December 15, 2010

Get Feedback on Your Contest Entry Before You Enter

Want to win the Memoirs Ink Writing Contest?

For the first time ever, get feedback from contest judges on your entry BEFORE you submit it.

Two of our previous writing contest judges thought this might be a good idea. Based on the overwhelming response to our post-contest feedback (we had to turn people away because of limited space) we thought they might be on to something. After all, part of our mission is to help writers grow and prosper and win. So if you think this might be helpful to you, here is all of the information.

Two of our previous judges (Jaela Austen and Christina Tanios) have agreed to give feedback on intended entries for the upcoming Half-Yearly Contest (guidelines here:

Feedback will include a detailed critique of your story including:
1. Strengths - what makes the judges smile, laugh, cry, etc.
2. Weaknesses - what makes judges roll their eyes
3. Suggestions for tightening
4. Other suggestions for improvement and keeping it out of the "NO" pile.

* Feedback is for personal essays, memoirs, and creative nonfiction. less than 1500 words (per half-yearly contest guidelines).

* Essays can be emailed, and responses will also be emailed. (No postage and handling this time. Yay!)

* Price $50. Pay Online Now. Or mail a check to: Memoirs Ink, 10866 Washington Blvd., Suite #518, Culver City, CA 90232. (If you are mailing a check, Please indicate in your email.) Did I mention that if you pay for feedback, you receive $10 off the contest entry fee when you submit your revised story?

* Email your story or questions about this offer to:

Send your story now and receive feedback by January 1, 2011. You then have 6 weeks to revise and submit your story by the contest deadline of February 15, 2011. Start the New Year right--writing and submitting.

This the first time we have done pre-contest feedback and we may or may not do it again depending on the response, so take advantage now. Each judge has agreed to review only 20 stories, so space is limited. If you'd like to participate, please pay and submit your story as soon as possible.

December 3, 2010

Winners of 2010 Annual Contest Announced

The winners for the 2010 Annual contest are:

Grief by Tara Cowie (New York, NY)

Frankenvag by Erin Hart (Vancouver, Canada)

Surviving Black Holes by Kaitlin Legg (Fairport, NY)

To read the winners please visit

August 6, 2010

Tell Me Your Biggest Challenges

What you may not know is that in the past year I have become a hypnotherapist. My interest in hypnotherapy started with childbirth, but now I see how it can benefit literally every field. And so I have decided to put together a hypno-writing class. What that means is that in addition to the regular writing instruction and all that jazz, it would also include hypnosis. I have found hypnotherapy to be one of the most effective modalities for making behavioral changes. For example, increasing motivation, habit control, blocking negativity, and yes, getting into "flow" quickly. Flow is basically as hypnotic state. Hypnotherapy can also be used to deal with emotional issues that come up, especially when writing a memoir and facing the past. Hypnotherapy can heal your inner child, vent out negative beliefs, reduce anxiety, eliminate fears and phobias and much more.

So that's where those muses frolic.

So, what I want to know from you is what are your biggest challenges as writers or would be memoirists? I would like to know what issues are most common so that when I make the hypnosis tracks to go along with the class, I know what will be most useful. Feel free to just freewrite and vent them all in the comments. Or send me a private email. I look forward to hearing from you.

July 29, 2010

Time Travel--You Wouldn't Believe It Anyway

Raise your hand if you think about time travel?

I used to think about time travel a lot. Mostly for fun. But then I read Einstein. And I learned that time is actually space. And space is not linear. Space can warp and bend and fold back on itself.

So if time is not linear, what really holds us back from time travel?

From my current point of view as a hypnotherapist, I believe it is our minds.

For example, if you had come to me 5 years ago and said, "Hey, check out my time machine. Get in. I'll show your life a year from now." And you had shown me--my mind never would have accepted what it saw.

After years of interviewing people about their life stories, I know that this applies to most everyone. Things almost never turn out how we think they will. How many times have you said to yourself, "If you had told me a year ago I'd be here or doing this [wherever that is] now, I would never have believed you."

So maybe we can and do time travel all the time, but our minds protect us from what we see. And maybe at times there is leakage, in dreams. That's why some people are more psychic than others--more leakage--or more openness to the unknown.

