A Man in a Million

When I started this blog I had very little idea about…

a) what I would write
b) who would read it
c) where it would eventually lead me

Weirdly enough a) and b) seem to be working themselves out on their own, which has given me faith that if I don’t worry too much about c) it will do the same .

But one of the very few things I WAS sure about was that I wanted to maintain a certain amount of “propriety” , for want of a better word, when talking about my family, friends or colleagues.

I realise that this is a term rarely heard outside of Jane Austen novels but I’ll try to explain.

Propriety Jane Austen Style

It’s not about privacy – because god knows if anyone was interested enough I’m sure they could even find out what colour undies I wear (to save you the trouble I favour black, sturdily designed ones from Target. Apart from a few cheeky little numbers I… never mind)!

It’s more about being aware that when I write about a person in my life I need to consider both their feelings and any potential IRL (in real life) consequences that may result. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, embarass anyone or accidentally drop them in the shit.

This propriety is even more important when it comes to my family – and in particular my partner Brook. So far he has only appeared in my second ever post as the hero who braves the wilds of Dan Murphy’s the night before Christmas to ensure we have booze for the festive season.

To be honest I didn’t really think he’d be interested in appearing further – in fact I thought he’d be grateful if I DIDN’T mention him any further.

But then there he started to ask some subtle questions.

For example after a I’d written my first Mind the Gap post…

Brook: I’m not in this this one either.

Me: *surprised* No you’re not.

Brook: Why haven’t you mentioned me?

Me: Well… because it’s a conversation between me and Oscar (our second child). You weren’t there when it happened.

Brook: Oh…

I sensed a faint disappointment but it still didn’t really register. Then I finally got around to doing my About page…

Brook: *indignant* I’m not in this one either!

Me: *patiently* No, that’s because it’s about ME.

Brook: But I’m your partner! How will people ever know that if you don’t mention me?

And then, finally, I got it. He didn’t care about any of that “don’t give too much away” crap that I’d been worrying about.

To him it was straightforward – he just wanted every single person in the big wide world of the internet to know he was my man.

Because he loves me. Because he’s proud of me. And also, I have a sneaking suscpicion, because he thinks that being on my blog may one day make him a famous on the internet.

God love him…

These three reasons alone are enough to make him a man in a million. But because he’s so awesome I’m going to share 5 more of them with you here.

WARNING: Anyone who doesn’t like soppy stuff should either bail now or grab a sick bag and hold on tight!

1. He’s a spunk.

Everyone has their one criteria for what makes a man (or woman for that matter) a spunk. Brook is totally my defnintion of a spunk because he embodies all my key criteria which are noted in the highly scientific diagram below…

Anatomy of Love

2. He’s great at what he does

There are some people out there who would thnk I’ve got it made becuase my partner is a chef. Yes he can do all the fancy stuff – he’s worked in some high end places here in Brisbane so he knows his fromage from his foie gras. I’ve had some divine birthday and anniversay dinners – once he even made me my very own croquembuche for a birthday cake!

The flipside is that the hours suck balls – he works nights and weekends which means I do a lot of solo parenting. I guess you can’t have everything otherwise there’d be nothing to moan about.

But what I love most about it is his passion. When he’s in the kitchen he’s totally in command – calm and focused and utterly in control. Even after knowing him for 12 years his knowledge and skill still impress me to this day. And believe me there’s nothing sexier than seeing someone you love do something extremely well!

3. He’s an awesome father

As well as our three sons, Brook also has a son and daughter from a previous marriage. He ADORES them all and what’s more he makes a consistent effort to spend time with each of them so that they can talk about the special things that are important to them.

When he listens to them he REALLY listens – as in he stops what he’s doing and gives them his unreserved attention. There is no easier and more effective way to make a child feel special and loved and all of them, from the 5 year old to the 17 year old, soak it up like sponges!

Brook also loves babies – I mean really loves them. Basically if it’s small and squishy with big wide eyes he goes from big tough chef to babbling baby-talker in seconds. A total sucker.

A few years ago we had to make the decision about whether we were going to have any more children. Here’s how it went…

Man in a million-1

Man in a million-2

Man in a million-3

Man in a million-4

4. He’s the Yin to my Yang

Right, I’m going to admit something here that may shock you deeply so I hope you’re ready…

I’m not always easy to live with.

