Category Archives: Mash-Ups

My Blogging Report Card: The Year in Review

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Yesterday, WordPress sent its bloggers our end of the year report cards, which provide us with some fun statistics. I stopped looking at the numbers a while ago, so it is fun to see how this year compared to last year.

According to one part of the report:

About 19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2012, there were 165 new posts, growing the total of this blog to 460 posts.

The busiest day of the year was November 17th with 1,103 views. The most popular post that day was Coming Clean About My Age.

Hello, Jay-Z? Did you hear that? Eight sold-out performances. You might want me on your tour. Just sayin’.

For me, 2012 was a mix of highs and lows. There were a lot of best of times. And I didn’t have anything that I would count as a “worst of times,” and for that I am fortunate.

In January, when I learned that my niece and nephew had not received their holiday gifts, I wrote I’m Sorry The US Postal Service Wrecked Your Christmas.  Just in case you were left hanging, wondering: Did the kids ever get their present. A month later, the box came back to my house. Apparently, my sister-in-law has a really cranky mail carrier.  This year, we got it right. I think.

In February, I Got Lucky in N’awlins when I met The Lucky Mom in the city that holds my heart. We only spent about 5 hours together, but Lisha has become another angel who lives and breathes in The Crescent City.

Color-coordinated. With hat.

In March, I showed you some emails from my students in wotz da big deal cuz u no wot i mean. It hurt to write that the first time, and it hurt again now. Please remember to read to your children. And as they get older, please try to hold off on letting them texting until they have mastered basic rules of spelling and grammar. No matter what anyone says, their teachers can tell the difference. And yes, it matters.

In April, I started  shopping for dresses for my son’s upcoming bar mitzvah and gave you A Reason to Hate Communal Mirrors after a stranger gave me a few unsolicited words of advice.

yoga

In May, I went to an outdoor yoga event in memory of an old friend who died of brain cancer. I found myself wondering Why Did I Stop Yoga? And I’m proud to say that is one mid-year resolution I’ve kept.

In June, I started to obsess about TechSupport’s bar mitzvah, which took place at the end of the month, just 8 days before he left for a month an overnight camp. I wrote Channeling Atticus Finch, a flashback where I remember being very-pregnant with the person who would become my only child. It’s hard to believe that I have a teenager now, but those of you who have been reading recently, know that I sooooo do. Because he sooooo is.

Rude!

In July, I asked Is It Wrong To Type Thank You Notes? After Tech’s bar mitzvah, he had a lot of gratitude to show. But his penmanship is atrocious. The comments in this post were interesting and helpful. I also kvelled a bit as I wrote how I felt about my son’s bar mitzvah in To My Son, One Month After and The Happy Hora and A Gift from Grampy. I don’t usually write about religion; perhaps this is why these posts are so special to me.

Doesn't my ginger ale with lime look fancy?

In August, I got some photographs back from the photographer! So I was able to show you some pictures of Tech’s science-themed bar mitzvah in What It All Looked Like.

Life was good. Everything was ladybugs and sunflowers. I thought it could last.

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And then, things kind of fell apart a bit. In August, my writing partner dumped me. And my computer crashed. I lost a very important relationship along with twenty years of teaching curriculum, all my photographs, all my writing, as well as the first draft to my recently completed novel.

*weep*

A month later, after I stopped crying, I wrote Rebooting Myself After The Great Computer Crash: You’ve Got To Back That Thang Up. Consider this a Public Service Announcement. If you have a computer and you don’t have an external hard drive, please buy one for yourself. Now.

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In October, a girl at my son’s school used social media to announce that she was going to commit suicide. I wrote When a Walk in the Park is Not a Walk in the Park after my son and I took a walk where he opened up to me a little. That was rough.

In November, I gave myself a blog mini-makeover, and some blogging friends offered me some faboo headers from which to choose. I survived another birthday, and wrote Coming Clean About My Age, which was Freshly Pressed.  *Sarcasm on* So you know it was one of my very best pieces of writing. *Sarcasm off* But for real, being SquishedFlat brought a lot of new readers to my blog, and for that I am grateful.

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In December, I wrote Make a Wish: It’s 12:12 on 12/12/12. Because my father turned 75 on that day, and the world did not end nine days later either. So it’s really good that I didn’t give him any of the Doomsday gifts that I considered in that post.

Oh, and I also retired from teaching in December. Forever.

