Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Scare Nice People

I am laughing as I type this.

My husband is reading over my shoulder, telling me I should call today's post, "Things I Like To Do." Or "Things He'd Like To Forget."

I think "I Scare Nice People" -- best possible title ever.

Because anyone who has been reading me for awhile knows-- and we've been over this before: not that there is any one thing wrong with me, just several little things....nothing enough to be called a red flag. Just a few light pink flagettes here and there.

I like to scare nice people. I like to scare the nicest people of all, like my husband.

It's something I can't turn him into a dancing bug-eyed fool, few things bring me more joy.

Before anyone jumps on me about his age! his heart! what will the children do?? I can promise you that I know his family history and follow his most recent physical exams, checking that BP, heart rate, cardiac risk factors, are all well within normal bounce back from scared s***less fright range.

The most recent exhilarating episode fell right into my lap, perfectly timed, while we were home on a weekend night watching BatMan Begins.

In this movie, there is a heart pounding 20 second segment where the breathtaking Cillian Murphy, playing the mentally unstable Scarecrow, drives an asylum patient into madness.

He could be a Victoria's Secret angel (or mine)
It is cinematography wonder; filmed in broken, twitchy frames showing close ups of an unevenly stitched burlap sacked head. It is the unexpected beauty of Cillian Murphy inside that bag, with him being so sadistic mastermind certifiable, that makes this scene just the horror that it is.

So much scarier in a dark living room at 11 PM

It took all of half a second for me to know just what I'd be doing before the film was over.

I excused myself to go to the bathroom and left my husband sitting in the dark--watching the horror of the psychoness of Scarecrow unfold.

Quietly, I went upstairs instead. Once on the second floor, I pulled a pillowcase and scarf out of the bedroom closet and tiptoed back down to the bottom of the stairs, just ten feet from where my husband was watching Scarecrow drive some poor hanging on to sanity by his fingernails asylum patient to the edge of his psychological cliff. I sat on the bottom step and placed the pillowcase over my head, tying the scarf loosely around my neck. 

I slipped my shoe off, and threw it, hard, against the staircase wall.

And then I waited.

I knew my husband would come check on the noise. I had to press my lips hard to keep from laughing in delirious anticipation.

When I heard him call my name, I just about yelped out in glee.

At the sound of him getting up from the sofa, I had to bite my thumb to keep myself quiet.

The sound of his footsteps coming in my direction had me holding my breath and chewing the inside of my cheek.


I tucked myself into the corner of the stair, crouched into the very wedge, pillowcase over my head, scarf securely around my neck, excited beyond words. He was just steps away now. It was dark, he took one step up and stumbled into me.

I heard the "what the..?" and then....THEN, I felt his tentative hand reach out and perfectly land on my clothed head.

Sweet lord make it stop!!

OH! The long awaited prize of his yell.

How I live for that first yell when things are moving too fast for his brain to understand.

Not able to hold back my laughter, I pulled off the pillowcase, blessedly in time to see him blinking faster than a strobe light and dancing in place as he tried to figure out what was going on.

He mumbled something about one of these days this will all take its toll.

In my defense, he was George Clooney grey when I met him.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A ScaryMommy

A blogger's rite of passage, one off the blogger's bucket list, now a member of the society...

I'm talking about being a ScaryMommy.

Today, I am at Jill's site, ScaryMommy, experting on the subject of getting what you want.

I hope you click over, and leave me a nugget of wisdom of how you make things work for you in this life.

Thank you, always, for your support.
Comments Closed

Monday, September 26, 2011

He Is Fake

Baby E post day: my youngest, 'Baby E,'  felt an urgent need to post today, with a message for you. Happily, I relinquish this space to him.
*new to Baby E? Click here first*

Hi. It's me, Baby E. Today I have to tell you something: This man is fake.

I told my mom I have to say something about this. Because maybe people might believe him and he is fake.

He is on a commercial during a kids' show!! He tries to sell stuff to kids I don't get.  He's fake. He says "My name is this and I am super rich because I did this and you should do it!"

He is a multiton bajillionaire who will not tell you the secret of how to get a billion dollars unless you send him money first. And that is the secret! Ask people to send you money, and then you keep it and then probably you just send them a note back that says, "the secret to be rich is to ask people to send you money."

And it works kinda. Because you kinda do want to send him money to be rich. But I know he is fake because his videos are cheesy.

