Monday, January 31, 2011

Get what you deserve

Speaking of forgiveness....

Do you have that friend who "always ends up with crazy exes," or puts up with the boyfriend drama because, "He's always been like that; it's who he is, nothing personal." Or maybe they're okay with the crazy, Jerry-Springer-esque lifestyle because, "it's normal, isn't it?" They learn to live with drama and nonsense; make excuses for it, even. They decide that the hurt and anger are going to be a part of their life because...well, I'm not sure why. Because they don't think they deserve better, maybe?  

If you end up with crazy exes, it's because you're looking for crazy - not because it finds you. You get out of your relationships what you put into them. So if you're getting crazy, hot-mess, unhappy or unhealthy... well, you can probably guess where I'm going with this. Look in the mirror, take stock - and make some changes.

It's okay to be unsure what you want. It's okay to look past certain things once you fall in love. It's also okay to get to the point where you're done making excuses. It's okay to say to yourself, "No, I'm not perfect. But I give better than this, and I deserve better in return." Figure out what you really want - and then give yourself permission to go and find it.

That doesn't make you a bad person. It's not weak to give up on something once you've tried everything. It's also not weak to forgive yourself for whatever you did to "deserve" that treatment; or to forgive the person who treated you badly.

It takes a lot of strength to stop accepting your life the way it is and make the decision to change things for the better.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Follow Friday Fun - detention with derryX

Another installment of Friday Fun - my own version of twitter's #FF - where I recommend a blog I think you should read. This week's blog? detention with derryX

I write here about social media. Usually, when most people think of social media, they think about sites like facebook or twitter or foursquare. Unless you're really into networking and online interaction, blogs really don't come up.

But blogs really are social media. One person who really "gets it" is derryX. I found him through his reader profile on On The Edge, followed him on twitter, and soon became a regular reader of his blog. His blog is full of posts that are smart, relevant and funny. He does everything from review local restaurants, to video games, to random stories about Larry-David-type situations and his stranger-than-strange neighbors.

He's been criticized for being "mean" or "unfair." I disagree. I think he's honest and I think he tells it like he sees it. There's nothing wrong with that. If you're looking for a blogger who agrees with everything you think or would say - well, then maybe this isn't the blog for you.

But - derryX has a keen grasp of online community (which I've written about here). He will make you laugh, he will teach you something, and you will find something relevant to you or your lifestyle. Exactly what a blog should be.

He's also a cool guy. He's funny, and he's real. Plus, he has built a very cool community of great readers and commenters. It's small-ish now - but it will take off.

My advice? Check it out now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I am is...offended

I think anyone reading this realizes by now that I am not a parent. You probably also know it's been suggested that since I am not, I should never offer input to my friends who are on dealing with, raising or disciplining their kids. For the most part, I'm respectful of that. I mean, I am smart enough to know what I don't know - ya know?

It was recently pointed out to me that, because I am not currently involved in a relationship, I am also not qualified to offer opinions on anything related to boyfriends relationships. Odd, since I have had about every type of relationship there is, you'd think my opinion would at least be somewhat valuable.

*shakes head*

Anyway, since that particular conversation left me wondering, I thought I'd explore some of the things that I am - and therefore, am qualified to discuss. Sound fun? Let's get started.

I am a woman. Last I knew, I've been a woman for nearly twenty years - and a female for over thirty-six. Practically makes me an expert, wouldn't you say? I think that qualifies me to discuss things like how to respect a woman, show her affection and how women like (and don't like) to be treated.

I am a homeowner - which occasionally makes me a hostess. What's more - I do this all on my own. So I know how to do it all, from send invitations to ensuring the walkway is lit. I know that my guests, no matter how rude or downright nasty they are, should always be made to feel comfortable. I know to fetch them drinks, offer them food and a comfortable seat, and generally put their comfort above my own. Of course, that includes avoiding confrontations that might make other guests feel awkward.

I'm a friend - which occasionally makes me a guest. If someone puts my comfort above their own - I know I'd better be appreciative. I don't question my hostess - if she offers me a seat, I sit; if she offers me food, I eat (whether I like it or not); and I'd better never say or do anything to offend or embarrass that hostess. I think (I hope) that these qualities translate nicely into friendship - I look out for others, I try not to judge too harshly, and I often put the comfort of others above my own. I'd feel just terrible if I made a friend, or a hostess, cry over her own dishes.