I didn’t write about it. I just walked out of my classroom. After twenty-two years as an educator, I’m burnt out. It is hard to write those words because so many of my happiest days were in one classroom or another.

And yet.

I am craving new adventures.

And I want to finish my book.

That is the only resolution I am making for 2013. I am going to get it done.

Oh, I need to thank everyone who follows my blog. Even the person who follows me from Zambia. (Whoever you are, thank you!) However you find me, please know I am grateful that you are reading my words. I love your comments, and I encourage you to leave them! Why? Because each one is like a non-caloric yet astoundingly delicious piece of caramel dipped in peanut butter and rolled in chocolate. Who wouldn’t want that?

Lessons Learned CE

I am grateful to each of the guest bloggers who participated in my Lessons Learned series. Because of their generosity, I had 29 amazingly diverse voices, each sharing a valuable life lesson. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click on the link above or check out Giddy About Guest Posts in my sidebar.

Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve. May 2013 be the best yet, for all of us.

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May this white stuff stick around for a little while and then melt.

You know, like my hard-drive back in August. ;-)

tweet this twit @rasjacobson

13 Hot Bloggers You Should Check Out in 2013

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Last year, I landed on Kludgy Mom’s Top Bloggers List. And I almost died. I clicked on that link 100 times that day because even though she says she’s not a big blogger, Gigi Ross is totally a big blogger. Her recognition made me feel like a million bucks, and it was a great way to start off the New Year.

When I got into bed that night, I decided I was going to keep a list of awesome bloggers for other people to check out this year. This is tres difficult because I follow over 50 blogs, and believe me when I say there are too many great writers out there.

These people represent the folks whose content I consistently love to read. They are also bloggers who interact with their readers, which – for me – is half the fun.

13 Hot Bloggers to Check Out in 2013

Missy at Literal Mom - because she approaches parenting in a smart way.  @literalmom

Kiran from Masala Chica – because she is a hot-blooded woman who speaks her mind (respectfully) yet fearlessly. Did I mention, she is gorgeous and she sings. I dare you to hate her; she’s beyond nice. @kferrandino

Nina Badzin – because she knows her stuff. On life and blogging and books. @ninabadzin

Lisha of The Lucky Mom – because she is as funny as she is introspective. And because she lives in New Orleans: the city which will always hold my heart. @lishafink

Liz McLeannan of  Life With Bellymonster – because she has a way of capturing not only a moment, but how she feels in a moment, that every single woman can identify with. Also, she’s Canadian, eh?@lizmclennan

Rivki Silver at Life in the Married Lane – because she writes about three things I love: food, family and Judaism. @rivkisilver

Val at Arty Old Bird because she is one helluva writer with a unique take on nearly everything. An artist from across the Pond, Val allows people to use her images, provided they give proper attribution.  @artyoldbird

Erin Margolin  - because she writes raw and real. And because I think her cause is awesome. @erinmargolin

Darla at ShesaMaineiac – because she is freaking funny. Always.

Tori of The Ramblings – because she’s all over the place. Who doesn’t love a blogger who just does her thang, tells it like it is, and doesn’t give a crap what you think. @toristoptalking

Misty at Misty’s Laws – because she is grumbly and snarky and naughty.

Jules at Go Jules Go – because she is joy on steroids on chipmunks. Don’t ask. Just read. @juliedavidoski

The Byronic Man – because you can’t love Jules (above) and not love her writing partner, the B-man. They go together like…ra-ma-la-ma-lama ga-ding-ga-da-ging-da-dong. Together forever like… aw, you get the point. Also, he’s my token dude.

There are tons of other bloggers whose shizz I love to read. I hope everyone understands that I was trying to plug some of my favorite smaller bloggers out there. Like me. We can’t all be Le Clown. ;)

What small blogger do you LOVE to read? 

tweet me @rasjacobson

Meet My Stalker and Fave Posts of November 2012

A redhead in a dark green sweater whispered in my ear. “Did you ever break in those boots?”

I am usually pretty good at recognizing faces, but this woman?

I had nothing.

The redhead rattled off a few facts about my son. She knew about my attitudes toward gift giving for bar & bat mitzvahs. She knew I drank Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I was flummoxed. Who was this woman, and how did she know about my boots?

“I’m Madge!” she announced with a little curtsey.

“Madge…” I stuttered. “Madge.” I tried to get my synapses to fire, but my neurons were not being cooperative. Holy shizzlesticks! I thought. I think I have a stalker!

Finally, it hit me.

