Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rachel likes Chicken and Chicken likes Rachel AND Ashes: A Blogging Memoir

Hi World:

Way back in January my friend Rachel, at the Rachel Chronicals , gave me a Stylish Blogger award.

Why, thanks, Rachel, and back at you.  I was drawn to Rachel's blog through her profile pic.  Is that cute or what?

I'm late in thanking Rachel because I wrote myself a note from my mother to get out of blogging for the month of January.  (Dear Blogosphere, Please excuse Chicken from blogging this month because she is real busy doing other stuff and can't come out to play, but will be back soon, love Chicken's Mom). 

And for you enquiring minds, you know who you are, I was NOT in rehab. If I had been, I would have gotten some autographs and photos and posted them here.  So no need to worry. Or maybe you should worry.  I guess it depends on your perspective. 

Anway, moving on.  Just today, I read another post from another blogging friend, Up from the Ashes, and it reminded me of Rachel, how she was so kind to me, and how we all encourage one another.   It is an important part of this blogging world for most of us. 

In case you are on a time limit today, which we all can appreciate, I'll give you the gist of Ashes post.

She spoke about not having a lot of followers and that she didn't mind that because she doesn't really like being in the spotlight-in the blogging world or the real world.  She decided to take a chance recently, however, in the real world, and is participating in a fashion show.  (Wow, way to make an entrance into the world, Girl.  Chicken + Fashion Show + Heels = No Possible Way. Dude.)

And because I know this blogging world to be a very friendly and encouraging one, I am here to encourage her to let her light shine in the blogosphere, as well.  I started to write a comment to her post, but it went on and on and on, and rather than harangue the poor woman to death, I decided to harangue you all.  But not to death.  So sit back down, darn it.

Chicken tangent:  Isn't harangue a great word?  I had no idea how to spell it.  So when I looked it up, Google decided that what I really wanted to search for was Harry Potter.  I'm getting a little sick of Google's arrogance, and there will be a post coming on that soon.

Anyway, back to the haranguing.  What I wanted to tell Ashes is that, with a few exceptions (and we all know who they are, because they are hilarious, mesmerizing, or just plain the sweetest, and we all read them), blogging relationships take time, but the rewards of developing those relationships are worth far more than the investment of time you will make.

In addition to the people I already know in real life who read and encourage me, there are also you guys-the bloggers I may never meet, whose friendship and encouragement mean a lot to me (especially during this very tough year). 

So what I want to say to my friend Ashes is:  Yes, you DO want to be the center of attention for the amount of time it takes someone to read your post.  Believe that, and believe we are interested in hearing what you have to say about yourself and your life in your own unique voice.  We can't get that anywhere else. 

I'm passing on this Stylish Blogger award to you as a promise that there will always be someone who wants to hear what you take the time to write, and there will always be someone that connects with it.  Unless you are a really mean clown or Hitler or something.  But sadly, even then, there will probably be someone.

BTW, those awards come with rules.  I know one of them is passing it on, and I think another might be telling us all things about yourself that we don't already know. 

THINGS ABOUT ME YOU MAY NOT KNOW:  I made littleb french toast this morning for breakfast.  I'll bet you didn't know that.  Also, yesterday I got lost looking for an event I was supposed to attend and never made it.  Did you know that?  Did you know that I get lost all the freakin' time?  Did you know that my own personal mantra is "It is the journey that counts, not the destination"? Good thing I really believe it, too, because I almost never end up where I meant to go.

Good luck, Ashes, with all your blogging efforts and your writing in general.

Rachel, thanks for wanting to hear my voice and for appreciating it.  I appreciate you, too.

I appreciate all of you.

Chicken out

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Warm Me Up

Hi ya, World,

Man in Black recently contacted me to let me know in no uncertain terms that I am in violation of my blog probation. He's an ass. He thinks those ray bans make him look cool but he is wrong. They make him look like an ass. Which he is.

