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Follow me… August 30, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.
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You are cordially invited to join me at my brand-new blog, still called Table for Five, but with the new URL http://table4five.net ! No, WordPress.com WON’T let me put in a redirect, which I think really sucks.

Feast your eyes upon the kick-ass modifications to the K2 theme done by Izzy. Seriously, if you or anyone you know is looking for a fresh, hot blog design, you want Izzy. And, check out the sweet Table graphic drawn for me by Nancy! With the coffee cups, juice boxes and bottle-how cool is that?

I have a new email address too: table4five@table4five.net. I’ll be changing my comment forms as I visit everyone. Please change your blogrolls and Feed Readers! I promise this will be the LAST TIME I ever ask you to change my domain URL. Really truly. See you there!

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Joy and ice cream August 9, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, personal thoughts.
12 comments

Last Saturday, after months of batting the idea back and forth, I finally got a chance to get together with Joy, the blogger you may know as GingaJoy.

The first thing I should mention is that most likely, you have been saying the name of her blog incorrectly. “Ginga” is not pronounced with a soft G like “Ginger”. No, it is pronounced with a hard G, so that “Ging” rhymes with “sing”, as in “sing Joy a song.” Good to know!

Secondly, you should know that she is terrific. As soon as I walked through the door of ColdStone Creamery, carrying Kaitlyn and guiding the boys, I heard “There’s Elizabeth” in a lovely British accent. And then striding up to me with a BIG smile was Joy. She was accompanied by her three-and-a-half year old son, who introduced himself and then gazed wide-eyed at my big boys.

It takes a while to get six servings of ice cream made at ColdStone, but we finally got settled into two tables sort of pulled together (not easy with round tables). There was no high chair for the baby-and hey, ColdStone, what’s UP with that? Your customers have babies!-so Joy and I took turns holding her, while keeping an eye on our three boys.

Three boys hopped up on ice cream and various sugary mix-ins meant that eventually we had to put a stop to the foot races they were running and say a reluctant goodbye. I told her a little about BlogHer, and she thinks that not only will she be able to go next year, but she might drive there with me. I hope that works out, because she is delightful company. We’re hoping once school starts to have a more leisurely lunch-hour meeting.

So thus ended yet another successful blogger meet-up. Thanks Joy! I took my camera, but could only get a few photos snapped. Here’s the best two:

gingajoy2.JPG
kaitlynjoy2.JPG

BlogHeader August 4, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.
16 comments


BlogHeader

designed by Nancy at Mom/Ma’am/Me for my NEW BLOG! Yes, I am now Master of my Domain.

I AM A BLOGGER July 31, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, BlogHer.
14 comments

Wondering why I posted Friday afternoon, and then nothing? Because the free Wi-Fi access the hotel gave us only worked once in a while, and almost never for me. There I would sit, having hauled this giant, heavy laptop across the country, watching other people connect to the hotel’s system and not being able to myself. It sucked, sucked, SUCKED.

But HEY, I’m home now, and it’s only 11:21 pm California time, so my body says I’m not sleepy. And there are no cocktails here, and my body is wondering why I have suddenly plunged it into alcohol withdrawal. Sorry, body. We’ll drink tomorrow, promise.

Photos are up at Flickr. Please, if I used your real name and you’d prefer I didn’t, EMAIL ME and I will swap it for your URL. It’s no problem.

Here’s what I have to say overall about blogher ’06-it was overwhelming, it was exhausting, and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me outside of meeting my husband and having my children.  I haven’t had more than one close female friend since leaving High School, and now I have at least a dozen. The feeling of being surrounded by women who were interested in what I had to say, and in me as a person, is indescribable.

Validated. That is how I feel now that I have been to blogher. Validated. I went from feeling like no one else could possibly know what I mean when I say “um, well, I write a blog. What’s a blog? Well, it’s like a personal website, where I post stories about my family and photos and stuff”, to feeling like I want to climb to the highest rooftop in town and scream “I WRITE A BLOG!”.

Blogging is not weird. Blogging is not just keeping a diary in online form. Blogging is IMPORTANT. Blogging is powerful, blogging is the future. Being a blogger means being a part of the way women are meeting, supporting, and understanding each other. It’s networking for our social, personal and even professional lives.

