25.2.11

Is It Really Necessary

Is it really necessary:

When making a typo during your long-winded facebook comment to then make another comment correcting your mistake? We all know it was a typo - nobody thinks you really believe actually is spelt actuallt.

When tweeting your blog posts to apologise for possibly tweeting them too much? If you think it's too much than we definitely do.

When commenting on someone's blog post to go back and comment about your own comment and ways it could have been misconstrued? Unless someone's arguing with you than leave your word analysis for your own blog 'kay?

When running a giveaway on your blog requiring people to follow you and three other people on twitter, like you on facebook, leave a comment, subscribe to your newsletter and get inbox rss delivery of your blog?Newsflash: your $30 commercial plunder ain't worth all that effort and your blog ain't worth the gold standard of inbox delivery.

Having three or four facebook pages for yourself, your blog and your public self and your alice-in-wonderland-ate-a-mushroom self and asking me to join them all? I'm going to get finger cramps scrolling past your thrice and frice? repeated posts.

When deciding someone you follow on Twitter is annoying and unfollowing them to then tweet an annoying tweet about how you're unfollowing them because they're annoying? Until we have #unfollowmonday or #um (who's with me?) keep it to yourself.

Subjecting your blog readers to your constant grammatical and spelling mistakes and declaring that your mistakes are what make you so readable? Take a grammar lesson and get a life.

Being a blogger who continuously writes critiques of how other people blog and handle social media in order to take out your frustrations with having a bad day?
Oh yeah, that one is necessary.

What's your pet peeve?

24.2.11

Tattoo Placement

Husbands: if you decide to get a particularly ghastly tattoo on your upper arm, consider which arm to put it on by thinking about what side of the bed you sleep on and what your wife will see last thing before she closes her eyes at night and first thing when she opens them in the morning.

Poe's sad and haunting eyes have tormented me all night and caused me great terror (beyond that of discovering all three kids in my bed) in the morning.

And for a lesson in how not to lauch your writing career using those idiotic mass article sites, like evoices or - say Helium - check out my other tattoo advice here

23.2.11

This Is What Sleep Deprivation Does To You or Ah Motherhood Part 2

Part 1
So although I knew on Friday that my toddler had an earache and although we went to the doctor yesterday where she advised he had a viral ear infection and although my son has been cranky, clingy, and upset all day, it took me until about 6:30pm tonight to realise that he had an earache. Tylenol works wonders.

Part 2
I avoid processed foods. We really avoid food colouring because of my oldest son's ADHD. Tongight I made macaroni and cheese. My son declared he only likes the macaroni and cheese from a box. He told me not to make it like I did last time (my homemade stuff). I will not buy macaroni and cheese in a box. The "cheese" sauce is more like chemical soup. So instead I pureed garlic, broccoli, corn, carrots, cheese and milk to make my own cheese sauce. I added a dash of mustard powder and a dash of tumeric. The colour was still a bit off. So what did I do? I dropped in some red food colouring.
Brilliance!

Ah Motherhood: admitting our failures since Eve.

Ah Motherhood

It's not yet lunch time and so far the two year old has eaten:
  1. A banana/orange juice/strawberry yogurt/ frozen blueberry smoothie
  2. A large wedge of canteloupe
  3. Three navel oranges
  4. Three mini candy-canes (memo to self: find a new hiding place)
  5. Half an ice-cream sandwich (memo to self: check floor for treat wrappers before giving treats)
  6. One slice whole-wheat toast with peanut butter
  7. One bowl of mixed berries with milk
  8. One bowl of popcorn
  9. 10 cheesy crackers
  10. One glass of milk
  11. One glass of natural apple juice
  12. Three or four servings of "boob"
And all I can think about is how bad his diet was today because of those damn candy canes!

Ah Motherhood: making imbeciles of us all since Eve.

*Cheese! He snacked on cheese too! Oh, yeah, now I feel better

10.2.11

Survival of the Meanest?

