When Social Media Doesn’t Feel So Social

Truth time: I have been avoiding you all.

I normally sit down on Monday mornings, tap-tap-tapping away at my keys, crafting a new blog post as my cup of tea and bowl of oatmeal turn into a lemon-lime sparkling water and whatever ready-to-eat food can pass for lunch. (In other words, I eat a lot of string cheese and things that come in bags that make loud crinkling noises.) Then I schedule social media posts, browse newsfeeds, interact with blogging groups, read about ways to increase reach and website hits, and try to figure out what in my life is interesting enough to be worthy of sharing.

But considering my life has felt mostly like I’m scheduling social media posts, browsing newsfeeds, interacting with blogging groups, and reading about ways to increase reach and website hits, I come up empty-handed on that last one. So when I sat down on these last two Monday mornings, I actually felt more inspired to put away a load of laundry than do anything else. And that’s just effed up.

Back when I was struggling to breastfeed my first child, I remember thinking that the act of feeding my baby shouldn’t be something I wanted to avoid. But it was. The fact that she seemed to want to eat every two hours made me feel like just when I thought I could breathe, I had already fallen behind. And I usually had very little to offer. But I continued to give, at the expense of the things she REALLY needed, like a happy mother.

Similarly, social media doesn’t feel so social anymore. Continue reading “When Social Media Doesn’t Feel So Social”

This Is The One Where I Give Away Free Stuff…So You Probably Want to Read It

You may have noticed my blog looks a little different (it will likely evolve some more in the near future). I thought I’d change things up in celebration. Guess who is *this close* to hitting 1,000 followers? Heck yeah! I’m SO close that I may actually hit the milestone while I slumber, in between the time I scheduled this post to publish and it actually publishing. Unfortunately, I do think a chunk of those followers are spammer blogs who post in Croatian or redirect you to pyramid schemes promising financial Continue reading “This Is The One Where I Give Away Free Stuff…So You Probably Want to Read It”

Like a Rolling Stone

It feels a little weird to be blogging. I mean, it has been exactly twenty-three days since I last posted something (not that I have been counting or anything). That is apparently long enough for the WordPress site to stop automatically logging me in, causing me to have to actually type in my username and password…which I almost couldn’t remember. It’s a good thing I am not entrusted with any classified information. I am pretty sure they don’t have a “remember me” box to check when logging into the nuclear launch codes. 

checking the fridge
Oh hey, Twitter. I forgot you were in here. (photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com)

I guess I can chalk up my lack of blogging to taking to heart the idea that “life grows sideways.”* I have been rolling with the punches. And the punches just haven’t seemed to be landing on blogging lately…or Facebook…or Twitter. (Actually, the punches NEVER land on Twitter. My Twitter account is pretty much like those leftovers you know you should throw out, but you put them in Tupperware anyway because you just MIGHT find a use for them. Like you just MIGHT become one of those people who researches creative ways to reinvent leftovers into a brand new meal. But you never do. But you are also one of those people who is not so good at cleaning out your fridge, so the leftovers just sit somewhere in the back next to the jar of barley malt you bought last year because you needed one tablespoon of it to make homemade bagels, which of course you have never made since. Are you sensing why I am not so good at capping my thoughts to 140 characters?)

What I HAVE been rolling with is basketball practices; indoor soccer games; tumbling classes; birthday parties; First Communion meetings; Brownie meetings; overseeing the selling of Girl Scout cookies; making Walmart my unfortunate second home; powder puff derbies (well, just one of those); sporadic workout schedules; ice skating; school volunteering; randomly deciding to reorganize the kitchen on a Monday afternoon; realizing that a freshly reorganized kitchen “needs” some pops of color by way of new utensil, flour, sugar, and tea cannisters; “sacrificing” my time to scour Pier One and T.J. Maxx for said sources of pops of color…you know, typical mom stuff. Because typical mom stuff is how I roll. Just consider my theme song “Roll With It” by Steve Winwood. That’s right. Winwood. Hey, that brassy 80’s tune worked for my grade school soccer team. Get it?…roll with it…like a ball. Uh huh. We even had a little sideline dance. Take that David Beckham.