I know, right? Difficult to believe but it’s true. It’s not because I’m a stroppy cow or because I have a nasty problem with wind.

What I can be though, is a little manic at times. Sometimes I get so caught up in all the “THINGS” that need to be done I lose my sense of perspective.

And I’ll be honest… sometimes I just lose my shit! On those rare occasions I can seem a little “bat-shit crazy”, complete with miniature devil horns sprouting from the to of my head.

Brook on the other hand has a naturally more laid back attitude which acts as a balance to my “do 3,000 things at once” approach. This can be frustrating at times – if the boys ask him if they can eat BBQ Shapes at breakfast time there is a possibility he may actually let them.

But he’s also fantastic at helping me restore perspective on those occasions when everything get’s too much, as I’ve illustrated below…

Perspective

5. He leads the cheer squad

In anything I do, whether it’s work, parenting or even just keeping the house together, I know that he’s behind me 100%. He encourages me when things aren’t going well and if I succeed he’s there leading the cheer squad and saying to people “Isn’t she great?”.

Knowing he’s got my back in any situation is possibly the greatest feeling in the world. It give me the security, confidence and support to follow my dreams and I would be lost without it.

And finally a note to the man himself…

Babe, this post is my way of saying thank you. For everything you are and everything you do.

And most importantly… for being MY man in a million 🙂

Some final words on The Spill…

Am I right or am I right?

Knob Goblins and The Spill

And to finish my personal favourite from the kazillion tweets that provided commentary on the this latest round of “Prime-Ministerial Idol”.

It was re-tweeted by a rather intense copy-editor by the name of Matthew Ross that I followed by accident when I first started on twitter. He is a rabid labour party supporter and political tweeter, and though I may not share all his opinions he never fails to either make me laugh or make me think.

Anyway here it is…

The Spill Best Tweet

God if only Nannas could run the country hey? They know how deal with a knob goblin when they see one…

The Pitch

Hi, hello, come in! I’m Marty Sanderson, Senior Account Manager.

Welcome to Celestial PR & Marketing!

Celestial small

First off, I just want to thank you so, so much for giving our agency the opportunity to pitch for your account.

I must confess I’ve always wanted to meet you in person – I just never thought I’d get the opportunity in this life-time!

Sorry just a little joke there, couldn’t resist.

… Do I think that’s funny?

Well sure I…no, I guess I don’t

I’ve been playing a fair bit of phone tag with your assistant Michael trying to set this meeting up. You, sir, are a devil of a man to pin down!

*silence… and crickets*

… well obviously not literally, I just meant… we’re just really glad you were able to fit us in.

Ok so to start with I thought I’d give you a little background on what we do. Celestial PR & Marketing is a boutique agency with a very unique specialty…

We provide public relations management and re-branding for Gods.

Gods, goddesses, demi-gods, deities, divine beings, holy spirits – we do them all. Basically, if you live in the sky and no-one can categorically prove that you exist then we’re your guys!

Here’s just a few of the services we can provide…

1. Media Relations & Reputation Management
Many celestial beings these days suffer tremendous damage to their reputation, simply because they do not have a media crisis plan.

We can’t stress this enough – when you have to leave the delivery of your teachings and the administration of your church in the hands of human agents you NEED to be prepared for some pretty major customer service “fails”.

All it takes is one previously loyal follower who’s been stiffed by one of your not so worthy priests/rabbis/ayatollahs/bonzes and suddenly you’ve got yourself a bona fide media crisis.

You’ve got a Today Tonight camera shoved in your face while you’re trying to reveal a vision to a group of teenagers in the Czech Republic.

And believe me – you don’t want that.

Today Tonight. They watch... and they are always there

Today Tonight. They watch… and they are always there

2. Branding Strategy
Do you want to grow your following? Save humanity from eternal damnation? Or are you simply aiming for world domination – the ultimate goal of any celestial being?

You need a strong brand to cut through the clutter. At Celestial PR & Marketing we specialise in creating a brand-image that truly expresses who you are as a God.

