Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taking A Break From Blogging to Cool Off

After 3 years blogging in this space, I need a small break to work some issues out. Some of them include, but aren't limited to:

* My friggin' ads. Why just public service ads? And what do I really feel about ads on my site? Will I lose credibility? Am I a sell out or, like any artist with patrons, do I not deserve some income for my work?

* Is it work to write here? Not to me. It's always been a joy, which leads me back to question #1 again and begs the next question...

* What credibility do I have? I mean, what is this site about anymore anyway? Slice of life? Mommyhood? Being positive?

* Perhaps most importantly, will anyone's life be ruined if I'm not throwing my opinion into cyberspace each day? Doubtful.

I write all this not to be negative, but because I really do want to make a difference to people with my writing, even if it's just silly entertainment.

I feel good about my paid gigs, because those have focus: Parenting or marriage. But most important to me is my personal work. What is that focus?

Perhaps, in the end, there doesn't need to be one. Maybe the odd little nuances of my life are what pull my readers in. Or perhaps what sends them away, clasping at their chests,"Thank God I'm not saddled with a husband, two kids and a house in the burbs." I don't know.

I love my little space here. When my kids were only 1 and two and a half, it was truly my only connection to my writing life. When parenting seemed bleak and dark, with not a lot of extras to treat myself to, a kind comment from you made all the difference.

When Rex and I were going through a stressful period, I was able to turn to this site for insight on who I was outside of marriage. And while I certainly didn't share everything going on in my life (I shouldn't have to - no one should) I was able to let off some steam while I came to the peaceful place that I'm at now in my professional life, mothering life and marriage.

I hope you'll come back in September. But be aware: It will have a new look and some new vavoom once again. I'd like to think of it as going on a small cruise. Without the cheesey pitstops. Nor the bad lounge singers encouraging it to play shuffle board on the lido deck.

I'll be checking into everyone else's posts and most likely emailing many of you with technical questions as I work on a new look for PasstheZoloft as well as an organic type blog I'm doing in conjunction with someone else.

Finally, I recently taught an online magazine writing class that went really well. If any of you know people interested in taking an online class where people can log in at their own pace and learn how to pitch editors, send them my way. I'm charging 100.00 for 4 weeks. My last class landed someone correspondence with an editor in two weeks. I'm proud of that.

Anyway, thank you everyone! Talk at ya in September.

* Photo of the adorable dog we were housesitting for this weekend. I almost named this post "A Slippery Wiener" but I didn't want to go out like that.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm Not As Think As You Drunk I Am

So after the last post on drinking, I decided myself that I'm not partaking nightly. From calories to making me tired in the morning, I simply don't need alcohol every night. I appreciate everyone's opinion on the subject, though. And rest assured, if we ever did some blog girls weekend, you'll see me enjoying my Rum Diet Cokes.

On another note, my camera batteries are MIA, so I can't show you this photo of a wiiner dog I took care of this weekend. Aptly named Chuey, he munched on my son's Lightening McQueen shoes, stole 3 chicken legs, and dove into the pool to save Stink from his mean mama tossing him in the air. This dog was both annoying and friggin' lovable all at once. (Kind of like me.) I'm sad my neighbor is back, because it was fun hanging at her pool and seeing the kids interact with this hound.

Speaking of dogs, I seem to have picked up a weird dog allergy late in life. My throat gets all stuffy fluffy. Neither here nor there, but I'm kind of bummed, because my best friends have the sweetest dogs on the planet, and while I can hang out there with them, I am going to have to detox them from my place for a while. I feel guilty, because my kids go to their house. And for some people, dogs are like kids. I mean, if you think about it, they both jump on furniture, pee in inappropriate places, eat with their mouths open and don't come when you call them.

On a sad note, a colleague of mine's son just died a few days ago. I just saw her speak at a panel at Blogher about kids with special needs. I don't know the whole story. But that combined with a woman from church who just passed away from cancer, leaving three young kids behind, makes me grateful for the life I do have.

I am meeting His Girl tommorow. I told her that if she wants to get Jesus freaky on me that's fine. But if she does hands on healing and spills my Diet Coke I'm going to kick her God loving booty out of the restaurant.

Happy Monday everyone.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Tall Drink of Water

If I were a cartoon character, I'd be the Bumble from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Sadly, like this rather large dude, I don't enjoy shaving. My temper is like his in that I get all spit fiery and pissy kind of easily, even if I don't always show it. The good side of being a Bumble is that I'm not afraid of falling because I bounce right back. And I'm tall. Really tall. The person putting the star on the tree at your party? That would be me. I've also been known on occasion to scare small children and dogs.

Someone once called me a "Tall drink of water". I find it rather ironic, because while I am indeed lengthier than a cash register line at a Nordstroms Half Yearly Anniversary sale, I don't drink water. I do bad things very well, though despite constant protests of giving it up. Diet Coke and coffee? Oh yeah. Stained teeth and coffee breath. Goes nicely with the Bumble Hair I so hate to shave.

Lately, at night, I've added a new spin to my Diet Coke addiction. And it's none other than R-U-M.

