Category Archives: blogging

Saturday

            Having recently popped my cherry, I seem to be on a blogger-meeting roll.  Because I am lazy, cheap, and nursing a baby, you are unlikely to ever see me at a blogging conference.  I am all about the nearby bloggers, and Marste gets extra points for meeting me around the corner from my house.  So, you can imagine how much I wanted to meet her when I tell you I drove over an hour with two kids in the backseat.  Through a rainstorm.

            She’s moving out of the country, and she’s staying with relatives until then.  I just had to lay eyes on her once before she left.  So, J took Benjamin to Disneyland and I took Zachary on his very first blind date.

            We didn’t get to talk as much as I would have liked, what with the four-year-olds squabbling and the baby spitting up on the suede couch (did the stain come out?).  Then there was the moment I found myself explaining the specific details of the mechanics of breastfeeding to a very inquisitive little girl.

            It was over much too soon, because momma don’t mess with naptime, but I am grateful for the few hours we got to see each other.  Since I am surely not hauling my ass down to Belize, it is going to be an awfully long time before we get together again.

            But, we’ll need to do it again.  And maybe by then the kids will be old enough to refrain from pulling the table back and forth from each other at lunch time. 

Where’s Ducky when you need him?

            I have a little confession to make: I was not the most popular girl in my high school.  I know this sets me apart among bloggers, most of whom ruled the school from their posts as Science Team captain or editor of the Literary Magazine.  I, however, tended to be somewhat socially awkward, which was a perfect complement to my outgoingness and non-conformity.  Molly Ringwald had those legs going for her, but otherwise I was a candidate for Pretty in Pink.

            Perhaps it is the lingering memory of that discomfort that has kept me from meeting any bloggers in person.  I know you like my writing, but what if you don’t like me?  What if it’s just like it was with Blaine and you ditch me for a snooty blonde?

            However, the time has come.  I have found my courage.  Today, while the boys are in preschool, I am going to meet my very first blogger IRL for coffee.  I figure that since she lives five minutes from where the boys go to school, we should give it a shot.  Of course, Governor Schwarzenegger lives nearby, too, but we didn’t invite him along.  We’d have invited Callista Flockhart, but she doesn’t eat or drink anything with calories.

           I know this blogger won’t be offended by the public breastfeeding, but everything else is up for grabs.  What if she’s way cooler than I am?  What if we have nothing in common?  What if I get lettuce in my teeth?

            Note to self: avoid lettuce.

I’ll bet he bakes bread from scratch, too

            I used to have his blog in my Reader.  Then, in one of my routine purges, I unsubscribed, on the logic that my limited blog-reading time should be spent on those reading mine.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

            No, I wasn’t jealous that his stories slide together without any of the awkward adhesive mine seem to need.  Of course, I was no at all envious of his wit that never advertises itself as funny.  It was not even remotely difficult for me to read writing so clearly superior to mine.  I’m just that big of a person.

            Then, he had to go and get himself on NPR.  I am not kidding you.  I was driving back from dropping off the boys, and an essay came on.  I missed the name at the start, but by the time I got to my driveway, I was so riveted that I let Lilah fuss in the backseat till it was over.

            Yes, people, it was he.  He had an essay on N-fucking-PR.

            The essay was about Recession Wear.  You can read all about it on his blog, where he describes it much more entertainingly than I do, but the gist of it is that he has been buying adult clothes as the Salvation Army and then using the fabric to sew dresses for his little girl.

            Yeah.  Just to clarify, he’s a stay-at-home-dad who in his spare time records essays on NPR and sews clothes for his kid.  And you wonder why I would stop reading his blog.

           Not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment.  I, too, have begun to switch over to buying used clothes whenever possible.  It started as an environmental move.  Around the corner from our house is a children’s used clothing store.  We walk there, select four pairs of pants for under $20, and walk home.  There is absolutely no cost to the planet, other than the price tags on the clothing, because I bring a canvas bag for my purchases.  I save money, I do not use any gas, no new crap gets produced for us, and, best of all, the clothes come already sewn.

           A few blocks in the other direction (thus confirming that pretty much anything one might need is a walk from my house) is a branch of the cleverly named Out of the Closet, a chain of L.A. thrift shops that raise money for AIDS charities.  I suppose I could start refurbishing adult clothes that I find there into kids’ frocks, but then I’d need both a sewing machine and the ability to sew.  No, I go there for my clothes.  Again, cheap, no environmental cost, and it raises money for charity.

          So, we’ve got our own version of Recession Wear around here, although I’ll admit it doesn’t look as good as the stuff on Mike’s daughter, nor is NPR likely to come calling anytime soon.            

          I just wish his blog weren’t so damned good.  I think I am going to have to add it back into my Reader.