Strong and fierce? Loving and forgiving? Wise and enlightened? It’s up to you!

3. Social Media
Look, these days any deity who really wants to “engage” with their followers needs to leverage the power of social media. You’d be surprised how many Gods can whip up a miracle on a piece of toast but don’t know how to update their profile picture on Facebook!

That bad "selfie" you're using for your profile picture? It has gots to go my friend...

That bad “selfie” you’re using for your profile picture? It has gots to go my friend…

Not to mention the eternal question – if a miracle does not appear on Instagram does it really exist?

Seriously dude, if you’ve gone to the trouble of making your face appear on a piece of toast you need to be Instagramming the fuck out of that shit!

*pause*

…Yep, sorry about that… got a bit carried away there with the blasphemy I guess…

*sound of rolling thunder*

… No sir, it definitely will NOT happen again

But the best way for us to demonstrate exactly how we can revitalise your brand is to show you our portfolio of current clients.

It’s a pretty star-studded list if I do say so myself!

Allah
Look he’s controversial, I won’t deny it. But he’s achieved amazing cut-through in his chosen target market and is experiencing a steady growth in followers. Although we do try to dissuade him from encouraging his followers to actually cut through things… like hands and stuff. It’s a work in progress!

Bhudda
A smart marketing decision to align him with the greatest Grunge band of all time is still paying dividends today. For a guy who got his start from falling asleep under a tree we’ve helped him become the God of choice within his target markets which are:

1. Festival Attendees – both new-age and music segments
2. Beardy Vegetarian Types – a small but important segment of the “Intellectual Wankers” market

buddha-1

But I saved the best until last…

The most successful example of our total re-branding package is Thor.

Oh sure, he’s everywhere these days, but people forget he’d spent the previous 1500 years at the bottom of the celestial barrel.

No followers. No profile. I’m talking ground zero here.

But then Thor made the decision that saved his holy career – he came to see us here at Celestial PR & Marketing.

We started with his image – got him a couple of deep conditioning treatment for that crazy Viking hair he had going on.

He also had some kind of horrible old cloak thing made of out bear skins – we got rid of that too. “You’ve got a body,” we said to him, “Do you know how many Gods would kill just to HAVE a body at all?”

So we put him on to these great protein shakes, got him a personal trainer and before you know it BOOM – old Thor had become the God of “phwoarrrr”!

thor before and after

Anyway you know the rest – we landed him his own feature film project and then negotiated him a sweet role in The Avengers. He is totally on track for achieving his goal of “most recognised God within the 18 – 25 demographic”.

So I know what you’re thinking now.

You’re thinking “Well that’s just great, but what are these guys going to do for ME?”

Don’t worry we’ve got a marketing and PR plan that is going to put you back on the map.

We had a look at some of your key messages and 2 things stuck out. First of all, you’re all about being “The One” aren’t you? You know you’re “Alpha and Omega” and your also “the one true God”.

Secondly you also mention on more than one occsion that your followers need to follow you in a particular direction. For example, you are “the WAY, the truth and the light” and ask your followers to walk with you along the “path to righteousness”.

When you put these two things together the answer is obvious…

ONE DIRECTION!

OK I can see you’re not totally buying it but just hear me out. They’ve got Harry (the cocky one), Louis (the good-looking one), Zayn (the bad boy), Niall (the nerdy one) and Liam (the one nobody remembers).

So what I’m thinking is you join the band as…

God – “the spiritual one”. I know – it’s brilliant, right?

I’ve made some enquiries and with the boys’ management and they are super-keen. We’ve even come up with some creative to show you how this might work for you..

The new look "One Direction". Now with God as "the spiritual one"

The new look One Direction. Now with God as “the spiritual one”

What do you think?

* sky darkens … a strong breeze ruffles papers on the boordroom table *

God? God? Are you there God?

* howling winds… thunder … cracks of lightening *

Why hast thou forsaken me?

* office door slams… then silence*

Holy shit… I think we just lost God.

If you go down to the woods today…

Last week, for the first time that I can remember, the mainstream media put bloggers under the spotlight.

