I've been trying to get back into the swing of blogging by participating in Nablopomo this year (National Blog Posting Month) but seven days in, I've just failed miserably. I didn't post on Saturday because I simply ran out of things to say and I didn't post yesterday because I stayed up all night trying to figure out how, exactly, I broke the old feed to my wordpress site. 

Right now, there are a few thousand people who think I stopped blogging in May. I know, I know, lucky devils. Most people who have this feed probably think I stopped blogging, too, when in fact I haven't...I've just been doing it other places.

Like Babble, where there is a new post up today. 

And I think feeds are a dying art, anyway. I mean, you can't even share posts in the new Google Reader anymore and that function was the single best idea Google ever had, aside from self-diagnosing and that whole Total World Domination thing. So I guess I shouldn't care that my old feed dun broked; it's just that not being able to fix things frustrates me TO GAH*.

So I guess I'll just leave the subscribing to the Book of Faces and G+, which Oh! Opened up to brands yesterday! After they made me use my real name (ish) on the internet! Assholes! Which doesn't really matter since my big brother has made it his life's mission to show ever single person we've ever been related to my blog via the magic of Facebook. Facebook truly is the wasteland where all secrets go to die.

Either way, my new G+ page is right here. And here's a picture of what happens to my boobs around here when I'm not paying attention. Because shut up.


If you don't read Jett Superior or follow her on the twitters, you are missing out on both brilliance and free English lessons.


Where I Been

It occurs to me that I'm only posting on my blog once a month or so, which is probably my subconscious' way of dealing with the fact that I haven't had a period in over a year because some jerk stole my uterus a year and two days ago. He made up for it by leaving a shiny new bionic vagina for me, which really hadn't done me all that much good until the other day when it showed up on Klout

Klout is a completely useless tool that measures your 'social media influence' and gives you a 'Klout score' that you can use to get high-paying jobs in biotechnology or something. And Klout has decided that my vagina is influential with moms. I keep trying to explain to Klout that the only mom I could ever even hope to influence with my vagina is a dad, but they don't care.

I'm also only posting once a month because I've had the summer of travel-hell which should have peaked with China, but actually peaked with Boston because I am a geo-centric asshole who's attention span can't sustain more than 300-400 years of history.

Paul Revere's Final Ride

We went to Boston to go fishing exhibit at a trade show, but had just enough spare time to go scorpion bowling with a friend and have dinner with some others. I didn't get to see one friend from Boston while I was there, but I ended up seeing her a few days later in Denver, for the one reason you never want to catch up with old friends.

My best friend's mother was quite possibly the single best person on earth, and for right now, that's all I have to say about that.

Colorado welcomed me home the best way it knows how, with the Denver Foot. The Denver Foot is the 3" of snow we get every October, but that the national news networks will tell you is O!M!G!12!"! In fairness, it weighs the same as a foot of snow, and probably increases ski tourism considerably, but won't delay your flight out of Denver - no matter how hard you pray for it to.

And now I'm back in Texas, and since my full time client decided my job was so important they needed to hire someone to do it in-house, I'm going to try to blog here a bit more while I look for a new job (maybe in Boston or Denver) (because, damn, I think I need winter) (and chowder) (and huevos rancheros with proper green chili) (and fishing in fall)


I've still got my Babble Voices gig (you can read it here) (or subscribe here) and am inconsistenly consistent on Momversation. Which, if you're into silly little YouTube videos of kids getting the shit scared out of them, you're welcome.

You Show Me Yours...

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....

I tried to figure out how long we've been doing this thing, and I *think* it's in it's 5th year? Not sure. Ask Rude Cactus if you really have to's all his fault, anyways.

Last year, I was all like Delurk! and I'll add you to my blogroll! and then right that very week, my blogroll service shut down. You ever try to re-build a five year old blogroll? Yeah.

So this year, I'm not going to make any grandiose, sweeping gestures that I can't follow through on, but in the interest of getting you to out yourself, I'll out myself a little bit.

You know how they say everything's bigger in Texas? Yeah.

Four years ago, that said a significantly smaller number.

