Friday, July 18, 2008

Starting a Bright, Shiny Day with The Dark Knight (no spoilers)

For the last couple of few weeks Cool Mom and Rule Mom have both taken a back seat to Tool Mom -- and you can choose your definition of "tool" for the last. I have been too busy working at all of the things I need to do to make life better -- and not busy enough enjoying life. You know the old saw, "All work and no play..." Well, this Jack's been very dull indeed.

There's nothing wrong with work.

In fact, work it can be good for you. You know -- food, shelter, clothing, a sense of accomplishment -- some good things do come from work. Work only goes wrong when you do it all the time.

Who me?...Couldn't be....

I'm only pointing out that you shouldn't work all of the time because...well, you shouldn't. I would never eat (when I remember to eat, still working on that one) while sitting with a plate on my lap so that I could continue to work at the laptop taking up residence on the TV tray. Nor would I fail to eat at all, or eat dinner at 22:30 simply because I was the only one home and could take advantage of the time to get more stuff done.

We all know it was you. Admit it.

So, as I was saying, you need to learn how to play again. You need to figure out that life is good, it's all small stuff, there's nothing to fear, and whatever other cliches, quotes, and inspiration fit. You need to be a parent (well, maybe you don't, but I already gave birth); you need to work; and you need a life.

Cats? Cradles? Silver Spoons? Whatchu talkin' 'bout...?

You don't want to be sitting around contemplating your workload with that song on continuous playback in your head. It doesn't help when the young person in your life is vocal, either. "You know, you've hardly been spending any time with me. You're always working, and you know it. You should hang out with me a couple of years I'm not going to want to hang out with you...and you need to get a life, too, 'cuz when I turn 18 I'm going to move out, and you'll be all alone." He listens to oldies. He must have heard the song. He's just trying to manipulate you. He's right.

Hi, my name is April, and I'm a workaholic...

So maybe I was talking about me...just a little bit. I met someone for lunch a few weeks ago who asked me, "What do you do for fun?" I didn't have a good answer and that's been bothering me ever since. I keep saying that I'm going to change...but it's time to do. I've decided to make a change for the better.

Cool Mom goes to the midnight movie...again.

I'm turning over a brand new leaf on a bright, shiny new day. Well, okay, the day isn't exactly bright and shiny yet at 15 minutes after midnight (the 12:01 shows were sold out), but The Dark Knight was a great start. Rule Mom even let me sleep an extra hour this morning (up at 7:30 instead of 6:30...she's relentless).

Keep the momentum going.

So I'm slowing down a little bit. I'm taking time to enjoy the Laphroig (and the cheeseburgers) and the company of friends. As soon as I buy a bottle and make some (burgers and friends). :^)

Are my value senses tingling?

I didn't really say anything in this post. I definitely didn't say anything that hasn't been said many, many times before. I don't think I've violated the "NO Value Added" directive. What do you think?

Steal from the best.

Just thought I should note that I've been playing around with the layout and other "stuff" on the blog (again). I got "subscribe to comments" working (finally...I think), and figured out how to get those cool "subscribe quotes" like Tei uses. I also played around with some new blogger features -- like the new blog roll - so if you are here because some software told you that I linked to you (again), that's probably it. If I think of anyone else I've ripped off flattered, I'll be sure to give credit where it's due.

Subscribe...while you're still the hero.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Day I Got Censored on the Blog That Must Not Be Named

If you read yesterday's post, you might have noticed that one of my proposed blog topics was "my reaction to getting censored by the Men with Pens". Since I went on to talk about the Men (as a blog and individually) several times...okay, a lot in my post, I started referring to their blog as the "Blog That Must Not Be Named (again)" - BTMNBE(a). 'Cuz really, I wasn't trying to lure them by using their names.

James dropped by anyway, so I'm bound to tell this story. I think it's some sort of a law...

My tale of censorship

A few weeks ago, or thereabouts, I was reading a post on the aforementioned btmnbe(a) entitled, "One Easy Way to Clearly Convey Your Message". I loved the post and the comments, but didn't think I had too much value to add to the conversation, so I sat on my hands and moved on to another post.

I'd been away for a few days, so the guys had another post (with comments) for me to read. "How to Exceed Expectations" -- my fingers were itching to comment, not to mention numb from being sat on for so long, so I let my fingers fly. brain may have engaged at some point during the comment stage -- guess I can't blame the whole incident on my fingers.