I'm a divorcee - which, oddly enough, also means I used to be a wife. Granted, it also means that my marriage didn't work out in the end - but it was successful for about ten years. That's more than a lot of people can say. In fact - I was so good at being a wife (and am so good at being an ex-wife) that my ex-husband is still one of my best friends. Those are all relationships, right? Surely I must know something about them, then? I guess not.

Since I know nothing about people or relationships - it sure is lucky that I'm also an only child. Which means I know how to get gifts. I really do - ask anyone who knows me. They'll tell you I get the best Christmas and birthday gifts - which means I know a good one when I see one. I bet if you ask those same people, they'll tell you I also give some pretty good gifts as well - because I learned from the best.

I am a few more things, too - but I think you probably get the id... Oh!! Wait - there is just one more thing I wanted to mention.

I'm a smart, sassy, single gal who never forgets when she's been wronged. I'm also a snarky, sarcastic writer who won't ever pass up the chance to write a good post.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Words Wednesday: Bad week

I had one of those weeks last week....

I felt like binging...
...and hiding.
Thanks to friends who helped me find my
happy place, I'll be blooming again, soon!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No wait required

Forgiveness doesn't excuse the fact that he caused you pain; it recuses you from a life of pain. ~ The Single Woman

Have you ever noticed that some people think forgiveness and weakness are the same thing? That if you forgive someone, it's the same as letting them off the hook for whatever they did to hurt you, and letting them walk all over you.

I've talked before about how I am good friends with my ex-husband. What a lot of people don't realize is - we weren't always friends. When the...stuff first hit the fan, we really didn't get along. Which makes sense - we didn't agree. He felt that he'd been wronged; I felt I had.

After a little reflection and personal growth (and a few hundred dollars in therapy) I learned that forgiveness is more about me about me than it is the other person. My feelings were hurt; and I had a right to be hurt. We weren't going to agree, and since we weren't going to be together anymore, that was okay too.

I learned that I can't control other people; what they say, what they do, or what they think. I couldn't control whether or not X realized he hurt me. So I had two choices: I could stay angry, and let the negative feelings take over - or I could forgive and move on.

I realized that moving on was for me, not for him. It wasn't about me letting him off the hook - because it wasn't my hook. He wasn't accountable to me; he was accountable to himself. It wasn't my job to show him what he'd done wrong; it was my job to let that go, focus on the mistakes I'd made, the lessons I had to learn, and improvements I needed to make. So I did. What happened? He eventually came to terms with his part in the whole thing - and he apologized, privately and very publicly too.

A friend of mine is going through something like that right now. She broke up with a guy about a year ago. He hurt her terribly, but she loved him a lot - still does, I think. She recently found out that, even while they were together, he was saying things behind her back. I knew she would want to contact him, to confront him. I told her to let it go - that taking the high road would be her karma. Eventually, she'll get the chance to say something if/when the time is right. He'll either discover his mistake - or drown in his own ignorance. Either way - that will be his karma.

That's the thing about forgiveness. If you embrace it, you get to move on in your own time, and on your own terms. No waiting required.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crabby but cute!

Did you hear all the buzz about the new zodiac sign, Ophiuchus? This past week, twitter was a-flutter with unhappy leos and stubborn virgos claiming they wanted their signs back.

Based on this article, it seems there really is nothing to worry about. If you follow the western zodiac, which most of us do, then nothing has changed. It's explained in great detail here on Zodiac Facts blog. (You can also follow Zodiac Facts on twitter.)

For kicks, I thought I'd take a look and see what would happen to me if I was suddenly adopted by the celestial zodiac. I would no longer be a cancer - but a gemini. What would that mean?

Cancer is a water sign, ruled by the moon. Cancers are deeply emotional, getting their strength from home and family. Emotions run deep, and when hurt or disappointed, Cancers are known to retreat into themselves. "Though possessing a good sense of humor...the Cancer will often become sulky, moody and irritable, often for no reason apparent to anyone else." In any relationship, Cancers are nurturing and caring - but with deep mood swings and a sharp tongue when provoked.

