October 28, 2008

Life - Like A John Hughes Movie With More Relevant Hairstyles

We're not in high school anymore. Painfully obvious, I know. But apparently to some, it's not clear.

When I was in school, I was one of those guys who had friends in just about every social clique imaginable. I had two "serious" girlfriends in high school. Both were cheerleaders. Or, rather, one was at one time a cheerleader until she gave that up to be a full time skank at which time I decided that the relationship was no longer as meaningful as it once was. I had three best friends - a wrestler and music fanatic who unfortunately moved after our freshman year; a girl named Sylvia who was pretty much me in girl form and we were, as a result, inseparable during our last two years of high school; and Adam who didn't even go to the same school and was a total fuckup but I loved him anyway. I had parties on hidden soccer fields with the jocks, played guitars with the musicians, was editor of the school paper, and was even in a bowling league with the heavy metal stoners. Though why people thought of them as the stoners I'll never know since the only people I ever saw do anything illegal, drug-wise, were the jocks.

I say this not to brag. I'm not trying to tell you that I was cool or a rebel or an all-around great guy. Because I'm sure I wasn't. But, in political terms, I have something of a history of reaching across the aisle. And I like to think that I still do. Because I think cliques and elitism are just plain stupid. Watch any old John Huges movie - Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off - and I bet that you can find how those lame old high school cliques are still alive and well in your every day life now. There will always be a John Bender, a Long Duk Dong, a Wendy Beamish, a Duckie, or a Lloyd Dobler.

I bring this up now because in recent weeks, I've gotten some comments and some email branding me something of an elitist blogger, an "A-Lister", self-serving, unable or unwilling to tolerate dissenting opinion or publish disagreeable comments. Let me state some things for the record.

What You See Is What You Get. Hi, world. This is my life. I'm not playing an angle, seeking attention or in any way profiting from writing about my life. Well, okay, maybe that's not accurate - I am profiting emotionally because it's cathartic to write this all down and also pretty nice to know that I'm not alone sometimes. But I don't make any cash. Instead, I actually pay to do this. How crazy is that?

Feel Free To Disagree. You're not required to agree with me. I mean, what fun would it be if we all saw the world the same way I do? I don't pre-screen comments before they're posted and I only remove comments that are blatantly offensive. I think I've removed one comment in the last year.

I Don't Know What An A-List Blogger Is. I suppose there are a couple obvious examples but I don't read many of them. Where you fit into the social strata of the blogosphere is kind of unimportant, to me at least. Unless you're just in it to be looked at, to be discovered. Some of the best writers I've encountered have criminally small readerships. Read who you want, don't worry about hanging with the cool kids. Hemingway, for instance, is undoubtedly an A-List writer. But I don't really like his stuff. I'm not going to sit around and pour through everything old Ernest wrote just so I can say I've read an A-List author. That's silly.

With those things in mind, I have a job for you:
- If you've got a blog, pimp it in the comments, lurkers and non-lurkers alike.
- If you know of a site everyone should be reading - your own or someone else's - open up the comments box and let me and the world know about it.

Posted by Chris at October 28, 2008 6:27 AM

Everyone should totally be reading my blog.

I was just like you in high school. I had friends in each 'group'. I didn't really fit in to any one clique. And I was GLAD. Cliques suck.
I have always just been my own person, yah know?

And something funny I have noticed? While people usually change after high school, since joining Facebook, it seems like most of the people that I went to high school with are just about the same.

The ones who looked down upon me then, still do now. And for no apparent reason, as well.


As far as a blog that every one should be reading? This one. This is my first read of the day. I always look forward to your posts.


Posted by: Jen at October 28, 2008 6:50 AM

Huh? Of all the blogs I read, you and Beth have retained my attention span the longest. I consider you an A List blogger for content, not celebrity. Oh, and you have such cute kids!
I am gobsmacked that you are getting feedback like that.

Posted by: antikva at October 28, 2008 6:53 AM

I never really bothered with the cliques. I just thought I was weird in high school. Now I just realize the only ones who thought it were important were the ones whose opinions I didn't care about anyway. :) I don't much see the point of giving people titles just for the sake of it, either.

I read your blog because I enjoy it - it doesn't mean I take everything you write as the gospel, it just means it enriches my world because it's another perspective.

In my blog - I write for myself. I've had to password protect a few posts lately, but that's to avoid hurting others. If there's an audience who happens to enjoy it, lucky them.

Posted by: Hannah at October 28, 2008 7:22 AM

I was never a clique person. I was always into rock and metal, had long hair - and was rejected by all the other metallers in the school. And the athletes. And the geeks. Screw the lot of them. It's nice being a misfit. At least you know you're an individual.

Hence why the only reason I have a facebook account is to see pictures that some of my mates insist on putting up there and not making public. I don't reply to mails sent through it, I don't have my school history on there and I'm not interested in hearing squat from someone I've not spoken to in 20 years. If I lost touch with them it's for a reason - they were an arsehole.

Anyhoo, I've got three blogs and seeing as I've been invited to, I'm going to pimp them. Picture me in a lovely pair of velvet trousers and tigerskin jacket as I push my dirty *cough*sucking bee-atches at you:

1) www.moshtour.me.uk - I've been travelling on and off (mainly on) worldwide for over 2 1/2 years now. This is the blog all about that.