They ventured deep into the Enchanted Forest of the internet on a modern day witch-hunt, determined to find those bloggers who had the AUDACITY to think that they might usurp the position of journalists as opinion formers, and teach them a lesson once and for all.

However if you’re a frequent visitor in the Enchanted Forest you’ll know that bloggers are only one of the creatures you’ll come across during your travels. They share this landscape with all sorts of strange animals, mythical creatures and curious life-forms

So since bloggers were the focus of last week, I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the other creatures I’ve seen on my journey through the forest.

Like any environment you’ll find that it’s inhabited by the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly. Luckily so far I’ve only come across the “good” but I’m very aware that the “bad” and the “ugly” are out there too, so I figure forewarned is forearmed!

Knob-Goblins

Have you just read a comment questioning whether women with children are really cut out for the workforce? Seen a post on Facebook of an image implying that if people don’t like the rules in Australia they can “fuck-off back to where they came from”?

Then you’ve just come across the work of a knob-goblin.

Knob Goblin Final

Bigoted, narrow-minded throwbacks to our not so illustrous past knob-goblins think racist jokes are funny and that women should be in the kitchen making sandwiches and that marriage should be between Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve. And as you can see their physical characteristics display an outer manifestation of their inner “knobbery” which make them easy to spot!

You can defeat a knob-goblin simply by offering a well-reasoned argument. Once they start using sentences where every second word is the f-word you you know you’ve won!

Trolls

Trolls are mostly solitary creatures. They spend their days wallowing in a bog of “excrement”.

Rather than do anything about extricating themselves from this bog, it’s much easier to simply drag as many other people in to the bog as possible.

They do this by getting your attention – once they have it they can suck you down into the bog. And a particularly good way of achieving this is to try to take you down a peg or two.

Troll Final

A Troll can be defeated by simply starving it – of attention that is. Ignoring the troll robs it of all it’s power and keeps you from getting sucked in to the bog.

Anonymice

Scampering through the undergrowth of the Enchanted Forrest are the Anonymice.

They can be harmless – sometimes it’s just because they can’t be bothered to set themselves up with a Disqus account (and Lord knows I do sympathise with that).

But sometimes it’s so they can spread their “droppings” wthout having any stick to their fur.

Anonymouse Final

In the end the Anonynymice defeat themselves. Even if they come up with the most scintillating argument EVER, even if they cut you to the quick with insults and slander, it won’t matter. Becuase no one will ever know it was them.

Thought Police

This crew are out to make sure that all opinions conform to the Thought Police Code of Opinions.

Any opinions outside the code are heavily sanctioned and offenders should know that the Thought Police will not hesitate to villify them publicly should they be expressed within the Enchanted Forrest.

tHOUGHT POLICE FINAL

The Thought Police are neither good or bad but they have numbers on their side. Persistance is the only way to defeat them – if you stick to you guns hard enough on a particular opinion eventually they wander off to persecute the next opinion that infringes the code.

Anyway that’s enough of the bad and the ugly for now!

To finish up let’s have a look at some of the “good guys” of the Enchanted Forrest

Kindred Spirits

Sometimes you come across a fellow traveller and there’s that instant “click”. They get you and you get them – no explanations necessary.

Sometimes it’s a particular passion, hobby or belief that brings you together, but sometimes it might just be as simple as someone who understands your sense of humour.

Kindred Spirits

Either way these Kindred Spirits are what keep many of us travelling in the Enchanted Forest. They make the good times better, and often are the only thing that makes up for the bad and the ugly of the Forest.

Fairy Godmothers and Fathers

Well they need no explanation really do they? Occasionally you may have the fortune to meet one of these fairy folk. They share advice, provide encouragement and give knowledge without expectation of reward.

Quite simply they make the Forest a better place for everyone 🙂

fairy final

And there’s one particular Fairy Godmother or Godfather somewhere in the Enchanted Forest who was lovely enough to nominate The Very Inappropriate Blog for the Kidspot 2013 Voices of Influence competition!

I wish I knew who you were so I could express just how much that means to me! If you’d like to identify yourself you can let me know in the comments or send me an email at theviblog@outlook.com.

I promise not to gush all over you like an over excited St. Bernard (well not too much anyway…).