Standing there on Saturday, knowing that there were seven HUNDRED other people around me who knew exactly what it is that I do, was one of the most empowering things that has ever happened to me. Having someone ask me for my business card (I have a card!), look at it and say “Oh, Table for Five! I’ve read your blog!” was absolutely MIND-BLOWING.

And of all the things I took away from the conference, there are two that have actually changed the path I see for myself. The first is something I took away from the “Mommyblogging is a Radical Act!” session. You wanna hear it? Hear it goes:

I AM A MOMMYBLOGGER

That’s it. It’s that simple. I am PROUD to be a Mommyblogger. Before that session, when asked what my blog was about, I would hem and haw and say things like “well, I blog about my family, and other stuff“, as if it was important to add that qualifier so that the person didn’t think I was “just” a Mommyblogger. And while I’m not “just” a Mommyblogger, as evidenced by my popular Thursday American Idol Recap, or my occasional posts about politics, if I have to define myself in one category, Mommyblogger is what I choose. I titled this post “I am a BLOGGER”, because I no longer feel timid about telling my family (for example), that I write a blog. I may tell them that it is private and that I’d prefer they didn’t read it, but the next time someone asks where I was last weekend, I’m going to proudly say I was at a conference about Blogging.

The other important, IMPORTANT thing that I brought home from blogher is a realization that my self-esteem needs a big ol’ kick in the ass. For example, all weekend people were declaring that they loved me, loved my blog, were so glad to meet me, and my response to them all was something like this:

“Hi, I’m Elizabeth. My blog is Table for Five.”

“Oh, ELIZABETH! I’ve read your blog, I really like it!”

“No, REALLY? You’ve read my blog? No way.”

“Elizabeth, it’s really nice to meet you!”

“No, no, it’s really nice to meet YOU.”

(Notice the annoying self-deprecation. What the hell is WRONG with me?)

I relayed this to my husband, and asked him if he thought I was insecure. He said no. So why was it so hard for me to accept the fact that other people were interested in me? Why do I feel so unworthy? Why can’t I just say “Thank you, I’m glad you like my blog” and leave it at that?

The closing session on Saturday afternoon featured four amazing women who have done great things both with their professional lives, and with blogs. I sat there listening to them speak, and I had what I guess you could call a revelation. I grabbed one of my business cards (because my laptop STILL wasn’t working), and on the back I wrote this:

1. Find your voice.
2. Stop apologizing. Be proud of who you are and what you do.
3.Stop hesitating. Move yourself forward.
4. You ARE worthy.

My friends, you are ALL worthy. Whether you have just started blogging or have been at it for a while, you are part of a mighty force in this world. Somewhere out there is someone who wants to know what you think, how you cope, who you are. Be a blogger, and be proud.

My real-life blog date July 20, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.
12 comments

I have been a bit distracted this last month, but how could I keep forgetting to tell you about my first meeting with another blogger? If she wasn’t such a nice person, and also quite busy with two children and two blogs, I would be worried that she might be mad at me.

After all, she was the one who emailed me the day after I found out my Mother-in-law had died and said remember how we keep talking about getting together? Would this be a good time for some company, or a really bad time?

It was absolutely a good time for company. I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts all day. It was a good time to have a friend to lean on.

And that is how I came to spend the afternoon with Becki, of Adventures of a Nervous Girl, and Cooking With Whine, and her adorable children. She even brought the fixings for lunch!

I think her little girl might have felt a bit overwhelmed by my big, noisy boys, but her son was a very good sport. He was immediately recruited for both Star Wars Light Saber fighting and water gun fights, and seemed to enjoy both. We broiled hamburgers, drank coffee, and tried to keep the kids from eating the cookies before the rest of their food.

I didn’t feel at all nervous about how Becki and I would get along. She had just written a post about how grumpy she is, but I thought she was funny and intelligent. The afternoon was over much too soon, but she had to drive over an hour and didn’t want to hit rush hour traffic. She let me keep all the leftover food. Later that night, we made ice-cream sandwiches from scoops of Breyer’s Slow-Churned Vanilla and the soft pecan cookies she brought.

Just as she was walking out the door I yelled “wait! We didn’t even take any pictures!” Which we hadn’t, busy as we were keeping five kids fed and playing together. So I grabbed the camera quick, and asked Ryan to take a quick photo.