Honesty is the best policy. That’s what I try to teach my children and that’s what my parents taught to me. I’m also trying to teach them, like me, to be polite and respectful towards others. I hope to instill in them that it is better to be accommodating to the needs of others than self-absorbed. It is my plan that my children will grow up to be self-respecting but respectful members of society.
But am I doing them a disservice? My biggest weakness as an adult is that I’m not assertive enough. Take my natural shyness – which many people don’t believe I have, but trust me, I do – and combine it with the lessons my parents taught me and I have to work hard to make myself heard when I feel things are unfair.
I’m shocked, to tell the truth, when someone treats me badly. I always expect the best of other people and don’t know how to react when I don’t get it. It takes me time and distance before I can respond to nastiness, lies, or rudeness.
My children are the same.  My daughter just avoids people who are mean to her and my son is truly shocked, like me, when someone treats him unfairly.
I’ve always believed that its better they get hurt once or twice than that they hurt others. So I’ve continued to teach them the lessons of humility and kindness.
But am I raising survivors? Sure, the meek may inherit the earth, but they’ll probably be decimated by the strong and powerful first and then handed a torn-out shell of the earth at the end.
Since returning home to Newfoundland, I see it more and more: politeness and honesty are not rewarded. What’s rewarded is knowing how to work the system, and lying to get what you want.
It wasn’t until I returned to this province that I had work literally stolen from me by a higher up coworker. It wasn’t until I returned here that I saw nepotism and disregard for quality over connections really take place.
These has all been driven home to me these past two months as I’ve attempted to work with  the Workplace Health and Safety Compensation Commission regarding a work injury I suffered before Christmas. It’s been six weeks and my claim is only getting approved now. It took many phone calls and a call to the complaints line to finally get it that far.
What held it up? Well, first I was honest. Although my injury was a new one, I had suffered a similar injury over ten years ago. I mentioned that to both my employer and WHSCC because I thought it might be relevant. Despite the fact that my doctor and physiotherapist both agreed that it did not impact this injury, I was questioned and my very integrity questioned because I brought this up.
Then, of course, like usual, I expected people to be honest, trustworthy, and to do their jobs properly. This was obviously a mistake. Not only did they not do their jobs, but they tried to shift the blame onto me.
Of course this all sounds like whining to the average reader, but to me it has made me deeply question the ethos under which I am raising my children.
It seems they are expected to be liars and cheats by “the system” and that politeness will get them nowhere in life.
I don’t think these are attitudes endemic to Newfoundland only, but anywhere where a small population struggles for even smaller opportunities.
Because of my struggles now, and in the past, when dealing honestly and being accommodating with coworkers and social systems, I really wonder if what I am teaching my children is how to be a patsy.
Because that’s the way I’ve been made to feel these past weeks - not a valued member of society, but a kicking ball for others to abuse.  This goes beyond the “better they get hurt once or twice than hurt others” variety of abuse.
Is it better that I teach my children to lie when necessary; to accuse before being accused; to not trust others or expect competence from anyone? Won’t this in fact help them get further in life, help them survive and even succeed?
And yet, I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to raise children who are liars and cheats. I know others do it and think it’s for the best, but I can’t. So my daughter will continue to be sent to her room for lying and my son will continue to be admonished for not playing nicely with others. And perhaps they will become someone else’s kicking ball, but hopefully I will have instilled a sense of self-worth and pride in them. Hopefully, they too, like me, will understand that it’s more important to be true to yourself than to get ahead.
And while this means they may not survive in some apocalyptic situation, I hope that they will also grow into the kind of citizens who know how to prevent those very situations from happening.  Perhaps they may not be survivors and schemers, but they will be good Samaritans. I just hope they never have to deal with WHSCC!

9.2.11

I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means

It's inconcievable for a blogger or social media junkie these days to write out full words. After all, let's face it, thumbing on the smartphone can cause cramps. And when we've got four windows open on the laptop: writing our blog posts, reading the news, checking out facebook and chatting online, we need the maximum result with the minimum effort.

Thus the rise of acronyms. Acronyms in social media have become a social construct of sorts - and they've changd over time and in different situations as well. They're fairly plastic according to the community one uses them in.

Did that sound smart enough?

What I mean is that the acroymns we used five years ago may be spelled the same, but the ideas they represent - for it goes beyond the physical words they represent - have changed in that time. As well, what one community reads into an acronym is very different than what a seperate community would read into.

Take for example the acronym "DP." In some chat rooms this means "display picture," which can be used to indicate someone's avatar (or also can be used to say you want to switch to video chat or see someone's picture). If, however you were on a lesbian parenting site, and someone said "lurve your DP" that could be taken to mean "I'm planning on stealing your hot female partner from you." Because in that arena DP would mean "dear partner."