Gemini is an air sign, ruled by Mercury. Geminis are energetic, communicative and witty. They know something about just about everything, making them good conversationalists. They are intelligent and logical, but with a lot of nervous energy. They like to keep busy and they are often multitasking. As the sign of the twins, there is a dual aspect to this personality, making it difficult for them to focus on any one thing - and difficult for their friends to know who they're dealing with.

To be honest, there's a lot about the Gemini sign that I envy. My best friend is a true Gemini, and I've seen these personality characteristics at their best. She is bright, witty and logical - although, sometimes a little too literal. It's nearly impossible to keep her focused - but she is always the life of the party. Always making new friends, always with a story to tell.

Still - I am a Cancer through and through. I am very moody, completely ruled by my emotions - and ask anyone about that sharp-tongue-when-provoked thing. That has brought me Trouble with a capital T more than once.

There just may be something to this whole astrology thing, yet. Anyone who knows me knows I am clearly a Cancer. Crabby - but cute! - all the way.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Follow Friday Fun - Cute~Ella

I wrote this post last week, spotlighting one of my favorite blogs. Truth be told, I did that for a contest. But the idea is so fun, I thought I'd make it a Friday feature. I'm sort of copying Follow Fridays on twitter, where tweeps will make recommendations on who to follow. Since this is a blog, I'll introduce you to another blog. Sound fun? Alrighty then.

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you've also read Cute~Ella's blog - Cute Ella is Bold. In case you don't - you should. Here's why.

We found each other on twitter. I'm not sure who found who first, but I do know I'd "seen her around" before we were following. We had (have) a lot of tweeps in common. Which is great fun.

What do I like about her blog? A few things. First of all - Cute Ella is bold. She tells it like it is, and she's honest without being mean. She is who she is - and she's not afraid to say what she's thinking or stand up for what she thinks is right.

What else? Well, the thing is, Cute~Ella is more than just bold. She's also:


....and a great friend.

She inspires and encourages my own blogging. Chances are, if there's something you like about this blog - she influenced it in some way. So if you like what you see here - you should definitely check her out.

If you're wondering why she's "Cute~Ella" she explains that here. It might not be her official name - but I promise it is full of all her awesome.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's my blog....and I'll cry if I want to

It's everywhere. It's cold. It's messy. It makes things difficult. I can't go where I want without running into it. I have to brace myself every time I leave the house. I can't even look forward to spring(training) without admitting that it's still in the way.

No, it's not snow (though it could be). It's something much, much worse:

Valentine's Day  

I'm so over it. Everywhere I go (even blogs) it's, "What should I give so-and-so?" and, "Where should so-and-so and I go for dinner?" and "I just don't know what I'll wear for my date with so-and-so!"

Yes, I'm bitter that I don't have my own so-and-so. Yes, I'm annoyed. No, I don't care. It's my blog - and I'll cry if I want to. So, I won't be writing about the-day-that-shall-not-be-named here. This is officially a V-Day free zone. For all other zones - here's a countdown til they should all be safe, too.

                                          Clock courtesy of - get yours free!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Words Wednesday: Lazy weekend

My weekend got off to an awful start. So, I needed a little reminder....
Movies on comfy chairs....

Ordering in...
Lazy Sunday naps....

...Life is good. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tangled message

I debated writing this post at all, because I'm not a fan of when people read into dialogue or song lyrics too much. I don't want it to sound like I'm suggesting writers should change what they have to say in case the message isn't well received - because I'm not. I went to see the movie Tangled a couple of weeks ago. I have to say - it's a super-cool movie and I'd recommend it to anyone, with or without kids (I was there without). Overall - no complaints. I liked the story (okay, so it's not exactly new), the music was fun, and the 3D effects were pretty good. I mean - it is Disney.

Who're you callin' chubby?
(Image used without permission)
There is a seen where Rapunzel's "mother" is attempting to quiet her daughter's desire to go outside the tower. It's a musical scene; mom is singing a list of reasons why Rapunzel should stay away from the rest of the world. On the list? "You're looking a bit chubby."

