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Lest we forget, it’s Grumpy Cat’s first birthday.

photo of grumpy cat with mr. rogers

Awwww

In the midst of all the sturm und drang going on in our lives right now, it’s good to take a moment and consider the little things. It’s Grumpy Cat’s birthday today. This feline phenom is only a year old – pretty young to have conquered the Interwebs. There’s a ton of images of the cranky kitty out there but this one is my favorite – probably because it’s the only one with a happy ending.

Now this is exciting news…

I’ve been sitting on this one for a little while…

Check out the new Parents-space.com!

Check out the new Parents-space.com!

There’s a new home for parents on the web.  Parents Space is intended for those of us who aren’t perfect, who don’t have all the answers. It’s a collection of parents of every stripe, from all over the world, talking about the issues that are meaningful to them and supporting each other. The brainchild of fellow WordPresser, Einat Skaked, this is the site for parents who have “lost their manual” (or, as in my case, was never issued one in the first place.)  And I’m pleased to say that I get to be one of a whole host of contributing writers.  It’s a wonderful and talented group I get to hang out with here.

I do hope you’ll come check us out!  And hey, we’re just getting started so why not tell a friend or two?  Maybe read a few posts, click a few likes, Tweet a bit?  You know, help us settle in and feel loved.

Thanks – and please, I’d love to hear comments!  Tell me what to write about!

 

In which the new blogger asks advice from experienced bloggers

Hi There, O Experienced Ones!

As you’ll note from my very short archive list, I’m awfully new at this blogging thing.  I’d really like to make a go of it so I’m looking for advice, help, to-do’s, warnings or general whatever-you-do-don’t-do-that sort of assistance.  I’m not necessarily looking to make into the big time here – I have a great job that is mostly rewarding – but I am looking to create a true outlet for myself (think: sanity preservation) and hopefully, some enjoyment for those who share it with me.  (Naturally, I’d like to have folks actually share this with me – i.e.: readers).  So, I’ll get the ball rolling here with a couple of questions and I’m hoping that this post will come to the notice of a few of you with some time under your belts who won’t mind giving me a few pointers.

1. Etiquette question:  I write about my life, stuff around me and quite often, my family.  When I’m writing about myself, it’s easy to know where the line is between what I’m willing to put out in public and what I’m not.  That’s the easy part.  When it comes to my family, that’s tougher.  So far, I’ve refrained from using their names – not that I’m under any illusion that that affords them much in the way of privacy.  I haven’t yet written too much that either child would be embarrassed by – at least, no more than the natural level of association-with-mom embarrassment innate in any teen.  How do you handle what’s appropriate and what isn’t?  Do you use photos of your kids or family in your blogs?

2. Content question: So far, the topics I’ve covered run the gamut from the viola to my cat’s ass – and a few stops in-between.  Now I’ve read a few posts out there on “getting started in blogging” and many of them caution that the burgeoning blogger should choose a theme or a topic area and stay somewhere within those boundaries.  Okay, I get this.  And I’ve seen this on many a blog I read as well – where the content is centered around the writer’s career, for example, or a favorite hobby.  Mine seem to center mostly around my family but I absolutely don’t want to be bound by this.  Maybe I’ll talk about my work life (it’s absurd enough to qualify as interesting, that’s for sure) or other things I find interesting.  How do you determine what is blog-worthy or not?

3. Audience question: No, I’m not a professional writer and no, I don’t fancy myself one of those so-called mommy bloggers with sponsors elbowing each other out of the way to get to first.  I would, however, like to have an audience, however modest.  Folks who might find what I write interesting or entertaining and might even be driven to comment, like, or even – gasp – follow this blog.  When I write about issues I’m wrestling with, it’d be great to hear from others in the same situation.  I haven’t done a lot to really publicize this blog yet.  Sure, it’s hooked up to my Facebook and Twitter accounts so every post is pushed to at least that audience.  I’m also seeing a bit of traffic from WordPress itself, also appreciated.  I haven’t started truly pestering friends and acquaintances to please read and share – frankly I’m still feeling a bit insecure about my writing and whether it’s of interest beyond immediate friends and family (who have to say nice things).  I’d like to bring in a wider audience – how have others done this?  How did you reach beyond your immediate circle, bring in the readers and build a loyal base.  Did any of you use paid media to jumpstart things?

Those are the biggies for now. But there’s more – I’m new enough at this I don’t even know what questions to ask!  Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated!

And as an advance thanks, here’s a gratuitous photo of my cat Mac in a too-small shoebox:

Kitty in a shoebox too small for him

Mac is never one to turn down a good box sit.

So, my cat’s ass is “internet famous”

So, my cat Mac’s business end was used in a recent Cat’s Pride (a cat litter brand) Facebook post!  Now the disclaimer: I work for the ad agency that manages and produces much of the content for Cat’s Pride, including their Facebook page. Therefore, it’s not entirely that amazing that this particular kittytush was featured in this way.

My cat Mac's tush as featured on facebook.com/catspride

My cat Mac’s tush as featured on facebook.com/catspride

Mac is, well, different.  I say that with love, of course.  He refuses to drink from the water dish like the other pets.  I mean, how plebeian, right?  The only place he will drink from is the faucet, preferably in the bathroom.  First of all, because the water is not left running at all times for his convenience, he has learned to take advantage whenever he hears someone entering the room with his favorite watering hole. Therefore, day or middle-of-the-night, if one of us ventures into the bathroom, you’ll hear the thundering rumble of a large, not particularly nimble orange cat racing from where ever in the house he happens to be. Because he’s a bit clumsy, it’s not too unusual to hear him careening off furniture, walls and/or bathroom cabinetry along the way.

He has a very particular process as well. We turn the water on very low, and yes, he will sit and look at us with all of the very considerable disdain he can muster if the water force is not to his liking.  If we have acted in an acceptable manner, then he will settle himself on the edge of the sink with his front paws bracing either side of the drain. Then, ever so carefully, he places his head under the stream of water, adjusting position until it’s just right.  The water then hits him mid-forehead, rolls down his face onto the side of the sink where he laps it up.  For whatever reason, it’s not enough to drink from the sink without it rolling off his face.  When he’s had his fill, he then shakes his head (spraying water droplets all over our bathroom mirror) and goes about his business.

That’s my boy.