Mind The Gap #2

Mind the Gap sign on the edge of a London Underground Tube station's platform

The internet. I don’t remember how I lived without it.

My children will never know a world where it is not entwined with every aspect of their lives.

They are natives of this world and fluent in it’s language of “servers” and “mods” and “wikis” and “profiles”.

In their few short years on earth they have already amassed an impressive array of keys to the digital universe – usernames, passwords, IDs, logins and codes. Their minds have already developed to recognise that this information needs to be filed in such a way that it is accessible on demand.

I am often amazed that my boys, who routinely forget which day they need to take their swimming gear to school, can remember complicated sequences of letters and numbers required to access a dazzling variety of games, apps and the online education portal for school.

They navigate confidently along the transit lanes of cybersapce in the same way an experienced driver might drive a familiar route from work.

Instinctive. Effortless. Almost without conscious thought at all.

So what?” you could argue, “we’re all online these days”.

And you’d have a point. Like me I’m sure you can’t remember a the last time you used the Yellow Pages to look up a number or find a restaurant. I always feel a little sorry for them when I see one these days. They’re like that one guy at the party who doesn’t know when it’s time to go home.

Yellow pages - yep he's THAT guy.

Yellow pages – yep he’s THAT guy.

But there IS a difference between those who are (like myself) over 30, and those who are members of the “native” generation.

This revelation occurred recently during the during the parental endurance event commonly known as…

“Helping your kid do an assignment on a topic you know nothing about and are not remotely interested in”.

JACK: “Mum, I’ve got an an assignment!”

ME: “Great darling what’s it about?” *commence enthusiastic grimmace*

JACK: “It’s about Italy. We have to find out basically everything about it. Like what language they speak, what type of money they use and what sort of food they eat. And we also have to find a special festival or cultural event that is unique to that country.”

ME: “Wow that’s… great. Sounds like fun”
*Actually this is not too bad. I do know something about Italy and it is a fairly interesting topic, as assignment topics go*

JACK: “Yeah. ”
*10 year old boys can be pretty low key when it comes to expressing excitement*

ME: “Awesome – we should get started. So when is this due mate?”
*enthusiastic grimmace is turning into genuine enthusiasm*

JACK: “Uhhmmmm … Friday.”

ME: ….. *small pause while I process the fact that it is currently Wednesday*

JACK: “And we CAN’T use Wikipedia. At all. Mrs.H says Wikipedia is just people saying whatever they like and they might not be right. She says it’s like cheating. And she says she’ll KNOW if we’ve used it. She’ll just know
*Jack is looking distinctly uneasy at this thought*

ME: “Alright don’t stress mate. We won’t use Wikipedia – there are heaps of other sites we can look at so don’t worry about it”
*I’m a bit uneasy myself by this stage. I’m all for academic integrity but Mrs.H is coming across like she’s a Field Commandant in the Wiki-Gestapo*

JACK: “Hey Mum, how did you used to do your assignments when you were at school? I mean, you didn’t even HAVE Wikipedia did you?”

ME: “No we didn’t. We had to use the encyclopedia,” and anticipating his next question continued, “which was a set of books that had information about all sorts of things in it. There was one volume for each letter”.

JACK: “Did you have to go to the library to get them?”

ME: “Yes but lots of people had their own set at home…”

I am suddenly transported back to the “good lounge” of my childhood where the full set of Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia takes pride of place on the bookshelf. I remembered my Mum had signed up for a deal through our local Coles where you you bought a volume each week for 26 weeks. And the first volume was free!

I hit google to find a picture so he can see what I’m talkig about…

When I was googling around for an image I couldn't believe it when I actually found one of this very offer...

When I was googling around for an image I couldn’t believe it when I actually found one of this very offer…

JACK: “Was that really it’s name… Funk and *snigger* Wagnalls?”

ME: “Yes it was!”
*For some reason this name also used to crack me up as a child. The apple does not fall far from the tree”

JACK: “But… how did that work Mum? How could they get all the information into those books. They can’t possibly be big enough! Just think about all the information there is on the internet – that’s definitely not going to fit into those books!”

And here we hit our first major difference between the generations.