2) www.IWouldWalk1000Miles.me.uk - pretty much mothballed, but as part of the travelling I walked 1000 miles across Europe for charity. This blog details who for, why, where and so on.

3) www.moshblog.me.uk - more personal stuff. Inane ramblings, bad language, opinions (I'm always right, by the way), complete randomness (especially a few years ago when I was bored at work every day), politics, social commentary, letters of complaint to companies... you name it.

One of these days, with any luck, I'll be like our spiky friend here - writing about how great my kids are :)

Do have fun!

Posted by: Mosh at October 28, 2008 7:34 AM

It's funny but about a year ago a girl I went to High School with found my blog and she wrote me saying I was one of the "nicest" people and how everyone "loved" me back in High School. My first thought was, "What Universe did I go to High School in, because it certainly wasn't that one!" Hmm!
I've been reading you and Beth a long time. You have a very real outlook on life and I enjoy that bit of dry humor.
As for my blog. Well, I write for me and if anyone wants to read it, great, but for me (yes I also pay for my blog, no adverts either) it's just my way of saying, "Hi World, here I am!"

Posted by: Maribeth at October 28, 2008 7:36 AM

I no longer have a blog, but evidently, they're putting them into our new website at work, and we're ALL going to blog? They're going to pay me. To blog. That's just hilarious.

But that's not my point. My point is that you've enver come across to me as having a, basically, better-than-you opinion. I've always felt 100% free to disagree with you. And for the record? I like it here.

Sorry they're picking on you. Blow some bubbles. *hands over jar of bubbles* You'll feel better. Promise. :o)

Posted by: Emily at October 28, 2008 7:57 AM

Y'know, there's a lot of people who have been able to monetize their blogs and that's awesome for them - I never wanted to make blogging my career. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get paid to write -- but I loved writing my blog when no one read it, and I love writing it now with however many people stop by(and the numbers are not insanely crazy high either and it really doesn't matter).

I actually ended up starting a second blog, so I maintain two. Neither are about making money - or how many page views I get (though I am curious, because it's interesting). If I didn't write down the stuff going through my head, I think I would be a serious basket case. Just sayin'.

So, should people read me? Sure! I can often be found talking about my kids or how I drink too much coffee or my crazy music downloading addiction. I may not always have anything resembling a point... but life is just that way sometimes.


My other must reads? Well, this is my first stop of the day. I also daily check out (repeatedly) a blog for a 365 picture project I'm doing - there's 40+ women posting a picture daily... That's at:


(I'm Sarah Two, if y'all check that out).

And passiveaggressivenotes.com is good for a laugh.

Posted by: Sarah at October 28, 2008 8:12 AM

I would just think that folks would have better things to do than to spend time composing e-mails criticizing you for your own personal blog. I mean, really.

I was the same type of person in high school, and I find that the trend continues today. I am friends with people of all different "groups", including groups who dislike one another immensely. It's just who I am :-)

Oh, and I'm over at Life's Little Adventures, if anyone feels the urge to visit. Today I wrote about the oh-so-exciting topic of finally turning the furnace on!

Posted by: Alissa at October 28, 2008 8:20 AM

For the record, yours is the blog I would most recommend to anyone, and Beth right after. You're both so funny without seeming to pander or to try too hard and I appreciate that.

I think that my own blog is actually not great, as a read. Because I do it for myself. I consider it a journal that someday, if I remember to keep backing it all up, may be meaningful to my kids, and that's all. Like when I've died and they are cleaning out my house and have to explain to the grandkids why grandma never through anything away and what's that thing under the sofa and what's a blog?

Anyway, on days that I'm in a bad place, it really helps me work it out. Mostly when Puppy is having a rainman day.

There's a great moment in the movie The Jane Austen Book Club where Prudie says "high school is never over". Sad that it's true. My office is consantly in a state of drama like that. Human nautre I guess.

Posted by: OS at October 28, 2008 8:22 AM

Well, I just did a post about being diagnosed with a chronic illness and staying positive and I got hatemail b/c I was "insensitive to sick people." So don't fret, you can't win.

But today's post is about art at Target-


Posted by: jodifur at October 28, 2008 8:25 AM

I would not necessarily call you an elitist, but I would say that you are an "A-list" blogger. (My suspicion is that some commenters expect reciprocity, and that when someone like you - with a large readership and an even larger blogroll - doesn't reciprocate once in a while, it irks them. So, they label you elitist. But that's just my perspective.)

I have said this before, and I will say it again. The blogging world is a lot like high school. The people who are part of the "in" or popular crowd will tell you that there are no cliques, that we are all one big happy collective of writers and sharers. It's those who are not part of the clique that will tell you that there is a definite caste system, that some people have large readerships for reasons other than being good writers, or that some bloggers are elitist. (Again, I'm not saying you are; I want that to be made clear. Do I wish you'd stop by every so often? Sure. Do I think you're an elitist or an asshole because you don't? Not at all.)

Oh, and, uh, I'm SciFi Dad, and my blog is Tales From The Dad Side (http://talesfromthedadside.blogspot.com/). My tagline is "thoughts, opinions, and things better left unsaid". Feel free to click over.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at October 28, 2008 8:29 AM

I can't believe you had to post that stuff! I keep reading because, apparently, your life is a wee bit more exciting than mine (or, rather, I like to read about these things that happen to you rather than have them happen to me)... take, for instance, the drooling incident last week. I'm STILL laughing over that one.

