Monthly Archives: June 2007

Pssst…it’s someone’s birthday today.

I won’t name any names but he sort of looks like this….

::whispers:: happy birthday, david! ::whispers::

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Filed under by Malia, love & marriage

A Sad Day For Nashville

Malia pictureThe girl with the job that a million bloggers would kill for resigned today. And without Brittney, we don’t know what the future of Nashville is Talking will be. I can’t really explain why that is. If you’re part of the “community” you understand what I mean but for those of you not involved with the NiT community, suffice to say there’s been a lot of drama the past several weeks. But I wanted to take a moment to say what Nashville is Talking has meant to me.

On April 19, 2005, I started my own blog and a few months later, I started noticing some commercials for Nashville is Talking and some links to/references to Nashville is Talking on blogs that I read. I decided to check it out and as I am prone to do, I lurked for awhile, getting a feel for how things worked, who everyone was, etc before testing the waters and actually, you know…commenting. And once I did start commenting things started to get really interesting. A post of mine was eventually linked to and I was “blogrolled”, i.e. added to the aggregator. Over time, I started to “meet” other bloggers online by reading their blogs, commenting, e-mailing, etc. Badbadivy and I were “introduced” when I railed on her about a check-writing post she put up that Brittney linked to.

I saw amazing things happen at Nashville is Talking. I saw pets get adopted out. I saw an online community come together to defend one of their own (that was pre-JL Kirk incident). I saw conservative/liberal bloggers debate each other but still be civil and friendly. Then in March of 2006, I attended by first blogger meet-up at a little coffee shop in Smyrna. I met the infamous Badbadivy, Aunt B., Brittney, Big Orange Michael, as well as others. And I felt so welcome and so well…at home!

Over the almost two years that I’ve been apart of the Nashville is Talking community, Nashville has been opened up to me. Before NiT, pretty much the only people I knew in Nashville were my family and the people I went to church with. It was pathetic. Now I have friends from Murfreesboro to Hendersonville. And it didn’t stop with Middle Tennessee! I know bloggers in West Tennessee and I read blogs written by people living on the eastern side of state, too. In many ways, the NiT community has become an extended family for me. It’s a community that really gets what “community” is all about and I’m proud to be apart of it.

Brittney, thank you. Thank you for being willing to step out on a limb and do a job that no one had ever done before. You did your job very well! I’m sad to see you go and as much as I’d like to beg you to stay, I know you’re already happier than you have been in quite awhile! You will be missed but I know we haven’t “seen” the last of you. You are talented and beautiful and intelligent and someone, somewhere will be very fortunate to have you work for them!

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Filed under by Malia, I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?

Weather Dunce

I am clueless about the whys and hows of weather. Fortunately, I married a weather “nerd” who is kind and patient enough to explain things to me. Sometimes, I even get graphics!

img_1251.jpg

This is a drawing done on our back porch (using sidewalk chalk) of the Bermuda High syndrome.

Let’s see if I learned anything…there’s an area of high pressure that sits in the Atlantic ocean over Bermuda (Bermuda is that “dot” by the big “H”). The high pressure area turns clockwise. When storms (low pressure areas) head our direction, they are turning counter clockwise. When the low pressure area meets the Bermuda High pressure area, the low pressure area sort of “bounces off” the high pressure and moves over it sending storms (rain) above us, to the north and east. So areas like Missouri (the “box” next to the big “L”) get lots of rain and lots of flooding, while we get nothin’.

(Yes, that’s my toe, somewhere down near Honduras…I think. I’m also really bad with geography!)

Update: I e-mailed this graphic to the News2 weather blog, Nashville WX, last night. That cutie patootie, Justin Bruce, put it up on a post over there today!

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Filed under by Malia, random

News du jour

David picture On April 16, 2007, some dude murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech.  As an aside, I call him “some dude” because his name does not bear remembering.  Now that proper time has been given to mourn and grieve, I wanted to go back to a post at Nashville is Talking that drew my ire.

Admittedly, on that day, I was not looking at NiT, but was trying to work.  However, when I came home early to be with my wife, I happened to look at this NiT post in which the comments were already in flagrante. I commented on that post because I was frankly surprised that there was such a lack of respect for the dead simply because of distance and supposed disconnection with the event.