“Madge Madigan?!” I squealed a little too loud. “You don’t look like your avatar at all!”

I might not have recognized Madge because her mouth wasn’t bedazzled by a ginormous ring.

And that is how I met Madge from Madge’s Adult Survival Guide. Y’all, Madge is a hoot. This woman is not afraid to speak her mind. You like politics? Madge is controversial. You wanna hear from a woman who raised three kids, sometimes while on welfare? That’s Madge. You wanna know what type of person type you are at a party? Madge will tell you. Drop in on Madge, and tell her I sent you!

Can you believe I thought Madge was a stalker?

And no, Madge, my boots still pinch. I’ll let you know when I can wear those suckers for longer than four hours. Right now, I’m stuck on Band-Aids. (And Band-Aids are stuck on me.)

Meeting stalkers bloggers in real life is fun.

And speaking of bloggers, a bunch of them wrote fabulous stuff this month.

• • •

Chuck Wendig’s Failing Versus Quitting (Or; Your Lack of Confidence is Neither Interesting Nor Unique gives a good spanking to writers. But this post has applications that reach  beyond the writing community. Got a dream you haven’t been following? Read Chuck’s post and take off those pants of shame and just run around all naked go do it.

Darla from She’s a Maineiac wrote about how she receives signals from her deceased father. I believe this is possible. I do.

Mary reminds us that receiving extravagant gifts is nothing to be ashamed of. (ateachablemom)

Marcia Richards’ Slow Blogging Manifesto made me breathe easier about blogging less frequently. David Walker wondered about this practice and wrote about it, too.

While the presidential election feels like it was a bajillion months ago, Kathy Owen wrote about the history of a woman’s right to vote. Good stuff.

August McLaughlin wrote about Girl Boners. Yes, she did. You wanna know what turns women on? And then what happens. Read this piece of hot stuff.

As usual, Alexandra at Good Day, Regular People says it just right. And her piece on Thanksgiving 101 well… just read THIS.

Gigi at Kludgy Mom wrote about feeling like she’d lost her mojo. Nice to know big bloggers feel this way sometimes, too.

Both Pegoleg and ArtyOldBird wondered about the whole “Freshly Pressed” thing. Lord knows, getting Freshly Pressed on my birthday was a wonderful surprise, and — frankly — my piece didn’t stack up to either of these.

Lisha (The LuckyMom) got to see the performance of a lifetime when an awkward boy stood up to make a public speech.

So proud of Amber West over there in my magical sidebar of love. Her book The Ruth Valley Missing is now available on Amazon! Be sure to watch for the next Tingo Tuesday. Apparently, people who land in my sidebar get their books published. Congratulations, Amber!

Can’t wait to share more of your delicious nom noms next month!

End of the Month MashUp of Hotness: October 2012

I know. I know. It’s been a while since I’ve done a mash-up.

But big stuff has been going on, people.

See those birds up on that tree in my neighbors’ backyard? That means Frankenstorm is on the way. Seriously? The one year that my kid actually made a plan, bought a costume, and I actually purchased candy in advance? And we’re going to have a major storm? Are you kidding me? We’d better have some people at our door. Or else I’ll be going door to door tossing candy in everyone’s mailboxes. Sorry USPS. You guys lost the package I tried to send my niece and nephew last year, so I figure you owe me one.

*smile*

Oh, and check it out! Look at the bottom right hand corner of that photo! I learned how to put a watermark on my pictures! So there’s proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

With that, here is some delicious stuff that I read this month in no particular order.

• • •

Le Clown wrote about All Hallows’ Eve. And it is freakin’ hilarious. If you don’t know Le Clown On Fire. He’s from Montreal and he’s magnifique. Like all the time. I know he’s a clown, but don’t be scared. He’s a good clown.

ATeachableMom wrote “You’re Only Hugging Me So You Can Wipe Your Nose On My Shirt.” Funny stuff, Mary.

Leanne Shirtliffe (aka: Ironic Mom) shared a powerful tip about the power of acting crazy. I can vouch: everything she says works in and out of the classroom.

Editor for Writer’s Digest Books (& a trillion other things) Chuck Sambuchino wrote a fabulous & terrifying article at Writer Unboxed about how to really interpret those statistics you’ve got on your blogs. I’ve never seen anything like his analysis before, and I have to tell you, it is humbling. Find out if you are notable, impressive or very impressive. Then prepare to curl up in your corners.

