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#MicroblogMondays 124: Champing

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


I just learned about champing from Atlas Obscura, which is sort of like glamping, but in old churches.  It’s a win-win-win: You get an interesting, dry place to sleep for the night without needing to carry a tent.  The town gets money to help support the upkeep of the church.  And the ghosts in the floor tombs get a new group of people to haunt.


This would have been perfect for 22-year-old Melissa, though 42-year-old Melissa is currently cocking an eyebrow and saying, “I don’t think it’s for me.”  But once upon a time, I liked camping, and I would have jumped at the chance to stay somewhere cool.  Especially a place with floor tombs.

What do you think?  Would you champ?  And if not champing, would you tamp? (I just made up tamping, which is when countries allow you to sleep in famous tourist sites such as pitching a tent in Pompeii.)


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

1. Persnickety 14. Unpregnant Chicken 27. Mali (No Kidding)
2. Different Shores 15. 35jupiterdrive 28. Mali (A Separate Life)
3. Daryl 16. the OCD infertile 29. Jenn P
4. Karen (River Run Dry) 17. Shail 30. Cyn K
5. Anamika 18. Traci York, Writer 31. Jess
6. Middle Girl 19. Turia 32. Miranda
7. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) 20. Geochick 33. torth� il
8. Parul Thakur | Happiness & Food 21. Shilpa 34. Cristy
9. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 22. Just Heather 35. Empty Arms, Broken Heart
10. Risa Kerslake 23. Ke Anne 36. Vinitha
11. Isabelle 24. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)
12. Ms. Infertile 25. Amber
13. Ryan 26. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled)

January 9, 2017   36 Comments

Write Anyway

I’m reading Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different* and came across a quote that I’ve been thinking about nonstop:

I don’t mean to ruin the ending for you, sweet child, but life is one long headwind.  To make any kind of impact requires self-will bordering on madness.  The world will be hostile, it will be suspicious of your intent, it will misinterpret you, it will inject you with doubt, it will flatter you into self-sabotage.  My G-d, I’m making it sound so glamourous and personal!  What the world is, more than anything?   It’s indifferent. … But you have a vision.  You put a frame around it.  You sign your name anyway.  That’s the risk.  That’s the leap.  That’s the madness: thinking anyone’s going to care (p.96).

Writing a blog is complete hubris.  Why the hell should I believe that anyone wants to read this drivel?  Half the time, I finish a post and think, “Should I bother posting this?  Maybe it would be better to just keep telling these thoughts to Truman instead.”  (Truman gets all of my thoughts first, and you get the cliff notes version of my mental vomit.)  Why click the publish button?

And yet I clearly do.

The ChickieNob and I have an enormous new project that we recently started since work is winding down on the book.  Every morning I wake up saying to myself, “What the hell are we thinking?  Why are we writing this?  No one will want to read it.  We are wasting our time.”  By noon, I’m doubting that thought.  By after school, we’re energized and brainstorming.  By evening, we are giddy with our own brilliance.  And then I go to sleep, and it all starts again.

We’re going to write anyway, as Semple would say.  We’re going to jump into the madness of thinking that anyone’s going to care because… why not?  I mean, why the hell not?  If it fails, it fails, and no harm is done except wasted time and bruised ego.  If it succeeds, it succeeds, and we ride off into the sunset like rodeo clowns.  (In this mental image, the ChickieNob and I are always dressed as rodeo clowns, gearing up for our performance as the sunsets in the ring.)

I guess I’m just passing along this quote in case it helps you, too.

Write anyway.

* It is such a good book.  She is the queen of making unlikable characters that you end up liking anyway (though they don’t deserve it).  I consider her the anti-Franzen, who makes unlikable characters that you continue to dislike even after you put the book down.

January 8, 2017   3 Comments

628th Friday Blog Roundup

Justine (who has a very good story to tell about an epic win and should definitely blog it so bother her a lot until she writes it down) and I drove at each other for an extended lunch this week.  I took mostly back roads instead of highways, and listened to podcasts as I drove through farmland.  (Be prepared for an onslaught of posts processing said podcasts.)

We met at an indoor market.  It was sort of like if 50 food trucks decided to gut their trucks and set up shop under the same roof.  We both ended up with crepes, but it was the sort of place that is perfect for a graze-y meal; talking for hours and getting up from time to time to sample another dish.

