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My friends are your friends, and your friends are my friends…

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Yes, today’s #reverb10 prompt reminds me of that “circle time” song. Want to fight about it?

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

This year presented several opportunities to further enmesh my various groups of friends. I am generally a one-or-two-at-a-time friend, preferring to hang out in smallish groups or pairs (I’m worried that my rambling gets out of hand and sort of annoying in a big groupand this might be made up– but it is enough to subdue me and make me a little anxious), but I do love to entertain. I love to have people over, I love to have an excuse to hole up in the kitchen for an entire day, making appetizers and bite-size desserts, and I love to introduce friends from various parts of my life to each other. GP and I joke that our friends get along well because they have the same degree of trauma from being friends with a-holes like us, so they bond over that, but really I like to think that we have reached the point where we are each comfortable enough with ourselves and familiar enough with what we want and need in friendships to choose relatively consistent “types” of people as our friends. This is wonderful, because we’ve been able to create a little community (in a less creepy, non-planned sort of way) among our various work, school, and older (college, whatever) friends, and trust that there will be relatively little awkward pausing at our parties throughout the year. (We have a cocktail party in about a week and a half, so I have high hopes!)

Now, for the community that I want to create, or at least take a more active part in. For 2011, I am hoping to become a more consistent part of this online community that I am alternately part of and completely envious of. Over almost ten years of blogging, do you know how many bloggers I’ve met in real life? Zero. Yes, I do have friendships online, send regular emails, and have carried on old-fashioned snail mail correspondence with a few. More than building something from nothing, I am hoping to strengthen my existing online friendships (no pressure, I promise, online buddies) and establish some new ones. With BlogHer in San Diego and school finished up, there is a fairly good chance that I’ll make it down in 2011; the associated goal with that, though? Don’t be completely crippled and intimidated by the fact that the blogs of others are somehow more worthy-of-something than my own. (We’ll see how this goes.)

On writing

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Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging for nearly a decade (yeah, it’s my birthday, let’s not do anything else to make me feel old today, all right?), and have written well and steadily for school for more than that, I’ve never considered myself “a writer.” Despite my mom’s constant insistence that I “write something,” that I’d probably “be so great” if I just “wrote something” (and despite my complete lack of formal training/education), I don’t know that my writing attempts will ever expand beyond the bounds of this blog. And you know what? I’m ok with that. In that spirit, here is the #reverb10 prompt for the day:

Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I think that it’s high time I started considering what I do here on the internets “writing.” It doesn’t follow a traditional write/edit/edit/edit/publish cycle, and it’s generally for no one but me (not that I don’t absolutely thrill at every single comment), but it is my contribution to the written world. I may not ultimately live a life that is “worthy” of an autobiography, but I love the fact that I have this record of what I was like at 18, at 23, and at…27. I suppose my short answer to this prompt is “no.” I think that, given the type of “writing” that I currently do, every part of my day is valuable and influential in the cycle of inspiration, recording, and memory. Sure, I may spend too much time scrolling through Jezebel and getting my blood all angried up, but I am not (right now, anyway) about to stop.


Dos mil

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In thinking about what I would write in this space for my 200th post, I thought a retrospective of sorts would be in order. As I’m not one for year-end reviews, and as a friend remarked that her “special occasion” posts tended toward the Oscar-speech end of the spectrum, I was determined not to veer too sharply into “You like me, you really like me!” territory. On the other hand…wow. Seriously. I know that I have lately been semi-regular at best about posting and commenting, and I know that I’ll never be one of the Really Cool Kids, amassing hordes of blog-friends, but I have to comment on how much I appreciate what blogging and bloggers (two words which, the more I type them, sound sort of gross) have brought to my life. There is a handful of people in my life, a little pocket of my world, that just wouldn’t exist without blogging– and I’m so glad it’s there! Not being a Big Deal means that I’ve never (knock on wood) had to deal with horrible anonymous commenters (Commentors? I can’t decide.) the way others have, and the chances of being incriminated at work for something awful I’ve written about a colleague are slim to none. However, I am happy to know that at least there are the dozens, maybe, of you that care to read and even take the time to comment. Thanks.