Imagine an actor reading your manuscript and stopping when he thought it sucked! 7 Reasons Agents Stop Reading Your First Chapter is a must read for aspiring writers.

Nina Badzin hung out with KludgyMom (two of my favorite bloggers in one place!), and wrote about how teaching kids to be unique is sometimes easier said than done.

Kimberly Speranza of Sperk* wrote a lovely & raw response at Erin Margolin‘s blog about why she started blogging. I am now fiercely following Kimberly.

Alexandra Rosas of Good Day, Regular People is a writing machine. But her three-part series called Red Flags was something else. And October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Guess what? Every month should be. Start at Part I. You won’t be able to stop.

On a lighter note, I know she said the deadline has passed, but I’ll bet that Jules’ would totally take late entries for her Halloween Hat Contest at Go Jules Go. (If you don’t, I’m gonna win. Or not.)

Tech savvy folks still have time to enter my contest to make me a header. Just do it. You know you want to. Now that I know how to make a watermark, I mean, there is a chance I might figure this shizz out all by myself.

*wipes brow*

Was it good for you?

tweet me @rasjacobson

 

March Departmental Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Whoever said April comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb didn’t know what he was talking about this year. It was all lamb all the time this month in Western New York. Until last night, when it snowed again. Thank goodness the Interwebs remained unaffected and the yummy-delicious posts kept coming in.

From the Lamb Department

The most delicious Lamb — Kristen Lamb — saved my butt with her post on Deadly Doses: Politics, Religion and Our Brand.   She also debunks the myth that Real Writers Never Struggle.

From the English Department

In honor of National Grammar Day, I offered 7 Reasons To Ignore Grammar Rules aka: wotz the big deal cuz u no wot i mean

Lynette Labelle offers up Commonly Misused Words, Part 3. Nice to know I’m not the only grammar guru out there.

From the Math Department

Math teacher, Chrystal H. penned The Horror of Public Speaking, and expresses gratitude for her now deceased English teacher who helped her become a little more brave.

From the Technology Department

Gigi from Kludgy Mom wrote a piece on Windows 8 called Forget Everything You Knew that made this Mac girl take pause.

From the History Department

K.B. Owen gives a short, informational lesson on Allergies. Sorry to those of you in Richmond, VA. *Achoo* Bless you.

From the Language Department

David N. Walker’s piece Understanding Texicans made me want to go to Texas. Immediately.

From The Home Economics Department

August McLaughlin offered info about Gluten-Free Diets.

From The Science Department

Scott Young explains how smart people think in Training Genius: The Learning Secrets of Polyglots & Savants.

From the Art Department

Diane Foug Almost Threw This In The Creek! If I had been Diane’s neighbor, I would have sneaked down to the creek and snatched it up. I think it is beautiful.

From the Health Department

After Susie Lindau went to get her annual eye exam, she wrote Eyeing the Charts. And then she went to the dentist and had A Very Strange Appointment. So enjoyable. For us. Sorry Susie!

From the Music & Psychology Departments

Amazing how the right musical hook can lodge itself in one’s brain. Listen to this and you’ll be singing it all day. I’m warning you…

From the Physical Education Department

Tyler Tarver attempts to put together The Best Freeze Tag Team Ever.

From the Film Department

Ellie Ann Soderstrom nails it with 20 Iconic Objects in Movies.

From the Awesome Sauce Department

Clay Morgan made his BIG announcement that his book is going to be released this fall. Also his March Movie Madness (#MMM2 on Twitter) is beyond fun! And there is still time to SAVE FERRIS if you vote today before noon EST. Click here to help me advance to the finals against Indiana Jones or Atticus Finch.

From the Sassy Department

Piper Bayard urges us to Eat More Imperial Dwarf Deer. If people can eat snakes and squirrels, why not? Maybe.

Note For the Faculty Lounge

Running From Hell With El wrote a poignant account of how rough it felt to be the mother of a child labeled “bad” in Yes, He is my son.

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

February Mashup Of Awesomeness

Love was in the air this month and lots of people wrote lots of posts about Valentine’s Day. And chocolate-covered love. And wine-coma love. And 13 things they love most about their lovers. And love is awesome. Don’t get me wrong. These posts are slightly less lovey-dovey.

From the English Department

Trish Loye has 10 Ways to Know You’re A Writer.

From the Math Department

Annie from Six Ring Circus writes “I Need To Learn To Count to Four.”

From the Science Department

Jenny Hansen gives us the down and dirty on having babies later in life in her piece “When the Conception Journey is a Rock Filled Canyon.”

