Friday, January 04, 2008

The Blog Persona: Your Public Face

My brief experience reading about my blog on another on line community got me thinking a lot about the way bloggers, myself in particular present themselves on line.

Everything I write about is true, some is embellished for my own amusement. I choose to write about a lot of the rosier moments that life presents. Nobody wants to hear about an over-extended frustrated mom. :-)

It's not quite like Bridget Jones/Helen Fielding where I'm sure Fielding drew from her own life to create Bridget in the local newspapers, but ultimately Bridget was truly fictional. It's kind of like having a radio show, where you are yourself, under your own name. But then, it's not quite the normal unvarnished you that your spouse sees in the morning, hairy legs, bad breath, saggy bits and all. It's a public persona, just the parts of yourself, your life that you wish to reveal to the world at large.

Recently, before I was hired at my current job, a soon to be co-worker found my blog. I was surprised, but ultimately unconcerned because this blog is designed for that. It's meant to be read by anybody who knows me, or might want to or currently employ me.

But at some point, when my kids are older I'll probably have to stop writing about them and figure out a way to archive all the Bully Ammunition lurking in my descriptions of their early formative years.

I don't think this is dishonest, it's just selective.

Pondering Complete.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dead Guppies Aren't Much Fun

We got The Boy and aquarium for Christmas, or rather my in laws did and my dad got him some fish.

Most of them have died. We've returned to the fish store twice, baggies of dead fish in hand waiting to exchange them. And we brought new fish home.

They died too.

Well, not all of them. Just the fancy guppies and a beta fish. I think we're done with guppies for a while. I was pretty sad about our beta aka "mop" fish because Eric was really excited about that one.

But it's in the freezer. In a baggie. With 2 dead guppies I found clinging to the filter today. What will I find in there tomorrow?

Apparently there is a really great fish store out in Framingham, but I really don't want to schlepp out to Framingham to get fish. One trip out to Framingham equals about five trips to the new PetSmart at Freshpond, timewise that is. Until Eric starts being traumatized by his dead fish. But so far he's good.

I'm tired today. Working half time and being with the kids in the afternoon is infinitely more exhausting than working full time. Mornings are really intense and afternoons drag on forever as the kids get crankier on the days we are housebound by the weather. In the summer, we always go to the park after K's afternoon nap. We chill out there until dinner time. But no matter what I do, after 4:30 they are shrieky, cranky and generally impossible. In theory, I could feed them at five, but what would I do with them at six when I'm really desperate? And we'd give up family dinners during the week and I really couldn't bear that. Rich does get home in time for dinner two or three nights per week, and that's really important to us to eat as a family as much as possible.

I'll get into my groove with this soon. But it does take a while.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Attention Foreign Tourists

In Europe, when you go to a restaurant it's 'service compris" which means that the price of the meal includes a tip for your server.

In America, as most of us know, unless you're in a large party, it's up to you to tip your server. The standard is 15-20%. You can tip 10% if the service and food was really horrific, but it's still pretty tacky. Servers make $2.50 per hour and they're expected to "tip out" the food runners and bartenders out of the money their patrons leave them.

Many fine tourists to our country are seemingly unaware of this.

My cousin is a kickass waitress. She's really good at it. She gets the orders right, she checks in on you at the appropriate time. And she looks like a super model. She knows a lot about the menu. And for this, on several occasions she was tipped between nothing and one percent by European patrons on checks totaling over $500.

What could be done to let people entering this country that this is totally culturally unacceptable?

Seriously, I'm really curious. I'm sure that it's not people being stingy, I just think they are totally clueless that it's just part of the meal.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

If I Ran the Zoo...

Franklin Park Zoo was deserted yesterday morning. The day was damp but mild and I expected something of a crowd of stircrazy cityfolk there. But there were only about five other cars in the lot at 11 after the zoo had been opened for over an hour. Several of the outdoor exhibits were closed, but we didn't care. We were there for a good tromp. We all needed exercise, especially the kids who seemed so happy to be out where they could run. "Nun, nun, nun!" Cried Kaylee as she tried valiantly to keep up with her brother who paused and took her hand. We kept close behind as he ran in slow motion so she could be with him.

We started with the birds, housed in an aviary that looks like something out of ancient China. We wended our way through steamy, pungent rooms with recreated bird habitats; the swamp, the tropics, a northeastern river complete with ducks, pond and lily pads.

Then we went to visit the gorillas. They're housed in another humid building that smells not unpleasantly like straw and feces. The exhibit was redesigned recently and there is only floor to ceiling glass separating us from the gorillas. They sit in front of the glass and the kids shrieked with glee when the baby gorilla whirled and twirled in her baby gorilla dance. The older, wiser ones sat inches for the glass and regarded us sagely while holding an object that could only have been his own poop.

"What's he holding?"

"Poop." I said with a shrug.

"Oh!" Said Kaylee in delight.

Then we went back out into the foggy damp day and wended our way up the hill to the Lion. He was moping up on his rock, like he's been since his companion lion died last year. They used to roar at each other all day in a deep tone that made the ground vibrate beneath your feet. But now he barely moves.

The tigers down the hill were eying the children with false disinterest. But the fence was high enough. My daughter called out "Ki Tee! Ki Tee!" over and over again with toddler joy.

Then we ambled back to our car, Eric taking all opportunities to splash through puddles and crunch through the melting snow that framed the sidewalks.

Some people are snotty about our modest zoos here in Boston. But I love them. We've been to the Tampa Zoo, so enormous, diverse and spectacular. It is wonderful, but it's almost too stimulating. Most weeks we take a trip to either the Stone Zoo or the Franklin Park Zoo. We've had a membership to Zoo New England every year since Eric was three months old. Our zoos are on the perfect scale for a little family like mine. We go in bravely without strollers and without the crowds we can just let the kids run and explore what they want to. In Tampa, the crowds made us vigilant. There were lines to wait in and we were hyper aware of strangers coming between us and the kids. But here in Boston on a mild winter day, we had the whole place to ourselves.

To me, this is the perfect day.