When I was Jack’s age the encyclopedia was the ultimate source of truth. Those big, heavy books carried the weight of authority in their pages and I had faith that whatever information I was seeking I would find within it’s covers.

Jack on the other hand already knows that the world simply has too much “info” for it to be confined into a mere 26 volumes. He can’t conceive of a world where his ability to find information would be limited like this.

ME: “Well I guess there wasn’t as much information back then. We just kind of had to use what we had.”

JACK: “And what about when things change? Like when they discover something new in science or soemthing? On the internet you can just add a new page or delete the old information and replace it with new stuff. You couldn’t just go around printing a whole new set of these every time something changes ”

There’s the second difference.

Again Jack has an expectation that information is dynamic, that it “keeps up” in real time with the world around it. He calculates it’s value based on how “fresh” it is.

It is very clear to him that the static informtion in these books is “dead” information – it can’t move, it can’t adapt and it can’t keep up. Therefore it’s value is limited.

ME: “Well no they did re-print new editions but they might ony do that every couple of years”

JACK: “Wow. It must have been hard doing asignments back in the old days”

ME: Well when I got to High-school we had the encyclopedia on CD-ROM which allowed it to store more information than the books. They realeased a new one every year too so it was a bit more up to date.

I hit google again to show him good ol’ Microsoft Encarta.

Cutting edge babay!

Cutting edge baby!

<

I remember the fanfare when the school got these – we were really on the cutting edge of education that day…

JACK: “Nice graphics!” and then, “What does the ROM stand for in CD-ROM? I know what a CD is – you’ve got your old music on them. But what about the ROM bit?”

ME: Ahhhhh….

I used to know this. This used to be important information. But not anymore it seems.

ME: “OK that’s enough procastinating about ‘in the olden days when Mummy was a little girl’.”

“You’ve got an assignment due in 2 days mister so let’s see if the internet can make this process slightly less painful for both of us…”

Quarterly Review – Vol.1

Well here I am with another anniversary post – but this time instead of a big 10 year milestone I’m celebrating a more modest achievement…

The Very Inaproppriate Blog has officially been in existence for a whole 3 months.

Now I understand you may be a little underwhelmed by this achievement but is is VERY significant to me because:

b) I was horribly nervous about the whole thing and nearly didn’t even start. In fact I spazzed out so badly trying to write the About Me section I’ve only just managed to do it last week!

c) I literally didn’t know anything about blogging 3 months ago. I didn’t even READ blogs on a regular basis *hangs head in shame*

a) I have been known to have a short attention span so there was a definite chance I might get bored and wander off not be able to maintain a semi-regular posting schedule.

There aren’t really words to describe how much has changed in three short months.

I’ve made new friends, discovered an entire galaxy of awesome blogs and occasionally gotten altitude sickeness from the steepness of learning curve I’ve been on.

So I decided I would attempt to capture all the highlights, discoveries and lessons of the last 3 months in place. And since 3 months was equal to a “quarter” in high-falutin finance terms I thought I’d call it my Qarterly Review.

Catchy, isn’t it 😉 ?

Heading 1

1. Write down EVERY post idea.
Your brain cannot be trusted. Oh sure, it will tell you that it will remember the idea for later. “Don’t worry,” it will whisper reassuringly ” there’s no way you’ll EVER forget such a scintillating post idea. The very thought is preposterous”.

All lies.

Unfortunately as I’ve learnt to my detriment write everything down. The posts you’ve read are merely the ones I could actually get down on paper or in Evernote before the inevitable post-post idea white-out descends.

2. Don’t be afraid to let posts marinate in the drafts folder

I’ve noticed that with some posts I get about half way through and then they just seem to run out of steam. Sometimes it’s because I don’t know where I want them to eventually end up and sometimes I’m just not in the mood to write that particluar post.

Either way I’ve learned not to force it. Instead I leave it and eventually either…
a) have a “eureka” moment and work out the perfect way to bring it home, or
b) see, hear or experience something which gives me a fresh bust of enthusiasm

An example of a post where this has worked out really well was this one

It was one of the first posts I wrote but I got half way through and just lost momentum. Then after about 6 weeks I suddenly had a renewed burst of interest and finished that fucker in one go.