He's not Santa and those videos are dumb.

On one, the one my brother laughs the most about, he is on a really fast boat that is flying through the water and with money that he is throwing up in the air. That is how you know it is a lie because even if you have all the money in the world you will still not throw it up in the air especially going over water fast. That is how you know he is dumb.

He's like Barney for old people--he is pretending.

I want to tell people that he is an actor acting and my mom said I could that today. To tell you to not send him money.

Even though he doesn't have a costume on, he is still fake.

You should not do what the commercials say. even if you want to. "Hey, moms and dads--I'll give you a thousand dollars"-- and he'll say this for like five hours, he says, "I can make you rich!"

He does not have super special powers to open up banks.

Mostly he is annoying, but he is lying, too.

He comes on a lot, during some kids' shows I watch.

I want everyone to know to not listen to him, even if you want to, to have all that money.

He is a fake.

Bye, that is the thing I wanted to say to you the most today: to ignore him even if you want to call him, to get the money.

Bye. Next time I want to talk about Halloween and my soccer tournament this weekend and my gramma and grampa are here.


Remember to ignore him.

From, Baby E.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Sacred Bleeding Heart of Jesus

I write monthly for a blog that I have so much fun preparing posts for.

It's TikiTikiBlog, and they feature my childhood stories of growing up Hispanic in America.

Today, I write of the Latino answer to ADT home security systems.

You'll have to click over to TikiTikiBlog and find out how you can protect your home, day and night, the Latino way.

Hope to see you there, and thank you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Are Enough, Child Friendly

Thank you all so very much for the birthday wishes yesterday.

I had a wonderful day full of handmade cards and time with my family and more sticky hugs than a person has a right to.

Last year, for my middle son's fourteenth birthday, I gave him something I wish I would've had during the troubled times of adolescence. I wrote him a list of all the wonderful things that make up who he is. I asked him to keep the list forever, and to turn to it whenever the world had him doubting his worth.

I write about that list at Just Be Enough today. I hope you'll click over.

Thank you, as always, for your support of my writing. It means so very much to me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Without Saying Too Much About Myself, I'm Going To Say Too Much About Myself

I stared at my date's driver's license, the date of birth on it catching my eye. He had to show the card to pick up some movies we were renting for the night. Today was June 19, 1992 and the date of birth on his license was June 22.

"It's your birthday in three days, and you didn't mention it to me??" 

"Why would I? It's just a birthday. Right?"

My heart sank. I really liked this guy. Just a birthday. Did he really say that? We had only known each other since April, two months. The sane part of my brain interrupted my natural reaction of wanting to walk away. I knew the adult thing to do was to explain to him, about me and birthdays. So, even though I felt like I just wanted to go home, I'd try.

I would try to make sense to him, do it differently this time. "Birthdays are very important to me. I use them as the chance to tell someone, 'You count. I'm glad you were born. I'm happy you're here.'  Birthdays should never be ignored..." I wanted to continue, but my voice was starting to tighten, and knew I had to stop. Once you go all emotional, people quit listening.

I tried again, less crazy this time. "My birthday is September 21. Please don't forget it. If you do, I know I'll be really hurt, and won't want to see you anymore. September 21."

Birthdays, the day we are born. I celebrate what it means to be here, with the ones I love. I stay up until after midnight decorating the house for our children. I don't just sign their birthday cards, I leave paragraph long letters inside of how much I love them. I toast to them, and let them know I am grateful they are in my life and on this planet with me. I've never made it through any of those words without my voice cracking, not once.

My kids know this about me, my "thing" about birthdays, as they call it.

They know it's part of who their mother is. I hear them talking at the dining room table as they each make a card for me for my birthday the next day:

"It's because she didn't get them when she was little."
"It's because no one told her they were glad she was born."
"This is really important to her, it's her birthday, you know what that means."
"Do an extra good job on your cards, guys."

And, so, with them knowing this about me--their mother, I wake up today to find these glorious cards on the kitchen table from each one:

"Happy birthday, Mom" from my 16 year old


From middlest, my 14 year old

This one, from my youngest, Baby E

his message inside:

To my 'beutiful' mother

Do you know what happened on my birthday, September 21, 1992, with the date mentioned above with the driver's license? He picked me up at 12 o'clock, after asking me to take a half day off of work. In his car's backseat were flowers and a picnic basket. We drove to a quiet park, where we sat on a plaid blanket spread open on still green grass, our picnic basket in the middle, laughing while we ate deli fried chicken with our fingers; and then half way through, my eyes misted over as I saw him reach into the basket and lift out a mini birthday cake.

