Culture who?

About a week (or two) ago iVegas Dad gave me this award!  (Isn't he sweet?)  The award doesn't seem to have a name but it is supposed to honor bloggers who transmit cultural, literal, ethical, and personal values every day in their blog.  I think I'm pretty good about transmitting my ethical and personal values (I am pretty opinionated after all) buuuuuut... cultural values?  I suppose if you consider Bigfoot, zombies, and mutant platypi culture then... woo hoo!  I'm the sophisticated, refined girl for you!

6a00d83451583469e201053707475a970b-320wi

Now the rule is to award 15 other bloggers with the same award. (I think the best thing about this award is that it's forcing me to visit people that I've been thinking about but haven't had the time to visit lately. Bad blogger!)

Motherbumper

For A Different Kind of Girl

Woman on the Verge

Spinning Yellow

Lesbian Dad

Me and My Shadows

ShutterBitch

No Place Like It

Girl's Gone Child

You know... I just have to interrupt here for a moment... this is kind of a hard list because I don't know any bloggers who DON'T transmit their personal values every day.  Maybe those are just the type of blogs I like to read.  So, if you're not on this list, please don't be offended... I'll get to you at some point.  And if you ARE on this list and you've already gotten this award and you're totally sick of it... tough titties.  (Popular people are so high maintenance!)

CroutonBoy

Charlie Blockhead

CynicalDad

A Family Runs Through It

Child's Play x2

Adventure Dad

Pretty much any blog that Liz Henry writes.

Hey, speaking of culturally chic!  It seems I've been walking around all day with a hole in my pants! Yep, went to work and had a parent-teacher conference and everything.  The hole was way down underneath, right in the crack, so hopefully my big butt cheeks covered it up. 

I really don't want to think about it if they didn't.

CLASSY!!                - wg 


Some Awarding (and misc. #477)

Last Friday I was awarded the Kick Ass Blogger award by VegasDad.  
Award_200pxOf course, I didn't realize for a couple of days that I had been given an award as I was distracted by the whole Bigfoot thing.  (Speaking of which, did you see the Yeti story?!)  Actually, it's probably good I was awarded before the Bigfoot post went up because I kind of doubt I would have gotten the award otherwise.  That was a tad outside the realm of  traditional mommy blogging (albeit TOTALLY fun!).  It's not like there's a Things SAH Parents Do to Keep From Going Insane award! 

There should probably be one like that, though.  Hmmm, something to think about.

I shall now bestow the award on to five more bloggers who kick some serious booty!  Da da duh!

Cynical Dad
For A Different Kind of Girl
Creative-Type Dad
Woman on the Verge
Not So Deep Thoughts

If anyone has already been awarded... well, tough hooey.  My love means more.

Ahem. 

Now please go spread some love of your own.  (*snicker*)

And for another bit of awesome kick-ASS naughtiness, check out this collection of shirts, brought to my attention by Kim at All the World's A Stage.  (Thank you Kim!)  Pay special attention to the embroidery. 

Which one(s) would you wear in public?
              - wg


Back from the Dead…

Or bathroom solitary, whichever you’d like to call it. I felt like death warmed over a couple times this week, because can you believe that flu lasted the entire week? Ugh. E_award

OK, so back to work! Shortly before my unfortunate flu affliction (ha ha… alliteration) I was very graciously awarded an Excellent Blog Award by Lisa at Refuse to Blog.  Thank you my dear!  Isn’t it pretty?  The rules are to 1) acknowledge the person who gave you the award through some link love and 2) to pass on Excellent Blog Awards to at least ten bloggers. Without further ado, the excellent bloggers…

All Rileyed Up

All the World’s A Stage

Charlie Blockhead

CroutonBoy – Cheeky’s Hideaway

From Evyl with Love – an old favorite with a new blog

Life, the Universe and Everything

Little Bald Doctors

Kill the Goat – And apologies, Jay, I never did finish that love poem for you. Stuff with the kiddo got in the way.

