half of Hollywood.

Jen: Gwyneth and Tom Cruise have been probed.

Johi: I hear that's how you get parts in movies.
What do you REALLY want for Mother's Day?

Jen: A weekend at the spa. By myself. With books. I want scheduled pampering with breaks for naps.

Johi: Have you ever had any near death/jail experiences?

Jen: I'm from a small community that had a main drag that kids would drive up and down. All the high school students would hang out in the Quik Trip parking lot. One night I met up with three friend that were guys there and when I drove my Jeep Cherokee out of the parking lot, I inadvertently cut off someone. It was a hillbilly boy in overalls. When I stopped for a red light, he opened my door and tried to yank me out of the car by my hair, but I was seat belted in so he couldn't get me out. Instead of helping me, the three guys in the car with me all jumped into the cargo part of my Jeep crying for their mommies. I hit the gas and the hillbilly got hit by the door. He jumped back into his truck and followed us in a high speed chase. I drove to the nearby police station and pulled in honking my horn hoping the police would save us.Instead they came out and told us to "knock it off" and sent us on our way. I stayed there until the hillbillies finally went looking for someone else to assault.

Johi: Country Club or Country Bar?

Jen: That's a tough one. I don't fit in either place. County club? So then I can yuk it up with some Douchey Dads?

Johi: GAME TIME! Marry, Fuck or Kill!!!! Here are your choices: Snoop Dog, Michael Bolton, and Si from Duck Dynasty.

Jen: Eww! GAH!

Kill: Michael Bolton. I've had it with him. He just keeps coming back and it's driving me crazy, but mostly because of his hair.
Marry: Si. I hear he is quite wealthy and is gone hunting a lot so I would have plenty of alone time to read my books.
Fuck: Snoop Dog. He's had a lot of experience. He's gotta be pretty good, right?

Johi: You've been a marketing genius on your blog. Do you have any tips for bloggers?

Jen: There is a FAQ tab on my blog that answers that. Basically, find your voice. Be yourself. If you're yourself, your audience will find you.

Johi: What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone?

Jen: Because I'm the editor, this is like asking me to pick a favorite child!! I just can't. I will say that "Why I Belong in Coach" by Julia Miner from Rants from Mommyland really made me think and when you read that one, everyone has a different idea of who she's talking about so that's fun. I also liked  Honest Mom- JD Bailey's "There was the time the priest called me a terrible mother." because she went balls to the wall compared to how she normally writes and took off her filter and swears at a priest and it made me laugh so hard.

Read more of Jen on her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat. You can also follow her on facebooktwitter and Pinterest. Make sure and get your copy of I Just Want to Pee Alone so that you have something funny to read when your family sends you to the spa on Mother's Day, or (more likely) when you are in the waiting room at the Doctor's office. It's also a fantastic gift for all the mothers that you know!


  1. I loved this interview, obviously, but the hillbilly story made me sad. What if he would have killed you, and you never got to write awesome books and get famous enough to be probed by aliens?

    1. The hillbilly story made me like Jen even more. I love it that she hit the gas on that moron. Awesomesauce.

  2. This is my favorite part of Fridays. Everyone in the world should read your interviews. Really. Brilliant questions that make ya just scream out. Probing Gywnnie and Tom to get their roles in LA? BWAHHHHH!!

    1. I AGREE! I should take to interviewing people full-time. Also, people should bake me cakes.

  3. Kim Bongiorno...abductee...or abductor??? Great interview!!!

    1. Haha! No one knows.... she's so efficient and way too smart. It's fishy and awe-inspiring.

  4. I love TMI Friday!! Pretty sure that skeleton they found *was* Tom Cruise. He is a tiny man. But totally agree about Bongiorno; she may have cloned herself.

    1. Just the other day I was walking around and felt a lump in my jacket pocket and I reached in and found Tom there. Silly me! I'd totally forgotten that I stashed him in that coat! Thank God it snowed here or he would have been in the closet all winter.

  5. Total MFK win. I concur. That hillbilly story is INTENSE. What good is a jeep full of burly farmboys if they abandon you in your time of need. That didn't happen in Footloose.

    1. I have no idea what MFK is, but I like winning so YEAH. The Footloose reference just made my day, cuz sometimes you gotta CUT LOOSE and KICK OFF YOUR SUNDAY SHOES.

  6. Excellent point about Snoop being experienced, but I bet he smells.

    1. Yeah. I think so too. Probably like dirty sheets, Cheetos and Patchouli.

  7. It IS time to bring back parachute pants - and I applaud you both for being brave enough to jumpstart that fad.

  8. Love this interview! The hillbilly story makes me love Jen even more!

  9. I LOVE this! I've always thought Jen was funny and intelligent, and this post showcased both qualities even more. Great interview!

  10. Apparently I overused the REPLY button and am banned from it from this point forward. THANKS BLOGGER.
    @Tracy- I vote that you join us in a parachute pants trio. We can braid matching friendship bracelets and keep our change in our Kangaroos.
    @House- Me too. There is nothing like an idiot in overalls to bring people together.
    @Nicole- I think that we are all expecting one after this. A PIWTPITT Etsy store, perhaps?
    @Shay- Why thank you for partially giving me credit for Jen's humor and smarts. :)

  11. Excellent post! I have a weird image of the hill-billy car chase in my head now - with Dukes of Hazard soundtrack...