I have also found myself, as always, rolling with the hilarity and awkwardness provided by my children. Here are just a few noteworthy moments:

– My son can be rather creative in his dress-up play. He is fearless when it comes to making bold and daring choices. Some of you may remember this ensemble from a previous post:DSCF8800

He has also proven to be unfazed by gender stereotypes, following in the footsteps of young male actors during the time of Shakespeare and stepping into a female role…or the role of a robot monster who also happens to be wearing a dress:DSCF7799

And then just today, he designed this outfit for “Wacky Wednesday” at school:774274_10152446747505532_1366605929_o

But the real beauty of his fashion choices are in his interpretations of what the dressing-up transforms him into. Last week, Michael came up to me in just his skivvies and asked me to tie a piece of crepe paper around his neck. It ended up looking like a bow tie. Let me just reinforce that picture for you…skivvies and bow tie. He said he was being a sea monster, which came as a huge relief to me. Because my first guess was Magic Mike.

chicken and rooster
“Hey, chickie. How ’bout you and me do a little egg fertilizing?” (photo source: Wikipedia)

– Just before Christmas, I mentioned that Grace’s advancing age is bringing on all kinds of questions I am not ready to answer. I also mentioned that I was more comfortable answering her questions about sex than I was about Santa. Well, I may have spoken too soon on that one. The questions I was referring to in the previous post were ones she was asking about anatomy, mostly female. No problem. Last night, however, my husband and I got the “big one.” And it all started with hard-boiled eggs. At dinner, Grace was proudly recounting how she had learned to hard boil an egg. Which led to this:

Grace: “What exactly is the yellow part of the egg? (a bit fearful) Is it the baby chicken?”

Kurt: “No, because the eggs we eat aren’t fertilized. It only becomes a chick if the egg is fertilized.”

Grace: (satisfied, but only for a millisecond) “Oh. What does fertilized mean?”

Me: “You know how human babies are made from part of a mom and part of a dad? Well, it is the same with chickens. The eggs we eat only have the mom part, not the dad part.”

Grace: “But how does the dad part get to the mom part?”

Me: (hoping desperately that she is talking about chicken parents) “Uh, I am not exactly sure how the dad part gets into the egg…” (can you feel my uneasiness?)

Grace: “No, not the chickens. Like people. How does the dad get his part into the mom?”

Me: (DAMN YOU CHICKENS AND YOUR UNFERTILIZED EGGS!!!!! DAMN ME FOR BUYING REAL EGGS INSTEAD OF EGG BEATERS THIS WEEK!!!!  DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!!!!)

Kurt: (Eating tomato bisque, just ignoring the whole conversation by this point, mostly because he loves my tomato bisque, and our chatter was ruining the moment between him and his soup spoon. And now that I think of it, I am really annoyed at his timely love affair with tomato bisque when he was the one who brought up fertilizing in the first place. Stupid enginerd.)

Me: “Well, I would love to tell you about that, but it is kind of grown-up stuff, and the dinner table isn’t really the place to discuss it.”

Grace: “Why not? We’re just sitting here, eating and talking. The food doesn’t care.”

Me: “But Michael isn’t quite old enough to know about that kind of stuff yet.”

Michael: “I hate eggs. Chickens have eyeballs. I hate this soup.”

Me: “Um…well,…you know maybe we…(trails off into undefinable mumblings)…HEY! You,  little miss, have not told me ONE thing about how school was today!

Grace: “Oh, it was really good! Our class got our 100th marble today for doing good stuff so we are going to have a movie day with popcorn.”

Me: “Wow! I want to hear ALL about these marbles…fascinating…”

Roll with it, baby. Ain’t that right, Winwood?