I blame Blogher.

And my husband who, the other night, insisted I was wound tighter than Princess Leah's braided hair buns (God, weren't those so rad back in the 70's?) Why waste a half glass of bubbly when two would do the trick?

And there's the dilemna. See, despite being HUGE, I'm a teeny weeny alcohol light weight. Which means I'm supine on the couch 25% into my booze. Which means by 50% in I'm half naked and giggling. Which means 75% in I'm all the way naked. Which means 100% in Rex is... 100% in.

And while that's not bad (shut up, all 2 of you male readers) I worry... because that's what I do... I have anxiety attacks about everything... even having fun... is drinking every night - say even one glass - a bad habit? Do ya'll do it? Because I have to tell you - this laughing at dumb stuff and things you can't control? It doesn't suck.

* Photo of Stink and I on the last flight out of San Fran five years ago when the L.A. fires hit. I didn't know it then, but Pip was inside of me, planning her future shoe empire. Do you see how I can crash out even in planes with ginormous nine monthers on me? (Yes, he was only 9 months.) Do you see why I am such a sloppy drunk? Help! Do you drink nightly or not?

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blogher - Loved It!

I'm back from Blogher. As so many people have said before me, it was an amazing time! Not only was the hotel to die for, but the conferences were informative, there was great swag, amazing food and just so many people to talk to. Combine this with a rockin' city and some extra cash in my pocket for drinks, treats, a new bra, a pedicure and some well needed freedom, I can't complain about a thing.

Well... except for having to throw out $75.00 of face soap on my trip home because I was a dork face and didn't pack correctly.

And the fact that I only had a one day pass to the conference instead of 3 and wasn't invited to any swanky parties where I could kanoodle with Heather Armstrong of Dooce fame.

And the fact that when I did finally see Heather of Dooce fame speak, I was sitting so far back that her head looked like the vintage angel at the top of my Christmas tree after many, many eggnogs. But it was still awesome. I loved what she and many others had to say about the business side of writing.

A big thanks goes out to my husband who not only slipped me surprise cash before I left, but took amazing care of my rug rats. When he picked me up at the airport, he had a huge Diet Coke waiting for me, took me to lunch, and let me sleep for 4 hours. Yeah, I'm bragging. But I can't help it. (Well, I can, but I'm not.) It was super of him.

Now that Monday has settled in, I'm back to the routine of life. I'm also a bit worried since my poor boy is sick for the fourth time this summer. Not a high fever, thank God, but a sore throat none-the-less. Any of you experience this with your kids? He went from immunizations last month to an infected arm, pink eye, strep throat and now this. I'm just tired of him getting ill and am hoping that this is a normal thing for 5 year olds?

The photo above is of myself with Liv (yes, she really is hot in person) Christine from Flutter (equally hot) and my fabulous roomie, JCK from Motherscribe (equally hot.) This "equally hot" thing means nothing as have maybe 2 male readers, but I'm letting you know anyway because they really were such fabulous gals.

A big thanks to my cousin who picked me up in San Jose a few days before and took great care of me. Love you, Dee and Jim!

How was your weekend?
More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All She Wants for Her 4th Birthday Is...

...An Aqua Globe. Perhaps you've seen the infomercials? They're little blown glass devices that promise to water your plants PERFECTLY for you FOR TWO WEEKS. No messes! It's that easy!

I had no idea Pipsqueak knew about those, but as evidenced by this video, she has. She asked me why I wasn't buying her one. What I didn't say, but would have loved to, is, "When I can buy a Toddler Globe which consists of a little plastic device I can pop in your ass that will FEED YOU for TWO WEEKS! with NO MESSES! I'll consider it."

Until then, she's getting a princess like the rest of the girls out there. Hey, someone's got to clothe those execs at Disney.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

It's Almost Hump Day!

I've read a great book recently by Kimberly Ford called Hump: True Tales of Sex After Kids. Ford talks about embracing her sexuality after her babies are born, not hiding from it. It's funny, witty and such a nice twist on the post baby books where women rant about never wanting sex again. As a person who falls in the middle of both categories, I found it really inspiring and validating all at once. Curious what you think.

I have a review out on GoodHousekeeping tomorrow if anyone's interested in hearing more about it. Or just buy it! You won't be disappointed.

Until then, my true puritanical self (see blog below - LOL) is off pack for a trip, plan a family party for Pip and go grocery shopping. It's an exciting life at best. I hope I don't fling my sports bra into the natural foods freezer section. I'll let you know.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Infuriating the Masses

I'm not talking about the Catholic Church. I'm talking about the male readership at Yahoo Shine - a site mostly meant for women, but men troll it to find women.

What I find the most fascinating about this forum is not only how poorly people spell (and I'm no goddess at it as you know) but the level of anger if you dare question people's beliefs.

It's also interesting to note that:

1. People tend to only comment when they disagree with you.

2. One really obnoxious comment encourages twenty others

3. People throw way more insults at a computer screen than they will in real life. Perhaps they forget that the person who originally took the time to write it might actually check back in to learn something. Which I have. Which, in this case, is that men don't like to be challenged on the fact that women that take their clothes off on film are not necessarily doing it with a busines plan in mind.