Next time: the hot pretzel booth.

It is just so good to be with someone who gets you, and you get her, and it’s all just good connection.


Massive thank you to Persnickety Chickadee for teaching me about drop bears.

Don’t know what they are?

Go Google like I did.


Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

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

Okay, now my choices this week.

I like that Anabegins does quarterly goals.  That seems a lot more realistic than a yearly goal.  She breaks down the goals into different actions for various facets of her life.  I am going to do this, too, because I can imagine April a lot more than I can imagine next December.  If you’re struggling with the idea of a year, break it down into chunks.

Torthúil writes about the world’s greatest fortune cookie message.  Being prepared to modify your plan begins with the plan itself: Is there only one decent outcome?  If there is, then maybe the plan needs to be restructured.  It’s a brief post with a lot of food for thought.

Lastly, Bereaved and Blessed has a moving post about her daughter processing information about her sibling that died before she was born.  It begins, “I overheard Abby tell her friend (who was over for their first playdate, at our home) that she wanted to talk about her sister in Heaven.”  She recounts the conversation between the two girls and the conversation she had with her afterward.  Go over and read the whole thing.

The roundup to the Roundup: I got to see Justine.  Drop bears.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 30th and January 6th) 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.

January 6, 2017   9 Comments

If Everything Is Recorded

Last year (okay, so it wasn’t that long ago, but it’s still fun to say “last year”) Note to Self had an episode called “There Is No ‘Off the Record’” about a “future were every word you utter is recorded and saved.”  Your life, transcribed.

This is different from writing everything down in a journal or keeping a really detailed calendar.  Recording your life (and then automatically transcribing it) means that you (and everyone who interacts with you) would have a record of every word spoken.

You would be able to go back and re-read your favourite conversations again.  You could snuggle up with your partner and re-read your first date every anniversary.  You could remember every funny thing someone said to you long after they’re gone.  Imagine that: You could type their name in the data system and bring up every time they spoke to you or you spoke about them.


It would also record every snide remark you make behind closed doors.  It would record your arguments, and you may be tempted to re-read them and cringe over every hurtful word when you’re down.

I’ve been wobbling on the fence, thinking about this episode a lot, because we’re in a strange age where words are recorded — such as typed on Twitter and then screenshotted by various people even after the person deletes their words — and people still deny that they said such things.  And other people believe them.  That is the most bizarre part: The words are there in black-and-white — either written down and spoken in a recording — and the person says, “I never said that.”  And people echo, “He never said that.”

So what is the point?  I mean, beyond your own personal record?  What is the point when other people can see or hear the proof and still say, “Nope.  Never said.”

At the same time, how can we ever move forward and change as human beings if we’re always held to old ideas?  What if someone has offensive ideas and their mind is changed?  Should we go with the most recent words, or do we hold them to their older ideas, too?

I don’t think I’d want every conversation recorded and transcribed, despite seeing all the benefits to the  system.  I would love to relive some old conversations; but I couldn’t handle people who say, “Nope, never said it” despite evidence to the contrary.  It’s bad enough as is.

What do you think about the idea of recording and transcribing every single day of your life?

January 5, 2017   13 Comments

International Blog Delurking Week 2017

Back in the olden days of the Internet, the first full week of January was declared International Delurking Week, and I still celebrate this ancient holiday. It runs this year from the 1st until the 8th, so you have about six days to slither out of the reading closet and check in with an “I’m here” comment.

It is fairly easy. Leave a comment in the comment section below admitting that you’re here. You can simply raise your hand and meekly admit that you’re here with a simple, one-word “here” comment; or you can proudly raise your hand and tell us all a bit about yourself (my preferred method); or… you can tell me your favourite book (see, I’m trying to make it easy for you by even providing a comment prompt).

The point is that I want to know about the people who read me, since there is a huge discrepancy between the number of readers in actuality and the number of readers I actually know are reading. Or a tongue-twister like that.

And that’s all you have to do to celebrate.

So (clears throat to nudge you along), who is here?

And just to answer my own question, I think everyone knows about my obsessive tendencies with anything Harry Potter, Tolkien, Narnia, or books by Douglas Adams.  But I also love Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy.

* I make a badge every year to mark the occasion, and I give you full permission to right click and grab it for your very own.

January 3, 2017   53 Comments

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