A little background...

I'm not a prude. I never really cursed much as a young teen; it was just a personal choice -- I didn't use slang either. At nineteen I went through a sort of a cursing rampage. I was learning to use the words (badly) and using them all the time -- trying to fit was horrible. Have you seen those stereotypical geeks in the movies trying to hang with the cool kids? That was me. Even thinking about it brings on waves of...something.

I digress. The point is, once I grew beyond that gangly stage, I grew up a little more and decided that on a whole cursing's not for me (to do - you can curse all you like; you're not me). I throw in a word or two for flavor every now and then, but I didn't even add "frak" to my general vocabulary.

Back to the comment...

I curb my cursing when I speak. I tend to think a couple of times before I curse in print. When I used a "profanity" in my comment, I debated and edited before finally putting the word back in and hitting "Submit" before I changed my mind again. I said, "...I'm tired of being fear's bitch...." All in all, I didn't think that was too bad. It was right for the context. It got the point across concisely. I didn't think anybody would mind.

Subscribe to Comments -- via email

I love to follow conversations on blogs. Some, like Friar's, I have to do by random drive-by because I don't check my reader often enough to know if someone is commenting on a conversation I'm following. I love the "Notify me by email" option. So, my handy notifier pops up to tell me that another comment's been made on "How to Exceed Expectations".

Back to the conversation...

I thank my little notifier, but let him know that his services are no longer necessary. I don't need to click through. I've already got Men with Pens open in a browser window. I scroll down to find the new comment -- but I don't see my name as I go down the page. I remember reading most of these comments. Mine would be Nope. Not there...That's just paranoia talking. Hmmm...Maybe I'm overlooking it. I should look again. Wait, what was that?!

"James on June 19th, 2008 5:32 pm *chases with a big stick* GET THAT WORD OFF MY BLOG, DAMMIT!"

Pottymouth censored? ...Wait...what?...

What does one call written profanity anyway. "Pottymouth" should be for speech. Pottypinkies?

No, he can't be talking to me...can he? Maybe my post is further's got to be. It wasn't that was only "bitch". They wouldn't really delete me and yell at me for that...would they? I don't see my comment! He must have been talking to me. He didn't send email to let me know that I was being censored, though.... Would he? What do I do now? Write an apology in the comments? Email an apology? Slink away?

Rationality rears its head...

Take a deep breath and think about this, Green. My internal editor calls me "Green". Start at the top and read the comments again. Maybe there's a clue about who you offended. Maybe someone said something before James deleted your comment. Maybe...whatever, just read -- really read, don't skim. Read every comment.

Okay, I remember that one...and that one...and...and...and...that one's new to me...and

"Michael Martine Remarkablogger on June 19th, 2008 4:46 pm YOU COULD USE VIDEO.
(Ducks and runs…) Michael Martine Remarkablogger’s last blog post..Beginner SEO for Anyone" -- immediately precedes James's comment on getting the word off the blog. Okay. That makes sense. That's actually kind of funny...or it would be if I could figure out what to do about my comment being deleted.

Fear retreats. After all, I'm not fear's bitch, right?

My panic reflex is relaxing a bit. So, I've been censored, but not censored AND yelled at. I don't know why that makes me feel better, but there it is. Now to figure out my next steps. I'm reading the new comments, now, the ones that have been posted since I last checked. The brain kicks in again. My comment totally did not belong among the comments I'm reading. How could I be so far off the mark? No wonder James deleted "me". What was I even thinking?

You're not stupid, Stupid.

You're not stupid, Stupid. My internal editor's very straightforward. She has to be. Sometimes she even repeats herself to make a point. Would you really make a comment that's so far removed from the other comments as to be part of another conversation altogether?...

Does anybody with half a brain see where this is going?

Oh, that's right...this is the one I read but didn't comment on. In the words of Gilda Radner's little confused lady character from SNL whose name escapes me, "Well, that's very different...". Click....Scroll.... Yup, comment's still there, bitch and all. Nobody even seems to have noticed...and here I've been, all worked up over nothing.

It'll make a funny story some day....

Le Tour de Chance

Funny title, huh?

Bet you'll never guess what I'm doing as I write this.... :^)

So, why "Le Tour de Chance"?

