Tag Archives: blogging

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 6

Day 6: The person you like and why you like them

I interpret this for what it sounds like: a question on a note passed to a middle-school classmate. For many obvious reasons, Rich is the person I like. He’s been my best friend pretty much since we got serious many moons ago. Over the years I’ve watched him grow and change, as he has with me; I like to think we’ve both changed for the better. In most ways and the ones that really count, at least. I still find him as good-looking, smart, and funny as when we first started dating, but he’s definitely matured. Which is a good thing, especially since it’s expected of humans in general. He’s evolved into a great husband, provider, and (I think) most importantly, a father. He’s also become much handier over the years, a point of pride when we tackle home improvement projects or repairs. He’s also embraced his creativity and pursues his art in a way that inspires me to pursue my writing, although he functions on much less sleep than I can, so he makes much more progress than I do. It’s a good thing I like this guy, since he’s the one I’m planning on growing old with.


Enjoying lunch at a restaurant in Colorado last summer


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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: 5 things that irritate you about the same sex/opposite sex

There are so many directions in which I could take this prompt. And the direction in which I choose to take it: 5 things that women do that irritate me. Prepare for some bitchiness.

1. Calling kids “littles” and “bigs”

This drives me nuts. It’s something I was first introduced to reading mommy blogs. And I hate it. Kids are kids. Calling them “littles” and “bigs” bugs the crap out of me. If you need to distinguish, call them “little kids” or “big kids.” Like the rest of the world does. Besides, these are the Littles:


Image found via Google search, which led me to a blog post at OfftheMike.com.


2. Calling every single woman who is a mother a “(fill-in-the-blank) mama”

This is another thing that I first noticed on mommy blogs and which has, to my dismay, spread everywhere. I was fine with Coraline calling me “Mama.” And I’m OK with my friends who refer to themselves as a mama. But it bugs the ever-loving shit out of me when women refer to any woman who is a mother as a warrior mama, tiger mama, fierce mama, scary mama, proud mama, whatever mama. I can’t even tell you exactly why I hate this, but I do. Hate. It.

3. Never leaving work at work

When I used to grab a workday lunch with a group of women, it would almost inevitably devolve into nonstop bitching about work. I have of course done that myself here and there, but some women would do it every single time. It got real old real fast. Now most of my workday lunches are spent by myself with a book or with male friends. Who do not bitch nonstop about work. We instead talk about family, politics, movies, TV, travel — you know, life outside of work.

4. Trashing other women for work, parenting, and life decisions in general

I honestly don’t know why we women do this. Men aren’t trash-talking other men for going back to work after the birth of a child and putting that kid in day care. They’re not criticizing or bullying other men because their wives breastfeed or bottle-feed. They’re not laying guilt trips on each other over work travel. And yet we women do all of that and more. Which I really don’t understand. That’s great if you didn’t have to go back to work after giving birth. Some of us didn’t have that option. It’s not anyone other than the mom and the kid’s business what they’re being fed. As long as the kid is healthy, who cares? If a woman travels for work, she’s a bad mother who ditched her kids. When a man travels for work, it’s expected and he’s a good father for providing for his family. We women need to stop tearing each other down and support each other instead, and mind our own children instead of offering unsolicited opinions on how others’ children are being raised.

5. Making bitchy lists like the one I just made

See: all of the above.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: What you wear to bed

So far with this challenge, I’m missing the quality of the last challenge’s questions. Maybe these will get more interesting the more days pass. Who knows.

Anyhoo, with regard to today’s super-exciting question, I usually wear mismatched things to bed. Old, ratty Old Navy long-sleeve shirts paired with comfy pajama pants in the fall and winter, old, ratty T-shirts and boxer shorts in the spring and summer.

I do still have my faithful old black sweatshirt. You know, the one we bought in 1987 when we first moved to Tennessee. You could say it’s seen better days.


I’ll throw this away when Rich concedes and tosses his 25+-year-old pillow, which means never. I’ll be buried in this beautiful bastard.


I gave up sewing the cuffs back on every winter. The tattered cuffs have sentimental value, though, since my late cat Yum Yum used to suckle on them while flexing his paws on my side. Weird, I know, but it was his bedtime ritual for several years.

I do still dig the sweatshirt out every winter, though. Even though it’s literally threadbare and has huge tears in it — it’s not exactly meant to provide warmth at this point.

Now that I’m a bona-fide grownup, I’ve become more interested in actual pajama sets. So this winter I’ve been living it up in a pair of Star Wars pajamas, complete with long-sleeve top and warm, fuzzy pants. That’s about as fancy as my sleepwear gets.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: What kind of person attracts you?

