Saturday, January 29, 2005

Blogging: Mommy (and Me)

The NY Times Style section has an article today on parent blogs: Mommy (and Me) discusses the rise of the parent blog (apparently over 8,000 this year, double last year's stat). Apparently the mommy blog (or daddy blog) is becoming quite a popular blog sub-genre. Why? Well, apparently we're the generation that spawned reality TV (I'd argue that, but OK), and us reproductive-years folk are also more expressive when it comes to family, feelings, and so on than previous generations (the author's speculations about the Good Housekeeping mommy blog of the 50's is amusing). Additionally, parents appear to blog in order to keep from disappearing into the piles of dirty diapers, spitup-covered onesies, unwashed milky bottle nipples, and an overwhelming variety of battery-operated toys and gadgets. The parent blog says, "yes, I had a kid, but I am still here - I am still me. There is life beyond baby, and I have an identity beyond that of parent."

I have some thoughts on that. I can see how the blog can be used to assert an identity beyond the daily reality of diapers and squeaky-toys (aside: has anyone else out there noticed the negligible difference between cat/dog toys and kid toys? Our cats have!). On the other hand, as the mom of a kid who turns four months tomorrow, I haven't been hit with the urge to blog more - I've been less and less prolific as a writer since she was born. I would rather spend time interacting with my little one than blogging about her, or other topics, for that matter. I also use other mechanisms to reaffirm my identity as an adult human being. That said, here I am writing about parenthood with the little one cooing away on my lap. Anyway, I found the article an interesting description of parent blogs, intereting enough to kick me out of my latest blogging slump!

- posted by laurie @ 1/29/2005 06:45:00 AM (0) comments

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Oh, those sneaky user agreements

Eric and I went out to do some errands last night: we got a nifty fleece-lined shirt for him (to replace a great big thick canvas-like shirt he's had for years, and looks it!) and to get new cellphones. Originally this was supposed to be a new phone for him only, as certain keys on his keypad had pretty much ceased functioning, but we've got AT&T Wireless, which has recently been folded into Cingular. This means that, because we have a family plan, in order to upgrade one phone we had to: 1) change over to a Cingular plan from AT&T; 2) both get new, Cingular-compatible phones. So, we chose cute little flip phones, bemoaned the dearth of standard ringtones, etc. I started poking around Cingular's site, looking at ringtones and graphics, and found a service they offer that allows you to upload, edit, download and send your own pictures and images. Kinda nifty. EXCEPT when you read the terms and conditions of the user agreement, which contains the following:

"By uploading, posting or otherwise transmitting any material via the Service, you grant to MOVISO, its successors and assigns, a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty free, perpetual, non-revocable license to use, modify or distribute such material in any manner."

Now, how many people read the full agreement? Or know that this company can turn around and sell their images?

Yes, I know this type of thing is not uncommon, but it still burns me. Just another example of why copyright matters, and why we should always, always read the fine print.

- posted by laurie @ 1/11/2005 09:21:00 AM (0) comments

Monday, January 10, 2005

On mommyhood and dieting

I'm sitting here finishing up lunch: leftover sugar peas and some tempeh, lightly pan-fried in olive oil spray and soy sauce. I'm having this wholesome lunch instead of my usual instant mac&cheese or sandwich because Eric and I are giving the diet another go. We've been South-Beaching it since Jan. 2. I'm trying to lose the weight I wanted to lose before I found out I was pregnany AND the baby-weight. Needless to say, I've got a substantial reduction to work on. Eric's trying to shed weight generally, some of which was put on as a result of keeping up with the eating machine I was when I was pregnant plus the weight he gained when he quit smoking this July (what a good move that was, for all concerned - except his waistline, of course!). I think I'm losing weight, but am not sure because I diligently went and got a new battery for our cool digital weight-and-body-fat scale, only to replace said battery and discover that the thing is dead, dead, dead. All it does is read, "ErrO," no matter what I do to it. Oh well, some might say it's better not to focus on the weight (but it's still nice to have a way to measure progress or regression). One of the nice things about dieting this time is that, with breastfeeding, I have additional calorie requirements, which meand that basically I can eat the same amount as usual (or more), provided it's healthy stuff, and lose weight!

I was also able to devote a bit more time to lunch today because today is the little one's first day in daycare. It's a very bittersweet thing. We're only doing about 4 hours today, and only a few days this week, to get the little one used to the provider and to the routine associated with my return to school. But I miss her! We have found a good provider, and I think it will be a great place for my baby, but at the same time, someone not me or Eric is looking after her, and that's hard. On the other hand, I am really excited to get back onto campus, to start teaching in a classroom, and to be able to regularly interact with adults again. I don't think I have ever been as conflicted about anything before: not moving, not any of the decisions regarding grad school, nothing else.

That said, I have a few domestic and motherly things to attend to before we go to retrieve our little precious. Folding laundry, running the dishwasher, doing some more laundry, umm - pumping so there will be bottles for daycare on Wednesday. I also plan to work on my syllabus, but that's not domestic or motherly. But categories are kind of useless in my life right now - it all gets jumbled together!

One week and two days until I hit the classroom again. Nervous excitement accompanies that thought!

- posted by laurie @ 1/10/2005 11:26:00 AM (0) comments

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Fight Big Overcoat

Learn about a coat manufacturer conspiracy to change the weather in the upper midwest at Fight Big

umm, this is, of course, not a serious thing . . . it was in the right-coloumn adspace on when I checked to see how frigid it was this morning. I'm pretty resistant to ads, but this one piqued my interest.

turns out that, with some (minimal) digging, this is nothing other than a very clever targeted ad for trans global vacations.

But hey, if it turns out that there's a conspiracy to keep the weather cold here, I'll fight the good fight to overturn the big coat dealers!

- posted by laurie @ 1/04/2005 09:17:00 AM (0) comments