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Brave Little Blogger Contest

 

See what I did there?

Earlier in the week, I took a stroll through my old blog at Xanga. This is old stuff, folks. The idea of a blig or a blog or whatever it was was completely foreign to me. Facebook wasn’t a thing yet unless you were actually a student, people still used MySpace, and the world, while shrinking, was still pretty big.

I wrote everything I thought in that blog. Insecurities, fears. Reading back over some of the stuff that is still there (not all, though, because I don’t even remember the password, so there’s no doubt all sorts of nuggets hiding in private mode) I was completely embarrassed.

And then I wondered why.

One of my main goals in my writing, whatever format it has been in, has been to be as bald and blatant as possible. To say the things that you might think but never admit. Things like sometimes I have farting competitions with myself and I think I just realized I haven’t worn deodorant in like three days, or that I have coupon codes for sex toy sites in excess. Things that everyone kind of ignores about themselves.

But I realized, in my reading, that I leave a whole lot out now. I don’t post my laments about my relationship…or not as much as I did. I don’t wonder in print about people who talk about Sue Schmo and what they say about me.

I don’t criticize or talk about people I love because I know they’ll probably read it. I don’t say things online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face….even though I may think them. And while that may be the socially acceptable and responsible thing to do – the smart thing – it makes me feel like a hypocrite.

For instance, I can’t say on Facebook that my best friend’s family hates me or that there are certain people who I keep in my life only because they have to be. I can’t say that there are days I feel like the biggest loser on Earth because I feel like talking to someone and I have only the toddler and the cat. I can’t say the things that annoy me about the people I love most. Not even that I love them maybe too much.

In all honesty, I can’t say which is better. My Xanga posts were lamenty, embarrassing, angst ridden, teenagery blather…but they were straight from the gut. The posts I write today are struggly, observant, sometimes well written, and read by everyone I know.

To be straight, I don’t know where the line is. I don’t find anything appealing about airing marital issues online or sounding like the OMGLOL4RLZ chicks whose posts I ignore on my facebook news feed every day, but I don’t want to feel like I’m being anything less than totally honest.

First world issues, I guess. There are worse problems in the world than my blog. Or so I hear.

Muckbrain

I’d like to say that I’ve been relatively quiet lately because I’ve been bustling busy, being scholarly and cleaning house and such. 

 

Alas.

 

I think the fairest way to say it is that I just ran out of words. Like I’ve said before, I have this calendar of post ideas and the idea is to jog creativity and such. And everything I’ve ever read about serious writing says that to be a writer, you write. You write on days when you’re sick and days when you’re tired and days when you have nothing to say. 

 

And normally I do. But for the past week or so, it just hasn’t been there. Nothing at all. I’m not depressed or anything, I think I just needed a bit of a break. So I took one. I didn’t Facebook like I usually do. I didn’t respond to emails. I didn’t really tweet. 

 

This past weekend was pretty lovely, and Josh and I spent most of it geocaching, which is perhaps the greatest thing ever. If you’ve never heard of it, concisely it’s like a worldwide scavenger hunt, and you participate using GPSs. You drive around wherever it takes you (there’s a handy iPhone app), and you usually end up going some pretty cool places. 

 

Josh and I started geocaching last year, took a break over the summer because damn it’s hot, and then we remembered a few weeks ago…”oh yeah, that’s super fun, let’s do it again.”

 

So we did. This weekend we went all over North Mississippi/Tennessee/Alabama, following blinking GPS dots, digging in the brush, climbing hills, and – in one instance – trying not to get sucked into the muck of a sulphur spring.

 

I don’t really know why I like it so much. I have a habit of scanning out the window while we drive, to see if I see any dead bodies in the woods. 

 

I never said I wasn’t, you know, weird. 

Stupid resolutions

I talked last week about the resolutions I’m making. And not making.

I’ve read so many people saying things like “I resolve to lose X pounds,” or “Tomorrow is diet day,” or similar statements about cleaning house or doing…whatever. Quitting smoking or getting divorced or making progress on projects.

And I get it. The fresh start of something…anything…is a stimulant.

It totally is for me too.

But I am conciously choosing not to do that this year, because maybe it’s just me but I get SO upset with myself when I inevitably mess up my goal.

So here’s the secret, kids, aim low!

Not really. I have decided, though, to be a bit more positive when choosing changes for my life.

Like I resolve to not be such a bitch. To be more giving and less selfish.

To make an effort to be happier – not to fix myself. Because I don’t need fixing. I’m ok.

These are all things I’ve said before, but where did it all ever come from? Why do we pick things we think are wrong with us and try to change ourselves?

It’s all very negative if you think on it. It’s stupid to start out a new section of your life by bathing it in things you don’t like about yourself.

Because if anyone is going to like you, shouldn’t it be…well, you?

Thanksgiving thoughts…and the WINNER!

Guess what, I took exactly ZERO pictures yesterday on Thanksgiving. So I stole Josh’s. 
I don’t know what came over me.
 
Hm.
 

Anyway, so yesterday was Thanksgiving. It was lovely, really, all the food and sugar and food and people.
 