From the History Department

I find the situation in the Middle East very confusing. Piper Bayard’s partner Holmes has been writing a multi-part piece on Iran that is a must read. There are several parts. Start at the beginning and don’t stop.

From the Language Department

From The Home Economics Department

August McLaughlin gives us “Foods For a Beautiful Brain.” Good to know I eat most of these. Except flaxseed. I’ll have to get on that.

From The Technology Department

Leanne Shirtliffe tells us about The Best iPhone App for Writers.

From the Art & Health Departments

When Elena Aitken wrote 8,000 words in a 2 day period, she posted “Writers Wrist and Other Afflictions.” To go along with it, she posted a must-watch Elmo video. Everyone will love “I Make Art.”

From the Music & Psychology Departments

Rivki Silver does a Cool Music Experiment that shows what happens when you take the same piece of film and pair it with 3 different types of music. Really neat way to understand the power of music!

Christian Emmett wrote a lovely tribute to his band teacher in From Music to Life.

From the Physical Education Department

I’ve got nothing. If you have a post about somebody shaking his or her groove thing. Share it. Otherwise, you can watch this video of me dancing.

Whaaat? I got excited when it finally snowed!

From the Awesome Sauce Department

Elizabeth from The Writer Revived wrote a great piece called “Lessons From Barbie.” Y’all know I’m big on lessons, and I think that Elizabeth is spot on here.

From the Snark Department

25 Things I Want To Say To “Aspiring” Writers by Chuck Wendig.

From the Faculty Lounge

Math teacher Tyler Tarver makes me laugh out loud. I watched his hilarious video “St*$ff High School Students Say” at least 4.7 times. I was really mad when my son interrupted me that last time.

January 2012 Departmental Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Still no snow in Rochester, New York; nevertheless, it’s still pretty cool.

Wanna know what else is cool? The bloggers listed in my January 2012 Mash-Up. They are new. They are now. They are what’s goin’ on.

From the English Department

Julie Gardner gets the Best Blog of the Month Award because she discusses getting laid. It’s not what you think. It’s about grammar, you pervs.

KD Sullivan remembers her beloved teacher in “Dear Mr. Reichhert”

Deb Bryan recalls a teacher who believed in her before she knew to believe in herself in “Lessons from a Tiger Teacher”

Transitioning Mom‘s beautiful piece “Out of the Ashes, Beauty” applies mythology to every day life.

Trish Loye Elliott reminds aspiring writers to “Take Your Writing Seriously.”

From the Philosophy Department

Dances With Chaos wonders: “Do You Need a Degree to be a Good Teacher?”

Kristen Lamb asks “Can Critique Groups Cause More Harm Than Good?”

From the Math Department

The always hot hilarious Tyler Tarver answers the burning question: “When Will I ever Use Math in Real Life?” and takes on “President Obama’s Changes in Education.”

From the Home Economics Department

Frume Sarah gives us her Grandma Selma’s Crummy Chicken recipe. Made it. Loved it.

From the History Department

Gene Lempp weighs in with a Legend of The Stone Giant.

K.B.Owen writes about 19th Century Personal Enhancement Products. Can you say bust cream?

From the Art Department

The Cool Hunter introduced me to water-colorist Cate Parr – Fashion Illustrator. Oooh, pretty.

Love her watercolors!

From the Politial Science Department

In an interview at EduClaytion with ClayMorgan, Piper Bayard explains “How Latinas Can End Jihad.”

From the Science Department

Zach Sparer makes me consider the dismal state of our NASA program in “Rocket Pact.”

From the Technology Department

EllieAnn Soderstrom wrote about Trans Media and iBooks and so did Clay Morgan with his article The Five Year Engagement. It looks like books are really about to change.

From the Physical Education Department

Nina Badzin wonders How to Focus on Fitness Without Making our Kids Crazy.

El Farris discusses “Sandusky’s Effect on Coaches and Teachers.”

From the Music Department

Indie pop princess Ingrid Michaelson announced her upcoming tour. I’d love to see her in Toronto! Here is what Ingrid looks like these days:

Ingrid Michaelson

I heart Ingrid. What do you think? Can I pass for her?

Maybe I look more like Ingrid Michaelson's mother?

FYI: She totally does NOT have lenses in her glasses. So not fair.

From the Health Department

David N. Walker tells us to not to be afraid to ask for the neck protector the next time we find ourselves getting x-rays at the dentist in “Silent Enemy.”