I blog (when Facebook allows me) over at http://ironic1.blog-city.com -- it's nothing fancy, but it's a place where I dump stuff that's polluting my head. And one site y'all need to visit is Cake Wrecks! http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ironic1 at October 28, 2008 8:30 AM

Ignore the haters. You rock.

Posted by: That Girl at October 28, 2008 8:31 AM

Hey again, Chris, you elitist A-lister! ;) Since you offered, I'll take the opportunity to pimp my latest blog, http://gojennings.tumblr.com. No pseudonyms like in my retired blogs... just me. I'll keep lurking, but I'll try to be a good blogger and comment more often.

BTW, your kids get cuter every day. I've really enjoyed watching them grow!

Posted by: LJ at October 28, 2008 8:33 AM

A-list, elitist . . . makes me giggle. People need more things to do.

This a little bit of fluff from my brain that seems to make people laugh:


Posted by: Gwen at October 28, 2008 8:33 AM

Hi, This is Sylvia! Heh. Not really but I coulda been. I was a choir and theater geek that got along with and knew everyone. Thank GOD High School is over!

Mah Blawg is www.notameangirl.com I do lots of ranting there ... mainly because it's my therapy. Heh

A blog everyone should be checking out? www.poppingbubbles.com or www.ireadbannedbooks.com
They both rock.

Posted by: NotAMeanGirl at October 28, 2008 8:37 AM

It's funny you wrote this this week. Maggie over at Okay Fine Dammit was writing about floating between crowds in high school earlier this week. It makes me realize some of the blogs, like yours, that I enjoy the most are written by people who were "social drifters" growing up like myself. I think it gives you a rounder personality.

I have so many blogs I read on a daily basis and so many of their authors have become my good friends though we've never met. I've been lucky on the hate mail front thus far but I think it's mainly because I have a supportive crowd around me. And? I'm shocked anyone would say that about you, never got that impression from reading your blog!

Hope you are feeling better!

Posted by: The Stiletto Mom at October 28, 2008 8:38 AM

Those people that are calling you an A lister are just bitter and cling to their guns and religion...wait that sounds elitist, never mind.

Lloyd Lloyd all null and void...

Posted by: William at October 28, 2008 8:39 AM

haters need hobbies. seriously.

i think you are awesome. that's really all that matters, right? hahaha.

of course...everyone out there should read ME. and if you aren't reading me, um, you should be reading Jenny THe Bloggess, because she makes me pee in my pants pretty much daily.

Posted by: ali at October 28, 2008 8:45 AM

Pimp? I can pimp here? Oh goodie...

http://odonnellweb.com - Collecting hits on "Chris ODonnell naked" since 1995.

Posted by: COD at October 28, 2008 8:45 AM

I used to have a lot more readers or rather, commenters, but now, I remind myself that I do this because I love it. Not because of comments. I just love blogging.

And personally, I think http://www.sundrymourning.com/ is one of my all-time favorite sites because she's a mom who tells it like it is. Love her.

Posted by: Claire at October 28, 2008 8:53 AM

Like you, I pay to blog, rather than get paid. (But as I always say, it's cheaper than therapy!) I welcome comments -- and, particularly when I get political, I expect people to disagree with me, sometimes vehemently, but never insultingly. (Also like you, I delete maybe one comment a year.) If I weren't trying to make connections with other people out there, I'd just scribble my thoughts in a notebook and keep it in my desk drawer.

Posted by: Karen at October 28, 2008 9:23 AM

I can't believe that you don't read my blog. Seriously - I write about once a month about remarkably droll things and I expect you to read every single scrap I write and LOVE it.
I also want you to pimp my blog for me because people should just love me, whether I can write worth a damn or not.
Finally, I can't believe that you don't sit on my every comment and think about how wonderful and pithy my writing is! Damn you, rude cactus, damn you

Posted by: Arwen at October 28, 2008 9:27 AM

I never fit in with anyone in high school either, but life is a great leveler! I love reading your blog, I can't believe you get crap like that - ignore them, you and Beth are both great!

Posted by: Karen at October 28, 2008 9:30 AM

Wait, now that I'm about to be unemployed and have time to devote to my blog again after far too long absent I can pimp it? Excellent!

I have only recently discovered the joys of the feed reader, so I've been adding a lot of new blogs lately. Most of them food related as I've decided to spend my time while unemployed learning how to cook. I'm a big fan of Not Eating Out in New York...even if it does make me feel like I havea long way to go at times ;-)


Posted by: Kerry at October 28, 2008 9:30 AM

Whoever is telling you that you're a "snobby blogger" clearly has issues. I throughly enjoy reading your site. I always start with Beth's site and move to yours. In all the time I have been reading your blog, I never felt like you were trying to push what you think on anyone. And I've never seen you have a problem with someone when they disagree with you. Though maybe there is some fantastic email war going on that we are unaware of. If so, that could be entertaining.

I'd say aside from your site and Beth's site that my next favorite is: http://www.sundrymourning.com/
I love reading her blog. She makes me feel like I'm not alone when I get fed up with my daughter.

My blog http://js0512.livejournal.com/ is full of nothing important, but, like you, I find it cathartic to get it out.