No Place Like It

Roth Family Adventures

Rude Cactus

It was difficult to choose only ten (because, hello? see blogroll of excellent bloggers on the right), so I went over just a little but compounding the problem is some of my favorite bloggers have moved on completely or have been on hiatus. Phoenix, MIM, Freedom Monkey House, TisDone (wherever you are now) you are missed. Hope to read you soon.

(Honorable mentions - Mom 101, Motherhood Uncensored, Girl’s Gone Child, Cynical Dad, MetroDad – all these folks get beaucoup accolades and awards already but they make me laugh and are still some favorites. (Even though I’ve been an extra-crappy visitor lately.))

I love you all! OK, and now back to the work that pays me. Bleh. At least this got my fingers all nice and warmed up.

                – the weirdgirl

P.S. Do you want to hear something horrible?  While I've been typing I've been watching Idol Gives Back on DVR, which I've been watching in bits and pieces all week. Anyway, I'm pretty much watching the performances and using it as background noise and avoiding ALL segments about the undeveloped countries.  I totally support the cause, and I do give to charity, but sometimes I'm just not emotionally able to watch starving children.  However, starring in stunned surprise at Teri Hatcher's singing and muttering insults under my breath at the celebrities' stupid jokes is OK.  I'm so lame.

P.P.S.  Annie Lennox rocks.


Chagrined

It seems that Coffee Betsy was sweet enough to bestow this post with a Perfect Post award. Thank you Betsy, I feel honored. You rock, hon! I also feel a bit silly, considering that I essentially was awarded a Perfect Post for a post in which I ranted (among other things) about not ever receiving a Perfect Post or any other kind of award.  (How many shoes can you get in that mouth, wg?) I don’t regret writing the post because I was being honest and I think I spoke to a lot of other mom bloggers who have felt the same frustration, but… I do acknowledge the mocking irony of the entire affair. Not that Betsy meant it that way! I know she was being heartfelt and I totally appreciate it.

I just can’t let myself escape scrutiny if I bestow it on other people, you know? Sometimes you gotta be prepared to call yourself a schmuck when the need arises.

 

On a completely different note the lovely Amber at mind-adrift tagged me with the following “local restaurant” meme a few days ago and I’ve been wracking my brains to finish. (I had to have Keen help me. Sometimes the Mommy Memory just doesn’t work as well as on other days. And we don’t get to eat out as often as we did pre-kid.) Here are the rules:

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.

Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, United States)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Chris (Boyne City, Michigan, United States)
AB (Cave Creek, Arizona, United States)
Johnny Yen (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Bubs (Mt Prospect, Illinois, United States)
Mob (Midland, Texas United States)
Yas (Ahwatukee, Arizona USA)
Alicia(Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA)
Tug (Hell, Colorado, USA)
Bond (Memphis, TN, USA)
TopChamp (Glasgow, UK)
Kailani (Honolulu, HI, USA)
Amber (Henderson, TN, USA)
the weirdgirl (San Francisco Bay Area, CA,  USA (I'm still pretending to be an anonymous blogger))

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Chelokababi’s, Sunnyvale, CA – Persian food. LOVE the Persian tea here and the saffron basmati rice!  I actually hunted down where to get the Persian tea so I could have it whenever.  I really like almost all food from the Mediterranean area - Italian, Persian, Ethiopian… OK, it’s a big area, but my point is they’re great flavors and these folks do it really well. The kicker is Chance, who does great in restaurants most of the time, seems to act up every single time we come here! You’re killing me, son, I want me some Persian.

Fiorello’s, Santa Clara, CA – Italian, ditto on the whole Mediterranean food love affair. It has a nice upscale atmosphere even while the prices are totally reasonable (i.e. not too expensive but still makes you feel like a grownup). They have a fabulous herb crusted shrimp! Oh, yum! (Damnit, I’m getting hungry.)