Right after we moved to Texas, I was like Hmm, I really have to do something about my ass. So I thought about what I ate and made better choices and a year later, I'm about 20 pounds heavier than I was. So fuck my life.  I bought that 30 Day Shred bullshit and here's the official review:

See, I was that girl in grade school who sat in the bleachers during gym, looking all sullen and pale with huge dark circles under her eyes and lips that were the most subtle shade of blue while you did push ups and sit ups and jumping jacks and ran miles because I have two holes in my heart, but I have the kind of two holes in my heart that, in 1975, led my doctors to say to my parents, "well, you can fix the holes, or you can just wait and see. If she makes it to 14, you should be okay" and I have the kind of two parents who didn't have enough money to gamble, but they sure did have enough kids to.

Don't worry...I totally made it to 14.

But I couldn't take gym class ever. So I'd read or do math or sort books in the library or get the shit beat out of me on the playground because I was the kind of kid who would use her spare time to read or do math or sort books in the library and then one day, that goddamn Presidential Fitness Test would come along and good old Ronny Reagan didn't give to shits what my doctor's note said, I was doing a set of chin-ups, so help him god.

And so, for about a week every year, the gym teacher would make me take gym class so that I could pass that test. And that is that exact sort of pain I feel like right now, except I asked for this.

So anyway, I'm officially a #shredhead and I'm still minding what I eat and I quit smoking for real, I think, and I learned at least seven new swear words in the 20 minutes I worked out with Jillian Michaels so I'm still getting a decent education during PE.

Alright, your turn. Delurk away....

And super heroes come to feast; to taste the flesh not yet deceased. And all I know is still the beast is feeding.

I'd like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

{Five points to the first person who says it}

I'd like to take you back to a day, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, when we used to have to walk 13 miles in the snow, uphill, to read someone's blog. When we had to manually add things called "trackbacks" using things called "permalinks" and if we wanted a blogroll, we had to write the html code for one in the sidebar of our blog. After we wrote the html code for a sidebar. A day when you weren't trying to attract readers to your blog, you were trying to explain to your mother what a blog was. A day when you wrote "posts", not "pieces" and you had a "blog", not a "website". A day when the word "widget" didn't exist and the only way to make money off your blog was by sitting on the monitor while you gave blowjobs.

These were the days when people visited each other's blog. These days, you left comments because, you know, you were already there and stuff, yo. These were the days when you formed relationships with the bloggers you read, because you all were this tiny little group of inverted freaks that no one really understood but each other.

Back in those days, you could write a blog for over two years before you ever even heard of Dooce because there weren't communities and blog awards and readers. And then they invented And one day, that started notifying you when someone on your blogroll updated their site, saving you from clicking through every link on your blogroll every day. And then Google came out with The Dreaded Reader, saving you from ever having to click anything. And then some asshole invented Twitter, and Twitter Killed the Weblog Star. And then they invented Tweetdeck, so you never actually had to even follow anyone on Twitter, even though you're following 16,872 people. And now Newsweek Magazine is calling you a GOD.

These days, everyone wants COMMENTS and FOLLOWERS and AWARDS and there are movements created to rally the troups back into submission. These days, there are SPONSORSHIPS and SWAG and ADVERTISING DOLLARS to be had. There is SEO and SEM and there are plugins and platforms and contests and giveaways and everyone wants a piece of it.

I have absolutely no problem with any of this. It's an evolving market, this blogging thing, and there's no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going...yet the rowers keep on rowing.

The thing is, social media has made it easier than ever to be an unsocial recluse. Which is in exact opposition to the point. We don't have to read blogs; hell, we don't even have to write them anymore. Everything that we need to say can be nicely summed up in under 140 characters on Twit-Book. Every correspondence we ever need to have can be had using only a well-placed semi-colon and that weird not-quite-a-hyphen-wiggly~thing. We can completely participate in this community that we desire so much out of without actually participating in it at all.

Social Media is the worst thing to happen to Social Media since Social Media.

We use social media to further the interests of out community, and by using it, we're undermining our community. Which, also, I guess I could be okay with if I had to be (See above; evolution and Willy Wonka) except that one day I woke up and realized that I didn't watch the Daily Show the night before because I'd learned everything I needed to know for the day on Twitter. And when Twitter replaces Jon Stewart as the standard repository of breaking news, something has gone terribly wrong and must be fixed.

Round the world and home again, that's the sailors way.