Tell the asshats to leave you alone! :)

Posted by: js at October 28, 2008 9:35 AM

Delurking to say hey there! I just started reading a few weeks ago, and I'm already finding myself looking forward to seeing you pop up in my feed reader. Keep up the good work!

I totally agree with you that some people never get out of the clique mentality. I've continually been dismayed to find that corporate cubicle farms are just as socially stratified as high school. Urgh. I thought I was done with that stuff 15+ years ago, but no... *And* I still get pimples! Where is the justice?!? At least I can buy beer to drown my frustrations now, though. ;)

One of my favorite blogs is The Sneeze (http://www.thesneeze.com/). It's funny, absurd, and always delightful, if you are a fan of The Silly. If you are having a bad day, check out the "Steve, don't eat it!" posts. Hilarious stuff.

Posted by: gabrielle at October 28, 2008 9:37 AM

I read your blog, like it, and generally agree with your views. I also read blogs by people whose views I don't agree with but maybe they are good photographers, food writers, knitters etc. It's my responsibility as well, if I really don't like what I'm reading then I can choose not to.

Blogs you should read? There's plenty in my blogroll...

Posted by: Katherine at October 28, 2008 9:44 AM

Um ditto on the high school stuff. I could never be bothered - and what I find funny is that now as a fully functional adult (ok some might question that) I operate pretty much the same way. What you see is what you get. don't like it? Go away, I don't care.


Here's my blog for anyone who might care:

Posted by: Sharon at October 28, 2008 9:46 AM

You are totally not an elitist blogger--you're the friendliest blogger if anything. How many elitist bloggers reply to commenters and then proceed to exchange 50+ one line emails with a total stranger covering varying topics including, but not limited too talking about eating beans with george wendt? Nobody, that's who. You rock!

Posted by: esthela at October 28, 2008 9:49 AM

*Clearly* these peeps that are calling you an A-list blogger have not read your blog long enough...you are toooootally on the D-list, at best. I joke, I joke. I think when you possess the amount of awesomeness that you and I were so blessed with people tend to "hate on you". Keep "keepin it real, yo". : )

Posted by: mymilabean at October 28, 2008 9:49 AM

Am I so UNCOOL that I didn't realize there are cliques in the blogosphere? A-list? I'm probably a D-Lister (and proud)!

Here's me, pimping my blog -- momindisguise.blogspot.com

Other than yours, one blog everyone should be reading is whiskeyinmysippycup.com Mr. Lady is fierce.

Posted by: Robyn at October 28, 2008 10:02 AM

Oh my lord... I do not understand these sort of commenters. It's your own site, of course you can write whatever you damn well please. Heck, if you wanted to, you would be perfectly within your right to delete any comments you disagreed with. And I am so sick of elitist being the new four letter word.

Here's me pimping out my site: http://www.completelyirrelevant.com -- it's pretty much just me recapping my life, so it's mostly uneventful and boring. I'd really make a terrible pimp.

And this isn't a blog, but a website you should totally check out nonetheless: http://breakingbadnewswithbabyanimals.com

Posted by: stephanie at October 28, 2008 10:07 AM

It hurts my feelings when you shove me in my locker before English everyday. Just so you know.


I don't hide my elitism. It's on display for to see. You should also go to this blog: http://illegaljesus.wordpress.com because it has a funny name.


Posted by: Sparkle Pants at October 28, 2008 10:13 AM

This is me, pimpin': www.livinginthegray.com
Also what's with Americans overusing the word "elitist"? I've heard it more in the past couple of weeks than my whole life previous. I always thought being "elite" was a good thing. Being the best of a group or the best at a particular activity is something to be proud of! But Americans use it like it's the foulest word they can think of! Being "elitist" simply means you are conscious of being "favoured" or "one of the best". It doesn't mean you are a jackass. Assholery is a totally different thing than elitism.

Posted by: Shannon at October 28, 2008 10:13 AM

You asked me to pimp, and pimp I shall do.

My crazy life:

My food blog:

My Fresh & Easy store obsession blog:

The other place I blog...like 4 times a year now LOL: www.Thai-Blogs.com.

I'm sure those who called you "elitist" is just jealous. That shows how some people never grow up out high school.

Posted by: oakmonster at October 28, 2008 10:53 AM

MY blog is the coolest blog out there.

Oh wait. It's primarily a mommy blog. So, pretty uncool, really.

Although I did get some pretty interesting hate email once when I talked about vaccinations and how I hated all those irresponsible parents who refused to get them for their kids, thereby endangering babies, etc.....

Ah, the joys of blogging.

Posted by: ewe_are_here at October 28, 2008 10:55 AM

I don't know that there's any one site that everyone should be reading, maybe some non-slanted news site that has actual news on it and not celebrity stories or stories about people microwaving pets or babies. I hope that's not elitist of me. Insert eye-roll here.

I write about myself and my two kids. Riveting stuff? Not really, but yesterday did see a posting about how frozen yogurt tastes better than boogers.

Watch out Dooce. (<-dripping with sarcasm).

Party of 3 www.itsjustapie.blogspot.com

Posted by: alison at October 28, 2008 11:16 AM

i am voting for obama but i work at a restaurant. so i like to call myself an "elitist waitress"...

Posted by: kati at October 28, 2008 11:31 AM

Some people just need someone besides themselves to hate. It's the way of life and neuroses.