Spring break has come a bit early (at least work-wise– trust me, it’s not a very interesting story), and I’m feeling generous. As such, I’m proposing a multi-part giveaway, having to do with things that play a big part in my life: paper (I’m a sucker for pretty paper, and do like a good bit of correspondence!), travel (I take trips, even if a good third of them are Disneyrelated), and cooking (uh, yeah.) I’ll be giving away stuff from each category, so tell me what you’d like most! I’ll choose winners at random, and announce them in, say…a week? Yes, on March 29. That’s it.

And now, the booty. (Heh.)

Paper
A set of cards (pick your favorite) from Dots and Dahlias Etsy shop. Leave a comment telling me your proudest paper moment– did you manage to get Christmas cards out on time last year? Remember Grandma’s birthday? Carry on correspondence with a far-away love?

Cooking
An assortment of gadgets and goodies from Crate and Barrel and Sur la Table, two of my favorite fancy-supply stores. Tell me which gadgets you wish you had in your kitchen, from a Silpat to a citrus reamer, and they just might be yours.

Travel
Either a set of luggage tags or a passport holder (it says womens, but I think the red, green, and blue are plenty butch, for my male readers) from Flight 001. Describe your most memorable trip, and share your fantasy vacation– a trek through the rainforest? Meandering through the streets of Prague? Sipping champagne in Champagne?

T, to the A, to the S-T-Y

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(Yeah, I refuse to misspell “tasty,” even if that means breaking with some genius Black-Eyed Peas lyrics.)

Internets, I have to tell you something: I started a food blog. With friends! There is relatively little mention of Not My New Mommy, and there are only two recipes posted so far…but they are delicious! So go on, get over there.

P.S. Fear not! T&CT isn’t going anywhere. I need a place to vent about all of The Crazy, and hope that there will be more than one person to send treats to when I do my 200th post!

Today we lunch in the tub!

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I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather, and took to bed immediately upon getting home from my half-day of interning (oh yes, my life is so hard…I had to work for four whole hours today!). The kitty, of course, was a fan of this idea, and I decided to capitalize on my illness and “let’s just stay in bed” mood and make the queen-size ground zero for all my afternoon operations. Luckily, this only included a bit of reading, a rousing round of Plants vs. Zombies (hopelessly addicted, sorry), a lunch of Goldfish crackers, and a few hours of Rick Steves’ Europe that had built up in the Tivo. Over IM, I had to let GP know that Sydney and I had decided to conduct all of our business henceforth from the bed. He, of course, pointed out difficulties like using the bathroom and going to work. Because he is a curmudgeon.

In potentially exciting news, we’re coming up on T&CT’s 200th post! I didn’t do any celebrating for the 100th, but I was thinking of rewarding one (or a couple, who knows) of my faithful readers (you’re still there, right?) with a giveaway of some sort. Ideas? I’m a lady of limited means but solid culinary skills– maybe some salted caramels? How well would my gougeres ship?

(Did anyone else read this book when they were a kid? It’s funny how some things stick in your mind. P.S. The New House doesn’t even have a tub, which is sort of a bummer.)

The Way-Back Machine

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Do you want to know a poorly-kept secret? I have been blogging for nearly seven years. Yes, sometimes sporadically, sometimes multiple times per day, all because I believe the world needs to hear what I have to say. Or, you know, read what I write. Whatever. This post is a part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and readers! “Looking Back,” according to the 20Something Bloggers, means that you are to “flip out your blog and pick a post from your first 2 months in blog-land that shows your mentality and outlook from the onset of your blog.” Because I have had four (yes, count them, four) blogs, including this one, through the course of my blogging life, I feel compelled to chart my sometimes-humiliating “growth” as a blogger. And so, in the name of community participation, I give you a look back…don’t say I didn’t warn you. (And hey, seriously, you might need some ice cream or a good, stiff drink when you’re done. Thanks in advance, B&J!)

The olde-timey-est of them all was Someday We’ll Know, started in the fall of my freshman year of college. It began auspiciously, with a one-sentence post:
“If Britney Spears and Fat Bastard were to have a kid, I’d like to think that this child would resemble Anna Nicole Smith.”
It quickly became about much else, but mostly is a pretty good representation of who I was when I was 19 years old. It is mildly terrifying to think that that was nearly seven years ago.

