Monday, April 15, 2013

80s Mix Tape: A Bright Spot in the Brown

A lot of poopy stuff happened one day a few weeks ago, but when I sat down to write my 5 quick things about the day, what I remembered most was dancing in the late afternoon sunshine.

Which wasn't poopy at all.

You see, Mr. Sierra had found an awesome old tape of mine from 1994 and better yet--a tape player to play it. He put it on and I heard it and said to him, "Wow. This is awesome music. Are they playing this on the radio? What station?" He murmured something and then a few minutes later I said, "This really is awesome. What station, because I need to go make it my default." He laughed and told me it was my tape that I'd recorded off the radio in 1994 when our local alternative station in the Bay Area, Live 105, ran a Flashback Weekend over Labor Day or something. They played all the best long mixes of all the best old songs from the 80s.
I am supreme lover of 80s music, so this was fabulous.

But best yet, it was a real bright spot in all the poo and sometimes that's what you need. So I give you my Poopy Day Mix Tape. Yeah, it's a total 80s flashback, and believe me, I've got more. If you like it, leave a comment and let me know. I also tweet random 80s songs now and then.

I feel strongly that although How Soon is Now is a song about a pathetic guy, pretty much everything is better when you hear Johnny Marr's signature guitar.

The Smiths - How Soon is Now Extended Version
Cause and Effect - You Think You Know Her
New Order - Blue Monday Extended Version
Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
Adam and the Ants - Ant Music
Tones on Tail - Go
Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Love it....or list it?

If you watch HGTV then you probably know that show Love it Or List It. If you're not familiar, it's about homeowners who want to change something about their home, so they work with a designer to do that. Meanwhile, they go see new houses with a real estate agent who tries to get them to list their current home and leave. At the end of the show, they have to choose whether to love their newly renovated home, or list it and buy a new, fresh one.

I was taking a look at my blog the other night, randomly looking through old posts. Some were really cool because they captured moments when my oldest son, now six, was two or three. Some were great because I've had some really awesome guest posts on the blog. It was nice to see comments from people I've gotten to know in the blogging/writing community over the years.

But most of my posts were fairly awful.

A significant amount of posts meander or else take a decided know-it-all tone. Like, ugh. I don't even want to read them. I tried to be prescriptive, which in some cases worked, but in most others it was horrid. I guess you could say I'm in a very different place now than when I started blogging here in 2009.

My first impulse was to delete old posts that were cringe-inducing. But that would likely mean deleting most of the stuff here. Some of those posts, while bad, shows a snapshot in time. On the other than, keeping that crapola around isn't helping anything.

Eventually, I'll be migrating this blog over to my website, which I'm transferring into Wordpress but which is still HTML-based right now. It seems like a good opportunity to take the good stuff and trash the rest. I don't know. Wordpress allows you to import posts and comments from other platforms, so I could take them...or leave them. Love it....or list it?

If you have a blog that you've had for many years, how do you feel about old embarrassing posts? Do you delete any? If the way you present yourself over time has changed, what do you do with those old posts? What do you think I should do?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How to remember stuff

Some place, some time ago (we're doing good so far, aren't we?), I heard some person (I know, already) say that they write 5 things down each day. That's it. No long paragraphs that require thought and concentration (if you have kids you know you're bubbling your lips at 9 pm). No flowery paper and wood-paneled pens that you nicked from your boss's office. No rules. Just something.

I loved the idea, and I started doing it. Mainly because I feel like I'm missing the minutia of life. When I do my epic (only to me) end of year posts here on the blog, it's fun.  But last year? I had a really hard time remembering anything. This is partly because I have a child under two, but that doesn't make the loss of my mind any less horrifying.

So, I opened up a Word doc ad typed the date. And then:


And I wrote 5 things, however silly, that happened that day. Because I didn't want to think about it too hard, I saved the doc and then opened it again and added to it the next day, with the new date and list above the first one. That's it. Maybe I'll save it by month, but likely by year. 

Here's what I wrote that first day:

March 8, 2013

1. Older son (6.5 yrs) had a screaming meltdown on the playground before school because he didn't have a sweater to wear (in addition to his coat). I realized later it was about the lack of options that upset him. He ended up having a good day once I left. 

2. I’m reading the Maeve Binchy book today, her last book before she died, and it’s so good. It’s not even written in a very modern style but it’s like falling into a comfy chair.

3. In Target, toddler (Rainbow Puppy, 23 months) heard a baby crying and was very concerned. He told me there was a baby crying and his mama should pick him up (“Pick up. Up.”) I asked him if I should go pick the baby up. He decided that would not be preferable. 

4. I had a dehydration headache and was amazed to see that water really does take headaches away (in such cases). 

5. I vowed (re-vowed, actually) never again to shop at JC Penney for refusing to stock 529 Levi’s jeans in size 12, curvy fit for large asses.

Remember, there's no rules here. I miss some days, so what. How do you journal? Do you journal at all?

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm a finalist!

So I have some huge news.

Here's the 2012 edition.
I entered the 2013 Truth in Words essay contest. Thirty semi-finalists are included for publication in the 2013 anthology Nothing But the Truth.

The grand prize winner gets the winner gets a one-on-one phone consult with O Magazine, a literary agent from ICM, and an editor at Random House.

Finalists are voted by Facebook. Voting ends April 15th, the judges will review a subset of the best LIKED essays to choose and announce a winner.

Can you help me out and click Like on Facebook?

Here is my essay.  (Click it! Then click LIKE!)

Thank you for your help and support on this!