Mine: http://etceterablah.com
Other: http://www.brandonoana.com/
Brandon's always been an amazing writer. He not only wears his heart on his sleeve, he smears it all over the screen for other people to enjoy.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at October 28, 2008 11:34 AM

So I was the co-captain of the ROTC drill team my first two years of high school, and rounded the last two out with being editor of the literary magazine. So I was not only one of the least cool ancillary characters at GHS, I was semi-their-leader.

Two of my favorite blogs are http://keepyourreceipt.blogspot.com/
which is flat out hilarious and
which is entertaining whether you cycle or not; he also raises money for the Lance Armstrong foundation in honor of his wife, who is unfortunately entering the late stages of her battle with cancer.

Comparatively, I write a lot about music and Bruce Jenner's facelift on my blog, so it would be delusional to expect the readers to come in droves.

Posted by: Kate at October 28, 2008 11:39 AM

I've blogged for years at heels:

And just started a new one with my husband and "brother" (not actually my brother, just feels like it):

We've all been friends since high school, and none of us were ever really part of any clique.

This is the first year I've ever had to delete offensive comments from my blog. It's my opinion, people! On my dumb blog that has, oh, maybe 10 readers. You attribute too much power to me. Go argue with published authors or something.

Posted by: heels at October 28, 2008 11:42 AM

I like to read this blog becuase of the stories and book reviews, but also because I don't always agree with everything you say...especially in the way of politics...and I appreciate the different perspective. I live in a small town, which doesn't equal small-minded, but I appreciate blogs like this one that increase my world-view.

P.S - I am new at blogging (though I've been reading blogs forever) and I don't know what I'm doing. Hopefully I will get better with time.


To echo some of the above, I like thesneeze.com and The Bloggess. But I have found so many awesome writers and my blogroll is growing quickly.

Posted by: Mitzy at October 28, 2008 11:49 AM

About 2 years ago one of my coworkers was going on about a blog that she was reading. I remember thinking "What's a blog? That sounds stupid" And I never thought I'd ever get into blogging.
And then I became a parent. And becoming a parent changed some perspectives in my life. It was something totally new and I had no idea what I was doing. I was on a parenting website one day and found some mommy bloggers. After reading a couple I found myself relating to them and actually feeling normal. The more blogs I found, the more I got hooked. Then I decided to start my own because Hey, what a great way to keep track of my life as it is now and I can go back at any time and read about it, others can now relate to my experiences and at the same time I keeping family members that live away up to date with our life.

I came upon your blog through your wife's blog and because you are so creative with your writing, you bring humor and take awesome pictures I come back regularly. So, keep up the good work, don't change and don't let what others say frustrate you.

Although I'm not as amusing as you, I do love comments because it does make me feel popular, something I don't think I was in High School. So any blog reader that wants to hear about my life in Maine as a Mom, Wife to a Redneck, Television producer, loud mouth, occasionally complainer, can come on over and visit.

Posted by: Sam at October 28, 2008 11:52 AM

You know, I was just talking last night about how I could use a Lloyd Dobler in my life right now. There aren't enough of them around.

Posted by: samantha at October 28, 2008 12:16 PM

Really? I mean...REALLY??? This has been an issue for you?

You and Beth are some of the most down-to-earth bloggers I've ever read. I've never seen either of you as elitist or the like. You even answer comments!

Keep doing what you are doing. I personally read because you have similar issues, a great sense of humor and I like the way you present your day-to-day. It's refreshing.

So, yeah, I guess that *does* make you A-List!

Posted by: Holly Reynolds at October 28, 2008 12:27 PM

Okay. Laugh at me now.

I did not mean "similar issues". I meant Similar Interests. *sigh. It's been a long day.

Posted by: Holly Reynolds at October 28, 2008 12:32 PM

So I have a morning routine which is:
1. check your blog and
2. check Beth's blog

I totally feel like I can't have a good day until I do that, and it's either that I'm stalking both of you (HA) or I feel like you're both normal people who have issues just like the rest of us!

As for other sites I visit...I try to hit www.rawstory.com a few times a day because it's a very good collection of news bites that don't always necessarily make it into main stream media.

Also factcheck.org and www.dailykos.com as well.

And, yes I do have a blog moesbaby99.wordpress.com but I'm horrible about getting into a daily habit (or even weekly habit of posting) but I've been more active with the election coming to an end ... can't imagine why (Obama for the win!) Ha sorry!

Posted by: Michelle at October 28, 2008 1:29 PM

I also seemed to be able to be friends with just about anyone in high school. I wasn't popular, and I didn't really fit in any clique, well, except the band geeks...I was a band geek.

I find facebook a very interesting experiment. Kinda like reunions...it's like, all of a sudden, people who didn't talk to you in high school are interested in you. I'm alright with that, I don't hold any grudges.

My blog was created to keep family that lives all over the country informed as to the goings on with the growing up of our daughter: http://cnbyates.blogspot.com. I don't talk about anything political due to the fact that I don't mix politics with family...it just makes things easier in my world! I do allow myself to get political on twitter...that's my release! So my blogs pretty boring...just like my life! ;-)

I love your blog. And Beth's. You write like I wish I could. And if that makes me elitist, when then, so be it.

