Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Girl, That Blog is Lookin' Tired

It’s become abundantly clear–to me, anyway--that I need to do some sprucing up here at the blog.

No, no. You’re sweet to say that. I appreciate it, but, you know, I’ve kind of let things go.

And I know I need more than just a sassy gay friend to come over with an armful of Gerber daisies to brighten the place up. De-cluttering and new throw pillows can only get you so far. They can’t work miracles.   

Up until a few months ago, I was pretty happy with my blog as my public face. I liked my rocks up there on the header and my approach to blog content, which probably leaned heavily toward “ranty,” and “no clear focus, verging on anarchic,” and “literary equivalent of your loser cousin’s garage band.”

Now, though…. jeez. Something’s just not working for me. I feel like my blog got a bad perm at some point, and I didn’t realize how bad it looked until I saw a photo of myself from the back.

Things change, I guess, and I need to evolve, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Now here’s a big question: if you had it to do over again, would you include the "Followers" widget on your blog? I’m really torn about this. I can’t help staring at that number, you know? Wanting it to go up, wondering why it doesn’t. When I lose a follower, I wonder about it. It doesn’t, like, haunt my every waking moment by any means, but I do worry about it.

I’ve always seen my blog as the only thing I had complete creative control over, and I wanted to use it to skip about, la-di-da-ing my way along. I wanted to post without worrying about how it was necessarily received. In other words, I wanted total freedom.
On the other hand, the reality is I do have to worry about what people think. There’s no getting away from criticism, and that "Followers" button is a measuring stick, no doubt about it. Might as well accept it.

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about the "Followers" thingamajig? Do you obsess over it or have you made peace with it?

I’m signing off for the last few weeks of summer, but not because I’ll be goofing off. I’ll be busy working and writing and having new drapes installed here at the blog. I’m planning a grand re-opening on September 7 so I hope you’ll stop by!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yoda Can Stick It

Here I am, four months into life as a mom to four kids, and several people have asked me, "Darling, brave, Kristen, what’s the big difference between having four kids versus three?” 

Well, here’s what I can tell ya: With three kids, not surprisingly, a lot of stuff falls through the cracks. 

With four kids, the cracks fall through the cracks.

Let’s discuss the phone in my kitchen for illustrative purposes.

It’s an old phone – not cordless -- and it has an answering machine integrated into it. I prefer to use this answering machine to take messages as opposed to the craptacular Verizon voicemail service I could use because, Oh, I don’t know, I’m one of those nutters who likes to actually receive my messages in a timely manner. Rather than on a four to six hour delay, which is how Verizon seems to operate. I’m pretty sure the state-run phone bureau in North Korea provides better service than that, but whatever.

Well, somebody – I’m not sure who and so far, nobody’s coming forward and fingerprint analysis has been inconclusive – knocked the phone off the wall, and when the phone hit the deck, the tiny plastic doohickey that holds the hand-set in place so it won’t fall out of the cradle broke off as a result. Then, before the plastic doohickey could be retrieved off the floor and replaced, thereby quickly restoring the phone to operational status, the dog ate it. I’m assuming she thought it was a cannellini bean, and, in her defense, it did sorta resemble one.

OK, so that pretty well took the phone out of commission because you could no longer hang it up, but I didn’t want to lose the voicemail capacity (see aforementioned reference to suckiness of Verizon voicemail), so I took a piece of duct tape and taped the phone into the “off” position. 

You know, I’m sure I’m not explaining this adequately. Let’s just have a look at the actual phone.

(Yes, that’s green duct tape, suitable for holiday gift-wrapping after the regular Scotch tape is gone because your kids used it all up to tape pencils to together to make a nine foot long pencil snake.)

In the old, just-three-kids days, I probably would have gone out and gotten a new phone within five business days after it was rendered useless. But now? Well, here’s the thing, I just haven’t gotten around to it. It’s going on a month since the stupid phone broke, and still I don’t foresee getting to a electronics purveyor anytime soon. Maybe I’ll get to it next weekend. Or how about this? I’ll *try* to get to it over this coming weekend. 

See, that right there is the crucial difference between having three kids versus four kids. I’ve become someone who says, “Yes, I’ll *try* to do that” or “I’ll *try* to be there at 2 pm…”  I now use the word "try" when I talk about doing anything, because frankly, I can’t guarantee that a series of ridiculously unpreventable events won’t occur that will keep me from doing what I intend to do.

Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” 

Yeah. Well, stick it, Yoda. In my world there’s a whole lotta trying.

What have you been *trying* to do lately?