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405th Friday Blog Roundup

On the bus ride home from BlogHer, I gave up my seats to some long legged boys and felt virtuous, as if I had given away my kidney.  Perhaps I saved those lanky boys from blood clots.  That was sort of the high point of the trip.  The rest of the ride was mind-numbing.

As I stared out the window from their vacated, cramped seat, I came up with a brilliant theory on how where you like to sit in the theater is determined by the place you personally define as “home.”  Home may be where you were born or it may be where you grew up or it may be where you live now; but at some point, people connect with a space and start feeling as if this one particular space is the best fit.  Even when I live in other areas, I still think of myself as a Marylander, and I was using that as the base for this thought.

I had been thinking about Lori and how she doesn’t live close to an ocean and wondering how one gets through their day being so far from the ocean.  It’s a drive for us, but still close enough that it’s a low stakes day trip.  And I wondered where Lori sat when she went to the theater, but she was on an airplane and I couldn’t ask her.  So I started asking all of you via Twitter and Facebook, and I really think I’m on to something.  I’m just trying to figure out how close someone needs to be to a coast to say they live “close to” a coast.  I’m two hours away, and I always prefer to be close to an aisle.  Is four hours away too distant for the coast to force the person to gravitate towards aisle seats?

So, let’s see where the pull of the coast stops working:

  1. Determine the place you think of as home base; the space that you either live in now or lived in during the past that still holds your heart.
  2. Work out how long it would take you to drive to a coast from that home base.
  3. Think about whether you prefer the aisle seat (or close to the aisle) or the center seats in a theater.

Am I correct?

It was a seriously long and boring bus ride, but I’m still totally curious if my theory is true.


While we were at the pool this week, I noticed the ChickieNob talking to herself, twisting and leaping on the black tile lap line on the bottom of the pool.  And then I realized that she was using it as her balance beam, pretending she was part of the women’s Olympic gymnastic team, and she was giving a play by play of her routine.  I used to do that when I was her age; I used to use the weightless possibilities of the pool in order to do what my body couldn’t do on land.  And it was sweet to know exactly what was happening in her head.  And it was bittersweet to be old and not using the lap lane tiles as a balance beam anymore.


I saw the world’s best book trailer this week:

It did exactly what a book trailer should do, which is sell me on the book.  Which rarely happens.  I mean, I buy a lot of books, but rarely because they have such a rockin’ book trailer that it makes me jump over to their site.

My agent suggested The Marrying Kind by Ken O’Neill (by sending me a link to that book trailer) because she knows I like relationship books, and I’m going to use this book to scrub my mind of 50 Shades Freed (more on that when I can wrap up my thoughts.  They are pretty cranky at the moment).  After I watched the trailer, I read a sample chapter before I Googled the author a bit and bought the book.  Has anyone else already read this book?

Thank you, Mr. O’Neill for providing me with my beach read for 2012.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Not-for-Profit Dad (as in, Josh) has a post about pulling baby teeth that I fell in love with.  He writes: “Later I Googled how many baby teeth a child will lose and was surprised that it was only 20. I don’t know what number I was expecting, but I thought it was higher. I thought I had more time with her as a little girl.”  It’s about life’s milestone carousel slowing down when you still thought there were two more minutes of the ride.

So I Was Minding My Own Business has a post on the terms childfree and childless, and why she uses the one she uses.  She asks a really important question: “Am I hurting anyone by deciding what term in my situation works for me?”  It’s an interesting discussion on language choice and the meaning behind words (and how strongly we hold on to the ones we believe belong only to us).

IF Crossroads has a goodbye post that made me teary.  It was beautifully written, the perfect closing to a blog.  I love this: “What has this space meant to me? I’m not sure that words can and will ever do it justice. I’ve come to this blog for refuge in my times of great despair and great hope, great sadness and overwhelming joy.”  Wishing her good thoughts on the next leg of the journey.

There were lots of BlogHer ’12 posts, but my favourite was A Half Baked Life who juxtaposed where she felt peace at the beginning of the conference with where she felt peace at the end.  About how the conference is but a moment, and it’s up to each person to take that fuel and use it once they get home.  Loved her recap of the weekend.