Before you say it - no one knows better than me that no one should get her self-esteem from a movie, much less one that's animated. Of course it makes sense that "mom" would say that - the whole point of the story is that she's vain and caught up in appearance. Of course I realize that any well-adjusted little girl would understand that, in this case, everything the character is saying is a lie, and should therefore be discounted.

I guess what stood out for me is the fact that, even with all that we've learned about girls and body image and self-esteem and eating disorders - we're still okay with using "chubby" as an insult. The girl had been locked in a tower for her whole life eating apples - I would think "pale" or "jaundice" or "lacking muscle tone" or "uneducated" would be more appropriate flaws to point out.

I guess, when it comes right down to it - I would prefer that chubby not be considered a flaw at all. But, then again, I'm hardly objective. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011


So, I was wearing my favorite sweater the other day. It's a big wool, zip-up sweater that's really more of a jacket. It has daisies all over it - which are actually my least favorite flower, but I picked it because it reminds me of spring. {Tangent - Sorry}

Anyhoo, because of the top I was wearing, the zipper on the sweater was touching my skin - and irrititating the crap out of it. Don't you hate that? Like when a tag is rubbing up against your neck?

So, I stopped my car, in the parking lot, to fix my scarf, figuring that would help. I looked up from adjusting my scarf and sweater, and saw an SUV turning onto the aisle where I was stopped. He was going way too fast for a full parking lot, and he took the turn too short. He nearly hit my stopped car; had I been moving, we would have had a head-on collision with him going about 30 MPH and me about 5.

Life throws obstacles our way all the time. Things that stop us in our tracks, sideline us for a while, maybe keep us from getting what we want altogether. I guess it's important to remember that, no matter how irritating something might be - everything happens for a reason.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Minion in Charge - An Homage to F*** Around Friday

If you look to the right, you'll see a pretty extensive blog roll. That's because I read blogs when I should be working. When the blog roll first started, though, there were only a couple of links. One that's been there from the beginning is The Super Blogettes.

I found the Super Blogettes purely by accident - in fact, it may have been Ava Apollo who found me - on twitter, natch. It was my early days of twitter, and I was so excited to find a new follower. So I clicked her page, and - BAM! - I found the Super Blogettes.

Of course I followed back. And when her fellow Blogettes Sage Stella and Super Bella Blue joined twitter and Ava asked for followers, I was right there. Why? Cause these ladies freakin' rock.

Some have said to me that their blog is a little off color. (I've gotten this reaction when I share their posts on facebook.) But still - several of my friends read the Blogettes. I've even gotten a couple to follow Stella's more serious side on facebook.

So why do I like the blog? Because it's real. No I don't think Ava and company are all shadowy figures with billowing breasts and whips and chains and...wait. Um, well I'm sure they're not just shadows.

They talk about real issues - dating, sex, social media, sex, family, work, sex, friends - and sex. They do it with humor, and smarts - and they say loud and proud what most of us are only willing to whisper. I respect that. I admire that. I learned it from them - and I appreciate that.

I'd be saying this even if it weren't for the minion contest - but I still think I should win. I was a minion before they had minions!!

I'm like the Minion-in-Charge.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Football help

Football really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. There are a lot of rules, and there's a lot of jargon used to explain those rules. Jargon leaves the layman (or woman) out in the cold. As an example:

Post Route - pass route in which the receiver cuts inside at a 45-degree or smaller angle after a stem of typically eight yards; so-called because the change of direction puts the receiver on a path toward the goal post; common route for the middle of three deep receivers against cover two. 

That probably makes sense to you, right? To me, it sounds like this would sound to you:

Liquor Liability - Bodily injury or property damage liability for which the insured may be held liable due to causing or contributing to the intoxication of a person, furnishing alcoholic beverages to persons under the influence of alcohol or under the legal drinking age or a law relating to the sale, gift, distribution or use of alcoholic beverages is excluded. This exclusion applies only if the insured's business is manufacturing, distributing, selling, serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages. 

Like a lot of legalese. If I'm ever going to understand this game, first I'm going to need help deciphering the terminology. I have found some helpful resources to get me started; I may eventually just assemble my own, football-to-sue dictionary. 

About Football 101 is a pretty comprehensive site. It even includes a glossary. Very helpful. Especially when people keep using terms in everyday conversation that make no sense to me at all. Computer code is easier to understand.