El Burro, Campbell, CA – Mexican. I’m Californian, OK? And half-Hispanic. I just can’t imagine life without Mexican food at least twice a week. Ironically, my dad (the Hispanic half), who did most of the cooking while I was growing up, is very heavily influenced by Asian cooking. And his Hispanic cooking tastes similar to Cuban (he grew up in Panama).  But besides all that, El Burro still reminds me of my dad; it’s like home-style Mexican. Very, very tasty!

Lisa’s Tea Treasures, San Jose/Campbell, CA – my guilty pleasure, blowing more than I should on tea-sandwich lunches when I’m stressed out or hanging with the girls. (Ironically, in real life Keen says I’m what is called a “guy’s girl”… I like cars and fixing mechanical things, sci-fi, comic books, and boxing. But here in this blog it seems all you get to hear about are shoes, and teacups, and flowers.  I haven’t even started sharing my jewelry projects with you (mainly ‘cause I can’t get the pictures to come out). This must be another secret escape… putting the girly in wg.)

Le Papillon, San Jose, CA – this is our fancy eating place for special occasions. It’s French cuisine and the closest place without making a trip into San Francisco (where there is a plethora of fine dining). I really, really, really love French food. High cuisine, bistro, it doesn’t matter, I just love it.  The flavors are so different from what I grew up with, which was almost every other type of cuisine except French (my dad doesn’t like French). French-influenced cuisine is pretty damn good. OK, I just like food.

And one additional…

Chili’s, anywhere – We’re parents, all right? We have to take the kid with us for at least some of our meals out and this is one of the best places with actual food that I enjoy where the environment, food, and service work with the kid, too. (There’s also Denny’s but we go there exclusively for the great kid’s menu, not because either Keen or I like the food.) And sometimes I just want Chili’s chili queso and a big ass milkshake for dinner. What?

I’m going to tag Peter, GGC (because I don’t think she’s gotten tagged in a while), Betsy (she just moved but I’m betting she already has some favorite places), JChevais, and fuzzbox. Where do you eat?             - wg


A Rant for Happy Moms

Let me preface this with a little story… when I was a kid and teen there was a certain group of other kids whom I was thrown in with because we belonged to the same church. The kind of “friends” you have to hang out with because of your parents’ social circle. We also went to the same schools, lived in the same town, etc. I, essentially, grew up with these kids… and they weren’t always very nice to me. They were cool and I wasn’t. They knew what was “in” and I didn’t. They were nice when it was one of them and myself, one on one, but as soon as other kids showed up they would tease me, bait me, blah blah blah. (Anyone who has been through this knows what I’m talking about.) I did continue to hang out with them (something I would not do as an adult) because, one on one, they were perfectly OK kids and we had fun. I never baited, teased, or was snarky back. Usually when they started up I got quiet or I wandered off to be with other people.

I think, in their minds, they thought I was trying to be cool and was just hopelessly failing. That I hung out with them, tolerated their behavior, because I wanted to be like them, and that’s also why I was never snarky back... to stay in their "cool" good graces.

They didn’t get it.

I wasn’t snarky to them because I had no interest in falling to their level.   I wasn't even particularly interested in being "cool".  Regardless of what they thought of me, I liked myself.  Part of what I liked about myself was not being a mean person. I wasn’t going to compromise who I was to fit into their standards of the popular crowd. I gave them credit for their good qualities and the times we did have fun, and blew off the rest (or tried – at 12 it’s hard). I certainly wasn’t going to emulate the behavior that I didn’t like.

But I did, often, feel left out.   

Sometimes I feel there is a popular parenting crowd online.  And I’m not a part of that either.

Rebecca hit a major nerve for me in her recent post, “Good Parent”… she identified an aspect of parenting, and of the blogosphere in particular, that has always bugged me. It is the proliferation of “I’m a bad mom” posts; the posts that not just explore parenting insecurities (which we all have at times) but almost seem to insist that they are crappy parents and wallow in it. And the blogosphere responds, with many supporters flocking to those who write about unhappiness, vulnerability, insecurity… sharing their stories, insisting that they are bad parents too, wallowing some more in a lovely cycle.  These posts, these bloggers, are very, very popular. You’d almost think that there are no happy, confident parents out there.