Lastly, Hormonal Imbalances has a post about mourning the life she never got to have.  In the midst of loss, she reflects the fact that these small beings changed her world before they left: “It’s such a strange thing. In the middle of life reversing, I have all these memories and dreams of something that I never tangibly got to have, but ended up changing everything anyway.”  A gorgeous, heartbreaking post.

The roundup to the Roundup: Help me prove my theory about coastal living and theater seats.  The ChickieNob is mentally on the women’s Olympic gymnastic team.  I just found the book The Marrying Kind.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between August 3rd and August 10th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Anjali { 08.10.12 at 7:57 am }

I read The Weight of Having It All while on vacation, and had trouble posting a comment with my iPhone. But what I wanted to say was that it was some of your very best writing, and conveyed so much of what I’ve been feeling myself. Bravo on such a heartfelt post.

2 a { 08.10.12 at 8:17 am }

Apparently my work has figured out how to block some videos (they’re all black today), so I can’t see your book trailer. Is it for the book you mentioned?

I grew up in Chicago, which doesn’t have a coast per se, but it does have many beaches. And I do prefer to be close to the aisle, but often sit in the middle for better viewing. Now there are no coasts near, and I still prefer the aisle – all the better for a quick exit and no hopping over or waiting for people when you want to get out.

Here’s my pick of the week:


3 JustHeather { 08.10.12 at 8:21 am }

I grew up ON the Oregon coast (ocean literally 5-10min away) and while I haven’t lived there in years and I’m not near the ocean now, I consider both the coast and Finland to be my ‘home’. But in the theater, I would prefer to be somewhere near the center of the aisles.

4 Tiara { 08.10.12 at 8:24 am }

I am more than 18 hours from the nearest coast & always sit in the 2nd seat from the aisle, not sure how that fits in your theory.

P.S. I have read your post “The Weight of Having It All ” more than a dozen times & am still thinking about it, digesting it. I even printed it so I could read it while not connected to the internet. I agree with Anjali that it is an unbelievablely beautiful peice of writing.

5 amanda { 08.10.12 at 8:58 am }

I dont live anywhere near the coast and have always preferred aisle seats. I cant handle feeling trapped if i were to sit with people on both sides of me…especially if one were strangers.

6 serenity { 08.10.12 at 9:34 am }

I live 20 minutes from the ocean, and in a theater I prefer to be in an aisle seat – but that’s mostly because it’s rare I can sit through a movie without having to pee. 🙂

My submission for post this week is It Is What It Is’s post about the 35th anniversary of her brother’s death. I love the idea that the most awful moment of her life also put her on a path to her current happiness. But she does the topic much better justice than my ham-handed explanation: http://itiswhatitisorisit.net/?p=3406&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=august-9-redux


7 Turia { 08.10.12 at 9:37 am }

My sense of “home” is more than a full day’s drive from the ocean, and I always want to sit near the aisle in a theatre.

Your post on the weight of having it all struck such a chord with me. Thank you so much for it.

8 Lisa { 08.10.12 at 9:42 am }

I grew up in the middle of the country and now live in a costal state (2 hours to a beach). It takes me 13 hours to drive “home.” In a movie theater, I chose my spot totally based on comfort. I like the front row of the main section so I can put my feet on on the railing and don’t have to worry about seeing over anyone. Short ger perogative! I also pick the section of railing closest to the right side because my vision is less than stellar in my right eye and I always forget my glasses. But on an airplane, your theory would hold true for me. I like being smooshed in a window seat, smack in the middle of the plane. I feel secure there for some reason.

I used the beams in the hardwood floor as a balance beam the other day. I couldn’t do anything but walk and turn around, when I used to pretend to jump and cartwheel as a kid. It was sure fun to exercise my inner ChickieNob.

9 Jendeis { 08.10.12 at 10:08 am }

I live where you live. I call myself “from MD” but wouldn’t call myself a Marylander. I think I just don’t like the sound of the word (like how some people hate the word “moist”).

In any event, I always prefer the “A” window seat. I’ve always felt safer there – from what, who knows? – but it does gives me room for my left elbow and I prefer to be able to see clearly out the window at all times.

Have I killed your theory?