What has happened in your life that you never would have thought possible 10 years ago?

July 23, 2010

The Family Tree of Knowledge

When I was a few months into my pregnancy and feeling alone, I came across this quote by Harriet Lerner:

“We are never the first in our family to wrestle with a problem, although it may feel that way…. Learning how other family members have handled their problems similar to our own down through the generations, is one of the most effective routes to lowering reactivity and heightening self-clarity."

I thought, “Yeah right? Who does this happen to? No one else in my family has been abandoned three months into a planned pregnancy.” I kept reading.
“If we do not know about our own family history, we are more likely to repeat past patterns or mindlessly rebel against them, without much clarity about who we really are, how we are similar to and different from other family members, and how we might best proceed in our own life.”

Since I was already passionate about genealogy and family history, I decided to test out this idea and have a look at my family tree to see if there were any single mothers that I had overlooked, and what, if anything, I could learn from them. To my great surprise, there were more than a few, and the details of their stories left me dumbfounded. For the purpose of brevity, I will share only two here.

The first was Ellen (my great-grandmother). She lived for a time in the Mexican colonies (that’s why I feel Mexican inside). She had four daughters with her husband, but after the fourth, he accused her of cheating on him. He said that Violet was not his child. With this announcement, he left her and moved back to the United States.

Life in Mexico at this time (early 1900’s) was tense. Pancho Villa, the revolutionary general in Chihuahua was suspicious of the white Mormon settlers. According to the colony’s history, he threatened to kill the white people if they did not leave. So Ellen and her four daughters, and the rest of their colony, fled Mexico with a few days’ notice--on foot. Ellen returned to the United States to her parent’s home in Cedar City, Utah, and lived with her family. She worked hard to support four children. Sometime later, she met her childhood sweetheart, married him, and had four sons—one of which is my grandfather.

If pioneer stories bore you, this next story is much different. It is from my father’s side. My father was adopted by his step-father (I guess that means my grandmother was a single mom for a while, too), and I had been trying to track his real father’s line for some time. A few years before, I had already discovered the big surprise—I am (blonde little me) of slave ancestry (that’s why I have always felt black inside). But I will save that story for another time and cut to the single mother: Maria Johns, my third-great-grandmother.

I found her in an 1860 census in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. She was listed as a single, black woman living with her young daughter, who was listed as Mulatto. Her occupation was “washer woman” and she was listed as owning property.

If your hair isn’t already blown back, I’ll give you a few more details. Maria was born in Virginia, so she was almost certainly born into slavery. Her child was mulatto, and she was never married, so I can only speculate about what master impregnated her and whether or not she was willing. How she escaped or earned her freedom is also speculation. What I do know is that 1860 was pre-emancipation proclamation, and it was rare even for white women to own property in 1860.

What this tells me about Maria Johns, is that she was awesome.

I found a few clues and rumors that Marie was a Quaker, which I believe, because the Quakers were in large number in that part of Pennsylvania, and were also the only group that would be accepting enough to embrace a black woman into their community and let her own property.

After learning these stories about my ancestors, I felt much less alone. I felt connected to these powerful women and inspired by them. I looked to what both of them (and others I found) did in their time of trial and saw that those who turned to their family and their faith were the most successful. I knew I would be wise to do the same.

By meditating on these and other strong women in my life stream, I felt them draw nearer to me. They would help me and lift me up. When my daughter was born, I felt them all surrounding me--my mother, my grandmother, Ellen, Maria and many more I didn’t even know, but who knew me and knew my daughter.

This was just the beginning of my journey with my ancestors. Since then, with each major struggle in my life, I consult my family history to see what I can learn. The results continue to amaze and humble me.

June 8, 2010

Hello Anonymous

What's with all the anonymous comments? It seems that everywhere else in the blog world, people like everyone to know who left a comment. Because isn't it all about getting your name out there and having people link back and find your amazing blogs? Now suddenly we are getting a bunch of comments from anonymous. Makes me wonder. If you really want to be anonymous, you could keep your profiles private. So this begs the question: what kind of people leave anonymous comments. My mental search had come up with 3 kinds of people:

  1. Spammers
  2. Haters
  3. Celebrities
These comments weren't advertising penis enlargement, and they had nothing nasty to say about my blog post, so that means that it must be celebrities. If not Steve than perhaps Tina Fey or someone that knows him. Sigh. I promise it's just a writer crush. Nothing serious. I had nothing to do with the rosebush incident.