So see, it's important to understand that acronymns have meaning in context but also in social setting.

Frankly I think we should stop being such lazy blighters and imbeciles and just type what we mean, but whatever. Here's what I'm going to think you mean when you use these acronyms:

LOL (physical translation: laughing out loud):
If you're writing it when retweeting one of my posts it means "I haven't actually read this, but if I say it amused me than probably she'll retweet one of my posts so here it goes."
If you're telling me something and end with "lol" it means "I know what I just said was offensive but I want to maintain my passive-agressive neutrality and pretend I was just trying to be funny" or "I'm telling an utter lie here and I hope you catch it."
If I say something funny and you respond with "lol" (dear Lord do not do this IRL "in real life") then I hear "I am an automaton that realises you were trying to be funny and am attempting to respond appropriately."

PMSL (physical translation: pissing myself laughing):
If you're writing it in reponse to one of my posts then it means you actually did read it and may have smiled for a second once or twice.
If you're spreading gossip or relaying news to me and end with "pmsl" it means "damn I shouldn't be pleased by this but I am!"
If I say something funny and you respond with "pmsl" (see tip above) then I hear "Yeah I kinda laughed at that one."

IRL (physical translation: in real life):
This is just chock full of sarcasm and lacking in any real meaning anyway. We all know that facebook, Twitter, and our blogs are "real" life. I love it when people say "But you're so busy in IRL, no wonder you didn't have time to blog." That means "Haha. I know you're incapable of handling the millions of things the rest of us mothers do. Chill out cause you're pissing me off with your stress."

NAK (physical translation: nursing at keyboard):
While this is a convienant excuse for your bad spelling and grammar typos or your overuse of acronyms, it just doesn't fly. I'm nursing while I type too. Heck I've nursed while I've had a shit. I don't have to declare it to the world. What this says to me is "I'm breastfeeding and I'd like to point out that I'm breastfeeding. I'm doing it right now. I'm taking a photo with my webcam. Do you want to know why? Because I'm wonderful. Because I'm breastfeeding. I'm giving my baby the best and multi-tasking while I do it. I am the BEST MOM EVER!"

DH, DS, DD, LO (all "dear" members of your family):
There is no other explanation for this than "I'm a tired mom and I've forgotten the names and gender of all my children. I think I'm married. I'm not sure if he's a dear husband or a dreary hole-licker."

WTF (physical translation: what the fuck?):
This one's pretty straightforward, actually. It expresses surprise or disgust. Or in the case of "WTF are you talking about now," general world-weariness (or at least weariness of me). However, some people, probably the same ones I hear out and about saying "and then I was, like, fuck that. And he was all fucking nasty. And I felt so, like, fucking, you know, upset...." overuse it. Their response to everything is WTF? If the world surprises you that much perhaps you should just lock yourself in the basement. In other words: if you don't have brain cells please don't pretend to have opinions.

FTW (physical translation: "for the win" OR "fuck the world"):
First it's confusing that it's got two translations. What's even more confusing is my dyslexic take on it as being "what the fuck" backwards. Therefore I always read it as "fuck the what" which is like the surprise of WTF but with added confusion. I kinda like my meaning more. So I'm not going to change it. Sorry.

IMO (physical translation: in my opinion):
We all know what this means. "I don't agree with you and I think you're an idiot, but I'm going to diminish the pure vehemence of my disagreement (and hatred for you) by declaring that what I'm about to say is just my opinion."

IMHO (physical translation: in my humble opinion):
Again, pretty straight-forward. "I hate you. I hate everything you say. I know you feel the same about me. I know you and all your friends are about to flame me for saying this. But here goes. I'll get my friends to defend me later."

FWIW (physical translation: for what it's worth):
Like the two above it's pretty clear what this means. "I think you're an idiot and can't understand factual evidence vs. anecdotal evidence, so I'm going to do my best to educate you just a little but I doubt it will stick to a brain-dead monkey like you."

That's about it. For more interesting translations, check out Bianca's post on the subject. She knows oodles more than me, LOL!

Meanwhile, leave your favourite acronym and it's real translation for me in the comments.