It's time, for me at least, to turn social media against itself. It's time to take it all back to where it started. It's time to know who my community is again. It's time to take advantage of the tools available that allow us to connect more easily, not less. It's also Delurking Day, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

Delurker Day 2010

This month, I am reinventing my own wheel. I'm changing my outlook on blogging, on my blog, on my role as a blogger and my attitude towards it. There are changes a'coming in my little corner of the internet, starting today. Today, I re-instate the blogroll (that I don't have to code myself anymore, thank you sweet, pink baby Jesus.) You read my blog? You're on the blogroll. Leave your url in the comments and I'll take it from there. (Please be patient) Today, I also start clicking through that blogroll. Fuck the reader, screw's time to visit blogs. It's time to delurk, for good. It's time to help the people who take the time to read this blog earn that extra dollar with their ads. It's time to remind myself why the hell I do this on the internet and not on a cocktail napkin in the first place, which is honestly way more tactile-y satisfying and significantly easier to roll my chewed gum up in.

I've wished this blog dead more times than I can count. It almost died a million times, and I almost let it. This Mr Lady person has almost vanished from the internet because, quiet frankly, Shannon has a hard time keeping up with all. But we're not dead yet. Blogging is not dead yet. This community of bloggers isn't dead yet. I think we should all go for a walk.

It Was The Best of Decades; It Was The Worst of Decades

The decade ends tomorrow. I've seen the 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's all roll out. Christ, I feel old.

The 70's taught me to hate tie-dye and to love Joni Mitchell. The 80's taught me that you can't trust anyone, not even your own flesh and blood, especially not men who wield Aquanet. The 90's taught me that I can hold down whiskey, but not vodka. The 00's taught me that I was wrong about everything I'd learned up to that point.

I learned to love with everything I have this decade. I learned that I do know what I want to do with my life, and that I'm capable of it. I learned to forgive, I learned to accept blame, I learned to accept help. I learned who I am at the peak of my game and at my lowest point.

The best thing about this decade was that I lost my husband, my marriage, and most of my mind....and I got it all back, plus. If you were there for that, thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you that held me hand through it. You know who you are.

The best thing that happened to my husband this year is that his job got yanked out from underneath him, and then re-offered to him. In another country. You know when you first take on a project and you do the very best that you can with it, but the next time you have to try that same thing again, you realize that you're a bazillion times better at it the second time around than you were in the beginning? That's his career right now. His last gig, in Canada? Was fine. He was good at it. This one? He shines. He smiles when he comes home from work. He knows he's doing something right; he's not doubting himself all the time, he's confident and kicking some ass. It's pretty fucking hot, I'll admit.

The best thing that has happened this year to my oldest son was going to junior high. He gets up every morning and brushes his hair. He puts on cologne and arranges his hat just so. He tells me he thinks he looks like Chris (his godfather) when he wears his hat a certain way. He washes his face and uses astringent. He generally gives a rats ass.

The thing with this kid is that he's very cocky. He's very confident. He very much so does not give a flying fuck what you think. (I wish I was more like him.) But getting on that school bus full of strangers and getting asked out by some girl on his very first day in the biggest school he's ever seen in his life has changed him somehow. He's becoming a young man, and it's beautiful to watch.

The best thing that's happened in relation to my youngest son is that he finally hates math. See, he's the kid that will tell you that your dinner is FANTASTIC and SO GOOD and he CAN"T WAIT FOR MORE and all of that means that he will not eat one stinking bite of it, but you won't realize that because he's so busy LOVING it that you can't see him hate it with all his might. He's brilliantly manipulative that way. And when he comes home, day after day, singing the praises of math class because it's HIS FAVORITE and he's SO GOOD at it and he CAN"T WAIT FOR MORE math class, I know he's struggling. And a few weeks ago, when I asked him to practice math facts with me and he ughed at me, I asked him why he was being so crabby. He said, "Because, mawwwm, I HATE math."

And now that he is willing to let down his guard and not try to charm his way out of this, now that he can admit it, we can finally make some progress.

The best thing that's happened with the girl is that she's totally sick and she slept with her daddy last night.

She loves her daddy. She loves him a lot, but he's pretty busy most days scrambling to provide Every. Single. Thing. from Q-tips to cars for 5 people, and that takes up about 27 hours of each of his days. She doesn't see him a whole lot; none of us do. Naturally, when she's sick, it's all momma. But about two months ago, daddy lost his job and we got shipped across a country for the new one and he had just about a month during that transition time with us, at home, every single day. She remembered who her daddy is. And last night, burning with fever and restless from exhaustion, she wouldn't be anywhere but in his arms as she slept.

My family; we've made some progress.