From the Driver’s Education Department

Abby Has Issues swears: “I Can Drive 55.”

From the Teacher’s Lounge

Leanne Shirtliffe explains “Why Teachers Need to Laugh.” It is required reading. So.

From the Awesome-Sauce Department

Tamara Out Loud’s “Pickle Kiss” is innocent. And yet so very naughty. Go and see. You know you want to. IYKWIM.

What awesome stuff has happened to you recently?

Tweet This Twit @rasjacobson

Ingrate Spotted With Invisible Awards

I feel like that woman who comes out of the bathroom with her skirt tucked into her pantyhose. Except it’s not in my panty hose, it’s in my underwear. Because I don’t wear pantyhose. Oh, and also, there is toilet paper on my feet. Because I forgot to wear shoes into the bathroom.

Seriously, that’s how embarrassed I am today.

I have been fortunate to receive some attention over the last 6 months.

You know, those sparkly invisible awards that you are supposed to put on your cyber-mantle?

Yeah, well, I didn’t.

Because I don’t have a cyber-mantle.

I don’t even have a cyber-fireplace.

So while I appreciated the awards, I didn’t do anything with them.

I sort of shoved them in a cyber-footlocker.

Which was actually very inconsiderate, and I feel like shitake mushrooms about this.

So I would like to thank a few people.

Waaaaay back in June 2011, Save Sprinkes from How Can I Complain gave me the Sweetest Blogger Award. Only I didn’t see this award until January 5, 2012. (How lame is that?) I just wrote Sprinkes a note letting her know how much I appreciated her recognition. Because I do. And I can’t believe I missed that blog post because Sprinkes is awesome. She hasnt posted in a while, but she was one of my very first subscribers, and I miss her.

I think for that award I was supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and suggest 7 other bloggers for you to read.

In September 2011, Jess Witkins from The Happiness Project sent me a Liebster award. What is a Liebster, you ask? I understand “liebster” is German for “dearest” — and so there is sweet Jess, trying to tell me that she considers me a dear friend. And what do I do? I shove her love in my cyber-footlocker. Nice, right? Four months later, I feel it, Jess. I do.

For that award I was supposed to link back to the person who nominated me and suggest 5 bloggers for folks to read.

Two people gave me the Versatile Blogger Award.

The first person to extend this kindness was Lorna Earl from Lorna’s Voice. A sociologist by training, Lorna started writing about her past when her future looked grim due to chronic illness. Her observations are keen, and I enjoy reading her posts.

The second person who found me versatile was Melissa Ridley Elmes from Cerridwen’s Cauldron. If Sarah Jessica Parker is my Celebrity Doppelganger (Ha ha. Yeah right!), then Melissa is my real life evil twin. She’s a teacher; I’m a teacher. She’s a painter; I’m a painter. She likes bad girls, I like bad boys. I’m telling you, it’s spooky!

For that award I think I was supposed to tell you 7 things you did not know about me and suggest 15 blogs for you to read.

Any math teachers out there?

I think I’m -21 facts and -47 recommended bloggers.

Do you see why I am hanging my head in shame?

Miranda Gargasz of Scattering Moments showed up to tell me that she had nominated me for the Awesome Blog Content Award. I hadn’t even heard of that one before, so I had check it out. When I did, I saw that it had no rules.

Thank goodness. (I like Miranda so much for that!)

I thought I was going to have to go through the alphabet and choose a word or phrase to correspond with each letter and use that to describe myself.

I started planning:

A is for Astoundingly Average.

B is for Beyond Belated.

Somebody should throw me in the Blogosphere Slammer for lack of gratitude.

A day later, one of my favorite bloggers, Gigi, from Kludgy Mom wrote a post called 12 Bloggers to Watch in 2012, and I almost died. Because there I was, on her list with many of my most favorite bloggers. I kept wandering back to the computer and looking at Gigi’s post all day, just to see if it was still there. I also checked this post from my iPhone and my iPad, too. Finally, my husband suggested I print out the article and stick it in my Happiness File that always makes me feel better when I am freaking out about a failing student, or sobbing hysterically about being out of Kona coffee or worrying that my writing has turned to lumpy oatmeal.

Not that there is anything wrong with lumpy oatmeal.

In fact, some people prefer their oatmeal lumpy.

I’m just trying to make a point.