Seventeen years later, this date is the man who would remind our children, "It's your mom's birthday tomorrow. You know how important birthdays are to her. Do a good job on the cards, boys."

And they do, every year, they do such a good job.

Thank you, my boys, and thank you, Mark.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blues Before Sunrise

I have been overwhelmed with having to clean my house.

I have never been a fan of cleaning, never.

My in laws are coming and I have   6 months worth of housecleaning to do in one weekend. Entirely my fault, no one to blame.

The average normal life skills equipped person would have their hands off the keyboard right now and into some hot soapy water.

Which is why I'm here instead, typing in front of the screen, and not on the kitchen floor, scrubbing. Because we all know that when the going gets tough, the tough get blogging.

What popped into my head as I ran the water to fill the wash bucket just now, what couldn't wait till the work was done? This song, and I had to sit down and write it before I'd forget it. I know you'll all understand these  words, which are best read to a harmonica blues scale:

     Well I woke up this Monday morning, already knowin', I didn't stand no chance
     Yeah, well, I said I woke up this Monday mornin'
     I'm tellin' ya, I knew I had no chance--no chance
     With my list of things I gotta to do today
     I just wanna run far away
     oh so far away

     You know when I woke up this very mornin'
     I knew, that list would kick my a**
     I woke up this very morning, with that list kickin' my a**  
    With that list of things I gotta do
    I just wanna go and get my wineglass

     The truth is I gotta confess to you all
     The mess that I'm in is only my fault
     I chose to sit and do twitter from day into night
     And now you see me here paying the price

     Just like I done did already confess
     This house here, is a mess
     I could clean from now until sundown
     And it would still look like it got shook
     upside down


Pray for me? They arrive at 3:45.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why I Keep The Button Up


When I think about who I am, and all that played into it, there are several chapters that play the largest part in the story.

Some are wonderful parts of my life, others--though, not wonderful, are still key.

There are struggles that can make us feel that they define us. There are struggles, that after we work our way through all that these challenges put before us, bring us to a connection with others that some may not understand. But for the ones who happen to have been in that same chapter at one point in their lives, the connection is vital.

During one of the most difficult periods in my life, I truly felt like I would never find my way back to who I was.  But, I did.

Please stop over, read my story at Robin's place, Farewell Stranger. Find out why I still keep my PPD Survivor button up, and will never take it down.

Thank you so much.

Comments Closed

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To The Group of Horrified Teens Sitting Next To Me At The 10 PM Showing of Crazy Stupid Love: I Am Sorry

Was That Me?? Sorry!!

I am sorry.

You group of youthful youthy beautifully perfect barely sixteen year old girls that I  shared a row of seats with on a crowded weekend night showing of Crazy Stupid Love.

Oh, I'm sure you remember me from the Ten PM show.

Ryan Gosling? The gasp? Now it's all coming back, isn't it?

I took myself to the movies Friday night -- yes, I took myself. You can't understand the desperation it takes to decide to go see a movie alone, at Ten PM; but I saw a block of time; free, unscheduled, and made for the door before anyone had the chance to ask me if I knew where their soccer uniform was.

To the girl with the pretty pointed toe leopard spot flats who had half my soda dumped on her feet, I'm sorry. I just didn't expect Ryan to whip off his shirt like that. Is that what they do now?, on a date, I mean.

I am sorry. I usually don't do things to get people's attention. I've never been the class clown, despite my lone Three Stooges act that night with you.

To the girl who got her entire bucket of popcorn dumped onto her lap while she sat whispering about Emma Stone, I am sorry. I hope you got all the popcorn picked out of your waist length black hair--I just didn't know the arm rest we shared would go flying up that quickly. 

I am sorry to the girl who got hit in the head with my summer purse, even thought it's now autumn, while she sat peacefully on the end. I couldn't see a thing when I first entered the theater. It takes a helluva lot longer for your eyes to adjust to the dark after a certain age. It has to do with slower muscle contractions --I know this because when you get older, Google becomes your health care provider and you search out every new overnight growth or body change in hopes of finding out just what the hell is going on.