The replies to me indicated that there was no internal control in some people and they would only respect the authority of the owner of the blog (Brittney).  This was odd, since these are such staunch advocates of individual freedom who were, in my opinion, not demonstrating the requisite self-government necessary to possess such freedoms.

Individual freedom in the absence of self-government is not a republic, it is anarchy.  I respect these folks that stand for individual freedom.  However, when there is no internal control over their own freedom but only a bristling exertion of self, it makes me wonder whether they are advocates for liberty or just self.

So, now to what I really wanted to talk about.  I made the comment that “There will be plenty of time for not fixing the problem later.”  That comment actually had nothing to do with guns per se.*  It was a general comment to the fact that bloggers like to fixate on the news du jour and never actually do anything about what they write about.  Bloggers are the biggest bunch of myopic popguns there ever were** who sit and wait to jump on their pet issue(s) and then rant about them and comment war over them until the aggregate blood pressure of the whole community is beyond the ability of Lasix to control.

I say we all take a chill pill and relax.  After all, the only two items necessary to sustain life are coconut milk and sunshine.

*I couldn’t care less about guns or gun laws.  Criminals who are determined will always find a way around any gun law out there.  The problem is never at the point in time when the gun is used in crime, the problem always occurs well before that, whether it is poverty, mental illness, drugs, etc.  Make all the laws you want and blather about them all you want, they won’t make a difference.

**me included

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Filed under by DB, link love, Politics, random, Virginia Tech

Swimsuit Nightmares

Malia pictureIt’s no secret, I’m a “big” girl. But big girls like to go to the pool, too. And I have children that really like to go to the pool. And it’s summer. And I need another swimsuit.

I bought a swimsuit from a catalog a few summers ago. It was a decently styled “swim dress”, black with a blue & while trim above the bust line. It was the kind that had straps that could be fastened over the shoulders or tucked into the suit if you wanted to go strapless (ha!) which I guess was for those women that can actually tan. And since I bought it from a catalog, I couldn’t try it on ahead of time to gauge how well it fit. Turned out it fit alright – could have been tighter in some areas, looser in others, but it served it’s purposes. However, not long after I started wearing it, one of the tabs that held the straps over my shoulders came apart. I was able to repair it and went along like that until last summer when the second tab gave way in a manner that was not repairable. *sigh* That meant it was time for a new swimsuit.

I knew I would be taking the kids to the pool this summer but I still put off the swimsuit shopping. I wanted to go to the pool today (though it looks like we’ll be getting a late start since I’m sitting her blogging about swimsuits instead of actually getting us ready to go!) So yesterday, I headed to the mall on a mission – Operation: Find Acceptable Swimsuit. My favorite “big girl” shoppe apparently doesn’t carry swimsuits in all their stores; only certain stores have them and of course they sell them on their website. (They were having an excellent bra sale though…okay, that’s probably oversharing.) I had time to peruse three department stores. One had no swimsuits of any kind that I could find, one had swimsuits on sale, the last had swimsuits but no sale.

Now, I hold no notion of ever “looking good” in a swimsuit. I know my size, I know my body type, I’m not delusional that Lycra and spandex can at all look appealing on me. I just want a swimsuit that covers what needs to be covered and doesn’t make me look like a 70-year-old woman! Why is it that retailers of plus size swimwear think that plus size women all like garish floral prints and plunging necklines?? And why would I want to pay almost $100 (sometimes more) for something that I swear, not even my grandmother would have worn? And why is that when I do find something in the store that would actually make Operation: Find Acceptable Swimsuit a success it a) is sold out in my size and b) costs more money than I spend on real clothing? I mean, I know the suits are bigger and use more material but does a tankini top and a skirted bottom have to cost $50+ each?

I came home with no swimsuit. Fortunately there is the Internet! I did manage to find a nice looking suit at an on-line retailer (and I had a gift card for this website!). Of course, I can’t try it on until it gets here (which won’t be today!), so I guess I’ll be in shorts and a t-shirt at the pool this week.