Football for Dummies: Understanding Downs, Yardage and Stuff includes excerpts from a book written by John Czarnecki and Howie Long (Did you know he played football? I thought he just did commercials with Teri Hatcher and movies with John Travolta? *shrugs*)

Hub Pages: Football for Dummies is a helpful synopsis. My friend @cincool shared it with me - thank you again!

My favorite is this post. It was written by Jaci. Jaci wrote this to help a few of us out who were attending a football-related meetup in the fall - but who knew nothing of the sport. It's basic, and speaks down to me - which is what I need. Because when it comes to football - I'm dumb. (By the way, in addition to blogging here, Jaci also blogs here. Check her out - she's fun to read.)

With all this help, I'm well on my way. I'm sure I'll figure this Super Bowl 46.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Offensive chain email

I got a chain email the other day. I get them a lot, but I don't often forward them. (Or, I should probably say, I get a lot more than I forward.) But I read almost all of them - because they distract me from work. Usually I laugh. Sometimes I might think one is a bit over the top.

Very rarely, one will piss me off.

In 1952, President Truman established one day a year as a National Day of Prayer.

In 1988, President Reagan designated the first Thursday in May of each year as a National Day of Prayer.

In June 2007, (then) Presidential Candidate Barack Obama declared that the USA was no longer a Christian nation. This year, President Obama canceled the 21st annual National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House under the ruse of not wanting to offend anyone.

But on September 25, 2009, from 4AM to 7PM, a National Day of Prayer was held for the Muslim religion was held on Capitol Hill, beside the White House. There were over 50,000 Muslims in DC that day.

I guess it doesn't matter if Christians are offended by this event. We don't count as anyone anymore.

The direction this country is headed should strike fear in the heart of every Christian, especially knowing that the Muslim religion believes that if Christians cannot be converted, they should be annihilated.

I don't really identify with a religion. I believe that there is some sort of god-like something-or-other out there (Derek Jeter and chocolate are proof). I'm just not sure that any religion has nailed it. But I don't think anyone, myself included, should dictate what anyone else believes - or doesn't.  

Our government is not perfect (to say the least). But we need a government. We can debate what our government should, and should not, control all day. One thing I know for certain is I don't want my government (which is necessary for the public good) to dictate my religion (which is a private choice). I seem to remember something about religious freedom and the separation of church and state in between naps and passing notes junior year.

I pay taxes. I vote. I suffer along with everyone else when our government fails us. I don't pray, and I don't think the government should dictate who does, or when. Still, I wouldn't stand in your way if there was a National Day of Prayer in honor of your religion. I wouldn't be offended if you wanted to take time out of your day to say thanks and give praise to whomever you call god - as long as you don't ask me to do the same. Heck - let's all take the day off. You can go to church; I'll go to the mall.

What does bother me is, "especially knowing that the Muslim religion believes that if Christians cannot be converted, they should be annihilated." Um, no? Where, exactly does it say that in the Quran? No where. There are plenty of Muslims, many of whom were probably in DC that day in 2009, who just want to be able to celebrate their religion in peace. They've never harmed anyone, nor have they wished harm on anyone. 

To say that the Muslim religion believes that Christians should be annihilated is a bunch of ignorance masked as religion and patriotism. Plenty of Christians have killed in the name of their religion. Don't believe me? Go to an American Indian Reservation and ask. Are you worried about offending them with a National Day of Prayer for Christians?

I'm not really a Christian, or a Muslim. But I am an American. You're using the foundation of my country to justify your own prejudice. That's offensive to me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Don't have to ask

I'm mostly independent. Yes, I'm spoiled - but the same guy who spent the first 20 years of my life making that happen also managed to teach me some very valuable lessons. Work ethic, responsibility, compassion...and how to have an opinion. He also taught me to take care of myself.

It's not that I'm unwilling to accept help, but I do like to know that I can handle a situation myself if necessary. I forgot that lesson for a long time. I thought I didn't need it anymore, once I had someone I could count on. That was a mistake; not counting on someone, but allowing myself to no longer count on myself.