So that’s why I’m not at all nervous about BlogHer. Having Becki sitting next to me on my couch while we sipped coffee and tried to get her daughter to eat one more bite of lunch felt completely natural. I know I will feel just as comfortable sitting next to all of you. In ONE WEEK.

BlogMe/Pieces of Sarah July 17, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, BlogHer.
9 comments

Today I am interviewing Sarah of Sarah and the Goon Squad. I admit I was not that familiar with her blog before being matched up with her for this, but after seeing her brilliantly designed blog header (it’s interactive! Go see!), and looking at the Flickr photos of her adorable twins, I knew I will be going back. Her recent posts include her 100 Favorite  Albums of all time, her daughter peeing in the potty for the first time (yay!), and why she loves McDonald’s Happy Meals.

We were asked to include a photo of a “piece” of our interview subject. Sarah sent me this very unique shot of her pretty, white teeth.

Sarah

Why did you choose this photo?

I took the picture of myself snarling. I’m not 100% sure why. I guess I think it’s funny when people think I’m mean or scary. Besides, pretty seemed obvious. Has she seen how pretty her teeth are? I’m just sayin’.

6. How would you describe your writing style?

I write exactly how I talk. I don’t know if you can consider that a “style” or not. The only real difference is that I edit my potty mouth a lot.

8. What don’t you write about? Anything considered a no-no in your book?

I don’t write about my sex life – mostly because my mother and my MIL both read my blog. Plus, I can’t imagine that anyone else really cares about that.

10. How do you feel about meeting bloggers in real life? Are you nervous? Will you have great expectations? What do you hope to take away from the BlogHer experience?

I’m really excited to meet more bloggers at BlogHer. In real life I have met a couple of bloggers and it has always gone extremely well. I think if you are meeting people who you read a lot it is like you already know each other. When I relocated to DC I met Lumpyhead’s Mom (http://lumpyhead.blogspot.com/) and Mommy at Work (http://mommyatwork.blogspot.com/) and now they are just my regular friends, we go to each other’s houses and our kids play together. It’s great. I look forward to making more friends in San Jose.

11. What is your favorite thing that you wrote? What got a strong reaction from readers?

I know for sure that the strongest reaction came from my post about depression. I got so much support from everyone it was wonderful. I don’t think I have a favorite post of my own. I’m always happiest with my posts when people think they are funny and then leave funny comments.

12. Have you written anything controversial? Is blogging controversial?

Blogging certainly can be controversial. My blog is generally pretty light. t I’m working on a post about why I am not a Christian that I think will piss a lot of people off, and one time I made a bunch of people mad because I talked about organic food being a rip off. Apparently people take their organic produce pretty seriously.

14. If you had a super power, what would it be?

Either telekinesis or the Jedi Mind Trick. I’m lazy and like people to do my bidding.

15. Favorite drink?

Beer. No question.

Thanks for the interview, Sarah! I really will be coming to your blog now, but only if you promise not to snarl at me!

And now, here’s the next phase of this project. I am tagging Julie, Mary, Nancy, Dawn, Tammie, and Roo.   Read all about it here, and even if you’re not tagged, please feel free to participate. The idea is that we all get to know each other a little better before spending several alcohol-soaked knowledge-filled days together at BlogHer. You can read my interview over at Fizzle’s site.

We’re showing the world what we’re made of July 14, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, BlogHer.
8 comments

Enough gloom, enough doom. It’s time to focus on something positive around here.

Like being asked to participate in what is going to be the HOTTEST THING AROUND for the next two weeks. It seems that in blogging, as in business, it is all about who you know.

You never know which of your fellow bloggers is plotting World Domination, so it pays to be nice to EVERYONE. And then one day you might get an email from a beautiful, equally coffee-addicted blogger  asking if you would like to participate in a little pre-BlogHer interview. Then she asks two bloggers who are contributors to the BlogHer network, and they ask one of the co-founders of BlogHer if it’s okay to base our button on the BlogHer logo, and not only does she say yes but she asks if it’s okay to mention it on the BlogHer site? Um, YES!!

And I might have just set a record for the most mentions of BlogHer in a single sentence.

See that button up there on the top of my sidebar? Each day starting Monday, that button will link to another of the Original Eight women participating, including the blogger who is interviewing me, and the woman many of you already know who I will be featuring here.