I realize all of you had to share a row with me on a crowded night and that meant you all had to smell the smell of fried Tilapia fillets. I am sorry. That was my hair. You see, it's my boys' favorite Friday night meal. And so I make it for them. Because that's how exciting my life is now, I live to make fish on Friday nights. If you stay in college, this could be your dream life, too.

I  am sorry to the girl that I kept giving answers to questions that I thought she was asking me, when she was actually just trying to talk to her friend on the phone. I should have known you weren't asking me if I'd do Ryan Gosling. Do me a solid, and keep that answer between us, would you? Thank you.

To the girl I kept creeping out by telling her how cute she was, I am sorry. You really are. So cute. You don't know this yet, because all you see is your imagined physical shortcomings when you compare yourself to the girl sitting in the middle of the row. Who, by the way, is not even close to being half as adorable as you are -- and that look she's sporting? totally sleazy.

I am sorry to the girl that had to keep moving her matchstick legs to the side for me, because I kept having to get up and down and up and down to go to the bathroom. It's obnoxious, I know. But after three children, your bladder'm sorry.

I am sorry to the girl whose water bottle I kept kicking over with my feet --I was not trying to play a game of me kick you pick up. My feet are slowly becoming flippers, getting bigger every year. I graduated from high school a size seven shoe, and I'm not used to these size eight and halfs yet.

For the ninety minutes that I sat next to you ethereally divine angels in the theater, I thought of how you must think of me: a walking billboard for "Don't get old! This could happen to you!"  You see me, a middle aged woman, with hair that never did make it in for its appointment last week, dressed in a thrown on stretched out sweatshirt since she's not cool enough for a hoodie and too tight brown yoga pants that she's been in all day. On my two months ago pedicured feet are green flip flops that don't even match my clothes, but they were the shoes closest to the door. And I'm in a theater, alone, because I really want to see this movie; and so, without time to call anyone else, I go.

This won't be us, I know that's the promise you make to yourselves. We'll never wear clothes that look like they're our husband's, or let our feet get all gnarly like that, or go to the movies ALONE. I practically read your minds.

The thing is this: you are all so beautiful. Being young is so naturally beautiful. And you're blind to that right now. But, one night with me and you're feeling like Emma Stone up there, aren't you?

And that's all right, because then my work here is done. I live to serve now: just come watch me some Friday when it's fish night at our house, I wield a mean Tilapia.

I am sorry.

And you are welcome.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unimaginable Realities - For Anna See

Jack, 1st Day of School, Sept, 2011
I've had a few moments in my life, very few, where what my eyes see, my mind can't understand.

Friday morning gave me one of these moments. While on twitter that day, I saw this tweet, from Kate: "Please keep Anna, from An Inch of Gray in your prayers, they lost their son yesterday."

I stared at Kate's typed words, blinking -- confused, "...lost? Jack can't be lost...I just read Anna's back to school post Thursday morning. Her beautiful boy's photo was right there, he was dressed in khaki shorts and a blue polo shirt, leaving for his first day of seventh grade. The picture was just taken, it can't be him."

Looking at the tweet, I didn't want to click over to Anna's blog.

I didn't want to find something there that would make my heart pound even harder than it did with Kate's message.

Still, what I just read on the screen nagged at me to go and check that everything was all right, and when I did arrive at Anna's site, I let out a sigh of relief-- there was the picture of Anna's son, Jack: boyishly smiling, holding up a sign with the words, "7th grade," just as I had left him Thursday morning. There was no new post of tragic news. It had to have been a mistake -- I must have misunderstood the tweet.

I decided to read through the comments on her post, just to be sure. Midway through them, I sat, stunned, as I saw the messages shift from, "Wow! So handsome!" to "I am so deeply sorry, Anna."

It felt like there was a crack in the earth.

I buried my face in hands, and wept. Sobbed.

This made no sense. I'm looking at Jack right here, in the wistful back to school post that his mother, Anna,  published on Wednesday. She tagged it, "where did my babies go?"

Tears poured out of my eyes as I thought of how, if I'm not able to understand this new reality, how can Jack's mother, Anna?

Anna had indeed lost her beautiful son, Jack, when he was swept away in the torrential flood waters that ran through Virginia on Thursday.

That is the unimaginable reality of Anna's life right now.

I don't understand what my eyes see.