Posted by: cyndy at October 28, 2008 1:36 PM

I love both your and Beth's blogs mostly because they're just real and it doesn't seem like you're writing just to have something to post.
I do have my own little blog, nothing fancy at all, but it's fine for me.
As for blogs I really like:
All of these are just real people and I love reading their stories.

Posted by: Dianna at October 28, 2008 1:38 PM

This has nothing to do with your post, but I just wanted to say: You never know when other bloggers will just pop into your head...Proof of that is that this weekend, I was getting a massage in DC and about 10 minutes into it, I realized I was starting to drool. Enter: Rude Cactus and his dental drama story... Ha! Good stuff, man. Have a good week! Enjoy this lovely weather.

Posted by: Liberal Banana at October 28, 2008 1:47 PM

You have a target pinned on you lately don't you?

I have to roll my eyes a little. Not at what you wrote but at the fact that despite everything I'd hoped growing up you are right. We don't ever escape the cliques of high school do we? They change a little but they are still there. At the school I teach at I'd say the teachers are every bit as ridiculous as the kids, if not more so. There are the cool teachers, and the grumpy ones, and the just nice ones, and the better than everyone else ones. I'm thankful that as I did in high school I tend to float happily between everyone (well except that grumpy group).

This is me... deconstructing jen. Nothing spectacular for sure.

Now onto a couple of blogs that are wonderful and deserves the time of anyone who might be willing... 60 Piggies
Teach My Children Well

Posted by: Jen at October 28, 2008 2:00 PM

A full time skank, man that must have been hard work for her. Oh wait, what were we discussing?

I think people have their panties in a bunch right now. So they find people with differing opinions and just attack them. I've been attacked in emails and Tweets a few times for my political beliefs and really, I have next to no traffic. I just think people need to take a breath or take a shot or something, before they go all crazy on other people for what they write about. Like I emailed back to someone, if you don't like what I have to say, please feel free to use the little red X box at the top. It's not hard to find.

Chris, I've been reading here since shit, maybe before Mia was born. You are one of the nicest people in the blogworld. People attacking you, means this world is one crazy ass backwards place right now.

Everyone should be reading me. For sure....Hahahaha, I crack myself up. Honestly, if I were going to pimp someones site right now, it would be I can has cheeseburgers, because I am loving it right now. No drama, just funny pictures.

Posted by: Issa at October 28, 2008 2:23 PM

I don't get how anyone who is a devoted reader of yours can come up with you being an elitist. Self serving? Yes, but isn't that what blogging is all about?

RE: John Hughes movies - which character were you in high school? Do you think you're the grown up version of that same character now?


Posted by: Shelly at October 28, 2008 2:25 PM

You A-list bastard! I know my blog is the best!

Posted by: Christina at October 28, 2008 2:31 PM

How cool! Thanks for the chance, Chris. I enjoy reading your blog, and your wife's blog, too. Mine is:
It's pretty random-- all about me and my family, and how I manage to run after a toddler after two hip-replacement surgeries. (Thus, I'm only SEMI-bionic... looking forward to being totally bionic. I would completely fight crime.)

Posted by: Nikki at October 28, 2008 2:46 PM

I'd pimp my blog here, but right now there's about enough content to adorn the sides of a small stack of Starbucks cups. I'm working for quality, though - stick with me!

I always sort of hoped that high school would turn out to be MORE like a John Hughes movie because in the end I might get the quirky-but-sexy girl, make a new friend, and end up with some kind of insight into what it meant to be growing up with Reagan in the White House. Happily, I discovered that past isn't necessarily prologue, and adult life is, I think, much nicer than adolesence.

I've only been reading you for a couple weeks but I can echo the praise above - you do it right, sans elitism. (Like how I threw in a little French with the elitism there?)

Posted by: Matt at October 28, 2008 2:57 PM

Oooooooo always fun to pimp!


Posted by: K at October 28, 2008 3:05 PM

Wow. Well said (and yes, I usually agree with you anyways, otherwise I probably wouldn't keep reading you).

I went to an art retreat this past fall which gained its publicity through blogland. I went to meet a blogger who I had been reading for years. However, there were several "rock star" bloggers who were teaching and it amazed me how people put them up on pedestals and how the teachers reacted by creating their own sort of elite. I had actually popped in on a few of those blogs before and now I swear I'll never read them again because these women behaved like they were big whoop and in actuality they really weren't.

So yes, John Hughes had it right.


Posted by: Heather at October 28, 2008 3:24 PM

De-lurking to say that I was really beginning to think that I was the only person who noticed that in high school it wasn't the so-called "Stoners" who were always high...it was the football team. :)

As for blogs, I just write for myself. Writing helps me to process whatever happens to be going on in my life and when nothing particulary intersting is going on, it helps keep me amused during extremely boreing conference calls.


Posted by: Claudia at October 28, 2008 3:33 PM

Well, I don't have a blog anymore, because I'm paranoid given my profession. But I'd like to think that you seemed to like my writing and dig the comments I send your way. Yours is the only real blog I bother with anymore, and mostly, it's because I've gotten attached to the Cactus-Fish clan.

As for Hemingway, HE TOTALLY SUCKS! Get over being impotent, dude. It's not an excuse for being all boring and shit. :)

Folks thought I was a drug dealer in high school. I never did a single illegal drug my whole life.