Please sign the guest book

            I love blogging.  I love reading your blogs and knowing you read mine.  But, it has come to my attention lately that there are way too many blogs in my reader.  Like WAY too many.  I want to keep reading all of them or they wouldn’t be there in the first place.  But, I cannot, not with three kids and a cat (OK, there is no cat, but my husband reads this blog and I thought I would try to slip that in there).  And, the only fair way I can think of to cut them down is to read those who are here reading me.  So that we’re in, you know, a conversation.  Even if we don’t always comment.

            There are certain posts I write that I know will bring a comment from Chani.  She rarely comments, but I know she always reads, and that makes me very happy.  So, I am not asking you all to comment regularly, or even at all.

            All I am asking is that if you want me to add your blog to my Reader or to keep it in, please leave me a comment on this post or send me an email.  Pretty please?

Back in the saddle

            The email read: “You must keep chattering away….you have quite a nice following now, and writing is your ‘business.’ I imagine you set expectations around that as any working person would, yes?” 

            She had read my posts of last week.  She saw me letting it go, and she emailed me a swift kick in the rear.  The fact is that writing is not just my business.  It is my way of making sense.  It is my mental exercise.  And it is probably essential to my emotional well-being. 

            Sadly, I have not been around other people’s blogs much the last few weeks, and it may be a little longer.  I am sorry, and I will be back as soon as I can.  In the meantime, I am here.  I am writing.  I am doing it one-handed sometimes, and my husband is shouldering a little more on the weekends, but I am doing it.

            After all, the time to cut back on my blogging is probably not when I most need support.  So, stop by this week.  I have something to say.

Memory brushes the same years

            There seem to be a couple of hundred people who read my posts on a daily basis.  I suspect some of those blog stats come from all the preschool teachers Googling lyrics to a certain song about driving around town in a bus all day.  And some come from people looking for one of the other two Emily Rosenbaums, some twit on a reality TV show and a considerably more serious one who teaches at F*rdham University and has the misfortune of sharing her name with the two of us blockheads. 

            There do seem to be, however, a group of you who actually come back on a regular basis to read what I have to say here.  Some of you are bloggers who I have met online.  But many, many others are people I know from the actual, three-dimensional world. 

            We have moved a lot, J and I.  Each place we live, we meet more people and add them to our group of friends.  Now, as I update our contact list to prepare for the baby announcements, I realize that we know people with zip codes starting in everything but an 8, not to mention the international post codes.  I was thinking of adding John McCain to our baby announcement list, just to have an 8 code, but I couldn’t decide which house to send it to.

            And some of these friends from over the years read my blog.  People in North Carolina and Illinois.  People in London and Columbus.  People in Salem and the Upper Whatever Side and the far outskirts of Beverly Hills.  Stateless people in the District of Columbia.

            These are people who have known me when I was a teenager, through my twenties, into my thirties.  They know my kids’ real names, but they get confused sometimes because they are so used to reading my blog.  They are married and single and gay and straight and even from different political parties.

            And then there are the relatives.  Not mine (I don’t think, but who knows), but my husband’s.  There are a lot of Rosenbaum relatives out there, and one by one, they have started reading.  They may or may not comment on the blog, but now and then I get an email from them speaking to something I have written.

            So, to all of you – the friends, the relatives, the former colleagues, the people stalking me from afar – thank you.  Thank you for caring about us and our family.  Thank you for supporting me.  I love that you read my words, and I hope you will drop me a line to tell me that you are there and have been checking in.

            And, if you know anyone with an 8 zip code, send ‘em my way.  

Sidekick?

            Have you noticed I rarely write about my husband?  If I do, it is an offhand remark necessary to the telling of a story about someone else (usually one of our children).  He is not often the subject of posts.

            This is not because he is not important to my life.  He is my partner and my friend, and over the past fourteen (sweet heavens, has it been that long?) years since we met, we have grown together in all sorts of odd ways.  We always know where the other is going in a conversation, we often have the same idea at the same time, and we generally have developed a shorthand form of communication.  There are lots more things I could say, but I try not to write too much about him or our relationship here on this blog.

            I fear if I did, it would permeate our relationship.  We would both become self-conscious, knowing that the things we do together or our conversations could become blog fodder.  More to the point, he would never have the comfort of knowing our relationship is completely private.  Our marriage needs to be a safety zone, where we can say anything without fear of public embarrassment.  If I wrote about him, we would lose that place.

            Writing about my kids is different.  I have certain rules in place – pseudonyms, no pictures, nothing that will cause trouble in the Jr. High locker room.  But, the fact is, they do not know I write about them, so it is not a cause for anxiety or self-censorship in our relationship.  I can write about them, record their lives for them, without fearing that it is affecting how we relate to one another.

            Of course, there is always the mommyblogger fear that they will hate me for it later or that I am invading their privacy, which is why my husband vets my writing, acting as their advocate. 

           But him?  He is an adult, he knows what I am doing.  And I just cannot see how our relationship would be the same if instead of being two tired people sloughing through life together I turned us into the observer and the observed.