cre8Buzz doesn't suck - or - freedom from 'express' shun

In a wonderfully timely follow-up to my post yesterday about how Facebook sucks, here's one more reason to DUMP them (& Myspace as well)...the social networking site cre8Buzz has publicly given us all a reason to get on board with them

They've announced that they welcome images of women breastfeeding; they aren't just quietly accepting/not deleting such photos but instead are making it a matter of policy. How awesome is that...they are separating themselves from other social networking sites who consider such images obscene. LOVE them.

Their words:

Our official position:

Cre8Buzz is the place where people can be seen, heard and found and interact with communities of like-minded folks. We believe that each community has its topics, issues and means of expression that are unique. Therefore, we at Cre8buzz accept all means of expression, including photos, as long as they meet reasonable standards of appropriateness for that community. For Moms, breastfeeding is part of motherhood like dirty diapers and sick kids. We have no issue with members of the Moms community expressing themselves with pictures of breastfeeding.

Cre8Buzz will go live on October 7th; I was fortunate enough to be a part of the beta site (so I feel more than a bit proud about this announcement).

I have some beta invitations left if you'd like to check cre8Buzz out before they go live; leave a comment and I'll see if I can't hook you up. I'm in the photography community (but zip into the Moms community often, and others as well); you can join any group with an invite, and believe me there are plenty of communities from which to chose.


No love lost on either of our parts...

...as I rarely used my Facebook account (I'm all about Twitter & cre8Buzz, baby), but I've gotten all lactivist on their asses and deleted it. Like they care.

But, reminiscent of the Bill Maher uproar it seems that Facebook finds images of moms breastfeeding OBSCENE.

For fun, I googled 'facebook images.' Go ahead, open up another tab and try it (it's a regular google search, not an images search). There's a couple of pics at the top and then, the first result is called, 'Facebook Images.' Click it. It takes you directly to the facebook site of Mark McGowan, whom it seems is a UK based performance artist/protester. Check out the image first column, fifth row down, titled "THE RE-ENACTMENT OF THE CONCEPTION OF PRINCE WILLIAM 2007." DON'T do this if kids are around.

This is obscene per Facebook, but simulating (or photographing?) doggy style sex isn't. Weird.

Check out League of Maternal Justice for the code for that awesome button and more info.

P.S. Dear Internets, I have nothing against Mark McGowan and his work...just pointing out the fact that Facebook has a wacked definition of 'obscene.'


I love you, Jimmy McNichol!!!

When I was in fifth grade I moved from one state to another. I was a New Kid in a small parochial school, with only one other New Kid. On day two of school I heard a rumor that the other New Kid, "didn't like me." I was crushed, heartbroken; I hadn't ever known anyone to not like me, especially someone that I hadn't even officially met. That night I cried to my mom, not understanding why someone who didn't know me didn't like me. I learned a lot that night as I cuddled with my mom, crying on her shoulder.

The next day at recess a group of kids came running over to me and breathlessly told me that SHE WAS COMING OVER TO BEAT ME UP!!! Sure enough, behind them came The Other New Girl, arms crossed against her chest, a couple of other fifth grade girls flanking her, eager for the confrontation.

Quickly I assessed my options; I'd never been in a fight before, and didn't know how these things worked. I knew I didn't want to get hurt, but I also didn't want to get in trouble for fighting. I made my decision just as this girl, let's call her Sallie, approached me. I don't remember what it was she said to me to inform me we were about to duke it out; I was too pumped up with adrenaline and fear. As the crowd formed a circle around us (just like I'd always imagined, but in my in my fantasies the crowd surrounded me because I was dancing with Jimmy McNichol, while his sister Kristy McNichol, my BEST FRIEND, was clapping in the background because she finally got the two of us to admit our everlasting love for each other).

Sallie started throwing punches and slaps; I ducked and avoided and shielded myself with my arms. The crowd was getting larger, and there was a lot of yelling and commotion.

When I saw my opportunity, I stood up, drew back my right arm and launched my fist towards her. It connected with her right eye; she was stunned (as was I, my plan was WORKING!) and knelt over, hands covering her face. Sticking to my plan, I ran, pushing my way through the crowd and straight to the principal. I didn't stop at the receptionist...just barged right into the principal's office and hurled myself onto her sofa. I was crying, upset at what had just happened, horribly afraid I'd be in trouble, wondering why I was even in this position. I told the principal everything, honestly, including my plan and how it worked (!).