May 22, 2010

Stalking Steve Martin

I have had a writer crush on Steve Martin for about a decade now. It started when I moved to New York in 1999 and started reading The New Yorker in earnest. One day I was reading a “Shouts and Murmurs” essay and laughing out loud. I thought," who is this guy?" I looked at the byline and saw the name Steve Martin. I wondered if it bothered the author that he had the same name as the also funny actor. I didn’t realize the author of my favorite essays was Steve Martin, the actor, until a few years later when I read his 2002 piece, “The Death of My Father.” It was a personal history, and his being Steve Martin the actor was important to the piece. As the title says, it was about his father dying. It was sad and beautifully written. I wept as I read, wondering why it takes death to finally understand our parents. This brought up another feeling. To put it into words, it was, holy crap, not only can this guy make me laugh out loud, but also weep.

There are certain writers, whose books I have loved, that I don’t ever want to meet. And there are those that, after reading them, I believe that we would be great friends. Annie Dillard is one of these (I read An American Childhood over and over again). Wallace Stegner is another; he and I have the same love for the West—not a love like some people have for a lifestyle or a climate—but a love like a tree has for the earth it is planted in.

My desire to be the writer Steve Martin’s friend was crushed somewhat when I found out he was a celebrity. It is one thing to be a famous writer, it is another to be a famous actor. The primary difference being that famous writers don’t have to worry about people hiding in their shrubbery.

I could write a letter to most writers, even Annie Dillard and say, “Hey, I like your work and I have this feeling we’d be friends. Want to come to tea? Maybe do a reading at XYZ?” But because he has to worry about the shrubbery people, the same letter to Steve might make me sound like a stalker. It would be much trickier to sound normal. And since I would be so worried about not sounding like a stalker, I would probably sound like one. I know because I have several creepy unfinished drafts. So I am thinking, along the same logic, that if I go for stalker, I might sound normal. Not sure this thinking is sound.

Also, I couldn’t invite him to a party, because who knows how other guests might act. Ack. I realize now that the only way to proceed is for him to take me into his inner circle of writing friends. But I am not sure how that is going to happen considering that I still haven’t sent any of these letters, and that he is apparently somewhat shy and off-put by people who think they already know him.

I did meet him once at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. He signed three of my books. I’m guessing he doesn’t remember me, despite the fact that I slipped him a note that said, “I love you.” (I had to think fast and I only had two square inches of paper to write on.) I think it was probably misinterpreted. Sigh. I promise I don’t have a suit that looks like a geranium bush.

A few years ago I saw a guy with a bumper sticker that said, “Steve Martin is a personal friend of mine.” I followed him for about 4 days (okay just 4 miles), trying to figure out if it was true or a joke. I realize now it was a joke--from one of Steve’s old comedy routines. But is it a joke Steve would carry far enough to give bumper stickers out to his friends? I’m guessing no. But there are a lot of things I have yet to learn about Steve, when we meet. If we ever meet. However, at this point, I won’t be devastated if we never meet so long as he keeps writing.

Although, I suppose I could do with what he has already give me. There are few books I read over and over, and it may surprise you that Steve Martin is on the same list as JD Salinger, Annie Dillard, Wallace Stegner, F.Scott Fitzgerald, and Rilke, but it makes perfect sense to me. All of these writers have a tender-hearted quality that is difficult to describe. It was in the way Fitzgerald describes Gatsby, the way Stegner makes mountains feel like holy temples, the way Holden describes his kid sister, Phoebe, in The Catcher in the Rye, and in Steve Martin’s poetic descriptions of his native Los Angeles in “Hissy Fit.”

I would love for readers share the books you over and over. And feel free to share any Steve Martin stalking stories. Steve if you are reading this, I had nothing to do with the recent banjo incident.

May 17, 2010

The winners are....

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2010 Memoirs Ink Half-Yearly Writing Contest. Here they are:

First Place:
Melissa Febos

Second Place:
Nora Claypool

Third Place:
Do You Make Gravy?
Jennifer Blomgren

Honorable Mention:
Summer Waters
Julian Bentley- Edelman

You can read these and previous years winners and bios in our archives: here.