This could be a loaded question for this old married lady. Obviously, the answer is someone like my husband: handsome, funny, smart, clever, handy, a good provider, and a great dad. Now, if I were single …

Back in the day when I had those crushes on celebrities that every teenage girl gets, I had a type: dark hair and dark eyes. Think 21 Jump Street-era Johnny Depp. I also like men on the bulkier side versus thin. And tall. A man’s gotta be TALL (Johnny was a very pretty exception since he’s not that tall and he’s never been bulked up). I think as a general rule, I still find tall men with dark hair and dark eyes more attractive than fairer men with light/blonde hair. I told Rich he broke the mold since he makes Casper the Friendly Ghost look tan by comparison, with his pale complexion, lightish brown hair and blue eyes. He’s my very own special snowflake. Also, he helped me make one seriously awesome kid.

thumb_IMG_0480_1024As I’ve gotten older, though, looks have become less important. Not that I’m looking or in the market, but I now find intelligence and responsibility more attractive than a pretty face. Priorities change as you get older. And while I find plenty of men attractive (I’m married with decent eyesight, not dead), I don’t find myself attracted to them. Although I do still appreciate a tall, well-built man with a pretty face.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2

Day 2: How have you changed in the past two years?

This is kind of a general question, isn’t it? I guess the way I’ve changed the most over the past two years is that I’ve given up trying to please other people. I’ve started taking a daily dose of Fuckitall (OTC. And imaginary).


Instead of worrying about what other people think about me, I’ve instead turned my energies to doing what is best for myself and my family. In doing that, I’ve become more patient. Well, specifically more patient with Coraline. She’s a great kid, but sometimes when she is going off the rails about whatever, I have to work hard to not lose my shit with her. I work hard to remind myself that she is a kid, I’m the adult in control, and occasionally she is going to lose control precisely because she is a kid.

I wish I had other great insights into how I’ve changed in the last couple of years, that I’ve become a more Zen person, become enlightened, discovered the secret to total happiness, yada yada yada, but I haven’t. I have, however, learned to be OK with that.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 1

I started 2016 with good intentions, including journaling every day. Then tendonitis hit and, boy, did it hit hard. Any form of writing fell by the wayside since I couldn’t even hold a pen or pencil, and typing was pretty much out of the question (I became a hunt-and-peck typist at work). I won’t get into how the voice assist function on my iPad was essentially a traitorous whore, twisting whatever I said into ever more ridiculous words. I did a 31 day blog challenge back in 2012 and figure the first day of a new month is as good a time as any to start another challenge.

I found this list via a Google search, which led me to Pinterest user Madison Clayton‘s page:


Let’s start, shall we?

Day 1: Weird things you do when you’re alone

It’s not particularly weird, but when Rich and Coraline are both out, the thing I do to take advantage of being alone is listening to music and singing. Out loud. Really loud. I sing LOUDLY without fear of being laughed at, told I “don’t have a singing voice” (Coraline is mean about my singing), or making a dog howl (Mommy misses you, Caleb). Boring and not so weird, I know, but it’s my biggest solo-time indulgence. I may not be able to sing well, but damn if I don’t know the words to countless songs. At least I’ve got that going for me.

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When It’s Time to Stop Reading

Song Lyric of the Day:

I hear you laughing at me when I’m up / I see you when you’re crying for me when I’m down / I see you when you laugh at me when I’m up / I see you when you’re crying for me / All you do to me is talk, talk

Talk Talk / “Talk Talk

Lately I’ve noticed that while I’ve been reading some of the blogs I’ve read for years, I haven’t been enjoying them like I used to. I originally started reading these particular blogs because they were funny, insightful, poignant, entertaining, and, most importantly to me, relatable. But lately something’s changed –in place of those great, well-written posts I used to enjoy there’s filler. Granted, I think most of us bloggers have occasionally used filler posts just to throw something up there (I’m raising my hand — guilty as charged). But most of us don’t have the type of readership and communities — or, in those rare cases, livelihood — tied to our blogs that these blogs in question do. I know I have a loyal little core of about 30 readers (see what I did there? I subtracted a few). So what’s changed? The majority of posts I’m reading are complete one-eighties from what the blogs used to be about; where one blogger was known for, say, baking, suddenly they’re posting about homing pigeons. I’ve lost my connection to them, that relatability that drew me to them in the first place and kept me a loyal reader for many years. Which is why I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been hate-reading them. (Somewhere my husband just said, “Well, duh.”)

In all honesty, I’ve never been so enamored of any blogger that I idealized them, put them on a pedestal, whatever.  But I did really, truly enjoy their writing for many years. These days? I find that more often than not their posts are about nothing — and not in that funny, clever Seinfeld about-nothing way. Just about nothing, as if they’re going through the motions. Granted, some of them (but not all) have pretty big life issues they’re dealing with these days, but when you’ve made a living/created your blog brand, as it were, based on your brutal honesty and outspokeness and willingness to share personal things, well … it’s quite an adjustment when you clam up and instead post a picture of a homing pigeon. I know there’s plenty of other stuff they could be writing about that would entertain/satisfy their readers (myself included) that wouldn’t even have to touch on subjects they’d rather not be blogging about at this time. And the ones who are closing/deleting/altering comments just because they don’t like dissenting opinions? So much for encouraging honest feedback.

But it’s not up to me to dictate what anyone else can do, you know? Except for Coraline — I’m bossing that kid around until the day I die. Will she listen? Well, that remains to be seen. I do expect some pushback, though.

