Sunday, August 24, 2008

If You Don't Like Football, You Probably Will Be Bored With This Post. But Maybe Not.

Last night I got to do what every mom dreams of -- I took my daughter to her first professional football game.

Okay, I know that's not what every mom dreams of. I'm not sure I actually ever even dreamed of it. But it was pretty flippin' fun.

You have to know my daughter, however; she is a miniature almost-13-year-old version of me. Well, not so miniature, as she is only about 2 inches shorter than I am. And she looks nothing like me (I, of the dark hair and olive complexion; she of the Dutch blond and porcelain skin variety). But she thinks like me, and if you've read any of this blog previously, you'll know that my thinking is not of, oh, the typical girl variety. This is a girl who, after I got a tattoo, told me that when she gets a tattoo, it will be the word "PIMP" in huge letters across her torso. I related this to my friends, who seemed slightly horrified. I thought it was hilarious. See? Not typical.

Anyhoo, we had two sets of tickets -- my son (he of the ham beard) and my soon-to-be-ex-husband-with-whom-I-am-still-on-very-good-terms (good lord, is there some more graceful way to say that? Henceforth, he will be STBEHWWIASOVGT. No, that sucks too. Nevermind.) were in the club seats, and my daughter and I took the less luxurious concourse seats, entirely pleased, quite frankly, to be that much closer to the action (12 rows back, in the corner of the endzone. He-ey!).

We spent much of the time giving each other a running commentary on the people around us. The tie-dyed Rams shirt she deemed "tragic." The chick in the high heels and Ed Hardy t-shirt -(who wears heels to a football game? Poser!). Grossing out over the old dude next to us who only whipped out his binoculars when the cheerleaders were on the field. I'm not kidding. Remember, we were only 12 rows back. And then he followed them with said binoculars as they bounced by us and exited the field. He might actually have been drooling. Seriously.

My daughter kept referring to the cheerleaders as strippers, by the way. This made me laugh. Perhaps I am the only one entertained by this.

The truth is, however, that my daughter and I both actually love football. LOVE it. She is a Florida Gators fan through and through, and I am of a Packers persuasion, but we totally dig the game, and I got to sit there and coach her through everything play by play, while she ACTUALLY PAID ATTENTION. It was sweet. And not in a lame-ass girly way.

Sadly we made our exit early in the fourth quarter because my 11-year-old son, who was bored save for ogling the cheerleaders, begged us by text message to go. Because he apparently hates football. I'm ordering the DNA test post-haste.

A SIDE NOTE: On the way out, while we were waiting to hook up with son and, er, STBEHWWIASOVGT, we stopped and grabbed ourselves a couple of hot dogs -- or, more accurately, what the concession stand has cleverly dubbed -- get this -- "Ram Dogs." Holy shit, that is just wrong on soooo many levels. Oh, St. Louis, I love you.

Oh, in case you were wondering, the Rams actually won, 24-10. But they were playing the Ravens, who played like girls, so I'm not sure that even counts.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ham Beard

I don't think that's kosher . . .

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Weekly Wrap-Up: Tuesday Edition

Most people wouldn't do a weekly wrap up on Tuesday, but since it's been more than a week since I've been here, and since I'm thinking about it right this second, here you go. I'm a pioneer like that . . .

(This will be, by the way, a random list of stuff in my brain this week that I've been meaning to post about, and have not. You have been warned.)

1). Have you ever been the moderator for a forum whose spam filters have been turned off? It's gross. Seriously. I feel the urgent need to shower each and every time I run through the comments ranging from porn to viagra to broken English bidding me to "Visit great site . . ." (yeah, broken English makes me feel dirty, too.)

Here's the funniest one I got today, which is actually apologizing for spamming us. So polite! (Note: I've removed the annoying car insurance link lest someone actually click it and get a horrible disfiguring virus . . . )
"Hello, Your site is perfect, sorry for my post ( link was here ) sorry one more time"

2) In the last six weeks or so I've seen major news coverage of young men (in Florida and Louisiana) who have had their arms removed by alligators while swimming. Now I have the greatest sympathy for anyone who's suffered such a misfortune, especially a child as in the second case. However, have folks not heard the news about alligators? Urm, here's an update -- alligators are large carnivorous reptiles that lurk in EVERY SINGLE BODY of water in the states mentioned. I have lived in Florida -- if there's a puddle big enough, they're in there. And there are signs posted on EVERY SINGLE BODY of water that say "Alligator Habitat." Uhhh, don't swim in the water. Then the alligators won't try to eat you. It's a simple rule . . .
2a) A side note, related to the above issue. This article on eHow has apparently been written specifically for very very stupid people, on oh so many levels: How to Buy an Alligator.

3) My kids have been grounded this week from all things they previously deemed enjoyable (meaning anything that plays music, allows access to electronically transmitted information, shows pretty moving pictures, you get the idea). The result? Turns out they like reading, cooking, and board games, and are actually pleasant little people once you unplug them. Who knew?
4) There's more, but I have this funny little job thing I have to get to now. Perhaps there will be a mid-weekly wrap-up in the offing. One can only hope.

You may or may not notice that this image (which is what you find when you search "alligator smiling" FYI) says "angie" in the lower left corner -- it was like that when I got it. Weird. Oh, and it came from this site: Superhero Nation)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Google Analytics Addiction: Is There a Support Group or Something?

Two words. Google. Analytics.

