Random header image... Refresh for more!

173rd Friday Blog Roundup

Commander Salamander in Georgetown is closing.  I know it’s just a store, but this news broke my heart.  That used to be my treat when I was little–my dad would take us there for blue lipstick and jelly bracelets and spike collars.  I always thought that when the twins were older, I would pass along the tradition, taking them for their first bottle of Manic Panic.  Now where are we going to go?


Speaking of identity–since the ability to purchase my children copious amounts of manic panic and nose rings is part of who I am–I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how I perceive myself.  More than how others perceive me since I have no idea what is happening inside your head when you see my name–I only know what happens in mine.  I see identity as somewhat different from personality.  Perhaps two overlapping circles where there are commonalities between my personality and my identity, but there are also free-standing characteristics in both categories.  Such as my past identity as a diehard steel-toed doc martin fanatic.

I think sometimes, identity is chosen for you based on personality.  And I think other times, you can guide your identity if you already have one foot on that path.  Which is a long way of saying that I’m still ruminating on two conversations–one with my sister-cousin and another with a fellow blogger–about breaking out of small boxes.  I am not a fan of categorization when it limits how others perceive you.  And while my title and subject matter point towards a single element of my being on this blog, I like to think that I am more than my wonky ovaries and clotty blood.

I have always thought of myself as a pollinator–I read something in one place and drop the ideas down in another.  I like connecting people.  I like connecting people to each other and people to ideas.  I remember everything I read and I like to pass along what I know.  This is what I’ve been ruminating on for the last few weeks.  Not how to change the blog because I think that blogs are constantly evolving just as the writers who create them are constantly evolving.  But how to best do what I like to do.  Which is what I’ve been doing (I think?) for the last 3 1/2 years.


As you hopefully saw yesterday, after an almost two-year hiatus, the Secret Ode project has been resurrected thanks to Mrs. Spit’s nudge.  That sort of goes back to identity too.  I’ll post reminders from time to time, but consider it on-going from this point forward.  At an unscheduled, unannounced time, you’ll see the little lollipop icon at the top of the post and you’ll know it’s a new installment of anonymously-written gushings about blogs and bloggers.  Here is a way to anonymously admit to your blog crushes.

Whenever I get a critical mass, I post.  Hopefully, if you are mentioned in a Secret Ode, you’ll pay it forward and write one for another blogger.  I love it because it’s totally anonymous, so you can never shrug off the compliment by justifying who said it.  Since you will neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever know.

And yes, you can submit as many as you wish, but fill out the form for each individual blog.


The Weekly What If: returning to the idea of fame and being worshiped as either sexy or lovable, would you rather experience an intense, all-consuming brush with fame a la Kirk Cameron in the 1980s and then slide into obscurity (in other words, have a short-lived ride as an A-list celebrity and end up semi-forgotten down the road), or would you rather experience a quiet, ongoing, slow-burn fame a la Paul Simon (in other words, people love his music and you’re probably humming “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” right now, but no one has ever screamed for him as they do Robert Pattinson).  With scenario one, you’d be famous for a few weeks, months, years, but could go back to a normal life (would you miss that fame or be happy it’s gone)?  With scenario two, you’d get to enjoy the perks of fame forever, though you’d have to endure the downside to fame too.


And now, the blogs…

The Babbling Bitter (Infertile) Bitch had a post on her old blog which has moved to this new space titled “Fresh.”  It is an incredibly powerful post that begins with an admittance that while the news of her work friend’s pregnancy stung, it was nothing compared to the memories of the author’s own loss that were dredged up after her friend’s miscarriage.  It is a wondering about why people don’t step in and do more when loss is more common than we wish to believe.  A great, aching post.

Forever Reaching answered the question about worth from the point of view who has been through infertility and not emerged with the golden ticket; definitely a valuable read.  It balances the knee-jerk reaction with the lessons gained and emerges with an answer that brings her peace.  I love this line: “So the easy answer can still be no but the not so easy answer is yes.”