Posted by: alektra at October 28, 2008 3:39 PM

I stumbled across your blog on one of the many long days at work where I would click through blogrolls, I read the first page and if I like it ...well I add it to my favorites list. I do not feed read like some people, I will read someones blog untill I no longer find them interesting or they go a certain period of time without posting. Plain and simple I like to read your blog because we have the same taste in books and you always have "something"to say. Keep up the good work so I don't get bored and delete you...lol!

Posted by: Alexandra at October 28, 2008 3:41 PM

YOU are an elitist? This IS Chris Cactus, right? You seem to be one of the most down-to-earth, real people that I read. I told you before that you are my first read every single day and I can totally relate to so much of what you say.

I feel free to disagree with you and previously have let you know that I think you're off your rocker (although I don't think I used that exact phrasing.) Besides, you're one of those types that responds EVERY SINGLE TIME that I comment, even if it's just a few words to say that you agree. I'm not quite sure how that comes across as elitist, but Whatever!

And if I'm going to pimp my blog( www.zaniesworld.blogspot.com, I guess I should go update it...

Posted by: zanie at October 28, 2008 4:06 PM

Chris, for the life of me, I do not understand people who read other peoples' blogs just to rip them. I don't get it and I don't think I ever will. But here's the thing. I learned something very, very valuable when I was working for the church. I completely despised church council. It was a once a month bitch fest about very unimportant things and every year, we'd elect people to said council, knowing how painful it really was. Here's the thing, most of the people who WANTED to be on church council, were people who didn't get heard in their own lives, jobs, families, whatever. This "volunteer" gig was their way of exerting control and forcing people to "hear" them. Once I understood that, I could much more quietly listen, knowing that this person was obviously working out something else, not just ripping apart my budget because he hated me. It was so freeing in a way.

Don't know if that's valuable to you, but still - I will never understand the meanies.

Posted by: k8 at October 28, 2008 4:15 PM

i have a blog. ;)

Posted by: jodi at October 28, 2008 5:04 PM

You are far from elitist...you are the nicest, albeit opinionated, blogger I know. And I know we've had this conversation before...if they don't like your blog they should quit reading. This is your little corner of cyberspace...YOURS to say what you want and give your opinion.

Now, would I consider you an A-list blogger? Yes, and precisely because you don't think you're one. You have a large, loyal following and no matter how many comments you get, you manage a response to every one.

No sense pimping Therapy Failed as I am on a self-imposed, or school imposed, hiatus...haven't posted since the beginning of the month.

Posted by: Krush at October 28, 2008 5:05 PM

blog snob ;)

Posted by: madmom at October 28, 2008 5:47 PM

I've been lookin for new blogs to stalk...great way to enable me there Chris.

And I totally getcha with the bloggers on the so called A List. Who are they writing for I wonder? Certainly not themselves...and that's sad.

I'm on break from blogging as I'm just tired of trying to think of something to write about in my everyday boring life.

Anyways, you keep it real..I like that in the blogs I read. Besides, your lil Miss Mia is adorable and nobody can sing like that lil tot.

Keep on keepin' on I say....

Posted by: kimmyk at October 28, 2008 6:01 PM

I have been reading your blog (and mostly lurking) for about four years now, and you have never come across as 'elitist' (what's an A-list blogger?). Silly people.

My blog is a mishmash of me burbling on about writing, me burbling on about Zimbabwe and how I go about being Zimbabwean, and me burbling on about clothes. Lots of burbling, which is a great word. Pimping time! (Now that's a sentence I never thought I would say). www.acatofimpossiblecolour.blogspot.com

Posted by: Andrea at October 28, 2008 6:01 PM

Some people really have too mucht ime on their hands. Why else would they be moaning at you in that way? I find comments like the ones you have been getting totally boring (like, just don't read if it offends you, don't comment about it!)

Posted by: starrynite at October 28, 2008 6:54 PM

p.s. hope you're feeling better

Posted by: starrynite at October 28, 2008 6:55 PM

That is the craziest shit I've read; you an elitist? Wow...I've been reading you for some time now and I can honestly say that it's not true. I mean you respond to any comment I've left..now who does that anymore!!!

As for my blog; it's the best one out there for me! hahah..

Posted by: Gabriella at October 28, 2008 7:44 PM

So in case you're wondering, I enjoy your blog and don't think you're a snob (just had to get that out there).

And thanks for this particular post--my old computer was virused and I lost my blog roll :( So aside for a few that I specifically remembered the locations/titles, my blogroll is pretty much empty. Until now. Mwahaha.

I love yours and Beth's blogs, along with The Yarn Harlot ( http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/ ), who is always hilarious. I do have a blog, and you can check it out if you want, but I update maybe once a week and I think that if I didn't know me, I wouldn't find it interesting. So no hard feelings ;)

Posted by: Angela at October 28, 2008 8:17 PM

Hemingway... now he would have been one fucked up dark blogger don't you think? Specially near the end....

On that happy note, I blog. I have two blogs. From Nats Brain... and See Nat Run (which is all about running.) Why is it great? I don't know.. I'm not sure it is. But it's mine and it's there.