We will each answer five or so questions, and then tag other bloggers to answer the questions, who will then tag bloggers they know, and so on and so on. You don’t have to be going to BlogHer to participate. The button will soon be available to grab here.

Although she might not have been referring to me directly, the blogger I linked to mentioned me in the same sentence with the words “hilarious” and “talented”. I know I have been FAR from hilarious lately, and I’m still working on the talented, but I am honored, flattered and excited to be asked to participate. Let’s get to know each other better, people. Let’s share our thoughts, opinions and blogs with each other. Let’s stretch our community out to include new friends. Let’s show the world who we are.

I love me some Canadian bloggers July 10, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.
4 comments

You may already know that Canadian bloggers are some of the coolest, funniest writers in the Blogosphere. If you’re not already reading those four blogs, you really should be.

I’d also like to recommend a new blog, Bread Crumbs in the Butter. Her three most recent posts have me completely hooked. I could have written the one titled “How to clean for a visit from an old friend”. And you definitely should read the third post, about how she stopped a flirt from stealing her fiance while she was pregnant with their child.

I was going to title this post “O Canada! Your bloggers are so great”, but I didn’t want to come off like I was disrespecting the Canadian National Anthem.

Oh, and thanks to Mama Tulip, I am pulling my cropped maternity sweatpants out of the Goodwill pile and wearing them again, because they are comfortable.

                                                                                                                                       

Edited to add:

Ladies, you have been holding out on me. I just went to Mommy off the Record, and I started reading her posts and the comments, and I realized that practically every one of my regular readers also reads her! How the heck have I been missing her? She’s on my blogroll now, AND she’s coming to BlogHer but only to the cocktail party on Saturday. So Dawn, Nancy, Jennster-make sure you introduce me to her at the cocktail party? mmkay?

Dixie Chicks take Man Ass on tour June 25, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.
10 comments

It’s true, while the Dixie Chicks spend the summer on their “Accidents and Accusations” tour , they will be accompanied by their very own Management Assistant. But he won’t be running to drugstores for tampons or fetching lattes from Starbucks-oh no, this guy’s job is to BLOG THE TOUR. I first read the story at the Washington Post’s online site.His blog profile says “I’m Junichi P. Semitsu, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law, a blogger for Poplicks.com, and a freelance writer”. 

 manassblogger.jpg

The Chicks have several websites, the blog itself is hosted by MSN.com . You MUST look on the right sidebar for the Actual Rejected Tour Names-“Ovarian Nation” is my favorite. For a webcast of the show at the Shepard’s Bush Empire, go to their MSN music site   You can also listen to the entire “Taking the Long Way” album and download music as well

I have never heard of a band hiring a separate person just to follow them on tour and blog about it. If you ask me, this guy has the Best.Job.EVER!  The Chicks will be coming to my city in July, but the cheapest tickets are $46.50, plus a TEN DOLLAR FEE from Ticketmaster (Boooo!) and a $3.00 fee from the concert venue. If I wasn’t going to BlogHer at the end of the July it might be possible to go, but instead I will just have to wait for the inevitable concert DVD.
“Man Ass”. Heh.
 

I Got Zero Smacks June 24, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, personal thoughts.
19 comments

If you came here from I Talk Too Much, I want you to know that 1. I took down the offending ad banner and donation button from my Blogger site; 2. I figured out all by my dumbass self how to put in the redirect; and 3. I wrote this post because I give a crap, which I’m sure will cause a house to fall on me or something, since I’m sure Princess Pottymouth hates apologies even more than every other fucking thing I did wrong.

Warning: This part of the post is me being “whiny and defensive”, and should not be read by anyone. Also, please don’t forget to go back over to italk2much and tear me a new asshole for being so lame. I obviously should be grieving and mourning and rending my garments, not checking SiteMeter stats.

 And you know what? I’m still supposed to be on my blog break, and my mother-in-law died last week and I’m supposed to be up North cleaning out her trailer and trying to figure out what the hell to do with her 1994 Buick Century piece-of-shit car. But NO. I had to check Sitemeter after they emailed me my weekly report. And then I had to see 42 visits from www.italk2much.com and wonder what the hell. And THEN I remembered that I had asked them to review my blog. Crap. So here you go, thanks for visiting anyway, even though my old blog was the most offensive thing anyone has ever seen.