Thursday, July 30, 2009

According to the nice lady at the Advanced SEO seminar, short relevant titles are the way to go, and other things I learned at BlogHer09

Lesson #1: Next year, SG is going to bring an interpreter to BlogHer. Because the agenda is filled with interesting, yet massively confusingly named seminars. To wit: SG was not supposed to wear her prairie skirt to Bloggers are Pioneers in a Post-“Employee” World. However Make Your Blog More Accessible meant building virtual wheelchair ramps which is exactly what SG thought it sounded like, but couldn't imagine it really was.

Lesson #2: Don't attend a session like LifeBlogging Outside the Lines: When you’re not a Geek, a Political Wonk or a MommyBlogger if you actually are a Mommy blogger. Because, dude, mommy bloggers are like the Jon Gosselins of the blogosphere. At least according to the angry garden bloggers that SG met there.

Lesson #3) Little Debbie cupcakes make fantastic fake boobs. SG discovered this totally by accident while trying to smuggle snack cakes out of the bowling alley in her bra. (1) Which leads us to . . .

Lesson #4) Swag is a hot topic and SG totally didn't know it. Hell, SG's roommate actually gave her swag bag to a homeless man on the way back from a party. And not in a holier-than-thou way, but in a I-don't-need-it-but-he does way. Yes the swag was nice. PCSguy was pretty darn happy with his new Kodak video camera and Noa's been carrying her fur bowling bag everywhere. But SG witnessed no hoarding or pushing. But then again, this year SG ran with a fairly classy crowd.

Lesson #5) Fake Jessica can't bowl.

Do I need to spell everything out for you? Fine. Marinka and SG went to BowlHer with the phenomenal Jessica Bern who ditched us within seconds of entering the bowling alley. Ever the optimist, SG still entered her name on the automatic scorer. Short a bowler, SG introduced herself to a woman named Bing who was helpfully wearing a tee shirt that said At least SG thought that was what she said her name was, but possibly the shirt confused her. (2) Since is actually Microsoft's new search engine.

Because SG wasn't 100% positive that Bing's name really was Bing, she avoided any uncomfortable situations by just calling her Fake Jessica. Way less awkward. (3)

Lesson #4) Roughly one out of every three bloggers is named Amy. (4) As a sub-lesson, if you turn around every time someone calls out the name Amy, you will be late for lunch. And look a teeny bit like a loser when you turn around and go to hug someone who is looking over your shoulder.

Lesson #5) If you wait a week to post your BlogHer recap, someone else will steal your idea and you will have no way to prove you thought of it first.

1) Storing things in her bra in definitely one of SG's more endearing habits.
2) Like when you look at something like this: RED. Also, FYI, according to the accessible blog lady, this footnote is a no-no as it makes no sense to my blind readers.
3) Except for Fake Jessica who bowled, I kid you not, a 9.
4) If this were America's Next Top Model, Tyra would make us all change our names. SG would be Delores because there aren't enough top models named Delores.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things that Freak ShallowGal out at 34,000 feet on her way to BlogHer 09

Remember when SG's biggest problem was fear of accidentally killing Jenny the Bloggess in a bizarre elevator accident? Ah, 2008. The good old days. Now SG has REAL issues.

1. The only network SG's laptop can find is called "USAirway Free WiFi." SG is flying on American. See the problem? How can SG be expected to concentrate while watching out the window to make sure we don't hit another plane?

2. Arriving at BlogHer '08 without an elevator pitch was cute, in a pathetic kind of way. A full year later and still not even sure if I'm Canadian? Way less cute.

3. SG's roommate this year is the mega-adorable Kelcey. Her husband won an Emmy. (1) Last year's roommate Lolita Travelsalot, like SG, still needs an afternoon nap. Kelcey's napping habits are as of yet unknown. Nothing scares SG more than the unknown. Except for USAir jets at 34,000 feet. And clowns.

4. While In Chicago, SG will see two of her best friends from college. Which was twenty two years ago. Now SG feels too old to go to a blogging convention.

5. Before even landing in Chicago, SG has compiled a lengthy list of forgotten items: reading glasses (2), xanax, earrings, and her fancy pink leather business card case. And xanax. Did I mention the xanax?

1) SG meant to tweet that with the hashtag #LameClaimsToFame.
2) Again, making SG too old to go to BlogHer

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Happened to the Girl I Married? (1)

True Story: When ShallowGal couldn't figure out an angle for her DC Metro Mom book club report and typed "What Happened to ", Google suggested that maybe the question I wanted to ask was "What happened to Seal's Face?"

An interesting question (2) but not the one I need answered. (3)

The author's wife designed this cover, a fact he doesn't mention in any of his 130 pages.

But maybe it should be. I guarantee that Seal never wonders what happened to the girl he married because even after 3 7/9 babies, that woman still has it going on.

PCSguy better not wonder it either. It's a totally bullshit question. It's been sixteen years, for heaven sakes, years filled with babies and sick parents and career changes. How on Earth could I possibly be the same person? Why would I even want to be?