Anyway, am curious about your thoughts on this subject. Please don't feel the need to support me, but do me a favor if you have time and articulate where I went wrong in posing my argument. If I came off like a religious right winged anti-gay sanitized Lemon Pledge woman, that wasn't really my intent. I simply wanted a discussion.

I got one.

To entice you, here is my favorite rant so far. I wish I had those little hater boxes like in Dooce. One day... this from a woman actually. My favorite part is when I'm addressed by my proper name. In addition to being painted as a staunch butch feminist, I am also matronly.

Anyway, take it easy. See some of you at Blogher? Email me seperately with your #s so we can chat! BabyCenterAndrea@yahoo.com

Let's get something straight right now: The women who "write" for this site are not feminists. They're just flighty airheads who think that having an OPINION with no RESEARCH or FACTS to back it up is reason enough to go into an online tizzy and throw their whining text into cyberspace. This site is a detriment to feminism; this blog post is an embarassment.

There are so many problems with this blog post it's impossible to list them all. What proof of ANY kind does Ms. Frazer have that ANY woman who shows skin in the media is doing it for male approval? Ms. Frazer has equated Miley Cyrus being wrapped in a blanket to pornography to eating an entire package of Oreo cookies. A young girl wrapped in a blanket IS IN NO WAY PORNOGRAPHIC. Being NUDE and SHOWING SKIN are not the same thing. When was Britany Spears photographed NUDE? Pornography is NOT natural sex and is NOT a "natural function." The urge to eat an entire package of cookies isn't natural either. How is Ms. Frazer's sex life related to these things?

But what's Ms. Frazer's REAL problem? Is it just that she can't write? Is she ashamed of sexuality? Is she angry/jealous of our youth obsessed culture, yet unable to analyze or discuss this issue intelligently without ranting? Was she unsuccessfully attempting to discuss sexism in the male-dominated media while simultaneously blaming women for embracing their own sexuality? Does she lack even a fundamental understanding of European culture, which long ago abandoned the Puritanical sexual ideals that people like her hold so dear? Is her love for her daughter conditional, based on her wardrobe choices or lack thereof?

This post is juvenile at best. Based on the blog posts I've read from "writers" on this site affiliated with Good Housekeeping, I now consider that rag among the cheapest of tabloids.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

White Trash Here I Come!

I have decided that although I would love a new kitchen, it's like giving up Diet Coke - simply not in the cards. (Yes, I'm back on the juice. I had a good month's run of water and ice tea. And then my body screamed, "Fxxx this shxx" and I had to oblidge it.)

* Sidenote: Do you think I'm somehow more classy by not actually spelling the cuss words? Because I really don't want to swear. But, like my new kitchen and giving up cancer inducing sodas, I just can't. Moving on.

My kitchen: I've had it with the chipped tile, old paint, stupid knick knacks, goo on the counters, old curtains and general "Make me want to kill myself while I'm cooking gluten free tastes like a homeless person's shoe insert food."

And so, I'm fixing it up! I'm painting doors white! I am taking down old curtains! My sister-in-law is making me curtains for above my window and below my sink. I'm even going to replace the burnt brown 1970's laminate over my stove. I can't decide between aqua blue with sparkles or boring vanilla. You'll never guess what I'm leaning toward.

Is my decorating tastes potentially a cross between the Pottery Barn, the Salvation Army and a brothel? Perhaps. But you know what? If I'm not spending 25 grand right now, I want to have something fun. For my time and about 250.00 in new accessories, laminate and a throw rug, I can have a fun 1950's style kitchen.

And, after K is done with my under the sink curtains (I'm thinking aqua with cherries or white with cherries) I might never want that new cooking space after all.

PS: Feel sorry for me. I have a yukky throat. But soon I'll be able to make it feel better with tea in my funky new kitchen. I'll toast a virtual cup to ya'll.

Looking forward to checking all your sites out soon.

* Photo of my little cans: Trash, recycling and wet rags. Sad that something so small like this just lifts my little heart up. And man, I need to paint pronto. I'm thinking of putting up stainless steel squares behind the trash cans, like they have in diners, for easy wipe down. I will have to check some restaurant supply sites. I love this stuff. And hey, suggestions are welcome. But not on the laminate. I want my aqua blue sparkles.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You Keep Stink, I'll Keep Pip!!!!

Some of you wanted to know about our vacation. It was beautiful. And such a nice break. But most of all, it was so wonderful to reconnect with my family.

I'm sure a lot of you are like we are, running all over the map. It's easy to lose sight of what really matters. I mean, I know, but I don't always know. But after sharing a small cabin with these people, I can't think of any other human beings I'd be happier to share my home with.

Unless Eric Bana or Hugh Grant came to my door. Or a year's supply of Yuban. Then I'd sell Rex down the river.

I feel strong. And relaxed. And pumped full of gratitude.

I'm sure by tomorrow I'll want to bitch slap a checker, so don't get too washed away in my emotion with me. Stay strong in the jadedness, people. Stay strong.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.