There's nothing we can do, no machine to turn back time, no method of making this terrifying day a bad dream Anna can wake up from.

But something tells me, something makes me positive, that if we post letters to Anna on our sites, sending words out to her and her family, that if we leave her comments full of love, wishing we could shoulder some of her pain, telling her of how her beloved beautiful boy is in the hearts of so many, that if we fall down on our faces in prayer for her, she'll find strength in us.

I believe this.

I have to.

Because nothing about Jack being gone makes sense to me right now.

And I can't bear the thought of not being able to do anything for Anna -- for Anna See -- who has lost her baby.


If you feel moved to do something for Anna, please consider writing a post, or letter, or a story, anything you feel might offer her comfort, and link up HERE: at  Kate's blog, The Big Piece of Cake.

Consider it your card, your flowers, your support for Anna.
You can also leave a comment on her last blog post about her two beautiful children on their first day of school.

But there is one thing that I would ask of everyone - if you know Anna or have just heard of her: Please pray for her and her family.

UPDATED: If you would like to do something in the way of a donation, Anna and her family have requested they be made to Samaritan's Purse.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin Came Early This Year

It's BIG, it's ORANGE, it's squishing out of its casing ... and it sure seems to be having one helluva time.

Your great pumpkin came early this year, Charlie Brown, and it's me.

The official BlogHer '11 Voices of The Year videos are up.

Yes, the footage of my reading at the BlogHer '11 Community Keynote Presentation this past August in San Diego is here. To let you in on some early viewing comments, here's a few from my three boys: "You look like stretched out silly putty, Mom." "Your hair is crazy, like you don't care if your friends see you." "Mom, that shirt looks too small. Never wear that shirt again, Mom."

And from the big guy himself, "Honey...the orange-- don't know if that's your color."

My biggest fans who share this house with me, see the outside. I view this, seeing the inside: me--in stunned disbelief that I have this moment in my life, and I am reveling in every minute of the mind blowing honor that it was to stand next to thirteen other Voice of The Year writers, and read my post, "When You Love a Blogger," that was chosen, over a thousand submissions, as a Voice of the Year for Humor.

Who knew?

What was it like, to walk on stage, and speak in front of so many?

It felt natural.

I have loved few things more. Opportunities and invitations have since been extended to me, and I've been asked to speak at three local communities: on the subject of humor and finding it in daily life.

Like I said, who knew.

BlogHer, you've given me one of the greatest honors of my life.

THANK YOU, BLOGHER, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART,  for a surreal memory that I can hardly believe is mine.

The thirteen other amazing Voice Of The Year Community Keynote Speaker Videos can be found here. Some seriously beautiful words from these women that I wish you would all hear. Ladies, thank you for the pleasure, and the honor, of being onstage with you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Not The Only One Getting SPANXed

Pioneer Woman gets it done, in public.

I'm thrilled to be accidentally among the cool kids over at The Suniverse 's place today, explaining what it is that I and the lusty redheaded Pdub share our love for.

If you don't know Sunny, or follow her on twitter, you're missing out on a very funny, smart woman.

Clever, cool, and takes the dorks among us under her wing.

Such a nice woman.

I hope you stop over, and see why I jumped on the SPANX bandwagon.

They made me a vision I couldn't resist...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Important Zombie Things I Forgot To Tell You And A New Toy I Like

These are Dagedars

Back to regularly scheduled programming: Monday is Baby E post day. If you're new here, welcome. Click on the Baby E page  to learn more about Baby E.  Baby E, take it away:  

Hi, everybody.

I have to tell you about zombies because Halloween is almost here.

Sorry about not doing a post before today for a long time it's just that I've been busy with my family.

(First of all, I'll get to the picture later.) Mom, put that sentence in those half circle things.

Parentheses, honey?

Yeah, parentheses, Mom.

Well one thing I forgot to mention in my last zombie post: on Halloween, don't go by a graveyard, that's for sure. And if you just happen to get those fake brain gummy candies, if  a zombie attacks you--feed it that because that'll slow him down enough for you to run away because zombies are slow.

And I have to tell you this because we went to the store and Halloween stuff is out.