Also food.
 
But I have to admit something: Thanksgiving doesn’t feel real anymore.
 
That sounds strange I know, but it’s really the only way I can think of to describe it. 
 
I’ve had lots of Thanksgivings, from the legendary McRib Thanksgiving of 19something to awkward high school holiday sharing with boyfriend family, pregnant Thanksgivings, everything you can think of pretty much.
 
And it’s always a blast. I love my family – both sides and every person involved, and it’s never been a stress or a chore for me. Josh gets to cook, I get to bake, and everyone gets to eat. It’s fun stuff.
 
This year was fun, but….different. The meals were over and I was left with a huge feeling of anticlimax.
 
Maybe I’m just getting older, maybe Lucy was bratting it up because she’s getting new teeth. Maybe I was just in a weird mood, maybe the moon was in Shintippies and my oodles were noogin, but I think holidays may need to change a bit.
 
Come with me into my vision.
 
The day arrives with no less preparation. The kitchen is full of dishes and smells so thick you can taste every spice and ingredient. The fridge is packed, the oven is humming, and every bit of counter space is either messed or full of waiting pyrex.
 
BUT…no one is in a flurry. There is no ticking clock. 
 
The kids watch movies in their pajamas, football takes over the bigscreen, and we sit outside in shifts with mimosas and lattes.
 
Family arrives, family from ALL THREE SIDES, and instead of a big production of sitdown and proper…they just join in the day. Watching football, having conversations. The focus isn’t on minutes wasted or time shared and split. The focus is on being together. Enjoying each other with a mutual understanding of ease and fun. People leave, people arrive. Instead of stuffing face over a couple of hours, the whole day is there to be taken. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Whatever, whenever.
 
I’m willing to bet the day would wind down with a much more peaceful atmosphere.

 
Anyway. Maybe it’s just a pipe dream. Maybe it can really happen.
 
So you’ve stuck around this long, huh? 
 
Want to know who the winner is?
 
………………………..
………………………..
………………………..
 
KIM! @notblessedmama
 
YAYYYYY!
 
Kim, email me or give me a shout on Twitter. I’ll hook you up.
 
I love giveaways. That was fun. Maybe I’ll do it again sometime.

Thoughts on competition

(looking for the giveaway?)

So we’ve talked about the competition that I’m in for the blogging scholarship. A normal person would link to the voting thing right about now, but I’ve pretty much given up hope of winning. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Which is good, because it frees me up to say what I really think.

I mean, I was never officially hindered, but if I were talking trash and then I accepted ten grand from them that would be a little bit of bad form. Which I try to avoid. Sometimes.

But I won’t be accepting any money from them, so I’ve got some things to say.

Within a few hours of the email announcing the finalists, several of the finalists had hundreds of votes. Within a day or so, the numbers had escalated to tens of thousands.

It was intimidating, especially considering that the top contender at one point had 64,567 votes to my 75.

Then Friday night I got an email saying that the votes had been reset, due to “ballot stuffing” – which is a term I’ve never heard before. But I suppose it makes sense.

The same people are winning now, which is what was expected I guess.

The reset, though, led to a situation I hadn’t anticipated. I soon received an email from a fellow contestant, and this dude is PISSED. He’s angry that the suspected cheaters were not removed from eligibility (basically there was no way to know that it wasn’t done by a third party, the people said), and he’s calling for people to petition the proprietors. Then the website edits his comments calling for the petition, saying they don’t appreciate “hate mail.”

Hence commences a series of “reply-all” conversations, picking and sniping and keeping serene zen all in turn.

Which brings me to my reevaluation of the entire situation.

I think online voting is a shit way to determine something like a scholarship. I purposely haven’t perused the other blogs because I tend to get down on myself, so I don’t know how I stack up against any of them, hence this statement is unbiased: I think merit and need and all around awesome should be factors in the decision. I think it should be decided by committee or whatever. The current system is obviously flawed.

Besides that, we all know that popular doesn’t always equal best. Ashton Kutcher has five zillion followers on Twitter and Ke$ha is a thing.

Proof provided.

To dream, perchance to beg

Alright. I really don’t know exactly how to say this.

I last asked for you guys to vote for me during a contest held to find a resident blogger for a popular website.

I didn’t win, but I think it was a little close.

The next contest I didn’t even mention on the blog, but that was just because I never had a chance to be Cheap Sally’s gojillion dollar saving savvy blogger.

So after all that, I don’t really blame you if you brush this off and ignore it – except please don’t.

Every year, collegescholarships.org grants a $10,000 scholarship to a blogger. The only requirements are that you live in the US, have a blog, and go to college.

Just so happens – and you may not know this since I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it – I am, in fact, a college student. In fact, just this week I was admitted to the University of Mississippi, where I can hopefully finish my BA in record-ass time so I can go on to grad school. Yeah, I’m really doing that. No sarcasm.

So on a whim, I wrote an essay. I talked about how I’d blogged through so many major transitional times in my life, how it meant so much to me to be able to say what I think and feel. How this blog has become part of my identity and a project I adore and never want to leave.