Sallie got detention, I got a hug. Well, she got a hug, too, I'm sure. But I didn't get detention. Nanadepoopoo, Sallie.

There will always be bullies, in every walk of life. As much as I like the idea of turning the other cheek again and again and again and again and again and again, all bullies learn from that capitulation is to keep bullying. There are going to be times, whether due to history or immediacy, that a bully must be confronted.

P.S.: That's the one and only physical punch I've ever thrown.


Ugly green monster, please exit stage left

The other day I was walking down our street with my kids and Cutest Puppy Ever. We were heading to a park to vacate our house while it was being shown. I'd just spent a stressful few hours getting ready for these looky-loos potential buyers...all the more annoying because we have an accepted offer, but as it is still in a contingency period we're keeping our options open.

Anyway, as we strolled down our street my daughter was workin' her Dora scooter, my son was walking our dog, and I was luxuriating in not having to be cleaning anything. Some neighbors a couple of blocks away were hanging in their front yard; while the girls played the husband washed their minivan and the wife deadheaded some roses. I smiled and waved as we approached them, and in one unexpected swarm the four of them, along with their big dog, descended upon us in a flurry of wagging tails, giggles, and...questions, Where are you moving? You're renting? Why? Oh. We'll miss you. Have a nice walk. Bye!

The girls, who are about six and nine, went back to their yard, giggling and squealing with delight as they took turns chasing and then being chased by their dog. I watched them, and my head flashed into a power-point of their future in this house, this neighborhood...holidays, summer days, celebrations, arguments, proms, broken hearts, all set within the backdrop of this home, this family home. This is, of course, in contrast to our own situation which is uncertain, which continues to STUN me when I really stop and consider it.

And in that moment, I did consider it, and I experienced a pang of guilt, fear, and regret so powerful I hesitated mid-breath...and then (hold on) an ugly, little, hypocritical thought regarding those two little girls surprised me as it flashed through my head, "Princesses!"


For a split second I channeled all of my angst and focussed it on two innocents who were simply enjoying a late summer evening with their family. Jealousy is ugly, even if it is brief, silent, and regretted.

Then I looked at my kids as they whooped and hollered on the way to the park, our pup's tail wagging in delight. They are happy, we are together, we are happy together. That's all that matters, I know.

It's just hard when dreams die.


More like 'mastication', Bill, not 'masturbation.' Just without the teeth and the whole chewing thing.

In case anyone has missed the Bill Maher breastfeeding firestorm, head on over to Suburban Oblivion , Velveteen Mind, and Queen of Spain to get the scoop.

(Yes, that first comment at Suburban Oblivion is mine...and yes, it's totally irrelevant and tangential. Notice the time I posted it...tipsy tired posting.)


A bit of meta

Can you tell me if your feed is working? I've had a couple of people tell me that my posts aren't showing up in their readers. I'm not sure what's going on...


Apache Rose Peacock

I'm guest photoblogging at Looking Into. I hope you head over there and check out my photo Apache Rose Peacock!



How can I NOT write about it?

Who the hell am I to write about September 11, 2001? I live on the other side of the country, I didn't lose anyone I know personally, I just have my own little story (as we all do) of where I was when I heard about it, and how it changed me.

But it's my blog, and here's my story.

My husband, our son, my mom and I were in Reno. My husband had to go see some clients there, and my mom and I tagged along. We're not gamblers by any stretch of the imagination, but we enjoy throwing some quarters in slot machines and people watching when the opportunity presents itself.

When I woke up on the morning of 9/11 my husband had left for work and my son was still sleeping; I turned on the faucet of the ridiculously humongous jetted tub, tossed in an excessive amount of bubble bath and climbed in. I looked out the wall of windows and noticed a flag on the top of a building across the street at half mast. Hmmmmmm.

I turned on the news as I did every morning. I had no idea what I was looking at; the images on the screen appeared to be some sort of a war zone. I switched to another channel, and then another. The commentators weren't helpful in the first moments as I tried to process what was going on, I just read and heard, "New York," "Washington, DC" and "Pennsylvania" amidst images of smoke and debris and people running and firetrucks and...chaos. In our streets. In multiple locations. What the hell was going on?

