Category Archives: writing

Hijack this blog

born-to-blog

There is nothing like good friends. Even ones who threaten to hijack your blog. Who better to take over and pseudo guest post than the infamous First Thursdays?

These divas throw a hell of a birthday celebration. Check out the framed picture above that they had done for me. (Fyi, I blog under my maiden name, but I First Thursday under the married one).

I think I look pretty good on Springsteen’s body. Just to give you an idea of how diverse we are, I photoshopped the last person onto Giselle’s body. Hey, whatever blows your hair back, right?

In honor of the last day in my 40s I give you some suggestions that were made for blog reworking, along with some other comical writings that were part of my birthday roast – First Thursday style:

Blog Days:

Time to get out of the basement Monday

Time to cry Tuesday (and oldie but goodie)

Time to leave the zip code Wednesday

Time for a little laugh Thursday

Time to vent Friday (this could be a great one)

Time to workout Saturday

and a favorite for all the husbands out there, mine for sure:

Time for “a little head would be nice” Sunday.

And since all you readers know me pretty well by now, I will share their “top ten things Amy will never do now that she is 50 list”

1. Go to spin class (safe bet)

2. Play tennis with Jo (safer bet, she would kill me)

3. Have lunch at the club (I should be so lucky to get out of that one – the minimum haunts me)

4. Go to Bergdorf’s with Maddee and Michelle (ok, I admit it, I did say I thought Berdgorf’s closed. I had a moment of confusion with Bonwits, so shoot me)

5. Go to South Beach with the First Thursday Girls (sorry girls, montauk maybe, south beach, not so much)

6. Discuss again… to be rich or thin? (don’t ask)

7. (this one I will omit to protect the innocent(ish) Hey, we all still have to live in this town!)

8. Not blog or tweet for the day. (Why would I consider this? Jeez!)

9. Get out of the basement (this one I am starting to do, I swear)

10 BOTOX! (this one is a given)

Thank you, my friends, for a great night from the women who will always keep me on my toes and will NEVER let me fall. I love you all!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under blogging, friendship, humor, humor, relationships, top ten lists, twitter, women, work habits, writing

Blogaversary

blogaversary

Believe it or not, my friends, today marks my one year blogaversary. Yes, I have been banging away here on the the keyboard for a full year, trying to make you all laugh. I look back on my first post and still consider it one of my best: Spanx, Dunkin Donuts and the fear of YouTube. I had no idea what this crazy blog would become. Oddly that first post set the tone and made me realize that my life can be funny sometimes. 

I hardly remember life before blogging. Everything seems like it should be a post. Sad, funny, poignant, disgusting, it is all blogworthy.

I think what this blog has done most for me, is made me walk the walk of its mission; to laugh, sometimes to the point of tears.

Face it, life is hard, and we all get cranky… A LOT. Those who know me well hear me kvetch on a regular basis. But this is the place I come to at the end of every day to force myself to see the humorous side of things. No matter how down I get, the idea of a big box of shut the hell up will always get a laugh out of me. Sometimes the topics are ones where you would never find humor, like aging parents. Other times it is just the theatre of the absurd, like the Freakatorium, because that is the best place to escape.

Hey, without this blog I would never have been the Minneapolis fm107.1 Get Real Girl of the Week. A thrill no woman should be denied.

As a little gift to myself I submitted the word blogaversary to Urban Dictionary. If approved this will join my other words there: bloganoia, psuedosnarky, twitobirth, twirgin and twexpert. Yes, it is an odd hobby but someone has to do it. Why? I don’t know, but someone does.

I want to thank all of you that read me so loyally. Those I know in real life, and those I have met through this space. Social media has combined my two faves, connecting with people and technology. I was a natural for this crap.

In celebration of this event, you can stop racking your brains on what to get me (no I am not registered at Blogs ‘r Us), simply humor me and throw a comment out today. Those who read daily but stay quiet, show a little love and tell me what you like, or what you don’t like. A favorite post, a least favorite topic. Or hell, share a recipe or a story of your own. Just de-lurk and show me that you are there. Then you can go back into your little holes and read quietly again after today.

Thank you all, and I see you in the stats so I know you are there. For making me realize that there is always room for more humor in your lives.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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The Kafka Van

kafka_van_small1

Believe it or not, this van has been parked around the corner from my house for years and I have never thought to take a picture of it. I am sure the first time I saw it I was amused, but it became one of those weird things that are commonplace with routine. Still, not your average sight in a sleepy suburban town.