But there is an unhappy in-crowd.

I don’t begrudge anyone support in their time of need. (And I’m not saying that some of the issues floating out there aren’t very serious and real.) Parenting IS hard. But that doesn’t mean some of us are unworthy of support because we are, in general, happy in our lives and with our parenting ability. Sometimes it is invalidating for me as a parent and as a writer to visit someone’s posts, day after day, all written about their fears of being a bad parent or how awful they feel for yelling at their kids the other day or the latest parenting power struggle with their spouse, and see the ten million comments and supporters they have all the time.

And for me personally (and I know this is completely selfish), I get frustrated with that aspect of the blogosphere that also rewards painful, heart-wrenching, or sentimental posts. There are the Perfect Posts awards, there are the Thinking Bloggers, there are numerous blog awards, and general love-ins, and topic circles about how being a mom is terribly difficult, and more. At times I think these awards and nominations are completely valid for commendable and inspiring writing, and some of my favorite writers have received them for very good reason. But there are a lot of times where they seem to be given as a badge of misery, a celebration of “hey, you’re insecure, just like me,” a popularity contest in the we-suck-as-parents-club.

Parenting is still hard for the rest of us, too. It is a tough fucking job and it is hard to get through a day dealing with children, regardless of your circumstances.  We all have crappy days and moments when we need help.  And writing like this, putting yourself out there every day in a blog is hard and takes a bit of bravery. I like who I am as a mom. I have no interest in changing myself or my writing to fit into some standard of mommy blogging (which currently involves insisting that one is a bad parent) that’s popular, to solicit more comments or readers, to fit in with the (apparent) majority. Yet, I still want to vent occasionally without feeling guilty. Like I’m whining. Because other moms feel so much worse.  Because my mommy blog doesn’t measure up. Because for the most part I feel pretty damn good about the job I’m doing.

I don’t write about the deep, dark and painful on this blog (and I have my share, just like everyone else). I write satirically about some of the fun or funny aspects of parenting, or I just talk about what’s going on in my life at the moment. Occasionally I take some pot shots at pop culture. I have written my “bad mommy” posts but I think it’s obvious I use that term tongue in cheek. I consciously chose to make this blog a light, fun (for me), and goofy place because that helps ME deal with the two-year-old tantrums and I hope it brings a respite to other people as well. I AM a good mom. I feel pretty confident in my abilities so far. We all have challenges as parents but I don’t see mine as being any more unusual or difficult than anyone else’s. I’m pretty happy with my life and I’m sure it comes through in my writing. I also think that’s one of the reasons I don’t have a huge fan base and get a ton of comments. I have never been nominated for anything. Misery loves company and I’m not miserable. And I also see a lot of other mom bloggers (see blogroll stage right) who are happy, GOOD moms who don’t get a lot of comments, visitors, support either. I have, more than once, visited a happy mom blog, read awhile, commented, and then heard back from that blogger who said, “Wow, thanks, I didn’t think anyone read me!”

And that just sucks.

I often find myself relating a lot more to the blogging dads (and the other obviously happy moms) because they do not get caught up in the good/bad parenting debates.  They don’t get caught up in cycles of perpetuating misery and sanctimommy guilt.  Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the latest arguments on breastfeeding/preschooling/co-sleeping/Libby Lu (or whatever the hell that makeover place is called) and how that makes me “feel as a parent”. I’m going to do what’s right for MY kid and I feel confident that I can figure that out.

And you know what? Chance is happy. That more than anything makes me feel like I’m doing great as a mom.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t still sometimes feel left out.

It is a brave thing, to blog. We all deserve some accolades sometimes. For just ourselves. Even when we are happy. - wg