Dear Grace

Hey, sista shasty.

Dear Grace,

I love that you are an illegal migrant worker on a garlic farm in New Zealand. Location aside, it’s very Steinbeck of you. I wish you were here, but more accurately, I wish I was there. The coast looks like a rustic fairytale. Just don’t get picked up by the border patrol or anything.

I’m starting to think now that you may never see us or our place in Charlottesville. This is a depressing thought. You get back from Nepal in July, have a few weeks at home, and then you jet off to university. This leaves very little time for you to traipse around C’ville with me, stocking up at the farmers’ market and terrorizing the general Belmont neighborhood with our conversations conducted entirely in quotes from “Little Women” and “America’s Next Top Model.” I don’t want to dwell on it now, but after you’ve recuperated and readjusted to life in America, Priority Number One is getting you up here.

Things you have missed while you’ve been harvesting in the fields: Taza finally had her baby, but hasn’t named it yet (I’m personally pulling for Moonbeam Anthropologie Davis); “30 Rock” continues to be the light and joy of our lives, excepting only Reuben; Guion’s beard; fairly regular quantities of snow and ice; and my reluctant absorption in “Lost.” I know, I know. I swore I’d never watch it, but do you remember who I’m married to? We’re in the fourth season now and I am pretty much hooked, even though I want it to be over. Guion won’t tell me anything (even though I already KNOW that Locke becomes the Smoke Monster).

I have also been eating kale three or four times a week, so you should be proud of me. You’re right; I’m in love. It is the greatest vegetable in the world and yet it’s the cheapest one at Harris Teeter. Well done, Capitalism/Nature.

Thanks for being my sister. Harvest strong. I love you and I pray for you daily. Come home soon.

Kiss kiss,

A.

Love/hate with the blogosphere

I read a lot of blogs. I’m very devoted to my Google Reader. It’s very organized. I have it set up in lots of folders, which are arranged in order of how much I care about the blogs in a particular folder (for example, “Friends” are at the top and “Food blogs” are at the bottom).

I do most of my reading out of a folder I labeled Cool Lady Bloggers. These are the queens of the fashionable Internet. You know who they are: Joanna Goddard, Naomi Davis, Heather Armstrong, James Kicinski, Alice Bradley, Maggie Mason, the women at Design*Sponge, and nearly every cute wedding blog, and so forth. I love them all. I feel like we’re friends because I’ve been reading their blogs for years and looking at pictures of their babies. But today I was musing about the 300+ Cool Lady Bloggers I read and came to a few conclusions. I am going to share them because I have no self-awareness.

Reasons why I often loathe Cool Lady Bloggers:

  • Often pretending their life’s, like, perfect and stuff. We know it ain’t. We know you don’t just “whip up” cupcakes like that for every party. (The great bloggers–like most of the names I mentioned above–are the ones who actually share mishaps and trauma with grace. See Dooce; she’s the pro at this.)
  • NO ONE KNOWS the difference between “stationery” and “stationary.” NO ONE.
  • If you just keep re-posting content that someone else created, that’s not blogging. That’s just image dissemination. I will unsubscribe you so fast…
  • Heavy photo-editing of one’s life. (Just be like me, Lady Bloggers: Take terrible, noisy pictures instead!)
  • They don’t have real jobs. They get to sit on a couch and drink giant mugs of tea and read stacks of novels with their puppies and fresh babies all day. And then they go walk downtown in super-cute dresses and take pictures of themselves. And then they get up the next morning and do it all over again. OK. So maybe that’s not true and that’s just my jealousy talking, but if often appears that way. I know full-well that the mommy bloggers don’t have life that easy.
  • Everyone is usually just talking about the same stuff for one week.
  • Taste is universally shared. If you do not DROOL over letterpress “stationary” and GUSH about Anthropologie’s window displays and GASP over moody photographs of girls draped in rowboats, then you do not belong. You must leave the Blogosphere immediately, never to return; your entrance to the gates shall be barred by a pair of Zooey Deschanel doppelgangers with red lipstick and yellow dresses, fending you off with bouquets of flaming peonies.
  • Senses of humor are hard to find (again, see Dooce ‘n Friends for the considerable exception to this rule).
  • Senses of the English language are even harder to find.
  • Talking constantly about how much you addooooore vintage clothes, especially vintage dresses. Time is up. This is no longer going to make you cool. EVERYONE loves vintage clothes. Even your mom.
  • Product endorsement pieces just make my heart sad. Even though your credibility is bolstered by the fact that you are now legally required to disclose post sponsors, it is overwhelmingly weakened in my eyes that you took the deal in the first place. I know that some of the CLBs are literally supporting their families with their blogs, and so it’s understandable, but it severely compromises the respectability of one’s voice.
  • Their nail polish is never chipped.

Reasons why I la-la-la-love Cool Lady Bloggers:

  • There is a strong sense of familial loyalty amongst them. It’s a tight-knit Internet community and lots of the famous ones (like the Heather, Maggie, and Alice mentioned above) are actually friends in real life. I love that. Because the Interwebs are, like, huge, but you’d never know it if you hung out with these ladies. If you wrong one, you have WRONGED THEM ALL.
  • They give me a lot of good ideas for life improvement–Maggie Mason practically invented the Life List.
  • They give me pretty things to look at when I’m bored.
  • They share about their lives. Because, really, what’s more interesting than looking at pictures of strangers and pretending like you’re friends? (I sometimes wonder what I’d do if I saw Naomi Davis in D.C. I’d probably run up to her and ask for her autograph like a toooootal fangirl.)
  • They are predominantly dog people. I can’t actually think of any of my favorite CLBs who are cat people. This is the main reason why I love them all.

OK, so the “loathe” bullet points all just spring from envy, I know. But I had to get it out there. That’s all I have to say. Happy Friday, CLBs! Learn the difference between “your” and “you’re,” because I promise that there is one!