Fertility Challenged in Florida’s letter to Babybutt will turn you into a sniveling, weepy mess.  This just about killed me: “It’s like there are two big spheres in my heart that overlap. On one side is my love for Daddy. On the other side is my love for you. In the middle is this crazy, mixed swirl of emotion tied up in the both of you.”  Go over to read the whole wonderful thing.

Lastly, You Just Never Know Where Hope Might Take Ya has a post about life after a hysterectomy and all the things lost to endometriosis.  It is about recognizing your losses not for the sake of comforting yourself, but because it’s a necessary step to enable a person to move forward.  And it’s not just the big losses; it’s counting up the small losses too as one would count every penny in their purse (and not just the quarters) if they were trying to pull together all their change.  It is a beautiful post and I hope you go over and tell her so after you’ve read it.

The roundup to the Roundup: mourning the closing of Commander Salamander.  Thinking about how to do what I like to do.  Bringing back the Secret Ode Project (submit one and make someone else’s day).  Answer the Weekly What If.  And lots of great posts to read.


1 TeamWinks { 01.29.10 at 5:31 pm }

I’m excited about the return of the odes! It’s nice to spread the well…nice. 🙂

2 Pie { 01.29.10 at 6:52 pm }

Ok, first you mention the Potomac Library, and then Commander Salamander. I think we must have lived the same childhood! I used to love going to CS – it was so much cooler than just going to Montgomery Mall to Spencers. It was a special treat.

3 mrs spock { 01.29.10 at 8:23 pm }

If the big rush of fame gets me lots of moolah to coast on for the rest of my life, I guess I can put up with a year or two of hell, being trailed by the paps.

The idea of being in a blinding limelight forever is not appealing. Which is why my fantasies of recognition of are the writerly type- I’d like to be read but not recognized.

4 Barbr { 01.29.10 at 8:33 pm }

I am humbled!! Thanks Mel. 🙂

5 Josh { 01.29.10 at 9:57 pm }

I guess I would hope for a Paul Simon type long, slow burn. Although at this point I would settle for Kirk Cameron (even if it meant having to make “Left Behind” movies for the rest of my life).

6 lynn @ human, being { 01.30.10 at 12:00 am }

I’m all about the slow burn.

Funny, I’ve only been to Georgetown once and I’ve been to that store. Cool place.

7 S.I.F. { 01.30.10 at 3:50 am }

Slow burn for sure… I mean, Kirk Cameron still get’s recognizes and has to deal with some of the downsides of his fame, but now he’s recognized as a has been… I would rather have a slow but steady career that never really peaks than one that burns out quickly and never leads to anything else… The idea of being a has been actually really bums me out!

8 Wishing4One { 01.30.10 at 4:08 am }

I think a quick fix of fame would be best for me. I don’t like to be the spotlight and probably would not handle fame and stalkers well. That store sounds cool. The only close thing to it I experienced as a child was Spencers. We would go in and were not suppose to look at the 18+ section, like it was even “separate”, we felt dirty after looking, LOL.

9 Tammy { 01.30.10 at 2:14 pm }

Thanks for the shout out this week, Mel. It is so nice to be included.

10 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 01.30.10 at 11:09 pm }

Slow burn for sure. Not because of the fame itself, but because of the accompanying money. Being rich then destitute is the terrible fate of too many big stars. I think Paul Simon would have been fine regardless, but in any event, a moderate steady royalty check is better than a few big checks then a lifetime of empty mailboxes.

Not that the other open browser windows are me doing our finances or anything.

11 Natalie { 01.31.10 at 1:34 pm }

I’ve never wanted to be famous at all. If anything I’d like to be the lesser-known slow-burn type where you have your fans and no one else really knows about you. I’d hate to be in the spotlight all the time.

12 Jendeis { 02.02.10 at 4:09 pm }

Oh no, Commander Salamander! I got my first pair of Doc Martens there. They were black patent leather and I thought I was the coolest ever. (I was).

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author