10 MrsTypeA { 08.10.12 at 10:26 am }

hi! i live on the bay in VA and i prefer isle seats! mostly that’s because of my teeny, tiny bladder 🙂

11 Denver Laura { 08.10.12 at 10:39 am }

I grew up at the beach. That’s why we chose to live as far away from either coast and a mile above sea level.

Ha! I prefer to sit in the middle-middle. When I was growing up I sat on the very first row, but that was before stadium seating made my neck hurt looking up.

As far as home goes, I’m reminded of a song… “Home is where ever I am with you.” I think that pretty much fits me.


I’m a road warrier so I don’t care where I sit as long as it’s not row 1 (where I can’t store my luggage in front of me) and as close to the front as possible. I don’t even use the overhead bin anymore…

12 Ellen K. { 08.10.12 at 11:01 am }

I’ve always lived in the Midwest, at least a 9-hour drive to the coast (Gulf of Mexico). I like to sit not exactly on the aisle, but a few seats in.

I did a somersault the other day and almost threw up afterward.

13 Elizabeth { 08.10.12 at 11:33 am }

I thought this was a really thought-provoking post this week:
Especially where she asks: “And that makes me wonder, when the topic is my mental health and whether or not I’m fit (or worthy) of trying for another child, or whether or not I should even want one, is any kind of dissent productive? Does anyone have a right to say anything unsupportive to me about those things?”

And another lovely one from Outlandish Notions, turning back the pages year by year in her blog – checkpoints back in time. http://sharah.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/august-break-6-happy-birthday-darling-girl/
“If I could go back 5 years, I would tell her to go ahead and grieve, that sadness is not weakness, that anger is not uncalled-for. If I could go back 4 years, I would tell her to remember to breathe, that finding your balance is never complete, that just when you think you have an even keel, life will throw another set of challenges at you.” (It goes on but I won’t spoil it all for you!)

Not sure I can answer your question. I’m comfortable in the middle or window seat. But I’m not sure where home is, or was, or ever shall be.

14 Laura { 08.10.12 at 11:50 am }

I grew up on Lake Michigan. I rode my bike to the beach daily. And while it’s not an Ocean when I finally did get to the coast as an adult I didn’t see any difference. Now as an adult I live about 5 hours from the East Coast. I miss daily beach trips but now I have mountains. As for where I like to sit in the theatre – the absolute center, but with no one between me the isle. I have a thing with having anyone between me and an exist.

15 Alexicographer { 08.10.12 at 12:25 pm }

Count me among those whose preferences are shaped more by my bladder (and more recently my husband’s legs) than my proximity to the coast. I sit near the aisle in case I need to go pee; he sits in an aisle seat because he gets uncomfortable if he can’t stretch his legs.

16 Another Dreamer { 08.10.12 at 1:57 pm }

I place my preference by how much I’d have to crane my neck. I like to be smack in the middle but a little towards the back, so I don’t have to have my head turned at a weird angle, and I don’t have to look too far up or down.

But, in reference to your theory, it kind works but I think it’s just coincidental. I live in Ohio, so in the middle (sort of) but a little up. It’s like a 10 hour drive to the east coast, if not more. The west coast is days away though.

17 Pie { 08.10.12 at 2:00 pm }

While I grew up a Marylander and am a former die-hard East Coaster, home is the midwest now. But Chicago feels like the coast, I am less than a mile from the beach here. And I always sit in the center. I think it is a bladder issue, not a coastal issue, but hey, that’s just my iron-hard bladder’s opinion.

And I have sooo many memories of doing the balance beam on the black line int he pool. I spent hours, days even constructing elaborate routines that I’d do over and over. My friend and I even did synchronized routines on two parallel lines! And of course we were AWESOME! Ahh, those were the days!

18 Kimberly { 08.10.12 at 2:46 pm }

I’m an aisle person for the need of easy access to the bathroom. I always end up getting the large drink and the drink is always far bigger than my bladder.

But I’ve always lived by the coast. In fact, if I go out on my front step right now, I am literally 4 houses away from the coast. But I live on an island. I would be lost without the ocean and the smell and feel of it being so near. Our goal this summer was to visit as many beaches as we can without leaving the island. We’ve been going to the beach constantly and we are still finding new ones that none of us have gone to before.