But that's not why I've gathered you here today.

For Christmas, I gave TWLITB a new parka. And not just any parka, no. For TWLITB, because I heart him so much, I sought out the warmest coat that Lands End claims to sell, and I bought it. This is what it looks like.

Nice, right?

But because his father and I are not the world's most effective communicators, he also received a coat from his Dad. Now, Dad's coat was nice-it was. I'll concede that. Sort of a fleece lined canvas army-inspired job. It was sharp. It wasn't the Warmest Coat Lands End Sells.

You can probably guess where this is going. He loved the coat his Dad gave him and refused to wear The Warmest Coat Lands End Sells. The hell? This was distressing to me. I need to know that my kids are warm. It is a deep-seated need. And this fashion over function bull, I'm just not buying it.

The coat sat around through a snow storm or two and I hoped that freezing temps would drive him to wear it. Well, that and repeatedly being sent out to shovel the driveway. But that did not happen.

It was time to return the coat.

First, just for kicks, I tried the coat on. And it fit. And it was the warmest. coat. ever.

I began to covet the coat. Like many Moms, I am loathe to spend lots of money on warm outerwear for myself. I admired the coat from afar, but still fully intended to return it. The coat and I exchanged meaningful glances over the next few days, but nothing happened.

Enter R. A couple days a week, R takes the public bus to her classes. To get there, she has to catch one bus from our neighborhood to downtown, where she waits outside for 20 minutes, and then catches another bus from there, back past our neighborhood, and to her school. The whole trip takes about an hour and half of that is spent outside. R is always cold. She complains non-stop about how cold she is. An idea began to take root. Maybe I couldn't keep TWLITB warm, but R clearly was in need of The Warmest Coat Lands End Sells.

She wouldn't wear it either.

That's when I said to myself, "Screw you ungrateful ingrates, I'm wearing the warm coat. That's right. I'm keeping it, I'm wearing it, and I'm going to be warm. I'm in love with this coat.  I want to marry this coat and have warm coat babies.".

I enjoyed a few super cozy days with my new coat. We were inseparable. In an email exchange with GG, during which I expressed my dismay that my children would rather freeze than wear the Warm Coat, and my delight in my new smoking hot relationship with the Warm Coat, GG suggested a song & dance routine I could use to taunt my children the next time they complained about winter and all its frosty coldness.

Sing it with me: (to the tune of Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me)

Dontcha wish your body was warm like me?
Dontcha? Dontcha?
Dontcha wish you had a nice coat like me?
Dontcha? Dontcha?

Can't you just picture the video?

So anyway, along about 10 pm a couple of nights later, I went to pick R up from her evening class. I was wearing my new coat. She climbed into the car and said, "Brrr. I'm freezing. I should have worn the coat. You were right."

Wait. Could you repeat that? I was right?

Cue the music.

Oh yes, I did. Right then and there, in my new coat, I did my best Beyonce' imitation. It was hot. And not just because of the coat.

Fast forward a week. Suddenly, whenever I go to the closet to grab MY Warm Coat, it is not there. We seem to have a loosely formed Society of the Warm Coat situation going on. I did not authorize this community of sharingness! I oppose this regime.  However, like Mubarek, I've been outnumbered. The Youth have revolted.

R decided that being warm trumps looking hot. Her interest in the coat caused TWLITB to see the Warm Coat in a new light. A cooler light. "Wait", I imagine TWLITB thinking, "maybe an expedition-style, fur lined hood IS cool...maybe it is just as cool as the Russian-style fur hat I ordered over the internet and spent all my Christmas money on and lost within two weeks." "Maybe", thinks TWLITB, "I'd like to wear that Warm Coat".

And just like that, I'm sharing my warm coat with my fickle children. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Other than cold.

Chicken out (in the cold)

this photo has nothing to do with my post.  It came up when I googled "Society of the Shared Coat" and I thought it was funny.