A few years ago I added a line item to our budget: babysitting. PCSguy travels extensively and I was tired of missing book clubs and girls nights. I hate embezzling from my kids college funds but it sure as hell beat the other option of sitting home and whining about it.

I guess I just don't get women who sit home and wait for their husband's validation. Scratch that, I don't KNOW any women like that. Thank goodness. My friends and I may be busy and stressed and exhausted but we need a week in Tortola, not a few kind words at the end of the day.

And maybe someone to unload the dishwasher.

I guarantee that Heidi Klum isn't emptying the dishwasher in her house. That's why Seal is so sexy, lupus scarred face and all.

1) I always start humming that Katy Perry song, although last summer we changed the words to "I kissed a squirrel and I liked it" after our friend Ian hit a squirrel with his bike and ended up in the hospital for a month. We also sent him a stuffed squirrel. We're good friends like that.
2) According to Wikipedia, it's Lupus.
3) The questions I need answered today are 1) Does anyone still read this blog, cause after months of neglect I'm afraid to go check my stats 2) Where's my hairbrush and 3) will you pick a frickin personal tense for goodness sakes. I, She, SG. . . how many people write this blog? Or don't write this blog, would be more accurate.

The apparent ire in this run-on disaster of a post was inspired (4) by the book What Happened to the Girl I Married? by Michael Miller. Disclosure: SG received a free copy of this book.

4) SG puts the IRE in inspIREd in case you missed it the first time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Turducken - gate 2009

When ShallowGal started blogging, she spent many, many hours deciding what kind of blog she wanted to write. Finally she settled on writing a Canadian blog.

But then SG decided she didn't want to be pigeon-holed. (1) Which is why this particular post has lingered in the draft folder for several weeks. (1.5)

Because nobody likes a cooking-failure blog. But everybody wants to read about turduckens. It's the classic Catch-22 scenerio, just like Joseph Heller alluded to.

Without further ado: ShallowGal's turducken's debacle time line.

This picture borrowed from
because the only thing crazier than a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey
is overpaying for it. (2)

1 week prior: See half-price turducken while perusing clearance meat department. Decide to fulfill PCSguy's second greatest poultry-related fantasy.

3 days prior: Move bird from freezer to fridge to begin what box claims will be a 36 hour thaw. ♫ A 36 hour thaw. ♫ (3)

Noon, the big day: Turducken still mostly frozen. Against better judgment and actual health department training, move turducken to kitchen counter.

3:00PM: Place turducken, covered in recycled foil (3.5), in 325 degree preheated oven for its three hour tour. (4)

5:00 PM: Check turducken's temperature. 120 degrees. Boost oven to 350.

5:15 PM: Answer endless questions from 4 year old about whether the chicken swallowed the duck before or after it got eaten by the turkey. Listen to 11 year old laugh uncontrollably at the idea that the chicken was probably stuffed up the turkey's butt.

6:00 PM: Take turducken's temperature. 135 degrees. Boost temperature to 400 degrees and stick a tray of frozen appetizers in as well.

6:20 PM: Feed posse bacon-wrapped filet on teeny toothpicks. Discuss possibility of ordering pizza.

7:00 PM: Scream at PCSguy that this is clearly his fault for coveting such a freak of nature.

It looks more like a chicken and a duck inside a turkey together
while I was led to believe the duck was inside the chicken
or possibly vice versa. At this point, we don't know.

7:30 PM: Decide to serve the posse the outermost pieces. Serve PCSguy a piece that looks like the duck's kidney. Save the rest to make turducken curry the next day. (5)

7:31: The posse announces that it tastes like turkey loaf. Nobody asks for seconds, although everyone does ask if SG plans to blog about this. ShallowGal bites back the words "I told you so" because rather than tasting sweet, it tastes kind of poultry-ish.

1) And there's the slight issue of not being Canadian. Unless I'm in the running for best Canadian blog, and then let's throw another shrimp on the barbie.
1.5) Since May 26th to be exact.
2) That's not their official tag line, but they are welcome to it. I foresee no further use for it here.
3) To the tune of the Gilligan's Island Theme song, in case you're Canadian, like me, since we just watched DeGrassi and ice hockey.
3.5) I may poison my family, but I'm saving the planet, dammit!
4) I really wish I had saved that joke, it's better here.

5) Do I even need to tell you that never happened?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An Accounting of ShallowGal's Summer

Miles driven, without ever leaving Fairfax county: 490
Times driven past the gym while wearing workout gear (1) : 42
Times SG has entered the gym: 0

Amount spent on emotional / behavioral testing for child who shall remain nameless: $2500
Number of recent tantrums from that child: 0
Number of recent tantrums from other 2 children: 11

Cases of swine flu: 2
Hours spent in ER: 5

Number of swim meets attended: eleventy billion
Number of points Noa has scored this summer for her team: 12 1/2
Number of points Noa scored total her past 3 years on the team: 2 1/2
On a scale from 1-10, Jake's jealousy at his sister's success: 5

Summer workbooks purchased: 4
Summer workbooks opened: 0

Number of ideas SG has had for a blog post: 28
Number of times SG sat down to blog and instead researched Costa Rican surf schools: 28

1) Conveniently located next to Eli's camp and the skating rink.