So, I'm independent (or try to be). I pay my own bills, take care of my own house, make my own plans - and go places on my own, if I want. I come and go as I please and don't worry about anyone too much (except my kitties). When asked, I encourage any of my friends (especially my younger, single girl-friends) to live their lives the same way. Even if they get into a relationship, always make sure they can rely on themselves.

Still, there are times when I miss having someone to count on. Yes, I have friends and family that would do anything for me - if I asked. But sometimes it's nice to have someone who is going to walk through the door and just have what you need. Like crackers and ginger ale when you're sick. Someone who is comfortable enough in your life to say, "Don't worry about the garbage, I'll take it out," or "I'll get those boxes into the garage, you go rest."

Someone who you don't have to ask.

If you're lucky enough to have someone like that in your life - make sure you tell him thanks. Be grateful; be happy and appreciate him and what he brings to your life. I know he probably frustrates the hell out of you (believe me - I know) but don't forget that it all balances out. Don't forget how lucky you are.

(And stop complaining to those of us who have to handle all our nonsense alone. We're sick of hearing it.)

Friday, January 7, 2011


I was out on Sunday, having a good day. I went to see a shoe exhibit at a local museum (shoes as art - I know!!), I stopped and had my car washed, and treated myself to lunch.

Then I felt a couple of my Christmas gift cards burning a hole in my Burberry, so I thought I'd better stop and see what my favorite store had to offer. Can you guess what was on display, right as I walked through the door?

Valentines Day stuff.

As if to add insult to injury, do you know what I found after I was able to stumble past that display?

Bathing suits.

End of good Sunday.

More to follow on these nightmares in future posts. For now - tell me how you deal with stuff that seems like it's there just to ruin your day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Football's finest

I've committed to learning football. Thanks to some cool tweeps, I've gotten some good tips, and found a few football-for-dummies articles to read online. I will probably invest in an e-book for my nook (a review of this fabulous little gizmo is forthcoming).

But we still have to at least discuss the one obvious that football offers. Men.

I know nothing of the players, so I asked my twitter gals what NFL players were worth an extra look. I can always count on the twitter.

First up: Tom Brady (thanks, @mellank) She said "it pains me to say it" - not sure why? Assuming it has to do with his team. But he is pretty cute.

@bethanyhans chimed in with Greg Olsen. She said she "may be biased." Nah....

My friend @ndkelly29 had a few names for me. My favorite was definitely Osi Umenyiora, but it was fun googling Matt Leinhert, Brady Quinn and Brent Celek, too. Please note - Mr. Umenyiora would have won my vote for football's finest, but he lost points for the photos I came across with strippers and too much bling.

Not suggested by any of my twitter girls, Drew Brees is on this list because another tweep suggested I google him for this post. Also, he looks a bit like a cross between Matthew McConaughey and that guy from Dawson's Creek, no?

Not surprisingly, because we are often so similar I swear she's lurking in my head, @sassysingleton offered up my favorite suggestions. Based on looks alone, Mark Sanchez would top my list. When I read his wiki page, I learned a few things that get him disqualified. Boys have cooties. *sigh*

But - all is not lost. Sassy also reminded me about this guy:

Jason Sehorn

Okay, okay - so he's retired. But, I reviewed his wiki page and, it turns out, he's a pretty normal guy. There were no pictures of him with strippers; no photos of him wearing ridiculous jewelry. He proposed to Angie Harmon in the sweetest way ever.

It also turns out that Mr. Sehorn played baseball for one year after high school. Coincidence? I think not.

It really doesn't matter. There's only room in my heart for one crush, anyway.

Back to the books.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In your corner

In a previous post, I looked at my blogging stats for 2010. As I mentioned - I'm not incredibly good at analyzing stats. Still, I think it's important that I take a look at those numbers and try and figure out what they can teach me.

Most of my hits were off of windows operating systems, using either Internet Explorer or Firefox. Not a lot of Mac users, but I expect that will increase over time. Mobile was big enough to make me think that a more mobile-friendly layout might be worth the effort. More and more people use iPhones, droids and netbook devices to browse blogs and keep up with what they're reading. If they can't get to you - they can't read (or share) you, either.