As for me? Well, it's been a year. I'm glad it's over. We laughed, we cried, we hurled. I suppose I should figure out what the best thing that happened to me in 2009 was, huh? I don't know if I could pick just one.

  • Best internet tool in 2009: MySpace. Why? Because of MySpace, I found my long-lost brothers, that's why. Truth is, I found them in 2007, but we really found the connection again in 2009. When the last time you saw someone, you were changing their diapers/getting your diaper changed by them, it's hard to just pick up where you left of, 25 years previous. We did, finally. And it is good.

  • Best overplayed inside joke that no one gets and certainly no one thinks is funny anymore, but we do: Hey! Did you know that me and Greeblemonkey used to be neighbors?

  • Best neighbor to have find you online, if you happen to be so cursed lucky as to have your next door neighbor find you online, twice, even though you're totally anonymous: Luke In Van.

  • Best cooking blog to find that just so happens to be written by a guy who was in your wedding: Christopher Cina {dot} com Especially if you haven't really seen him since.

  • Best blogger to find out you're sleeping with half-way through a conference that all of your peers are attending, by way of whispers and hush-hushed conversation: Busy Dad. Because even though you're devastated for, like, an entire 10 minutes, not just because a rumour like that discredits one of your most valuable friendships, but it also discredits everything you've done in the past two years to save your marriage, and no one warned you so you didn't even shave your legs that weekend, after those 10 minutes are up you get to take a really quick inventory of your life and decide what actually matters, and that's when you realize that your friendship does. As so you take your husband's advice, which was, "Fuck. Them." and you proceed as usual. And you win. And your fake internet mommy persona gets to fake internet sleep with the one of the hottest fake internet dad persona out there. Coattails, Jim...coattails. I ride them.

  • Best blogger to actually sleep with every night of a conference that all of your esteemed peers are attending, and most of them are sharing a room with you: Tanis. Especially when she mistakes you for her Boo and burrows her fluffy blond head under your chin and drools all over your nightshirt. Because nothing says, "I love and value you" like, "I find your chin-stubble to be convincingly rugged enough to allow me to mistake you for a 30 something Canadian lumberjack." Also? I've never slept so well in my damn life. That's how you know it's true love.

  • Best hour and a half I spent this year: Speaking at that conference about health and those of us whom, occasionally or not, blog about it.  Never, NEVER in my life have I been more moved by the power of what we as bloggers can do. Never have I been so touched by so many amazing women and their stories. Listening to her speak and watching her be truly brave and just being able to participate in something that, well, was an honor. Well worth the nightmare that getting the paperwork to leave Canada was.

  • Best thing I did to totally fuck up my chances of ever doing anything cool for my kids ever again: Letting them hang out at EA for a weekend and then with Tony Hawk for another one. It's going to be really ugly when they realize it's all downhill from here on out.

  • Best blog I'll ever have the honor of being associated with, even in some minuscule sort of way: Violence Unsilenced. THIS is the reason blogging matters. This is where there is change being effected and a difference is being made.

  • Best list I'm ever going to appear on, because at some point, someone is going to catch on to their mistake and I'll fade back into obscurity and go on being Greeblemonkey's Pony-Boy, which is all I ever really wanted anyway: The Babble Top 50 Mommy Bloggers. Partly because now I can say that five fucking years of doing this shit and someone finally noticed, but mostly because I've struggled so much with being labeled a Mommy Blogger. I don't think of myself as one, but you know what? I AM ONE. And I think I'm finally ok with it.

  • Best post that will keep me from shutting this blog down, no matter how many times I want to every single day: On All You Need, by ZoeyJane.

  • Best thing I was ever kind of trapped into doing, even though I knew I had to do it eventually: Tell my mother in law my blog url. I mean, I walked out of my bedroom and she said, "Good morning! So, what's your blog url?" I kind of had to give it up then, right? And you know what? I'M GLAD. I'm glad it's out. I'm glad that it's all on the table now, that I don't have some big secret hanging over my head anymore. Because seriously, do you have any idea how hard it is to keep something you do daily a secret from 95% of your family for five years? And now that she knows (everyone say Hi, Sarah!) the rest of the family is going to know and that will be the last of my super-secret-stealthy online identity. I will be public to those whom it matters most, my family. And I don't think anything will change. At least I hope it doesn't. You'll tell me if it does, right?

Here's to a new decade, a new adventure, a new me and a new you and a new us.

Mr Lady, out.