Posted by: Nat at October 28, 2008 10:43 PM

Delurking to say hello... I have been reading you & Beth since Mia has come along... And ONLY reading because I THOUGHT you were all of those things you are now stating you arent... Well damn... I guess I will just have to continue to read for those awesome adorable kids of yours... ;)

Posted by: Sasparilla at October 28, 2008 10:47 PM

Delurking to say hello... I have been reading you & Beth since Mia has come along... And ONLY reading because I THOUGHT you were all of those things you are now stating you arent... Well damn... I guess I will just have to continue to read for those awesome adorable kids of yours... ;)

Posted by: Sasparilla at October 28, 2008 10:47 PM

Oi, there's me, which I am never sure that you read which does make you elitist but I am best friends with your daughter, so I forgive you.

And I could name about 50,000 bloggers that I love and adore, but I am tired as hell (what's new) so I will name only one, cause she is wicked awesome AND I designed her blog.


Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at October 28, 2008 11:40 PM

While I haven't been reading your blog for long, I have enjoyed what I've read of it so far. And your "About Me" post is an inspirational member of the genre. This post has also quite conveniently led me to adding quite a few blogs to entertain me while at work. Huzzah!
One site everyone should read is http://readwritepoem.org, which, unsurprisingly, is about reading and writing poetry. Everyone should have poetry in their life.

*if this happened to be double-posted, I apologize*

Posted by: tom at October 29, 2008 1:11 AM

K, so wait. You have a billion comments on EVERYTHING you write, and yet, you're NOT an A lister? and you get stuff sent to you to review? hrm. thinking a lister on this one, sorry to be the one to break it to you.

That said, blogs to pimp out:
www.drinksafterdark.com - all the good stuff about alcohol. EVAR.
www.spabeautifully.com - cool at home remedies, spa reviews and more. expanding coverage as we speak.
www.buzznetworker.com - social media at it's best.
www.blog.missmanifesto.com personal, Vancouver based site. You get personal, or you get City. it's that easy.

Posted by: Colleen at October 29, 2008 5:33 AM

wow, i just got to read yesterday's post today... and i know EXACTLY what your sayin!!! i have never been one to "fit in" to any given slot... i have always believed that we are humans being... and no one was better than anyone else... we just have different talents as it were... that being said.. the fact that i am a no bs girl... and allow others their own opinion and say so even if it doesn't fit into mine... it has invarialby gotten me into trouble sometimes...because they just don't understand that hey, i'm not trying to ARGUE here...you asked for my opinion...i gave it... you have yours and thats FINE... and when it comes to dirty office politics or sleeping your way to the top... i don't play those games... and oops... my mouth verbally objects and says so.... so now... they keep me in the basement... and are cautious of sending me out into other offices with the higher ups... but... i still walk away... knowing i've earned their respect for giving the respect that the other person is a human.... being... which leaves those that would look down at me scratching their heads...

Posted by: the unicorn at October 29, 2008 7:20 AM

Well, at least you don't have a blog dedicated to trashing you. Yet.

Anyway, you know that you and Beth are my very first two clicks every morning. There's a reason for that. (I have a bathroom fetish.) (I kid.) (I don't.) You two are doing it right. Rock on, Mr Cactus.

PS: SciFi Dad IS great, and so is www.busydadblog.com

Posted by: Mr Lady at October 29, 2008 12:24 PM

Well I thought it was totally elitist when you put up that video of Mia singing The Wizard of Oz. I mean, you were obviously trying to say that your blog was way better than anyone else's and that your child is cuter than any of the other children currently singing on the internet. Geez, Chris, stop being such a snob!

It's obvious that I'm being ridiculous, right? Right? Just didn't want to get any hate mail about mean I am and how Mia IS the cutest kid on the internet- I mean, duh, of course she is. Except for my nephew, of course.

Oh, and also my blog is the cutest blog on the internet http://jessdavenport.blogspot.com
except fr when I'm talking about poo. Or politics. Or anything else, really. I'm a q-list blogger, I think

Posted by: Jess at October 29, 2008 4:00 PM

Chris, you have completely been misbranded by those haters! You are the polar opposite of elitist. Sheesh. I was like you in high school, friends in all groups because I was an athlete/newspaper editor/NHS leadership/Homecoming Queen (only won because the girls I was up against were totally elitist!). It's nice to be friendly with everyone because you learn so much about others and yourself!

Posted by: La Petite Chic at October 29, 2008 4:00 PM

I have enjoyed reading both your site and Beth's site since before Mia was born. You are both funny and intelligent. Very interesting and entertaining to read.

In high school I got along with most people. I was a band geek but also played tennis, softball, and track.

Blogs I read almost daily are yours, Beth's, Dooce.com, and Amalah.com.

I started my blog just over a month ago so I am still quite the novice.

Posted by: erin at October 29, 2008 8:17 PM

Ah, Lloyd Dobler. You're sorta like Lloyd Dobler.

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?
Lloyd Dobler: 'Cause I'm a guy. I have pride.
Corey Flood: You're not a guy.
Lloyd Dobler: I am.
Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy.

Posted by: Amy at October 30, 2008 12:28 AM

I consider you to be the Brandon Walsh of the blogoshpere. I feel like I might be a better commenter then blogger sometimes.

Posted by: Cass at October 30, 2008 7:12 AM

You read my sister, Orphie the Wonder Dog, and my kids have one of your shirts ("zero tolerance for asshats").

You should read me, too.

I'm Eatmisery at "Comments from the Peanut Gallery" (http://eatmisery.blogspot.com)

Come on by, stay a while, get lost in the insanity.

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