I reached for the phone as I soaked in that bubble bath and called my husband's cell; as it rang I glanced out the windows...that flag at half mast was suddenly far more ominous.

He was sitting in a coffee shop and had been watching the news for some time; he filled me in on the details as best he could. "I want to go home," I told him. He called his clients who as it turned out also wanted to go home; meeting canceled. I called my mom in her room; she, too, had been watching the news for some time. Like my husband had done, she waited for me to call her. I'm grateful for those last moments of sleep, blissfully unaware of how the world had changed.

We left Reno late in the morning; we drove through a fast food restaurant before we hit the highway because we realized that except for my son, none of us had eaten. My husband was sitting in the passenger seat trying to get through to all of our friends in New York City. Please let them be okay, I thought, while simultaneously feeling guilty for that thought because I knew so many people weren't okay, everything is different, our lives will never be the same, what is next, are we safe... My mind was spinning out of control with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.

At the Reno-California border we had to stop at the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Border Station. They ask you a few cursory questions to make sure you aren't going to import some horrible plant disease. I rolled down my window and the agent asked me, "Do you have any vegetation in the vehicle?"

"No," I answered.

"Isn't that tomato and lettuce I see on your burger?" she challenged me.

"Uh, erm, eh..." I answered.

"KIDDING!" She laughed and waived me on.

The thing is, I laughed, too. We all did.

She doesn't know what a gift she gave me in that moment. She reminded me to keep laughing, to live in the moment, and not be afraid to enjoy myself and my family.

So as I drove away I took some deep breaths and turned off the radio.

I turned it back on half an hour later, in a far better place. And I know how lucky I was to have that luxury, to be surprised by a laugh and then disengage, only to return on my timetable.


So who's nice NOW?

Have you ever been standing in your home looking out your window and spotted your neighbor standing in their house, looking out their window?

And flipped them off?

For no good reason except to see how they react?

I haven't, but I've thought about it. The problem is that most people wouldn't laugh, they'd be offended (see how in tune I am with fellow humans...I understand intuitively that they'd be offended without having actually tested this hypothesis).

Now, on any given day I probably flip off my husband at least a couple of times, for no good reason. His sense of humor is as juvenile as mine, and he always laughs. Like I've never flipped him off before and IT WAS TOTALLY UNEXPECTED!

That's one of the things I'm looking forward to about moving; I'll be living next door to a good friend who will in all likelihood flip me off if she sees me from inside her house. First. And I'll burst out laughing every. single. time.

Warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it? Ever so Mayberry-ish.

Oh, and Appliance Update Part II (here's Part I): my dishwasher is fixed and is currently running it's first load in nearly three months. Since June 28, to be specific. Ah, the beautiful sound of water sloshing in a stainless steel tub.


*whoop whoop* v2

Seriously, how much do I rock? I get my first two buttony awards, and they are the same award. Man, I must be really fucking nice!

Velveteen Mind has also been sweet enough to grace me with a 'Nice Matters' award. And like I said in my last post, this is wonderfully timely and makes me all happy inside. Thank you for the kind words, Velveteen Mind...they mean so much.

And Jennifer, you know I love you, but I have to say that I am way more of a twisted bra strap type of girl than a Victorian shoes overflowing with flowers and pink ribbons type of girl. But then, if I know you at all, so are you.

To those of you I proclaimed as deserving of this Nice Matters award, grab whichever button you prefer. Choice is good!

*whoop whoop*

When I started this blog oh so many months ago, I thought I was in essence creating a public journal that, once in a while, someone would stumble upon. And that would be that.

I had noooooo idea. I didn't know how dynamic this blogging world is; I didn't realize I would make new friends, real friends . But I have, and I am amazed and grateful for these friendships...because, as trite as it sounds, I am a better person for knowing them.

So when Jennifer (aka Binky Bitch Extraordinaire)(aka Playgroupie) awarded me with what must be the sweetest accolade ever, I fell back in my seat. 'Being Nice' is something that has come up as a topic of conversation in my life recently in a variety of venues...if everyone would just 'Be Nice' the world would be a far better place. Duh.

Jennifer, thank you so much for your timely buttony award; the fact that it is my first buttony award makes it all the more sweet.

I'm thrilled to pass on the love to these bloggers...they are also super, duper NICE. And nice matters.