Now that I decided to make this my New Year’s post I had to give it some more thought. 

I can’t help but wonder what the inside of this vehicle looks like. There are some makeshift curtains on the side windows. It looks like it was a school mini-bus in its first life which seems quite fitting. Not sure about the rack on the back, or is that apparatus used to keep the back doors bolted shut, like once you get inside you are not leaving so fast? Hmm, creepy.

What goes on in there? Is it piled high with German literature? What sort of weird activities could take place while driving around in a Kafka van? Do the occupants speak in run on sentences? Is there a sense of hopelessness when seated behind the wheel? Do other people think these things when driving by the Kafka van or is it just me?

I visited our dear friend Wikipedia and found out that good ol’ Franzy boy was an insurance man by profession. Not sure if that fits his aura, but hey, everyone has to make a living.

Here’s one more little interesting Wikifact about Kafka:

Prior to his death, Kafka wrote to his friend and literary executor Max Brod: “Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me … in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others’), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread.”[18] Brod overrode Kafka’s wishes, believing that Kafka had given these directions to him specifically because Kafka knew he would not honor them—Brod had told him as much. 

So, which one of you do I ‘assign’ the deleting (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) of all my blog posts upon my demise?

You will have to excuse me now as I need to go drive around and see if I can find where the Fellini convertible is parked.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, art, carry a camera, humor, writing

My 100th Post!

In celebration of this milestone, Time to Cry Tuesday will be more of a Time to Celebrate Tuesday (which is not a cool alliteration and will surely not catch on).

Believe it or not, this is my 100th post. No gifts are necessary but some comment love would be appreciated.

How poetic that I should write this on the flight home from my first blog-nerd gathering. I feel like I should call Willard Scott and get myself on a Smuckers spot on the morning news:

i could cry but I don’t have time turns 100 posts young today. Its secret to longevity is a high fiber diet and an affinity for the absurd.”

There are many bloggers out there who trend towards creating a 100 things to do before I die list at this milestone. I will take Jana’s lead on not doing this as the last time we were in a bookstore with Gary she said, “Oh jeez, Dad is looking at the ‘1,000 things’ books. That is NOT a good thing!”

I have also seen 100 things you may not know about me lists. Let’s face it, I love you all out there, and I am sure the feeling is mutual (humor me). But there is a reason why you don’t know those 100 things about me.

Because they are BORING. This would be the equivalent of the drum solo at a Grateful Dead concert – a perfect time to go to the bathroom.

Instead I will use this post as a celebration. A celebration of change. Of following a passion (which by the way is a word I heard mentioned at least 1,000 times at Blogworld, followed closely by transparency and paradigm shift, to the point where they all lost their impact).

You can make a change anytime you choose.

I read a great book recently; The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It is written from the point of view of the dog. It has surely made me pay more attention to Mel’s incessant barking of late. I am sure she is trying to tell me something. (either that or her bladder is just showing her age).

I will close with my favorite quote from this sage-like canine:

“That which you manifest is before you.”

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Filed under blogging, humor, writing

Do one thing everyday that scares you

The title of this post is an Eleanor Roosevelt quote. 

If you have ever received an email from me you know that I use this in my signature. Sometimes just waking up and answering the crap shoot of personal and professional phone calls of late is something that scares me enough, thanks. 

What does all this have to do with my trip to Vegas for Blogworld and New Media Expo you ask? (Or not if you did not know I was here).

I turned 49 this week, twice the age of many at this conference, I might add. Not that age is something that concerns me all that much as I am certainly more current than many of my peers and plastic surgery is not one of my top 10 topics of conversation. Nonetheless, it is both exhausting and exciting to be in the midst of such a huge shift in communications and content delivery. 

Back to the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas issue. Leaving the basement office is not something I do all that often. And Vegas has surely not ever been on the top of my destination lists. 

But blogging has changed me. The way I think. The way I think that I want to move forward professionally. And personally. It is like I have been waiting my whole life for this medium. And here I am in a room full of like-minded thinkers. Pretty cool, right? 

Being here in the midst of all the early-adopters with their buzzwords and depth of knowledge can be a bit intimidating. It is also extremely invigorating. And to be honest, as much as I thought I did not know about this, in the 5 months that I have been doing it I have learned an awful lot. I fall into the category of late-early-adopters, perfect for me as I am notorious for being 10 minutes late.