Please keep up the good writing and enter our next contest--the deadline for that contest, is August 14, and August 31, 2010. You can read the full guidelines and enter here.

April 30, 2010

Contest Update

We are supposed to announce the winners today. Maybe some of you out there entered our contest and are wondering why we haven't call you yet. It is because we haven't called anyone. The judges have narrowed it down to 6 or 7 and are at a total impasse. They asked me to read them. I read them. I laughed, I sighed, I nodded my head. But I refuse to have any part in judging this year. It is too hard. On one level, judging is easy, you ask yourself, "Is this a winner? or do I just wish it was?" But when you come down to top ten, they are all winners. But you have to chose 3. So then you have to start going through and analyzing each one based on a set of criteria that is partially established, but still all subjective. And you can't listen to those voices in your head, that are really the voices of disgruntled non-winners, that say things like: "I guess only women can win your contest" or "I guess only funny stories can win your contest," or "how many of your winners have been Canadian?"

The truth is, I don't know and I don't care. I want to pick the best, and most well-written stories. But judges tastes and methods vary wildly. When I have been a judge in the past, this is what I remember doing. I read the top stories probably 10 times each. I read them aloud to people I knew. I dreamt about them. I agonized. Eventually, I would give up and in a moment of existentialism I would decide to throw them up in the air, or down the stairs, and note which one landed first. When I did this, I would look at the "winner" and then argue myself out of it. Then one day, I would just know, and never look back.

It will be interesting to see what the judges decide this year. I hope they don't take much longer or I'm sure my email will blow up. So be patient, writers. That call may be coming.

April 23, 2010

Writing Anywhere

I picked up our mail a few days ago and was happy to note that we are already be getting entries to our August Contest. What was more surprising, though was that one of the entries came from the California State Prison. Now, we have received entries from all over the world, but this is our first entry from prison. And why not? It would seem that one has a lot of time to read and write in there. Rilke once told a young poet this:

"If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the poet there is not poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world's sounds--wouldn't you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attention to it...."

I haven't opened this piece of mail. That is Jill's job, because if I happen to be a judge of the upcoming contest, I can't know who any of the authors are.

Oh, but the curiosity is killing me.

March 8, 2010

The Sorting Hat

We have taken a break from blogging for a few weeks because we were trying to keep up with the avalanche of contest entries. Okay. It is not an avalanche. It is a small hill that my dog could ski down. I haven't counted, but there are few hundred entries from all over the world and we are hoping to find three excellent ones that make us shout YES! in a sort of orgasmic way. We'll see. I am not actually a judge, but I have been a first reader before and I always I end up being very involved in the process. We haven't chosen the final judge yet. I think because we have been busy, but it will probably be someone fabulous. If you know or are someone fabulous and didn't enter and want to apply, please hit me up on email.

For now, I am trying to deal with the small number this time (in previous years it was quite large) of people who did not send all the right things in with their entries. Some didn't send an entry form. Some didn't send a check or proof of payment. One person sent us a check for $100 payable to his neighbor. The neighbor later sent us a check for $15 and asked us to return the check to him. Funny stuff. We don't take it personally. It's stressful to submit to a contest. We know. But some things go beyond the pale. One year I had a woman send us cash for the entry fee--I think it was $20--and then ask for $5 change to be sent back to her. Really? Okay I can humor that, but she didn't even include a SASE. And she lived in Canada. I don't remember what I ended up doing.

But regardless of these blunders, it doesn't prejudice anyone in the contest. I have know idea who it was. His or her story just went into the pile with the others, with no name on it.

I do have to say that I enjoy reading the titles though as I sort through them. Some make me very curious. Like "Rammed in the Rear" and "The Chihuahua from Hell" just to name a couple.

I also enjoy reading how people heard about the contest. It lets me know how information travels from one person to the next, from one site to the next. I feel very connected to everyone in the whole world through a sort of clay and toothpick model. I suppose that two degrees of separation is really possible.

I can't wait to give an update in a few weeks. From all of us, we'd like to say thanks for all your patience and trust with your personal stories.