8.2.11

Last Week Someone Called Me a B*TCH

Oh hi.
Feeling neglected?

Let's face it: I broke my blog. Right? What are you doing here? I've had nothing to say for almost three months.

Well, that's not true. I've had plenty to say, but I haven't been blogging it.

So here's a run down.

Financially, I'm broke - worse than I broke the blog.

I've decided to leave my husband. The reasons for this are many but the primary ones are:
1. Good fodder for the blog now.
2. Will lead traffic to my blog as people tweet out my breakdown.
3. Will give me something to post about in the future when I've got nothing to say - everyone loves a relationship breakdown story.
4. If we're sharing the kids every other weekend I might get a chance to get my haircut and maybe even have a coffee once in a while.
5. Financially we'll be better off.
I'll move into a nice, big 4 bedroom social housing unit and as a single-mom the government will pay me more than I can ever expect to make working. Plus they'll pay my daycare so I can work (but not so much that I'll lose my government money) and if I decide I need retraining because a University degree in English is absolutely useless, they'll probably pay for that too. Meanwhile, we can sell our house and hubs can rent a small apartment, thus saving us tonnes of money and paying off all our debt. It's really a win-win-win.

So this is the plan right now. I'm still somewhat enamoured with my husband so we'll continue to be exes with benefits. However, he doesn't blog and I find that's putting a real crimp in my public life. I'm going to start a blog for him. Probably he won't bother posting to it, but I can just pretend to be him anyway.

He'll write posts about me and our breakup and how lucky he is to be away from me. Then I can write indignant posts in reply. It'll get us tonnes of traffic and pageviews - I'm sure of it.

Meanwhile, I'm planning on heading to a blogger's conference and finding myself a fellow that does blog that I can have an affair with. Then we can blame my marriage breakdown on that. Pretty sure I can exchange sex for extra web traffic. There's gotta be a taker out there somewhere. I've got my eye on Steve, but he says he's not going to CyberMummy - something about not being a Mummy, apparently.

So then my plan is to get pregnant. I'm pretty sure I won't have a problem there. I could go into great detail about my fertility and all that, but I figure that's a future post - gotta drag things out a little so you'll keep coming back.

Meanwhile, I won't of course know who the father is. Seeing as how I'll be banging Steve and my ex at the same time. I figure I'll announce the pregnancy all dewy-eyed and blissful and then after everyone congratulates me and people start sending their friends over here with messages along the lines of "can you believe it? She's left her husband, shacked up with another blogger and split his marriage and now she's got the gall to be happily announcing a pregnancy!" I'll let the big "I got TWO BABY DADDIES" bomb drop.

That's always a good one to keep people coming back for me. Maury Povich ain't got nothing on me.

But the real reason I'm planning to get pregnant? Well it brings me back to first part of this post: I'm broke.

This is ridiculous. I read, like, three of Dooce's posts before I started blogging. That girl is rolling in it and I don't think she's any better a writer than me. I've been blogging over a year now and I haven't made one red cent. Before I even started this blog I ordered up my t-shirts, mugs, and calendars. Now the calendars are a year out of date and no one's bought one.

It's a pretty clear fact that the cute is where the money is. With another baby I'm sure I could get the bottles and bibs companies to sponsor me. Not to mention formula.

And if none of that works, I'll just drown my sorrows in chocolate. I hear Nutella is planning another mommy blogger drive....

So do you think that will do it? I really got to get my stats up so I can start selling advertising and getting sponsors to do giveaways so that I can actually go on with my not writing phase of the blog and just whore out some product. That's so much easier than actually coming up with something to say every day. Plus, for some reason, whenever I do have something to say someone thinks I'm a bitch for saying it. Nobody thinks that product reviewers are bitchy. Well, except perhaps the people who tried the product they're pimping and realised it was a deathtrap and are now pissed off that someone is extolling it's virtues. But really, I'll make sure that the pajamas are fire-proof and the food is less than 50% fat and 50% sugar.

Sound good?

PS: If you believe even a word of this post than you don't know me well enough to even care what goes on in my life or my blog. But if you want to leave scathing comments, that's awesome. Those are great traffic-drivers!

PPS: If you think I'm mocking you in this post, I probably am. But I'm mocking a lot of people. So don't go feeling all important.