If you’ve come here in search of the best blog of all time, you will be sorely disappointed. The best blog of all time is clearly Hyperbole and a Half and there will never be a post better than this one. You won’t get that here. You’ll get a little of this and a little of that, and a lot of long pauses.
Here is my (our) statement of values. In case you are ever wondering.
Who am I? Who are we? I am Steph. I am married to Justin. And in the picture above I am walking our cat, Sadie, on a leash.
If you hate cats, congratulations – place a gold star on your chest and reach awkwardly back to pat yourself on the back. I hate raspberries, coconut, dry chicken, traveling to some cities, and particular sports. It’s unlikely you will find me refusing to follow someone on Instagram, Twitter, or read a blog due to their tendency to travel to West Texas, use raspberries in recipes, or talk obsessively about BU sports. However, if the word cat makes your skin crawl, you should move along if you want to keep your skin.
Since Sadie adopted us – and people began directing ridiculous aggression about their cat hate in the direction of our cat/me – I became committed to a one for one campaign. Originally it was Cats not Kids – but clearly – teasing mothers of toddlers is dangerous ground even for the strong of heart. So now, it’s a post or a picture for every ridiculous comment, tweet, or snarky remark I encounter on social networking about cats. It’s just my little way of reminding the self-righteous of the world that they are, to their horror, as weak and unable to overcome their irrational behavior as I am.
How did we get HERE?
Justin works in account strategy for a big industry here in town. He’s an ethnographer by higher ed, and my saving grace by hobby. After graduating from Arkansas – he worked with Americorp in the northeast.
I started in Austin, spent a decade in Waco, a few years in Berlin, Boston, and then we moved here.
I worked in real estate for a long time, then fighting for the poor and needy of all kinds based out of Berlin, and decided that was the permanent career change I wanted to make. So when I moved back to the states I started school over as a grown-up. I got into school in NY at the same time that Justin was offered a transfer to the city- so we packed up the cat and moved into student housing.
Your blog’s name is weird – WHY? I have been blogging for many years and felt the need for a clean, honest start. A blank page upon which I could learn, change my mind, and write with my own voice. I find hating on cats for no reason a stifling triviality, but the lack of civic engagement on the part of the majority of America a serious concern. I find the personal agenda and pork of politicians and bloggers and Facebook ranters STIFLING, and the fact that CEOs are earning 470 times more than they were 40 years ago while the average worker is earning about the same (adjusted for inflation) horrifying.**1
Do you get it? If you read this blog – you will read things like that. If you don’t want to – move along. I am not interested in fighting with you, but I am interested in civil discourse. It is important to remember that this is not my personal platform for personal attack. It’s just a blog. **2
Fun and Irrelevant Facts
I am a slow long distance runner, I finished the second hottest Boston Marathon on record.
My first job was as a waitress at Souper Salad, I worked there for three years.
I was, officially, voted “Most Likely to Lose Her Kids in a Shopping Mall” by my Senior Class in High School. I think I am the only one of us that has no children and also lives in a city that does not even have malls should I want to try to lose the children that I do not have.
I once wrote a blog post about Marc Cohn, in which I complained about him not playing one of his most famous songs at a concert in Waco. He replied directly to me regarding the situation. (Thanks Kendall)
I went to 12 schools between K-12. I learned to adapt quickly and seek out friends. This often leads to the rather strong belief that I am the worlds biggest extrovert, when on the contrary, I am a serious introvert with mad people skills.
I have some BIZARRE food quirks that are not limited to food…
I do, for a fact, HATE raspberries, coconut shavings – but not flavor, I hate lemon or lime deserts & tea- but love citrus in anything savory, I love fresh strawberries but dislike anything FLAVORED strawberry. I do not like cherry, blackberry, peach, apply etc cobblers or pies – but I will pull the fruit out and eat the crust and fruity flavored liquid. Justin and I don’t drink milk.
I would rather do almost anything than talk on the phone. Including pay a fine.
I will only run over 13 miles in one outfit (I have two of the exact same one)…
There you have it. I can’t think of ONE other thing you NEED to know about me.
FURTHER READING REGARDING THE ABOVE MORE SERIOUS TOPICS
**1 What’s even more scary to me is that the American public has somehow been duped into believing that the top 1% of earners should continue to get Gingrich era tax cuts so that they can reinvest into our failing economy – well – if you think about how long ago Newt Gingrich was in office (before he was prosecuted for ethics violations regarding finances) and how long those top earners have had to invest in our economy and it still failed… All the while, the middle class has born the tax burden saddled on us – not by the left, but the right. This is STIFLING to me, and I want to bring about a change. Do I want all democrats in power? No, but I want people to be informed and wise enough to check the numbers they hear on Fox News and Democracy Now or talk radio with the actual numbers before they start acting authoritative based on what amounts to gossip and slander. (See Michelle Bachman’s most recent comments about the cost of Obama’s trip to Israel – and she’s a LEGISLATOR!!!)
**2 (DISCLAIMER – THIS IS A TRUE AND SPECIFIC STORY AND WILL ONLY HAPPEN ONCE – UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES IF I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY I WILL USE NAMES) I once had to spend an inordinate amount of time defending myself to someone who sent me a series of messages that did nothing but insult myself and my husband, beginning with, “I have to admit I don’t normally read your blog, but a mutual friend called and told me that you posted about me, and out of concern about what you wrote they felt I should read it.”
1) That “mutual friend” never called me – therefore I already know we’ve got a problem either with how we define friendship or the path of communication or gossip.
2) There is assumption of such a preposterous nature occurring.
LESSONS LEARNED. Disclaimers must be written. My tone was off (it was probably a lot like it sounds now.)
We all need to realize no one is thinking about us as much as we are (except for God and our mothers.)
It’s best to give the benefit of the doubt, and not in the Sunday School way, in the real way.
People’s Facebook posts, Instagram feeds, Twitter posts, Christmas newsletters… ARE NOT ABOUT YOU. At least mine aren’t – I love a good fight, and I’m not going to do it on my blog. There’s nothing worse that passive agressive snark – Mean Girls is best left in the early naughts.
As for the above catastrophe – I did what I should have done in that situation many years before – eliminated the social media connection, and asked the person to ask our “mutual friend” to please de-friend me as well.
Naturally, I apologized for my tone and the things that I said and did that hit too close to home. And took some time to consider my own motive, tone, and intention.
In the end, I’m in this for the laugh – and awareness – believing that if someone finds it offensive they know how to stop reading.