February 8, 2010

Going On A Blog Tour

Guest Post by Chynna Laird

One assumption that many new authors make is that their publisher or agent will take care of most of the marketing of their book. The truth is that although authors may get the occasional lead from their publisher or agent, most of the onus of getting the word out about a book is on the author.

Now unless you are Stephen King, whose books are pretty much sold as soon as they come out, book marketing can be a tremendous amount of work. And it can also be expensive. But in this day and age we have many phenomenal ways to reach out to readers and buyers through the Internet. One of them is a Book Blog Tour.

I wound up my second blog tour with WOW-womenonwriting just a few weeks ago and I can honestly say that not only did it help to increase my sales but I also got leads to other marketing resources!

A blog tour is basically the same idea as a traditional book tour when you go into bookstores to sign or read but the tour is done on blogs. The blog host either asks that the author does a guest post, participates in a Q&A or simply does a book review and, often, the author also gives away a copy of the book to a lucky follower with the best comment or question.

Benefits to a blog tour include:
• Convenience (GREAT for Writer Moms who don’t have a lot of freedom to travel);
• Reaches audiences authors may miss on traditional book tours;
• Fairly inexpensive, especially if the author arranges it herself;
• Posts are kept indefinitely on the Internet. That means the author and his book can be ‘Googled’ or pulled up in an Internet search for quite some time!

Interested in arranging one? You could do it in one of two ways: (1) you could hire someone to set it all up for you, like I did with WOW; or (2) you do it on your own. Because I had so much going on, I hired WOW to set everything up for me. They took care of the advertising, found blogs for me to guest on and set up dates. Hiring someone can run anywhere from $150 - $350, depending on what they’ll cover, including how many blogs they can get you on and the amount of traffic they get.

If you choose to do it on your own, you’ll need to bear the following things in mind:
• Advertising. You need to get your tour out there so you’ll (hopefully!) have a loyal following along your tour, in addition to the blog hosts’ followers. And remember: you need to advertise as you go too. If you have Twitter, Facebook or MySpace accounts, announce your stop each day.
• Good blogs. Okay here you need to find blogs that not only represent your book’s theme but that also have a good following. But don’t restrict yourself just to your book’s theme. My book, for example, is about raising a child with Sensory Processing Disorder so many of the blogs I’ve visited focused on SPD, Autism and Asperger’s. But I also did spots on blogs about writing, being a Writing Mama, writing memoirs and other areas. It can be a lot of work finding places on your own but be sure to cover all the bases. And blogs with a lot of followers will generate more sales but, again, don’t dismiss ones with low numbers. They can lead to great things too. Have a good mix!
• Have a set time frame and don’t overdo it! Most blog tours run for about a month. That’s perfect. Don’t book yourself for too many because you need to check into each place to answer questions or respond to comments. One blog per day over the set time frame is great.
• Respond to comments/questions. As mentioned above, one of the biggest parts of the tour is interacting with commentors. Your book may rock but you need to create a good relationship with your readers. It’s actually tons of fun! I loved that part of the whole thing.
• Keep books on hand. Not only will you need to have books to give to blog hosts to review, but they may want to have a giveaway for your book too. In my case, my publisher offered to handle any giveaway books and review copies to those in the U.S., since I live in Canada (It was much cheaper and faster all around!) and I handled the other ones. Be sure to have copies on hand but also see if your publisher would be willing to handle some of the author copies or prize-winners for you.

We all know that it takes work to get ourselves and our work out there. But the Book Blog Tour offers an author an amazing way to get worldwide recognition just by making a few blog stops. And blog hosts get their blog more traffic and recognition too so everyone is a winner!

CHYNNA TAMARA LAIRD – is a psychology student, freelance writer and author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her partner, Steve, and their three daughters [Jaimie (seven), Jordhan (five), and baby Sophie (nineteen months)] and baby boy, Xander (three). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs.

You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, she’s authored a children’s book, a memoir (now available!) and a reference book about the Sensory Diet coming January 2011.

Please visit Chynna’s website at, as well as her blog at, to get a feel for her work and what inspires her.

January 28, 2010

What's with all the Air Quotes?