19 S.I.F. { 08.10.12 at 2:58 pm }

I am definitely an ocean girl (although now, I’m not sure my ocean really “counts”, since it is hardly the beach atmosphere I left behind in San Diego) and have always preferred being on the coast somewhere. But in the theater, I like to be smack dab in the middle. Maybe closer to the top, but otherwise – front and center from the screen.

20 jjiraffe { 08.10.12 at 4:43 pm }

Interesting. I live a 5 minute walk to the Bay (but I never think that counts): it’s about a half an hour drive to the actual Ocean. I lived on the ocean in college, and golly was that fantastic. The college was like a resort. I always want the aisle seat, but mostly because I need to, er, use the facilities a lot…

I’d like to second Elizabeth’s suggestion with the Esperanza post. It’s been eye-opening to see my close blogging buddy deal with trolls. I never thought they’d arrive in our little utopia, which was naive.

Also, Elizabeth’s post about her husband asking: “Isn’t this what you always wanted?” really resonated with me. When we are particularly sensitive about a subject, someone’s words on it can be interpreted in so many ways. This post was really illustrative of that…http://projectprogeny.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/what-you-wanted/

21 loribeth { 08.10.12 at 10:05 pm }

Another Dreamer had this beautiful post about an unexpected surge of grief: http://anunwantedpath.blogspot.ca/2012/08/unexpected-grief.html?showComment=1344540815459

22 Queenie { 08.11.12 at 10:20 am }

Hopelessly behind on blogreading (it’s the Olympics!), so nothing to recommend this week. But I live a few miles from the ocean at home, and always sit near the aisle.

23 Justine { 08.11.12 at 9:44 pm }

I noticed this on BlogHer just today (doh!) and found myself saying YES. https://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http://ranunculusadventure.blogspot.com/ … many of us have written “what to say” and “what not to say,” but this one (on open adoption) was just right. Because it distills what I’ve been thinking for some time … that if people would stop offering unsolicited ADVICE, and just be supportive, they’d put their feet in their mouths much less often.

I actually like the window, even though I’ve always lived near the ocean. I live with being cramped, maybe so I can imagine even greater freedom. (And when I’m on the aisle I almost always get hit in the head with someone’s bag.)

Thanks for the shout-out!

24 Guera { 08.11.12 at 10:18 pm }

Hi, I live hours and hours from the beach and it ‘s my one big sore spot about where we ended up. I long for the ocean and really any body of water.
I like the aisle seat on a plane because I am short and afraid to fly. Anywhere else makes me feel like I can’t breathe. I need that extra space that the aisle gives me. In a theater I sit on the aisle too because I always get up at least once to pee.

25 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 08.12.12 at 3:52 am }

At the movies I sit in the seat next to the aisle because my long-legged husband needs the aisle. If it were up to me I’d sit in the middle for optimal viewing. On a plane I like to sit in the aisle because I don’t like to bother people so I end up holding it rather than using the bathroom when I need to.

I spent 29 years of my life within a half an hour drive from the ocean (4 cities) and 6 years within 2 hours of the ocean (2 other cities). As of 7 months ago, I live as far as Lori lives from the ocean. I still have to travel to oceanic places often enough that I don’t need to miss it. I actually like lakes and rivers better than the ocean, anyway…

26 St. E { 08.13.12 at 2:09 am }

It would take me more than a day to reach the ocean.

And I love aisle seats.

Here are two posts that stayed with me…


(I have an intense dislike for people who make fun of others with complete disregard to what happens to the other person, and how the experience stays with them. This post is a case in point.)



(This post processes the loss/es that the blogger has endured, and how it fundamentally shaped her way of life. I have been having some blues myself, driven by sleep deprivation and missing my first child.)

27 loribeth { 08.13.12 at 7:17 pm }

Pamela’s book was recently cited in an academic journal — on disability studies! — where comparisons were drawn between infertility and disability. There’s an interesting debate going on in the comment section of her blog post about the subject:


28 Emily @ablanket2keep { 08.15.12 at 11:52 am }

This post from Kir brought tears to my eyes about her looking at herself at 18 through the eyes of a 42 year gal. http://www.thekircorner.com/2012/08/if-i-could-turn-back-time-again-with-jamie/

29 Bea { 08.17.12 at 9:14 am }

Home is a fifteen twenty minute drive from the coast and I shy away from the aisles. Sorry.

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