Later that same day — the same day, people! — I was reading a faboo blog post, by the faboo Julie C. Gardner – a woman whose writing makes me “Squeeee!” like a little piggy, I see that Julie has written about how good it feels to be home after doing all her cyber-traveling this last year. (She was a busy little beaver blogger in 2011, and she was taking a moment to kick back and enjoy her home page. And her home life.) At the bottom of her page, she expressed more gratitude, thanking all the folks who had hosted her at their pages this year.

And she listed me.

Which felt like I had won an award.

While simultaneously making me feel like a dooj.

I mean, duh!

I should have totally done that.

And because I am a copy-cat great believer in the adage “Better Late Than Never,” I would like to thank the following writers for making my blog a richer place this year. My fryber Clay Morgan of EduClaytion continues to be a source of support and inspiration as does Leanne “Shirtsleeves” Shirtliffe of Ironic Mom.

The folks who posted for TWITS (Teachers Who I Think Scored/Teachers Who I Think Sucked) provided something special to unify my blog. Some people opted to glorify teachers while others remembered lousy teachers and opted to kick them in the pants. Either way, the variety of voices worked. So special thanks to the following writers. If you have never heard of these people, please consider giving them a look-see.

Jessica Buttram

Save Sprinkles

Steven Hess *

Piper Bayard

Zach Sparer

Larry Hehn

Dances With Chaos

Tyler Tarver

Tamara Out Loud

As A Linguist

Mark Kaplowitz’s

The Decorative Paintbrush

Blackwatertown

Penny Thoyts *

Some Species Eat Their Young

Life & Times of a Self-Proclaimed Saucy Bitch

The Mom Crusades

Six Ring Circus

*non-bloggers

I hope you will accept my belated gratitude.

I will try to be less sucky in 2012.

Or, in the very least, keep my skirt out of my underpants. :)

So what should my penance be?

Mid-November Mash Up

It was my 44th birthday yesterday. If you were paying attention, you learned about Scorpios.

I have to say, I don’t feel a day over 20. Seriously. If I lived in the land of  anti-reflective surfaces, I am pretty sure that I could believe that I was the same spring chicken I was decades ago. (Stupid mirrors.)

In honor of all Scorpios everywhere, I’m playing head-banging heavy metal from the Scorpions. Guaranteed to wake you up before you go-go. And check out these bloggers because, like the Scorpions, they’ll rock you like a hurricane.

(But not like a real life hurricane because that is no kind of fun. Just a metaphorical hurricane.)

From the English Department

Susie Lindau’s Anger, Fear or Joy?  might make writers think about how we treat our loved ones when we are on a writing spree.

Jami Gold asks How Do You Celebrate? when you have finished writing the first draft of a book. Right now, I can only dare to dream that moment, but the idea of this post carries over into other areas. How do you celebrate when you have reached a goal. Do you allow yourself to experience joy? Or do you jump right into the next project?

From the Math Department

From Wild About Math I have Happy 11/11/11 Day! Seriously, I have no idea what this man is talking about. When I listen to him talk, I feel so English Teacher-ishy. And I totally meant to have my class look at the clock at 11:11 on 11/11. Except I forgot. Oh well, there’s always next year on 12/12 at 12:12.

From the Science Department

David Dobbs debunks The Slut Gene.

From the History Department

Kathy Owen shares the history of Thanksgivings Past from the New York Times.

Ellie Ann Soderstrom has a sobering report on The Top 10 Baddies of The World.

From the Physical Education Department

Why Parents Must Speak of Unspeakable Things by Chase McFadden speaks of the atrocities which occurred to children at the hands of their coach. It will break your heart.

From the Political Science Department

Piper Bayard’s Political and Corporate Phrase Book is a must read when it comes to some of the things politicians are actually quoted as actually saying out loud.

Jenny Hansen interviews Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb about their 2012 Worldwide Blog Tour Kickoff and their run for President and Vice President in a campaign where everyone — even Canadians and pets — can vote!

From the Religious Studies Department

Galit Breen is trying something new in Our Jewish Family Is Celebrating Christmas This Year.

From the Art Department

Artist Mary Mollica’s Not To Be Trashed features a memory of a favorite art teacher.

From the Theater Department

Gigi from Kludgy Mom writes about How to Help Your Child Overcome Stage Fright — which is really about how to parent when your child doesn’t naturally do the things that come so easily to you.

In Come Again?, Clay Morgan has Paul Johnson (aka: The Good Greatsby) at his place to discuss how to screw with nosy passers-by. If this isn’t theater, I don’t know what is.