I've been away from the blogs for a bit (again) and have so many topics I'd love to cover. I'm actually writing this post right in the "new post box" -- not my word processor. See, even I don't know which topic I'm actually going to end up writing about.... So, there's your "chance".

Possible Contendors

I have been toying with writing about the reaction I had to being censored on the Men with Pens blog. Aaach, there's something wrong with their computer. It keeps scrolling "lead, chase, peloton", but not telling me how many seconds separate them. Don't they know that I have to know? There are only 8 k's left! Sorry. I'll try to stay on topic from this point forward. Don't worry -- no spoilers.

...and now back to your regularly scheduled broadcast

I'm back. You probably didn't notice, but I had to stop writing and focus on my TV. Folks needed me to clap and cheer them on, and I kind of needed my hands for that. They've got enough people covering the podiums that they won't miss me, though, so I'll continue typing now. Oh, and before I slander James -- at the risk of killing my punch-line, he didn't really delete my comment. I'll tell the whole tale another time.

Subscribe to frakin' comments
Another story I've been itching to tell involves the blood, sweat, and bleary eyes somebody forced me to put into my blog. I don't think I'll be posting that one too soon, though. If all my posts end up being about James, people might get the wrong idea.
Time management
Part of the reason I've been away from the blog is that I've been trying to re-work my schedule and develop better habits. Yes, I'm attempting better time management. I've got a couple of posts on that -- one I even started putting on "paper" entitled, "Beware the Middle Flame". I can almost safely post that one without raising eyebrows because James isn't in it at all (and I can avoid mentioning Harry).
Before I continue, I should add some explanation for readers who may not be aware. Men with Pens is a blog by two guys -- James and Harry. It's a cool blog. You should check it out.
In my search for efficiency, I attended a webinar about "Information Overload", presented by Shally Steckerl. Shally mentioned one tool that he thinks is great for helping to find out where your time goes, so I went to the web site to check it out. Who do you suppose I found on the front page? ... James. I downloaded "Rescue Time" anyway, and am giving it a try -- because it's been recommended by a few trusted sources, not because James told me to.
"All Hail Hincappie"
That's the title of another post I've written in my head. I'm trying to decide what to do with it, though. It actually has meaning. Posts on this blog are supposed to have NO value added (I kept your caps, Steph.) . Posting something that has value might disrupt the time-space continuum...or at least water down the alcohol. Either one of those events could be bad -- very bad.
So you see my dilemma...
Men with Pens and it's authors seem to be mentioned quite a bit in this post. I didn't plan it that way -- I didn't plan this post at all, remember? They seem to factor pretty heavily (in some way) into most of the topic ideas I have right now. So, what do I do?
I like the Blog that must not be named (again). I actually read several blogs regularly -- when I'm reading blogs regularly. I actually paused in the process of sharpening my nose (read lifted my nose from the grindstone, which I could have said originally, but chose not to for no reason whatsoever) to read and comment on Rogue Ink the other day... and I just suffered a brain cramp and don't remember why I said that.
At any rate, those guys -- Btmnbn(a) -- are popular. The posts that caught my eye and inspired me were written long before I ever started reading their blog. They have people following them. They are not following me...but everywhere I think, there they are.
I am not a cyber-stalker least not on purpose, anyway. Nor do I have some sinister plan to lure Btmnbn(a) to my humble blog by mentioning their names repeatedly -- no matter what it looks like. I mean, Link Love is one thing, but there's probably such a thing as too much love.
The other ideas I've got right now aren't my first choices. Does anybody really care why I called my son Boy when he was little? No, not that "Boy" -- this one's mine and I love him (and he knows it) -- I just got the story idea from the name. Anybody want to read a post on housework, or my favorite shows on SciFi? Should I scramble for other ideas? Write the posts without mentioning Btmnbn(a)? Continue using a stupid acronym until I get ideas that don't include them?
What would you do?
Crossing the finish line
So ends this stage of "Le Tour de Chance". Funny, the podium positions are being shared by "A Ramble About Possible Blog Topics", "James", and "When Other Bloggers Show Up in Your Post". Oh well, no clapping and cheering on this one -- the real stage ended much, much better. Maybe I should consider having my own cheering section. I think it was an episode of Designing Women that had a character create a special "music" box. When the lid was lifted, the box played a clapping, cheering crowd for the listener. Bet I could create an mp3....