And what if this would happen, so you have to write this down because this is very important zombie protection stuff:

True Zombie Safety Tips:

  • Buy your brain candy early because that is why people buy it fast from the stores. To have it.
  • Also, still, buy it early.
  • Have rocks in your pocket from a creek to chuck at the zombies because sometimes this slips their arm off and it takes them five minutes to put it back on and that also stalls them. So just keep doing that.
  • Run away. Remember they are slow.
  • Practically the only thing that can kill a zombie is something right through the head. That's about the one thing.
  • Zombies do have brains and if you hit them in the head, they will have to stop.
  • Chuck a rock at their head, so their head pops off because that takes twenty minutes to get back on.
  • So aim for the head and don't waste your rocks.(That is their weak spot.)
  • If you run out of rocks just run away.
  • If there's a zombie apocalypse the only way to be safe is to hide up in cold mountains. Because the zombies freeze in the cold and they really can't get you.
  • Zombies are not that smart: at all. There's two types of zombies. Make sure you know which one because one is sort of safe and one isn't.
  • This is a BIG safety tip: 
  • No. One: the safe zombies: the safe ones are the ones that are just too dumb to do anything and they just keep walking over each other and crashing into each other and losing body parts and they really just don't do anything but walk in circles.  They are safe.
  • No. Two: and there's the bad kind. These are the ones that start zombie apocalypses and try to go after you and these are the bad ones. These are the very bad kind. Stay away from these guys. With these guys, hide away in the mountains.
  • Even if you do die in the cold, it's better than becoming a zombie because it is bad to be a zombie because you live forever and walk the world as a zombie for the rest of the world.

Now, for my new favorite toy: a Dagedar.

Dagedar are like balls with little guys painted on them and they come with race tracks and jump tracks and you roll the balls down and race your friends and stuff.

The picture on top is of Dagedar. Here is the race track:

They are cheap: the track is $12.99 for one as long as your arms open and has a loop and a jump and cup to catch them in after the jump and the Dagedar are two balls for $5.00.

They also have clip carrying cases and power launchers with ramps that grab them and shoot them super far.

Also, they have these vortex things that I don't know what they do yet because I just got interested in Dagedar.

Next week I will take a picture of the ones I have and put it on here.  I have to get more to show you. I will show you the race track, too.

I will have close ups, too.

That's about it. Tell your kids to get ready for Halloween and to go see the Dagedar choices at the store. And go to the website, too.


I mean, go to the Dagedar website, not the zombie website.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Party Invites Don't Matter

"Imagine feeling taller. Imagine feeling stronger from the inside out. Imagine knowing and BELIEVING that you are strong. It is time to carry the weight of empowerment instead of the weight of our flaws on our shoulders."

These words are from the Just.Be.Enough collaborative website: a place where you can read, meet, and talk about the things that we allow to cloud our vision of the miracle that we are.

We are enough.

Today, at Just.Be.Enough, I have a story of a day recently that had me thinking I needed to be more.

I'm grateful to have a place where I can go work through these thoughts, and along with that and the support of others, feel not so alone when these moments come upon me.

I hope you click over, and that after you do, you consider submitting your story of just being enough.

JBE is an amazing community, and I am proud  to be a part of it.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Why I Will Attend A BlogHer Pathfinder's Day Again

BlogHer '11 was my first blogging conference. Some have asked me if it was overwhelming to attend such a large conference, especially as a first time attendee.

I am able to honestly answer that I never did feel the largeness that the numbers of BlogHer '11 would suggest (4,000 attendees!) and I know the reason for my feeling at ease: it was arriving a day early to BlogHer to attend Pathfinder's Day.

I made the decision to begin my BlogHer '11 experience with the Pathfinder's Day pass, an idea that another first time conference attendee had suggested. Pathfinder's Day is an add on pre-conference workshop held the day before BlogHer's official opening of Friday, August 5. Passes for this day are limited to 40-50 attendees per each of the five potential blogging paths offered. 

I, along with the other Pathfinder attendees, began our Thursday morning with what felt like an intimate breakfast, since there were only 250 of us at most. Our keynote speaker was personal brand expert, Sandra Miley. Only in such a small setting would I have been fortunate enough to find myself seated right next to this intelligent, charming woman.

Sandra and I were able to sit together and exchange points of view regarding the importance of being authentic, and finding your own unique voice. Here I was, only at Pathfinder's Day for twenty minutes, and already incredible things were happening.

As exciting as it was to to have breakfast with Sandra, it was her message to all of us at the Pathfinder's community breakfast  that anchored me through my days at BlogHer. She spoke of how being who you are, and no one else, that results in the trademark that is you.