Candace at Not that I don't love my kids...
Mrs. Fussypants at Fabulous Mrs. Fussypants
Misty at PDX Mama
Heather at Just Treadmilling Around
Jenn at Serving the Queens
Jennifer at Take a Walk on the Childside


A big old blogging hug

My buddy Casey over at Moosh in Indy is asking for support and words of wisdom/encouragement for her friend who recently suffered a miscarriage. Here's the comment I left over at her blog; if you can stop by and help her friend through this by sharing your stories or sending well wishes it would be much appreciated. And a doggone nice thing to do!


I had two miscarriages in-between my two children.

The first started with some cramping and spotting. I remember the moment I knew for sure that it was serious; I was laying in bed and felt a gush accompanied by horrible cramping. At that exact moment the chimes outside our bedroom window rang, despite it being a totally calm night. I was nearly eleven weeks; we’d seen the heartbeat nearly a month earlier.

The second time I was in the doctor’s office for a routine 7 week vaginal ultrasound. We were so excited…but then the silence in that dark room as my OB tried to locate a heartbeat was overwhelming. My own heart was pounding like crazy, and everything was reduced to the concerned look on my doctor’s face and my thought, “Not again, not again, not again, not again, not again.” Those moments seemed to last forever, until he looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry.”

What got me through those experiences without losing hope was the fact that miscarriages are so common. Painful and devastating and all of those horrible things, but also natural and not something to be ashamed of…the loss of a pregnancy is something women (and men) have been grieving throughout time. It sucked to be part of that group, but I knew I wasn’t alone.

I’m glad you’re doing this for your friend. She needs to feel not-alone. Hugs to her, and to you.


Downsizing is the new bling

It's been a flurry of a whirlwind of a clusteryuck of activity, but twelve days after putting our home on the market we've accepted an offer.

We got a teeny tiny bit more than we were asking, which we looooooooooove. More would have been fabulous, but less would not have been okay. I'm thrilled to be where we are, particularly in this market.

So now we being the process of sifting through the things that have filled this 3,700 square foot home. We are deciding what to toss/give away/sell, and what we will be taking with us to our new 2,100 square foot home. We are renting the house from friends who are also downsizing, in their case to an apartment in Seattle.

When I was twenty-seven, I traveled for several months around Europe, carrying everything I needed in a backpack. In the months leading up to that, I enjoyed the process of figuring out what I would need, and how I was going to fit everything into one bag I'd lug around on my back. I packed and unpacked that bag literally dozens of times, folding and rolling and organizing and weighing and eliminating and adding stuff until I felt I had it just right (I swear that experience is why I was good at Tetris years later). Interestingly, as I traveled some of those belongings were lost or stolen, and I found I didn't need as much as I had thought. I went home with less than I'd taken (apart from a couple of little souvenirs). I learned that possessions are far overrated; we can get by with far less than we think we need.

Now, many years later I'm doing it all over again, but instead of going from an apartment to a backpack I'm moving from a relatively big house into a more modest one.

A modest home that is more than enough for us. We don't NEED this huge of a home; in fact, it is probably a detriment in many ways. We have rooms that go unused for days at a time. Sure, the home is gorgeous, and those extra rooms look good, but there have been times when I've felt embarrassed at my home's excess, its conspicuousness, its extravagance. Once one of my brothers-in-law walked into our home for the first time and exclaimed, "This is a palace!" An overstatement for sure, but still. It's not me. Not us.

I'm looking forward to living in a home that is "cozy." It will be nice to have the four of us together more often because there aren't a bunch of rooms to which we can each scatter. We can all loll about the family room reading instead of lounging on separate sofas in separate rooms, we can all agree on ONE program that we ALL like, instead of retreating to different corners and watching our selections alone, we can come up with entertainment the whole family will enjoy together since we're going to be tripping over each other anyway.

Downsizing is the new bling, baby. At least for us.


Shiny happy blogger indeed!

Find me Thread-Bear, my friends, as I'm debuting as a guest blogger, follow the link below...and please comment. I hate being a comment whore and that's not how I roll here, but I don't want Velveteen Mind to think a total loser.

Oh, and as an extra enticement to get you to click over, I've included a photo of me...my face is also debuting today (shameless whoring).

Click here:

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