Raw Honesty Complete with a little Bitching

As I was thinking about what to write about after some time of not writing, it hit me. I’ll write about why I haven’t been writing.

For some time I’d been rather disappointed, to put it mildly, that readership was down and that opportunities for reviews and other programs were dwindling to nothing. I’d brought this to the attention of the powers that be and even pointed out that there’d been some review campaigns I was very well qualified for, but yet I never seemed to be chosen to participate. This added to my discouragement and my scaling back on writing. Since I was already disheartened by this, imagine my surprise and dismay to one day be told that my blog’s ad stream participation was being cancelled. Apparently, due to my writing less, BlogHer decided to remove me from the publishing network (with no advance warning.) Though I am technically still a member of BlogHer and display their tune-in bar across my site, I no longer have the ad strip running alongside as I did for years.

So let me explain why this bothers me, beyond the obvious reasons. I’d already been making it known that I’d certainly like more review opportunities and yet was getting less and less. I’d also had my blog posts featured less and less. I’d taken survey opportunities as well as other opportunities to let BlogHer know that I felt that as a network of and for women bloggers (which I think is great, by the way) I’d certainly like to see more help in the area of boosting up the “little bloggers” instead of just focusing on the “big” ones. I’d mentioned that some sort of network effort to point out and promote “The Best Blogs you’re not yet reading” type of campaign would be very helpful to members. Of course, nothing ever came of this and in a “kick me when I’m already down” move, I was taken off the publishing network. Yes, I am complaining. Yes, I’m also aware that BlogHer may simply remove me altogether for doing so, and if that is what they feel they’d like to do I won’t argue. I simply can’t stress about it. But I find it very unfortunate that, similar to other injustices in life, apparently even with this blogging network it is all a popularity contest and if you aren’t one of the biggest, best, most popular you’re simply out of luck. It’s equally unfortunate that the rules are not required to be followed by those who are popular since it’s been noted by many others that some bloggers are allowed to break the rules (such as having comments open on their blogs) simply because they are “popular.” So, it’s ok for a “famous” blogger to deny readers the ability to comment, but for those of us not-so-famous, when we don’t follow the rules or write less we’re taken off the network. Really not cool.

In general (not just in blogging), I’m not one to be “popular” and I’m ok with that. I’ve made my peace with it now. In high school I didn’t smoke cigarettes or pot and so I wasn’t “popular”. In my first real job, I didn’t hang out with the “in” crowd or have the latest fashions…so I was not popular. In fact, when it came time for a promotion which I was well qualified for, I was passed over and guess who it went to? The popular girl. I’ve always been a non-conformist and definitely march to the beat of my own drum. I’ve never been one to go along with the masses and I believe in speaking up for what I believe in (qualities that made me a great Mormon…not!) It does irritate me that so many things in life come down to a popularity contest; whoever has the most money or the loudest voice or is just plain popular. I guess the “little blogger” in me feels like I need to stand up for all the little guys and little gals in life. I just wish more people would look beyond the popularity.

the “little blogger” who could

From Speech Delay to Hilarious YouTube Video

Hello people, it’s been a while. I promise you’ll find it worth the wait when you get a look at what I have for you today.

So, this summer the Teenager has been keeping himself entertained with various YouTube videos when he’s not working one of two jobs or hanging out with friends. The little guy stumbled upon his brother watching this amusingly goofy video of a popular YouTube sensation, Danny, who creates numerous videos on his show the "Gradual Report”. When little guy began imitating him, copying the entire video nearly word for word and capturing his dead-on tone and mannerisms we did what anyone would do; grabbed the video camera and started filming. It was so hilarious we’ve been cracking up ever since he started this a couple months ago. As readers of SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem are already aware, little guy was once considered severely speech delayed and in speech therapy from age 17 mos. to nearly age 4 when he entered mainstream Kindergarten which he recently completed.

The original video is entitled “The History of the the Whoopie Cushion” and as if the whoopie cushion itself wasn’t already funny, the delivery and story behind it, as told by Danny, is hilarious. You need to watch his video first and then watch little guy’s own version below it. Enjoy!

Well, isn’t that Special?

Yeah, that was a pretty misleading title for those of you who’ve followed my series of “Special Reader” posts. Because this post is not about my very Special Reader who I know has been wondering why on earth she’s not seen a post from me in so long! Did I stop blogging, become incapacitated or maybe even kick the bucket? No, I’m still around!  So onto the topic of this post….

A few months ago, after over a year of chugging along quite pathetically, my laptop died. Completely dead, wouldn’t turn on, dead as a doornail. I feared some of my documents that hadn’t recently been backed up were gone. The hubby decided to enlist the help of a computer nerd friend who was able to retrieve the data off the fried hard drive and transfer it to an external hard drive, so at least I still had all my files.
Then I began using a borrowed, teeny tiny little toy-like computer. I’m pretty sure it was made by Fisher Price. For one thing it was super slow, apparently due to the fact that it was only a single something or other instead of a dual something or other. The keyboard was so small it was not conducive to typing at all. The screen was so small that in order to see anything on the Internet I’d had to do some little mouse over hover maneuver to get to the bar and scroll, essentially only seeing part of the image at one time. That is when I was actually successful at the awkward mouse over maneuver which was quite a trick; sometimes the elusive scroll bar would appear, sometimes it wouldn’t and even when it did, you had to be fast and hit it just right. Those were some fun times. But again, it was pretty much a toy.