At Memoirs Ink we often discuss fascinating issues such as the importance of commas, properly used exclamation points, and most recently, air quotes. These air quotes, or finger quotes, as they are sometimes called, are used most often when quoting someone or something while speaking, or to show that someone is being sarcastic.

Some of us at Memoirs Ink think that using air quotes is just as annoying as throwing in exclamation points after every sentence in an essay. Others think that they're okay in small amounts.

Take a look at this clip from Friends, where Ross is upset that Joey has, "accidentally" proposed to Ross's ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Rachel. Let us know what you think about air quotes.

*This is not my video. No copyright infringement intended.*

January 13, 2010

You're Excited. I Get It.

I am an avid fan of the English language, and as such, I often wonder, when did we lose faith in her, anyway? Last time I checked, there was a myriad of words to replace the often overused and misplaced exclamation point. The only time an exclamation point is warranted is when the statement is an actual exclamation, like Look! Or, Wow! Or, Congratulations! And, as Strunk and White state, “Do not attempt to emphasize simple statements by using a mark of exclamation.” Instead, simply state what you want to say, without adding unnecessary, obnoxious punctuation marks.

It seems to me that we could easily express our excitement for something by saying that we’re, well, excited. Or, if we doubt that saying we’re excited will convey the fact that we are excited, then why not add a more pizzazz-y word, like, pizzazz?

One of my best friends, and fellow English language fan, is also a fan of exclamation points, smiley faces, and other such “cheery” expressions and emoticons. (We can refer to her as “Jane”). Jane and I met several years ago when we were both in college, in an honors English class. We quickly bonded over our love for Shakespeare, Italy, Aphra Behn and English. Unfortunately for me, I soon discovered that Jane is a huge fan of exclamation points. In fact, her text messages often look like this, “I miss you! I can’t wait to see you! I’m so excited you’re coming up this weekend :)” When it comes to the men she’s attracted to, Jane does not spare any exclamation points. In fact, when sending texts to hot men, she often spends about ten minutes contemplating where to strategically place these unnecessary offenders.

Once, nearly a year ago, we were on our way home to her apartment from Albertson’s when she almost took out an entire row of cars in the parking lot; she was trying to figure out if she had typed enough exclamation points in a message she wanted to send to her latest crush. As she handed me her phone and asked, “Do you think that’s enough?” she almost smacked the first car. And then she asked, “Will he think I’m happy to see him?” There went car number two (almost). The text read: “Hi! Are you back in town?! We should hang out tonight! I’m excited to see you!”

By now she had made a sharp right turn and tried to park her car so she could focus. In so doing, she nearly swiped a third car. For the next twenty five minutes, we occupied three parking spots while she deliberated the effectiveness of this text. As we sat in the parking lot of Albertson’s, and as she read several variations of her text message aloud, I was trying to process how the same person who Aced all of her classes was the same person who almost knocked out a row of cars because she could not decide if her text message was cheery enough. I wondered why she couldn’t just send him a text telling him that she missed him and wanted to spend time with him, without all the exclamation points and emoticons. I sat there silently, nodding my head each time she asked, “Are you sure this is good enough? I mean, I want him to know I’m excited to see him, but I don’t want him to know I spent all this time trying to decide on what to text him.” I never said anything about how stupid exclamation points are, because I did not want to hurt her feelings.

Jane finally sent the text. We sat in her car for a few minutes and waited for him to respond. When several more minutes went by and he still had not responded, she looked at me and said, “That’s so weird. I put exclamation points and smiley faces, and everything.”

As I looked into her big blue eyes, framed by her wavy blonde hair, I still could not tell her. I wondered how someone who loves English so much, needed to sound like a sixteen year old girl when sending messages to friends and men who were more than friends. I also thought about how different our text messages look—even when we are texting each other. For example, when sending texts of the same sentiment, whether to my friends or lovers, they often look like this:
“Can’t wait to see you. Miss you, too. Will call you later.”
No exclamation points. No happy faces. Just good ol’ letters and periods.

So, why can’t we trust the English language to correctly convey what we want to say without adding misplaced punctuation marks and unnecessary emoticons? It may just be that I was an English major—although I doubt I stand alone here—but, I firmly believe that we can all express our feelings simply with words; no need for anything else.

Enjoy this clip from Seinfeld.