So what’s my solution to my hate-reading problem? I’m going to stop reading those blogs, cold-turkey. That’s the goal, anyway; after years of lunchtime reading, it’s going to be a hard habit to break. It is going to be an adjustment, though, since I really did enjoy the stories and glimpses into their lives that these bloggers shared over the years. But all good things have to come to an end, right?


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Life Offline

Song Lyric of the Day:

And my heart beats faster than safe / Faster than the train in my mind / And I’m not / But I try to find out / What to do with my life

The Shout Out Louds / “A Track and a Train

Wow — I didn’t realize a month has passed since my last update. Not blogging was a mostly conscious decision, though (as in I would have liked to update here and there but time/the desire escaped me). I felt like I needed to just step back and enjoy living my life instead of trying to document and share online what I was up to. (Hence my decreased Facebook activity, too.) Although, in all honesty, blogging helps me remember a lot of things as my memory is just horrible. My short-term memory, to be exact — I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I remember phone numbers from 20 years ago without any problem. Weird, huh?

I’m aiming to update on the more interesting stuff that’s happened recently as time allows — my class reunion (very belatedly, but at least it will satisfy Miss A’s curiosity. Hi, Miss A!); a long-overdue visit with my aunt and uncle from New York; our trip to Asheville, including an accidental two-day Biltmore visit; and our visit to Hampton Roads, from which we just returned on Saturday. And let me just say — two days of doing nothing after eight days of doing everything, and Rich, Coraline, and I are exhausted. I took a three-and-a-half-hour nap on Sunday. Three-and-a-half hours! Our first day back at work today (and day care for Coraline) is going to be a long one. Fueled by copious amounts of caffeine (and juice for Coraline), no doubt.

Another reason I’ve stepped back from my online life is that I’ve been working on a massive photo archiving project, which has necessarily taken up a lot of my free time  most evenings. I know I take too many photographs: I was down to less than 1MB of space on my MacBook (which has 80GB of storage) due to said photos. So I’ve been backing up photos from my laptop to a 500GB external hard drive I bought specifically for photo storage only. I’m up to a whopping 12GB of free space now. Even my iPhone was too full — I could only get maybe three apps to open because I had too many photos saved. Photos I couldn’t upload into iPhoto because I didn’t have enough free space on my laptop. It’s a vicious cycle. And yes, I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up. Hence my compulsive need to photograph everything.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.


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31 Day Blog Prompt Challenge Day 31

Day 31: Free day. Whatever you like!

I’m so tired writing this now (and Coraline just threw up in her crib) that I’m drawing a blank as to what to write about. Aha — how about some of the stranger search terms that have brought people to my blog? In no particular order:

  1. Good Will Humping (awkward … this is why people land here when they search for that term)
  2. cow repellent (yeah, that’s me alright)
  3. curly crazy haired baby (that would be Coraline)
  4. what is the black market? (because I know)
  5. let’s blow this popsicle stand (OK!)
  6. names of black cabbage patch kids (this one’s new)
  7. TV shows about vampires witches and werewolves (I’m an amateur authority)
  8. Simon Baker’s father (he’s a personal friend)
  9. Aidan Turner pretty (why yes, yes he is)
  10. freaking out about nose surgery (with good reason — it hurts like hell)

And this brings an end to my 31 Day Blog Prompt Challenge. This month is the most consistently I’ve blogged in ages, and I have to admit, it’s been fun. At least for me, anyway.


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31 Day Blog Prompt Challenge Day 30

Day 30: Your spouse or significant other.

I’ve been pretty open about expressing my fondness for Rich in the past. And since I’ve already poured my heart out like that, I’ve resorted to creating a fake profile for him based on how well I know him and what I love about him. Let me just say that it is next to impossible to find a fill-in-the-blank dating profile using Google. Without actually signing up for a dating service, that is. Which is why I resorted to modifying one of those American Express cardmember profiles — because it’s free.

A fabulous recent photo of Rich taken by our amazingly talented friend, Jeff. Who I need to get to take headshots for me. You can see some of Jeff's photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/romaniuk/

Name: Richard Lee

Married Since: 2000

Occupation: website guy/poppa extraordinaire/geeky gamer/squasher of bugs

Proudest Accomplishment: having my own art gallery showings/becoming quite handy at home improvement/having made an awesome daughter with my awesome wife/teaching Coraline to fist bump

Perfect Day: Convincing Pattie to go to Mirage to smoke a hookah (someday …)/convincing Pattie to go to Amsterdam (hey, I can dream)/not having to change a poopy diaper — hell, any diapers

Most Unusual Gift: That I received from someone else? African fertility statue (don’t ask). That I gave to someone? Two rolls of nickels (again, don’t ask).

Recent Impulse Buy: my iPad (here iPad, iPad, iPad)

Internet Therapy: World of Warcraft/reading up on and geeking out about coding languages/watching Archer via Netflix streaming

Can’t Shop Without: Pattie making me

My Wife: ROCKS

Doing what he does best: being a great dad to Coraline


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