The guidelines say they look for passion and depth. I don’t know how deep I am, but passion I have in spades…because people, this is my life. My kids. My family. My hopes and dreams. If this isn’t my passion then I’ve misunderstood the word.

Now I’m a finalist – and that may not mean a ton since I have no clue how many entries there were – and I’m happy about that.

The final round is based on votes. Which means I have to ask you to vote.

You can vote once a day (though i may be wrong about that) until November 23rd, from any and every device you come across.

Click through, select my name, and submit. The end.

I cannot tell you how much this means. How grateful I am. Please help.

F@&$ Fantasy Football

Alright, I admit it. Fantasy football takes a shitload of knowledge and intuition that I just do not possess.

Initially I thought that it would be good for me. I thought hey, football will be on in this house all winter anyway, this is a great way to give me incentive to get involved. To learn. Broaden my horizons and have some healthy competition.

Yeah, no, that’s not what has happened at all.

I knew when we did our fantasy draft that I was a little out of my element. Like I said before, I picked Mark Ingram because of those MASSIVE. ARMS. The rest of my team I picked up based on names I knew and what the little Yahoo! drop box said about a player during the draft.

Which explains how I ended up with Terrell Owens, who is I think retired now, and a bunch of other players that I don’t even know enough about to know which to point out as the worst.

This is not my game.

And what’s worse, instead of being driven to care and watch the games and tweak my team for any given week, I think about how much knitting I could be doing.

Pathetic much?

There should be a similar passive point based game for things like American Idol, or The Bachelor. THAT I could get behind and totally know what was up.

Is that contributing to weak women stereotypes? I hope not. That isn’t my intention.

It’s just…I don’t know. I don’t understand the rules of football well enough, much less which player threw to who and who is due to have a comeback this week as opposed to sucking it up and losing me points last week.

So I sit. Emphatically at the bottom of the league pile. Because not only do I not know what to do, I don’t really even care.

Day 25 of 30 day challenge

day 25- Something you would do if no one stopped you or if you knew you wouldn’t fail.

This is a hard question. There are so many things that I’d do if it weren’t for the fear of failure.

I mean THINK about it.

Write a book.
Buy a lottery ticket.
Audition for Broadway.
Go back to school.
Email every online and print magazine known to man and offer my freelance services.
Buy a house.
Go to blogging conferences.

What a great question. What would you do?

It apparently doesn’t take much.

I told you that I was relocating the website. Messing with servers and such.

By the way, if something is screwy, let me know. I’ll do my best to fix it.

What I DIDN’T say (although I may have hinted ever so slightly through gritted teeth), was that there has never before been a time that I SO BADLY wanted to throw things. People. Lucy better be glad she’s cute.

I am just NOT accustomed to being completely clueless. Especially when what I’m so clueless about is touted all over the damned Internet as being “famously” simple. 5 minutes, they promised me.

Bull. Shit.

I decided that since I couldn’t get things the way I wanted them before my featured day on ITPR, I would just leave it be until I had a better handle on just exactly what was going on.

Except yesterday I woke up and there was a placeholder webpage where my blog was supposed to be.

I freaked out. Lucy woke up. Josh woke up. I got the hosting service on the phone and none of my passcode handshake musicfarts would work and prove that I was actually me and not some website thief preying on WordPress placeholder pages.

There were redirects and forwards and eventually things were ok to ride out the day’s traffic.

But this afternoon, I started to fiddle. Just a bit. Until it was a lot and I got real ballsy and went into the controls and removed all the safety nets I had set up in the morning. And then suddenly, the heavens opened. Angels sang, my boobs grew, my waist shrank, and all was right in the world because I for no reason at all suddenly knew exactly what to do.

So I did. And I will be fiddling with tweaks and controls until the end of time, BECAUSE IT’S MY WEBSITE AND I CAN.

Seriously, though. Can you tell I’m excited? I so am. And I have no reason to be.

Call me pathetic, but…

As you may recall, I’ve talked once or twice lately about a contest I’m a finalist in.

There’s this website, http://www.inthepowderroom.com, and the best way I can think of to describe it is like a mom/women online magazine/talk show. They have daily articles that are hilarious, timely, sometimes poignant, and always at least a little thought provoking.


They’ve had a contest to fill a “permanent blogger” spot, which basically means that the winner has a static gig of one published article a week, a spot in the community, and moves up at least six points on the stalkable scale.

I want it, I won’t lie.

I have wanted something like this for years. An audience. Motivation. A reason to watch some TV (you know, for cultural relevance).

Validation.

A “hey, you’re not bad at this, come be a part of us.”

I never said I wasn’t needy.

So, the contest runs until the end of the month. One vote per person/IP address is permitted.

You can vote by clicking here, which should open up your email with the subject “emylibef”. Just send it, that’s a vote.

I’m being featured on the site today, and if you’ve come from ITPR to check me out, then read this because it’s my favorite recent post.

I will work my ass off for this. And as anyone who knows me knows, I don’t have much in the way of ass. Flab I’ve got, but ass is precious.

And mine is yours.