I carried these words in my heart for the next few days, and they came to my rescue many a time as I would find myself slipping into the comparison trap of thinking I had nothing new to offer, that everything that needs to be out there is already out there. I would think of Sandra's message, and keep on reminding myself that I am the only one that can write my words.

I thought often of how different BlogHer '11 would have been for me had I not been there to hear the opening address of Pathfinder's Day.

I chose the "Your Blog As Life Changer" path, facilitated by Gwen Bell and Karen Walrond  of We spent our morning writing down our thoughts to some very intimate life questions. With only 50 of us together, that afternoon we talked about what was important to us, to our lives, and our blogs. Our lunchtime keynote speaker was just as exciting as Sandra Miley. We were treated to an inspirational presentation by author and self-esteem expert, Jess Weiner,  who spoke on the collective power that is us.

Over the next two days, I kept running into people I had met at Pathfinder's. I got to know others I already knew online at Pathfinder's. All of this initial face to face contact was possible due to the smaller setting of this pre-conference workshop.  I remember finishing PFD feeling relaxed, excited, and ready to ease into the BIG day of the official BlogHer kick off.

I had made new friends, gotten my feet wet, and this pre-conference workshop felt like the most important day I had spent at BlogHer. These are the reasons I will attend Pathfinder's Day again.

Deciding to add on the Pathfinder's Day pass for this worthwhile pre-conference event for BlogHer '12 is an easy choice for me. The mind boggling part will be over which of the five paths to choose.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

We Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

First day of school for my three today, I miss them, but I know everyone is happy to be where they are right now.

Including this blog, which is back to our Thursday Bring The Funny? She Can series, where I feature what I feel is a golden nugget of a funny blogger. A blogger I know you will be happy you've met.  Because these people need to be outed!

Today's feature is TWFKAB, or the blog The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful. And I'm with her husband, who calls her blog name an attempt to "fishing for compliments" action, because I had the joy of meeting this funny lady at BlogHer, and she is still beautiful.

With not a stitch of make up on. I shudder at the bald eagle eyed appearance I'd have made at BlogHer sans any face spackle.

But, no matter: she is funny, forget the gorgeous--we are here to feature the funny.

Her name is Shannon Colleary. And I'd follow her just because it's so fun to say that name in my Lucky Charms voice, "Shannon Colleary." Love saying that. TWFKAB describes herself as a former actress turned L.A. screenwriter...her posts are like mini stories.

You can follow her on twitter at @shannoncolleary and get lots of interaction from her, along with straight out tweets, like this:



8 Aug


6 Aug

Funny, funny lady to follow on twitter, and she never ignores your tweets. A nice touch.

Shannon was a BlogHer '11 Voice of The Year Honoree for her post, Celebrity Stalkers. A classic, sophisticatedly funny post. She writes with a brain, you'll notice that right away.

And if you want to read what the worst pick up line on the dance floor in 1991 was, go here.

If you're crushing on a mommy online, or at the playground, Shannon offers you some mom on mom flirting tips with her post "Mommy Flirting."

But, if pressed to give ONE reason to follow TWFKAB, it'd be this one: she is someone who doesn't pretend to be anything she's not. Her post here, "I Love You, Lucy.." goes right to me, where I know just what she's talking about. 

The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful is still beautiful, and will always be beautiful, because she is without a presumptious bone in her body.

How can this be? Beautiful? In L.A.? Funny? And just a nice person?

I don't know, but get to know Shannon, she'll feel like an instant best friend.

I leave you with this teaser, from the BlogHer Voice Of The Year honoree post, "Celebrity Stalkers" 

".....Case in point.  Last week after rolling my kids out of the minivan at school I took refuge in the Urth Cafe on Beverly Drive.  I was just about to enjoy a sugary, caffeinated drink derived from a chai-type bush, when I found myself put upon by Katie Holmes.  I was forced to sit right next to her.  It wasn't my fault, there were no other open seats.

I struck an aloof demeanor.

Still, I could sense that Katie desperately wanted to speak to me.  She was in the clutches of some frowzy woman who was probably a Scientology stooge ready to taze the starlet should she have any independent thought and Katie seemed desperately lonely...[READ MORE HERE]


Comments closed, please click over and meet Shannon for yourself.


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