From Home Economics

Georgette Sullins’ There are Vegans in the Family is about how to do Thanksgiving while meeting everyone’s dietary needs.

Annie from Six-Ring Circus tracks her family’s Post-Halloween Candy Consumption.

Jessica Buttram has a guest blogger at her place. Alise Wright’s It Ain’t Pretty is about putting together a rag doll with her daughter — at the last minute.

From the Parenting Department

Leanne Shirtliffe has her daughter on a Scavenger Hunt in the Dictionary!

From the Awesome-Sauce Department

WARNING: Absolutely, positively NOT for children’s ears.

CLICK HERE for The Hilarious Video: Siri Argument

What rocked you this week?

November Mash Up of Awesomeness

Wanna see something awesome? Okay, so see this picture below? This is a picture of this thing that is in my classroom this year. It is a representation of this way cool gizmo that I have that integrates a camera, an overhead projection system, a computer with Internet access, a DVD player, or any other auxiliary source I might want to plug into — like an iPod or a laptop or…  an 8-track cassette. (Ha ha, that’s funny. But seriously. If I wanted to. I could do it.)

This is in my classroom!

Wanna know what else is cool? The bloggers listed below in my November Mash-Up. They are new. They are now. They are what’s goin’ on. 

From the English Department

TheGoodGreatsby is hilarious with his Take a Sip Punctuation. Because we really do need something to indicate a written paraprosdokian. Duh.

Kristen Lamb tells us how to plant the right seed and keep ourselves focused by writing a great logline.

KLamb also reminds newbie writers that a plot doesn’t have to be complicated to be good in Getting Primal and Staying Simple.

From the Sign Language Department

When TamaraOutLoud lost her voice, her family turned her silence into a game in Don’t Say Anything If...

From the Meth Department

Psyche. I said “meth” not math. EllieAnn Soderstrom delivers an awesome satire on Why Meth Dealers are the Best Boyfriends. Hilarious. And no math involved.

From the Home Economics Department

Julie C. Gardner gives validation to all writers in her piece Today Call me Half-Assed. Clearly, Julie understands that when folks are focusing on their craft, something has got to give. And sometimes that something is the house.

Kelly K from Dances with Chaos is in the kitchen And she has a Top 10 List of Things a Newbie Cook Should Know.

Galit Breen from These Little Waves has a lovely piece that rolled in about the same time as soup weather. Her post, My Kids Hate Matzo Ball Soup, comes complete with a fabulous recipe.

From the History Department

Gene Lempp weighs in with his Zoo Arcane -  Evil Little People where he explores malicious dwarves from Africa and Southeast Asia. Creepy and brilliant all rolled into one.

Piper Bayard tells us everything we never knew about Josephine Baker in She Wasn’t Really Naked: Dancer, Singer, Spy

Jami Gold explores the ongoing controversy about whether folks should consider e-publishers vs. agents

From the Physical Education Department

Annie from Six Ring Circus shows us her Slam Dunk. Thus proving, once again, mommy’s got game.

From the Art Department

Mary Mollica can turn chicken shit into chicken cordon bleu. She’s magic, I’m telling you. Check out what she does with an old table she found at the curb in How About a Game of Checkers?

Mark Kaplowitz wrote My First Grade Teacher Must Have Had Stock In Crayola — so, it is a post on unintentional art.

From the Music Department

Steve from Brown Road Chronicles wrote a romantic song for his wife to celebrate their anniversary. I want As Long As You’re With Me on my iPod. You know, so I can cry in my car.

From the Awesome Department

Do I have the best neighbor or what?

My neighbor Teri bought me this shirt. Don’t you all wish you had neighbors who did stuff like that?

Also, I was Freshly Pressed this week! Whoo Hoo! If you missed how my 12-year old son no longer wants to be called a certain name on zee bloggie, check out Monkey Has Left the Building.

Being Freshly Pressed is always a wonderful surprise, and it brings such tremendous gratitude. I would like to welcome my many new subscribers. *waves hi*  I hope you like what you see here and that you will participate in the conversation. I do my best to visit people who comment. And I always comment back.

Finally, I should also mention that it is Veterans Day today — at least in the United States of America. We, in our higher institutions of learning, do not have the day off from school — but my son does. So on behalf of all the awesome Veterans who have selflessly (and repeatedly) served our country, please know our flag is flying in your honor. I know it is difficult to come back home after being away, so I am wishing awesome things for each and every one of you.

What awesome stuff has happened to you recently?

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