Speaking of sharing, the fact that my more recent posts were somewhat popular is probably largely due to two major changes I made at the end of the year. One - I started posting on my facebook, which draws my friends and family to the blog. Many are not internet-savvy. (I think some may even think facebook is the internet.) They won't necessarily go looking for my blog (although a couple have - thank you!), but if it shows up in their feed, they'll click. More recently, I've also taken to tweeting links to my blog posts more than once a day. I'm thinking this helped hit people in different time zones or with differing twitter habits.

I can also tell from looking at my sources that commenting and guest-posting helped drive a lot of traffic my way. was my largest source - but it was followed closely by and Cute~Ella's blog. Both are sites where I contribute, where I guest-posted and where I comment regularly. I also generated some traffic through Quote Garden; earlier this year, I won a twitter contest and had an original quote posted on that site. Asking the site author to share a link to my blog definitely impacted my blog traffic.

What have I learned? Blogging is about community. If you're active in the community, and willing to put yourself out there - you'll get something back. You can stay in your little corner of the world - but only for so long.

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Horizons

It's no secret that I love baseball. What a lot of people might not realize is that the whole reason I like baseball is a guy. No not him. X taught me to love baseball. More to the point - he informed me I would either learn to love it, or I'd be a baseball widow from April to October.

So, I started watching games, I read a little, and I asked questions. I was able to really step up my knowledge by listening to radio broadcasts, rather than just TV broadcasters. Radio personalities have to give you more information; they have to fill the air for the whole game because they have no image to use as a crutch.

So, that was 1995. Know what happened at the end of the season in 1995. Derek Jeter was called up from the minors. Now, why didn't anyone tell me baseball players looked like that!? I'd have been a fan the whole time. Good grief. (It's worth noting that Mr. Jeter played for the Albany-Colonie Yankees early in his career, while I was in college. My college baseball team played at the same field where the Yankees played. I knew players on the college team, but never went to a game. Timing is everything people - don't forget that.)

Anyway, my motivation to appreciate baseball was enhanced by Mr. Jeter. Because - well, because he makes me smile. *sigh* But I'll be honest - I just like the sport. Not to mention, it really was something X and I were able to share for a lot of years, and now I'm able to share it with my dad, and with other friends.

I tried applying the same effort into learning football. For several years in a row, I got as far as what a "down" is - then stopped. Because frankly - calling it a down just doesn't make any sense to me. But whatever. X's favorite team isn't local and are rarely on TV on this coast, and my dad doesn't follow football. I figured I was off that hook.

But nooooo.....

So, I've decided I am going to learn football. I have new people in my life who like sports; watching, and more importantly, talking intelligently about sports seems to be a good idea. Plus, it never hurts to expand your horizons, and learn something new. Thankfully, through the magic of the twitter, I have have some girlfriends who were able to help me identify the proper motivation for figuring all this nonsense out. Details (and photos) to follow. Thanks in advance, ladies.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Number Crunching

When 2010 started, I had no idea how to blog. I knew how to write, since I've been doing it on and off since I could hold a pencil. But blogging? Whole new thing.

I'm far from an expert, but I have learned a lot in the last ten months. Like a lot of endeavors, blogging seems to have a creative end - and a business end. The creative piece is your content - what you say, and how you share. The business end is deciding who your audience is, and how you're going to reach them. Then finding ways to increase that audience, and keep them engaged - so that they will also help you increase your audience. 

I'm somewhat of a stats person. While I find stats interesting, I am not at all interested in putting them together myself, and I'm terrible at analyzing them. The thing I find most intriguing is the idea that someone would find that interesting. Still - I find myself drawn to the Stats tab in my blogger dashboard, to see what's what. That's the business end of this little endeavor - figuring out who was looking, how they got here, and what they liked the most.

Seems that Gates still beats Jobs in this little war; 79% of my page views were on a Windows operating system - 40% on Internet Explorer and 25% on Firefox. Mac was the second biggest system, and Chrome, Safari, Opera were the other big browsers. 

The majority of my page views were in the United States. However, so of our neighbors to the north also checked me out, as did people in Denmark, Russia, Australia, United Arab Emirates, India, South Korea and  several other countries. Pretty darn cool. was by far my biggest source. I also generated some hits off of and Cute~Ella's blog.  

As for the favorite posts of the year? The top ten:

What does this all mean? Stay tuned. I'm still working on that.