3. Twitter does not suck

I always thought it would. And I will admit it was daunting and overwhelming at first, especially as I’d only really been a Facebook user on a personal level.

But after a few timid forays into to the twitter pond I have to say I like it. It appears that as long as you treat it like being at a really big party you’ll be fine.

For example actually talking to people like they ARE people and being genuinely interested in their response seems to work well.

And in pretty much any other scenario adhering to the creed of “Don’t be an asshole” appears to be as good a rule as any!

heading 2

1. A comment on one of my first “Publicised” post by one Mr.Adam Avitable

2. Discovering and participating in two blogs link-up thingos.

I would call them “linkys” like I’ve seen everyone else refer to them as but for some reason this makes me feel horribly self-conscious like I’m trying too hard. I am fully aware that I may be the only one with this issue.

Anyway they are:

#IBOT with hosted by the lovely Jess at Essentially Jess and…
#FYBF Flog Your Blog Friday hosted by the lovely Grace at With Some Grace


These two “Ladies who Link” are responsible for about 70% of the visitors that have stopped by my little corner of the internet, so I owe them BIG TIME.

If you ladies ever need a) a favour b) someone to get pissed with or c) help burying a body at 3.00 am, I’m your woman!

heading 3

Inspired me to get started

Woogsworld

Woogs World

The original and best. Accept no substitutes.

Avitable
chartreuse
Consistently funny, intelligent, irreverant and well written. Mr. Avitable has an excellent sense of the ridiculous while also being sensitive and real. This post is hilarious – especially if you found 50 shades of Grey as stupid as I did

Hyperbole and a Half
Written and illustrated by my all time ultimate hero Allie Brosch. How could you not love the person who created the expression “ALL the things”? As in “Today I have to clean ALL the things!”. Allie hasn’t been well for a while but me and her legions of other fans are hoping that she eventually feels much better. I could direct you to particular post but I couldn’t choose so basically just visit her site and check out the “Best of” section.

clean all the things

Made me think

Edenland
Strong, fiesty and uncomprimising. Eden holds a magnifying glass up to people and situations and doesn’t flinch away from what she finds. Her current post is a perfect example, as are her her street talk posts.

Free Range Shae
Shae practices “unschooling” which is basically a form of home-schooling. She is also an advocate of letting kids follow their passions rather than forcing a curriculum down their throats, growing her own food and basically just getting her hands dirty while enjoying her kids. And while I won’t be pulling my kids out of school I have really enjoyed her insights and her creative ideas for activities.

Made me laugh

Have a Laugh on me
Emily is just a cack. She just has a way of putting things that will reliably make me snort coffee through my nose every time. This post is a great example 🙂

Sometimes Seems Surreal
One of the very few international blogs I follow, Sometimes Seems Surreal is the adventures of an expat Aussie who packed up and moved to Hong Kong for lurrrve (awwww!). Intelligent, tight writing that will have you in stitches. This post is my favourite – I only have to think about “Jeneeeee!!” to get the giggles.

Left me wanting MORE

Magneto Bold Too
Anyone who can swear with this much style deserves a mother-fucking medal 🙂
Kelley has plenty on her plate but her ability to continue to be awesome in spite of this is what makes me love her blog. Never boring and if your one of those “easily offended” types? Bitch, please! Her About Me pretty much sums it up so I’d start there.

Forbidden Fruit by Eve
Now this is my kind of “mummy porn”! The supposed account of one suburban mother’s secret life of debauchery. Is it fact? Is it fiction? YOu’ll never quite know but that’s all part of the intrigue as far as I’m concerned! The thinking woman’s 50 Shades.

Heading 4

Just 3 for the moment. Hey, I’m an under-promise / over-deliver type of girl…

1. Post consistently twice a week
2. Investigate more international blogs
3. Investigate blogs from other categories (i.e. business, photography, fashion) to see what I can learn from their style.

And… that’s a wrap on my first Quarterly Review!

What blogs make you you laugh, or think, or want more? I’d love to hear your picks!

Also any gratuitous advice anyone would like to give is more than welcome. I’m an advice junkie at the moment and I’ll take whatever you’ve got 🙂