* quoted from The American Gene by Michael Nesmith

I Like Chicks

No, I haven’t switched teams. And really, it’s just one chick. And he’s a dude.

bob and tom showI’m talking about Chick McGee, member of the Marconi award-winning Bob & Tom Show which airs every weekday morning on over 150 radio stations nationwide…and the person my husband wants to be when he grows up.

No lie. My husband has a pretty serious man crush on Chick, which is possibly only rivaled by his deep affection for Alton Brown of Good Eats on Food Network. I am fairly certain the only reason my husband joined Twitter was so he could follow Chick and be privy to whatever hilarity the radio personality could cram into 140 characters. (I’m not judging, mind you…since I joined Twitter only after realizing Micky Dolenz of The Monkees had joined and was tweeting pictures of himself barbecuing meat.) And while driving through the hometown of The Bob and Tom Show during a road trip last summer, I swear on my life that these words were uttered by my 6’6 tank of a husband as we passed a gas station: “I bet Chick McGee has filled up his car there (sigh).” Okay, I may have used a little creative license adding the (sigh) at the end, but you get the picture.

So given my husband’s somewhat unrequited bromance with Chick, and being someone who understands the endorphin rush of a realized dream, I find what happened a few days ago to be fan-friggin-tastic. I am still not sure exactly how this all materialized, but somehow my husband was chosen to be one of a few “Chickmunks” (as fans of Chick are known) to call in and chat with the one and only Chick on an episode of his new podcast called Off the AirI have yet to hear his fifteen minutes of fame, but when I asked my husband how it went afterwards, he said something along the lines of, “You know how it goes. I had a million things to say and questions to ask, but I mostly just ended up talking to him about Imo’s Pizza.” Oh, I know how it goes. We all remember my encounter with Andy Cohen and my homemade Real Housewives of St. Louis shirt complete with Imo’s Pizza logo. Still, I could tell he was on a high.

So that pretty much covers why my husband likes Chick…but why do I like him, you say? Well first, I think it’s pretty cool that he invited his loyal listeners to call in and be a part of his podcast. It shows the marks of good character, and that he is someone who appreciates the people who appreciate him. That can’t be said of everyone who holds a celebrity status.

chick mcgee
That’s one good lookin’ Chick

Oh, and there’s this other really cool thing he did. HE POSTED A LINK TO THIS VERY BLOG ON HIS WEBSITE! Yeah, that’s what I said. This measly, little, needle in a haystack blog. Granted, I owe a big thanks to my husband for even thinking to give some mad props to his wife’s online ramblings amidst what was surely a riveting discussion about thin crust and provel cheese. But Chick didn’t have to actually check out my blog, and he certainly didn’t have to promote it on his site. (Again, his website is Off the Air with Chick McGee. If you click on the “Listener Link of the Moment” under the Episode #5 – Chick’s Favorite New Comedian entry, it will bring you right back HERE…so I guess you can really just take the shortcut and stay here. OR you can go to his site, download his podcast, and have yourself some giggles. Chick would probably appreciate that.) I’m not sure that most of Chick’s listeners are necessarily part of the “mommy blog” demographic, but hopefully they have wives or girlfriends who are…or are the type of people who still enjoy reading about poop, inappropriate actions, the bird and the bees, and creepy cartoon characters. Wait, maybe it is the same demographic…

So Chick, thanks for giving a girl from the small town of WordPress.com a chance in the big city of ChickMcGee.com. If it turns out to be my big break (at the time of this post, you have driven…wait for it…24 HITS to my blog!), we MIGHT just name our next child after you…or at the very least, our next dog. (Though I am not guaranteeing that there will be a “next” of either of those.) If not, I know my husband will still hang on your every tweet. Either way, we may have to have a Fat Kid Weekend in your honor.

Happy “Cuss Counting.”

**Update: You can now listen to my hubby Kurt on the Chick McGee “Off the Air” Podcast!! You can almost hear how excited he is in his voice! Go to www.chickmcgee.com and download Episode #6:Twitter House Party. Kurt’s call starts at the 30:20 mark. He actually did a pretty good job! And Chick confesses his love for St. Louis. Super cool all around!