So back to my laptop. The hubby decided that since his friend told him the hard drive was dead that he’d just buy a new hard drive, install it and resurrect my poor old laptop. It was a  good idea in theory, but  completely ignored the fact that the other persistent problems I’ve been having with this thing for years had nothing to do with the hard drive. I have some special issue with my keyboard that causes my text to suddenly just shoot up and over a couple lines. So writing is ridiculous. In addition, since my computer has been brought back from the dead it’s developed a couple new, extra-special features. Email will suddenly shut down with no notice. And now the Internet, no matter what browser I use, will decide to seize up and stop working right in the middle of something. So now my computer is “alive” and I can use it as long as I don’t have to email, look at the Internet or type anything.

Conversations with little guy: Easter edition

During a discussion about The Easter bunny and what he might bring little guy in his Easter basket the following took place;

LG: I can't wait to see what stuff the Easter Bunny will bring me!

Me: Yeah, I bet he'll bring you some good stuff!

LG: Well, I hope he doesn't bring me something shooty.

Fearing LG might have heard some unfortunate language & somehow have come up with his own rendition of a popular naughty word I asked....

Me: What do you mean by shooty?

LG: You know, like guns...things that shoot.

After the amusement wore off, I was pretty proud of him for this!

Also, the next time something bad happens, I think I may just have to say; "That's pretty shooty!"

Mischief, Mayhem and March

It’s getting frightfully close to Spring.  I say frightful because the list of projects we’ve got going on around here is daunting and I’d hoped to be further along. Spring always seems to sneak up on me and catch me unprepared. Speaking of which, I’m still plugging along with my weight loss and can happily report that after being the Queen of “down a pound- up a pound” I’ve steadily lost for a month now. Even though I will not quite hit my big birthday goal of “144 by 44” (that’s 144 lbs by age 44, not my hip measurements or anything) I will hit it this year…and I’ll be 44 all year, so that still counts, right?

And now for a little dose of the mayhem…behold the latest in my series of;
"Don't Get Mad, Get the Camera!"

Note the long string of dental floss strewn across the counter and …what’s that? Is it actually stuck to the wall by a bar of soap? Why yes, it is. Now either little guy, aka; “I didn’t do it” is having some trouble owning up to his misdeeds or his brother is actually setting the scene to frame him. Frankly, either is likely.

Kids say the darndest things

It’s always entertaining to hear what kind of comment your kid is going to come out with. We even get entertaining quips from the Teenager as well. Here for your amusement are a few of the latest comments.

Little Guy, thinking Valentine's day is similar to Christmas and Easter asks; "Will Cupid leave a present for me when I wake up in the morning?"

During December:
As if the hubby wasn't already feeling old, Little guy asked him if he remembered when Jesus was born.

Quote from a Kindergartner:
"Hopscotch is a very dangerous game if you're a worm"

Not being able to recall the actual names of a couple of stores his parents love, little guy just came up with an amusing 'combo' name; "Crate and Barn"
Little guy counting in Spanish;  
"uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, squash"

While preparing to give little guy a haircut, he gives me these instructions;
"Just a little off the sides and don't make me look older."

The college kid realized that with an early morning class it might be a good idea to drink a cup of coffee on the way to school. After his first day doing this his comment to me was:  

"Wow, the coffee really helped! I stayed awake for the whole class!"

What I'm doing differently this year

So, it’s a new year. Already. I have a very positive feeling about this year and honestly think some pretty great things are going to occur. I feel like various steps I took in 2011 (otherwise known as one of the crappiest years ever in my world) are paving the way to a more positive 2012. I’ve definitely got some goals for this year. I wouldn’t so much call them resolutions, though I guess it’s roughly the same thing…I think I just like “goals” better.

Since getting in enough exercise is always a goal, here’s an update about that running thing that I keep threatening to actually do (more than once in a blue moon). Taking advantage of the Teenager’s time off between semesters he and I went out running this morning during little guy’s school day. We did a new route I’d previously mapped out for walking and though I intended to do walking with spurts of running the Teenager, quite the drill sergeant, insisted I run the whole thing. This particular route is nearly 3.6 miles which is more than I’ve run on a regular, non-race run, so I am pretty happy about it. Of course I had a hard time keeping up with my 19 year old son and would have had a better chance with little guy (well, maybe) but nevertheless I ran it and am glad I did.

It’s been suggested that perhaps running is just not my thing, and while I agree that could be possible, I am not ready to come to that conclusion just yet. You see, I know I’ve not been pushing myself. I tend to shy away from difficult things and that’s something I want to change. I think in my late thirties until now I decided that I’d dealt with enough difficult crap to fill a lifetime and instead have chosen to take the “easy path”. Whether that be in exercise, eating, house up-keep or even relationships, I’ve just taken the easy way even if it wasn’t good for me or fair to me. Well, I’m done with that now. I’m kicking it into high gear as far as things in life that are difficult but worth it. That means doing things like running a little harder, making the extra effort to cook a little better, and even removing myself from relationships that aren't healthy and positive and making and nurturing ones that are. (Disclaimer: just so readers don't read into that last statement anything regarding marriage, all is well on that front so that is not a statement to suggest any changes in that area!)

Speaking of exercise, I’ve been doing Yoga now along with other cardio and strength videos. The other day when the Hubby and I did our workout (& he did the yoga video for the first time) I was amazed at the things I could do. It was even better when a complicated move would come up and I’d hear the Hubby say; “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Yep, it’s going to be a great year.