Tag Archives: blogging

Blog, uninterrupted

Today is my birthday and I’ve just dropped my son off at play camp. That means I have two whole uninterrupted hours to do something or other. I could make a more responsible choice, but it’s my personal holiday, so I’m going to blog about a bunch of random crap. Hooptydoo!

Topic # 1: If I could just accept these things, I might be happier
1. I’m 38. It’s 2008. Really, it is.

2. My birthday will always fall between Comfest and the Fourth of July (hence Doo Dah Parade), therefore my husband will always look gobsmacked that the day has arrived, and run out at some inconvenient last-minute time to buy me a gift, or offer to buy me something practical that I was already going to get for myself and then not wrap it. However, I get flowers year-round for no reason.

3. If I need to get somewhere on time and Declan is with me, I should aim to get there 10 minutes before whatever it is starts.

4. My father’s birthday gift to me will arrive on Christmas. I already have cards from cousins-in-law on the piano. My mom got me a cake and something else that there is a 99 percent chance I will like. My dog will probably not poop in the dining room today because it’s sunny. Family is what it is and hooray for what it is.

5. This will be the year I learn to like fireworks. Declan will teach me.

Topic #2: Brief rants
1. Who thought it would be a good idea to call a food event A Taste of Boom? And is this only funny to me because I have a toddler? Does the fact that I think this is funny mean that I’m suddenly going to start laughing at the poopy jokes in the Shrek movies? Because I don’t, usually.

2. I was so very sad that I’m not going to BlogHer this year – Skybus folded and ruined my plans. But now I’m not sad anymore. I’ve been watching some stupidity unfold in the mom-o-blog-o-sphere and Twitter, and it’s giving me agita. It seems someone semi-famous said something critical of someone non-very famous (in blogging terms) and then a bunch of blind criticism of said semi-famous person ensued. I had to contort my brain into a Complete Intersection CalabiYau Manifold to try and figure out what the hell was going on and why, and in the end, it felt like the clarion calls for women to be decent to each other have become at least as punitive and damning as the original critcism, only launched by, like 50 people instead of one.

If, for some masochistic reason, you want to follow this, go here and here, and if you’re feeling particularly nosy, here. The original offending comments are here and here and here. I think I wouldn’t have bothered if I’d only known what all the hubbub was about to begin with, but it was introduced as though there was a crisis of decency among mommybloggers that needed to be addressed, with no actual details presented, which, being a mom blogger, tantalized me to dig into what was happening so I could have an informed opinion. (And it’s what journalists do.)

Seems like there was an interesting opportunity there to discuss blog community, blog culture, idea ownership or maybe even appropriate avenues for criticism that has instead drawn people into different camps of self-righteous back-slaps and high-fives. Yuck. I feel totally outside of the mommy blogging “community” now. Have a nice time y’all!

3. Dan and I clarified some of the details of the often asked-about ending of Little Brother’s here.

4. Okay, I’m still sad about not going to BlogHer, because there are a few people I would really have liked to meet who live and write and play well outside of all of that crap that I shouldn’t have bothered writing about.

5. Holy crap, they are playing “Xanadu” by Olivia Newton John in this coffee shop. This is not helping my “I’m 38. It’s 2008” mantra to sink in.

Have a great Wednesday. Eat cake.

P.S. Now they’re playing “Words” by Missing Persons. Perhaps I should come back to this coffee shop daily, because there’s apparently a time warp here that makes this my 12th birthday.

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Who are you and what are we doing here together?

Writing a blog is a funny exercise.

When I write for publication, media kits and writer’s guidelines give me some sense of who the audience is, or, more precisely, who the publisher would like it to be.

But when I write here, there is no Power Point-wielding man in a suit trying to tell me that my core audience is 30-something Volkswagen drivers who go out to dinner twice a week and own at least one iPod. No one is trying to push me to write in a way that they think will attract more 23-year-olds because the ad team wants to sell more space to movie theaters and stores that sell sports equipment.

Ultimately, this space is here for me to write things that I will want to re-read ten years from now, not things designed to make more steak house patrons bookmark me. But because I have chosen not to shield myself with anonymity, it’s also tricky, and a bit scarier to dig into the real nitty gritty of motherhood. Overthinking this has has given me a little writer’s block this week that I hope to subvert by delving into NaBloPoMo next week.

Until recently, I hadn’t engaged much with the larger world of blogging. I’d done some of the standard mom blog reading, like dooce, Suburban Turmoil and Breed ’em and Weep. But I’d missed blogs like Twas Brillig, Attack of the Redneck Mommy, Running in Wellies and Not that I don’t love my kids…. Then, a couple of weeks back, I joined Cre8buzz.com, a social network which seems to have drawn an unusually high number of woman/mom bloggers by wisely promoting the fact that unlike MySpace or Facebook, the owners would not deem pictures of women breastfeeding obscene and delete them.

While the aforementioned blogs are among its top stars, there are hundreds more in its ranks, accompanied by a frenzy of women trying to get to know each other, make connections, get their blogs noticed, find respite from domestic isolation, or impart the secrets that make their homes happy. It becomes addictive very quickly – cruising through pages and pages of household scenes, images and mini-essays laced with powerful thoughts about personal identity, marriage, body image, child-rearing, sisterhood, bathroom habits, illness, death, meal planning and accidental comedy. This stuff is authentically funnier and more moving than anything Lifetime could come up with, produced by people with imperfect bodies and faces.

But beyond being a diversion, I realized that the reading I’ve been doing recently has reaffirmed the way I want to look at the world. As a writer, I’ve felt strongly for a long time that everyone has a story worth telling, and those of non-famous people are usually far more interesting than the ones behind the overexposed faces on newscasts and newsstands. The happiest work I have done has generally involved giving rock star attention to un-famous individuals.

For the last week, I’ve noticed faces in the grocery stores that I might have glanced past before and wondered more actively about what kind of extraordinary experiences they might be willing to share, what secrets they possess and if they might be one of the remarkable women I may one day happen upon on the Internet.

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