Okay, before I start, let me be clear about this: I hate statistics. Well, I hate keeping statistics, taking them, attempting to decipher them all by my lonesome. Statistics class in college was my most dreaded, which is why I saved it 'til my very last semester (and then barely scraped by with some stupid project on PDAs. Yeah, Public Displays of Affection. What the heck was I thinking? Hard to say.)

Anyhoo, turns out I love statistics as long as someone else puts them together for me. And when they're about something the directly involves me. And when they're presented in multiple fun formats with a bazillion different aspects I can access at the click of the mouse.

Which is why I am addicted to Google Analytics.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a brief overview: Google Analytics allows you to put a tracking code in the HTML of your blog, and it will then keep track of all your traffic. Or lack thereof (and there's the rub).

On days when I have a blog post that's included in the BlogHer network ad picks, I am in Analytics heaven -- I revel in my ability to look at the sources, cities of origin, networks, keywords, even screen resolutions. Right -- I'm a freakin' dork. But I am read! I am noticed! I am popular!

And then there are the rest of the days (like 26 out of 30) where I have my REGULAR traffic, which can range from, say, 3 visits to, oh, maybe, 12 (actually 10 but work with me here). And then there are the rest of the rest of the days (like 3 out of 30) where I have NO TRAFFIC AT ALL. On those days, I click on my blog myself, just so later on my traffic line graph doesn't quite dip all the way down to zero.

Oh my god I can't believe I just told you that. It's a sad sad little blogging world I have here.

And I would be feeling truly pathetic about all of this, were it not for the fact that in my new job with Simply Good Media (home of The Budget Fashionista -- shameless plug! Woo hoo!) I am encouraged -- nay, expected -- to "analyse" the Google Analytics. Now I get paid to check traffic sources and entry paths.

The blogging gods have smiled upon me, my friend.

Now, if you would just click some more posts around here so I have something on my own Analytics account to affirm my blogging self-worth, that would be great, thanks.

P.S. That image is not MY Google Analytics account -- I am far too lazy to grab a screenshot, and quite frankly, this traffic is waaaay better. Also, I had intended to comment on some of the weird place/search keywords I've encountered on Google Analytics, but the dog needs walking, so that will have to wait until Part Deux -- I know, cliffhangers suck.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Spontaneous Expressions of Early Political Outrage: A One-Act Play

Setting: My house somewhere smack in the middle of Middle America, specifically in the kitchen and half bath off the kitchen. About 5:10 p.m., CST, thunderstorm brewing ominously in the distance.

Players: Me, Son (age 11), TV Anchor Guy

Act I:

Me, in the kitchen at the computer, working diligently, with the national news on TV in the background.

Son, in the bathroom, doing what he’s gotta' to do.

TV Anchor Guy: "Blah blah blah, John McCain, blah blah blah . . . "

Son (muffled-yet-impassioned voice from behind the bathroom door): "We don’t need another Republican!"

Son exits bathroom, singing the refrain from Time for Some Campaignin’

And, scene.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Quick Post That Proves I Am An Astute Observer of Modern Popular Culture

Christian Bale as the Batman. Great casting; horrible choice on Bale's part in terms of vocal stylings. I wrote about this in my original post on The Dark Knight (and other stuff) but now the Yahoo movie news people are stealing my thunder . . . read their commentary here: Monday Movie Buzz: Bale's Batman Voice Too Much?

Nice job catching up, suckas . . .

Monday, August 4, 2008

My New Gig: Somebody Put Me in Charge of Something

While as of late this blog has morphed into a weird conglomeration of pointless commentary on various stray pieces of pop culture (which I enjoy, incidentally), with the occasional nod to my odd little family, I feel the need to share an actual piece of career news . . .

This week I begin a full-time position as Community Manager for Simply Good Media, home of The Budget Fashionista, See Jack Shop, and a host of other budget blogs. If you've been to Between the Lines before, you may know I've long been a contributor to The Budget Fashionista, under the tutelage of the Budget Fashionista herself Kathryn Finney (that's her book over there), but on a very part-time basis.

I won't lie -- I am unbelievably excited to actually have pulled a full-time gig out of this whole freelance writing thing, and love that my new job allows me to do more than write -- meaning I manage editorial content, scheduling, writers, and a slew of special projects. Very cool.

At any rate, I'm sharing mostly because my own personal blog space may suffer for my new job. Or it may not. With me, you never can tell. Either way, you can always stop by and visit The Budget Fashionista (yup, that was a shameless plug) or See Jack Shop (if you are of the male persuasion, or just happen to shop for someone who is), or The Budget Casa, The Budget Bambino, or The Budget Ecoist. Phew! I think my I sprained my linking muscle there . . .

I will still continue, also, to write for my friends at the Illinois Business Journal, and substitute teach here and there in order to actually have an excuse to leave the house and see real live people. And also because I seem to loooove being overcommitted . . .

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And Then I Thought Better of It

I almost wrote a post about how I was at the gym and my son called me to report that our dog Roxie (that's her over there) had puked -- but then I decided that was too gross, even for me.

I will tell you, however, that the conversation ended like this:

Son: "We don't know if she ate it, but the next time we looked, it was just gone." (maniacal 11-year-old-laughter)

Me: Silence

Son: "At least she saved us from having to look at it."

I'm so very sorry about this post. Please try to erase it from your mind. Except for the dog pic, because you have to admit -- it is pretty flippin' cute . . .