How I feel about blogging keeps spilling out of the mouths of all the speakers. It is about passion. It is about relationship and community building. It is about harnessing that enthusiasm and translating it into a business model.

To my peers who keep asking me what a blog is and why they need to read them or have their businesses consider them, here is my takeaway from day one:

1. whether you are paying attention or not, people are talking about your business or product out there, it would be wise to start listening.

2. I have always said that if you are an asshole in real life then you are an asshole in business. 

3. This conference is confirming for me that if you are sincere in real life you can translate that into growing your business passionately and whole-heartedly by developing an honest relationship with your customers.

4. For those who are not interested in the business aspect of blogging, if you are passionate about something, it is a way to connect with others who are just as passionate as you are. And certainly if you like to laugh or be amused, then of course you are reading MY blog and others on my blogroll and that is enhancing your life ; )

Now really. What is so scary about that?!

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Filed under blogging, current events, humor, marketing, the new workplace, travel, trends, work, work habits, writing

Do Not Open until September 2007…


No joke. This is an actual note from Jana. On the 2nd anniversary of its writing, I thought I would post this to give all of my friends of HS seniors a laugh and let them know that ‘this’ happens in every household. 

I distinctly remember the day she wrote this. Her level of frustration had reached an all time high. In turn, my level of exasperation followed her lead and it would be safe to say the two of us were certainly not having our finest mother-daughter moment. Danny and Gary run for cover in these instances.

We went to our respective corners to lick our wounds and try to decompress. After some time she walked in my office (the command center in the basement) with a folded up piece of paper, sealed on all sides with the words “Open September 2007” written on it. She tacked it on the bulletin board over my desk and made me promise not to open it sooner.

Hard to believe but I actually waited. I did not even hold it up to the light. Every once in awhile during the course of that bittersweet emotional roller coaster of her senior year, I would glance up at it and get all teary-eyed in anticipation of what poignant words could be written inside. After all, was I not the parent that held her hand through the grueling process of college selection? Did I not help her compile the coveted ‘binder’ that had her friends green with envy? Oh wait, I think that might have been my friends. Or were they actually discussing their concerns about my OCD behind my back?

Anyway, I did wait till September 2007 to open this. I came back from the trip to Wisconsin with that pit in my stomach that every mom of a college freshman has. That feeling that maybe the idea of sending my daughter half way across the country was not all that well thought out. I sat down at my desk – tissues in hand – and slowly opened the note, expecting an outpouring of sentimentality.

Instead, I found a genuine piece of my Jana written on that page. With the wit and sarcasm I have grown to both love and miss so desperately. You will always keep me laughing baby girl. I love you.

Oh and now I am starting the process all over again with my OTHER favorite child.

Wait, this was not supposed to be a Time to Cry Tuesday post. 

Whatevs.

BTW, as you have read, she finally did say screw you to Penn State and chose to be a Badger instead of a Nitanny Lion. Perhaps it had something to do with that torturous online app.

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Filed under college applications, family, humor, Jana, parenting, teenagers, writing

Bloganoia (vol.2)

I will be shamelessly self-promoting my new photo blog, leaving the zip code, here from now on. You won’t be disappointed, I promise. Let’s see if some of you will take the ‘submit’ challenge.

I have written about this phenomenon before but the topic keeps coming up.

Now that I have been posting for a while, my readership is growing (or perhaps I am delusional and just think that it is). Certainly here in the zip code.

Twice in the last 24 hours people have said something and then asked, “oh no, are you going to blog about this?”

So, to reduce any fears about being outed here in bloganoialand, let me assure you that if I am going to use your name I will ask you first. (oh, except for Dr. Jimmy but he loved it and moving forward he will be my best commenter).

Most often, if I blog something about you I will not mention who you are. Or give your distinguishing characteristics like, “that certain someone with the ______ (fill in the blank with your most defining characteristic).

My kids, on the other hand, seem to be blogobitionists, as they get a kick out of it when I write about them. I ask first and try not to embarrass. (Frightening that Danny was actually proud of the great dryer incident).

In closing, you can feel free to be absolutely absurd in front of me, just like you have always been. And I promise to try to contain myself.

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Filed under blogging, humor, writing