The swimsuit shopping nightmare is over. I’ve bought jeans, a swimsuit and bras all in the span of about 3 months. I think I’ve reached my quota for stress inducing shopping excursions for at least a year…right? Let’s hope so!

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Filed under by Malia, Rant

Birthday Party Pet Peeves: Répondez S’il Vous Plaît?

Malia pictureI’ve blogged before (at the old place) about how much I loathe using the phone. Calling a parent about an RSVP is pure torture for me but only when I don’t know the parent very well or at all. And this past year with JBelle entering a new school, I knew only one parent in her class.

Once school started, it wasn’t long before the birthday invitations came rolling in. And the worst part was that the RSVP line would contain only a phone number; no name, no “let us know you are/are not coming” instruction, just a phone number. The no name thing really bit me in the butt last fall. JBelle had an invitation to a “pumped up bouncing” party for a boy in her class. The invitation listed only a phone number and I did not know the boy’s parent’s names. Turns out, his parents are divorced and he lives with his mother who has remarried. But I didn’t know then when I called, so I said, “Is this the Jones residence?” Only, the last name wasn’t Jones it was something much harder to pronounce and I butchered it (apparently). The woman on the other end got a little huffy with me and informed that it most certainly was not! Dismayed and confused and really ticked off, I tried again. Thankfully, she let the phone go to voicemail and I left a message. (Yes, I dialed the right number the first time!) What I didn’t understand was that if you’ve sent out invitations to your child’s birthday party with his name on them but not your name, how can you not expect to get some mix-ups like in my case? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say, “This is Soandso’s mom, are you calling about the party?”, instead of acting like I’ve committed the ultimate social faux pas?

When I was working on the invitations for JBelle’s birthday party, I instructed that the RSVP be to “me” for regrets only. Which I later regretted. After the invites were finished it occurred to me that I should have done two things: include my e-mail address and not say “regrets only”. I asked for “regrets only” because I figured that would cut down on the number of phone calls I’d have to field and that it gave specific instruction to the invitee about how to RSVP – no need to call if you’re planning on coming! However, I realized that replying “regrets only” could possibly put someone in an awkward situation. What if their kid just didn’t want to come? What if they already had another party that day (entirely possible since another classmate of JBelle’s was having a party that afternoon – which JBelle also attended) and they needed to choose between hers and the other? All entirely possible and understandable. And then there’s the whole phenomenon of RSVP’s being a crapshoot anyways. We sent out 18 invitations, got three regretful responses and had seven girls show up!

Do you répondez s’il vous plaît? Is there a more acceptable way of asking people to respond?

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Filed under by Malia, parenting

Birthday Party Pet Peeves: What Gives?

Malia pictureI always do a little inward groan whenever JBelle comes home from school with or receives a birthday party invitation in the mail. Unless the invitation is from a true “bff” or a someone she’s known practically from birth, I silently hope there’s some way to get out of it. Birthday parties pose two problems for me: the gift and the RSVP.

I loathe buying presents for these children that I know nothing about. It’s not that I’m miserly or mean, it’s that I usually have no idea what to get them! JBelle is not always very helpful in this situation, especially since she often is more interested in what she wants! Awhile back I stumbled upon what I thought was the perfect answer to my gift giving woes. The crafting set. There’s an entire aisle at Target with these boxes of beading, crocheting, stamping, modeling, crafting, creating, mess-making, space-consuming, fight-producing wonders! And all are reasonably priced between $9.99 and $14.99! So, “we” (read: me) starting buying these sorts of sets for all our birthday gift giving needs.

Then back at Christmas I started getting requests from family members about what to give JBelle for Christmas. She didn’t have any of those craft sets yet, so I added them to the list. We got three – 2 bead sets and a crochet set. And even though I cursed the beading sets with their itty-bitty beads and fraying strings, and even though JBelle lost interest in the crocheting kit after five minutes, I still kept the craft kit on my birthday gift radar. Until now. For JBelle’s most recent birthday, she received…three more crafting sets!! Two bead sets and a stamping set. I’m never buying one of those crafting sets for another child. I don’t hate their parents that much! So it’s back to square one on “what to give random classmates” for their birthday.

Any suggestions?

(Up next: The RSVP!)

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Filed under by Malia, parenting