Next came the Xanga, around the time that I realized not having any readers or commentors sort of sucked. Also around the time that I began to date the first Big Love of college (who, spoiler, completely destroyed me about sixteen months later). There was quite a bit of “squee!” as well as a good deal of our friend passive aggression. Witness:
“Ok, so I got to work until 1 today, but it’s not as horrible as it sounds. I would have been up this late anyway, and Patrick came to walk me back, just so I wouldn’t be violated as I trekked back to the dorms along Gayley. Good times, and I got to take some sandwiches back with me (yay for free food!)…oh, and I think I got titled tonight. It was kind of something that was understood, I think, but it’s always nice to have clarification. And now, to climb up onto Cloud 9 (hehe, Erika…) and go to blissful, blissful sleep…”
and…
Did you ever feel like, when certain people pop online and don’t IM you, and you don’t want to IM them because you’re not sure if you’ll get verbally decapitated, it feels like a staring contest? Think about it… Oh, and of course I have an individual (or two) in mind, but I’m much too passive-aggressive to name names.”

Somewhere in the middle of the Xanga run began Tragic Maturity, a blog name that came out of an inside joke, and that I sort of regret not currently having (or at least posting on…it still exists, so whatever). Maybe I’ll go back. Who knows. TM started around the beginning of Big(-ish) Love #2 of college, the fall of my junior year. This was the second year I was living in my sorority house, so here is a fun glimpse of how I felt about Greek life and technology (aw, remember when Facebook was just for .edu people?). Oh, and fyi– it’s pronounced PREEE-sents, and not like the ones under the Christmas tree.

Presents and other debauchery

Last night was Presents, which is generally kind of debutante-sounding, even though the cutesy little part at the house during the day is followed by the most insane date party of the year. It’s like this every year– all the girls put on their black or white dresses (yeah, we’re cult-y, but every house does it…so I guess that makes it ok) and pack onto too few school buses, get to the venue, and proceed to dry-hump their dates. Of course this year was no exception– there were only two buses, so we had to triple up (or, in the case of my seat, quadruple. Not, fun, especially given that my and Mike’s seatmates were making out and groping each other already.) The place was really cute, and a good deal of quasi-espionage had to be done to ensure that we got back into the Coolest Couch/Chair Thing Ever (ha, like putting your jacket on a seat will keep other, possibly intoxicated people from sitting there? Idiot.) Two Red Bull and vodkas and a gin and tonic later, I was just about ready to be home (not even necessarily mine, just someone’s so that I didn’t have to watch other people make out)…the “early” bus left a little after midnight, and I was on it.

Woke up before my “alarm” at 11 (ha, I got more than three hours of sleep last night!) and had semi-breakfast made for me (yes, I’m counting a bagel as breakfast. He made me an omelette the other day, so there.) Watched some thing about killer whales and seals and penguins on the National Geographic channel, felt old. I feel a little guilty about making him go out last night when he has a midterm today, but am really glad that we got to go– I’ll make it up somehow, I promise.

Technology is so fucked up. Last night I heard one of the girls talking with her date about how she’s going to change her “relationship status” on her FaceBook profile to “in a relationship with ___” now because they’re official– as if the FaceBook profile is the thing that makes their relationship valid or legitimate. Even things like blogs (hello, Xanga, I believe you’ve become a little passive-aggressive, yet I’ll still continue to update because I’m so OCD) have become this whole other dimension of relationships, making shit that was already confusing even more so. No one can be completely honest in a blog about a relationship, especially when the interest might be reading. How do you get around the “Ohh, I like him so much!” when that’s a big part of what’s going on at the moment? Ok, off to the land of truth– the paper journal, which no one is allowed to read, although several have made attempts. Argh.”

Which brings us to the Tea and Cake Time. Ready to create (or reflect, rather) my new post-college persona, I started semi-lamely, with a meme. Things quickly picked up, as I revealed myself to be quite the reflection of Stuff White People Like, encompassing at least NPR and Being Offended:

Why I listen to NPR

Not just because I’m a bleeding-heart, West Coast-living, registered Democrat with a crush on Ira Glass…but also because on local radio, especially in the morning, one’s ears are treated to scintillating segments (sorry for the alliteration, it flares up when I’m annoyed) such as, “Is It Gay?” Debate is then held over whether things like having personalized checks or being a male cheerleader is gay. Not that these people are social scientists, but I’m going to have to point out here that correlation is not causation. Thank god for Morning Edition!”
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A jaunt into Memory Town is always fun, so get on board, friends! Embarrass yourself in the way that only Past You can– all, ultimately, in the name of ice cream!