Posts Tagged ‘blogging’
Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!
And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:
What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!
Ever had some rageaholic a-hole scream and go red and basically scare the shit out of you? (Even if they are screaming at someone else in front of me, my heart still speeds up to a mile a minute.) As a kid, did a parent terrify you? Or, later on, what about a boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse? Teacher? The IRS?
(Or were/are you the screaming rager type?)
As a kid, I would do all things necessary, including shrinking into a tiny mouse and/or people please to the Nth degree, just to avoid the feeling of being scared by someone’s disapproval, criticism or rage. As an adult… sad to say, not that much has changed. I still hate getting criticized, hate having someone mad at me, loathe being in the presence of shouting and rage. My stomach goes into a knot, I obsess about the person and situation, my shoulders hunch and my ability to get a good night’s sleep evaporates.
On the other hand… I secretly admire rageaholic friends of mine. Why? Exactly for that same attribute that scares the shit out of me: they have almost hunger for a confrontation – they seek it out, then act, speak, and instigate as they please. Usually, in the moment of anger, my brain partly shuts down and I don’t even consider making waves or really standing up for myself. Then later, I think about what I’d like to say, but I still DON’T GO BACK & say it. Why? Fear of how they will react. Fear that person will stop “liking” me. Fear…..
Yuck. So disgusting just to read my own words on the screen!
What is the answer? I KNOW I need to act differently. I’m afraid to.
One of the great spiritual kabbalists, the Baal Shem Tov, was given this advice by his father:
Never fear any person or any situation. The ONLY thing you should EVER be afraid of is disconnection with the Creator.
The Baal Shem Tov lived by this credo. Just remembering this story gives me strength and helps erase my own fears. Now, if only I could internalize this completely…
But until then, the only thing I’ve found that helps me dissolve my fear, besides literally talking myself out of it, is writing. Songs, blogs, stories, scripts… you name it, I’ve probably written it. To that effect, below is a song I wrote years ago… enjoy! [Editor's Note: Stupid $#&QY$%#(@ WordPress won't Play my song anymore. I tried to re-upload it & it's telling me to 'go take a hike' in WordPress language. My kingdom for some software savvy!]
And by the way, thanks again for providing an ‘audience’ for my thoughts & observations. Stay tuned, and…who knows! Maybe someday you’ll be reading about how I felt nary a drop of dread or fear as someone lobbed a harsh criticism or rage-a-tantrum at me.
I believe in miracles! You sexy thing…
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Can I talk to you for a second?
I know, I know – I haven’t written – blogged – for like seventeen years. And I’m telling you, I had my First Blog Back alllll planned. It was gonna reveal why I went dark for so long, and why I’m back now, and so on and so on…
But all that’s now gotta wait till next blog.
Cause right now????
The other night I got home from a late movie which followed a dinner with friends at the Gordon Ramsey-owned restaurant Fat Cow. You know, that celebrity Hell’s Kitchen 4 Michelin Star chef guy, Gordon Ramsey? Well, here’s a hint:
DO NOT EVER GO TO FAT COW.
Yes the Vodka pizza was yummy. But what is up with charging 15 dollars for a pizza and then serving it on a plate that would be dwarfed by my 3 year old’s doll dishes?
And yes the fish and chips was delicious – but also, outrageous – $20 for 2 small pieces of (yes, delicious) fish. Oh right, and about 2 gazillion skinny fries. Speaking of fries -
We ordered fries as an $8 side dish and when about 12 fries came out in a tiny tin pail, I KNEW that place was really shitty. It was like they had taken a pack of MacDonald’s fries, gave us about ½ of the pack and then charged us $8 for it.
But THAT is not even why I’m telling you not to go there. Because – although by the grace of God we had a really sweet, honest, wonderful waitress, Dara… I think seriously they’ve got something on her that forces her to work in that den of Satan’s spawn.
Because this OTHER guy who works there? (Yes, there were more than just 2 employees but the rest were just wussies who hid behind the talking head that was this other guy, Mr. Satan’s Spawn)…
Okay, I already gave it away. This guy was Evil Satan Spawn. In the flesh.
Or he was just a complete asshole.
Either way, it was late – 12:45am – when our movie let out. (Silver Linings Playbook – don’t get me started – the happy ending rocked but come on, this movie is not the best thing since sliced bread) – I was in the 5th floor of the parking garage with my 2 friends who were driving me home (my hubby had gone home after dinner), when the husband-½ of my friends realized he no longer had their car key in his pocket.
We quickly went down to Fat Cow, which was closing, and looked around. ESS (Evil Satan Spawn) and 2 other minions told my friend no key had been found, and my friend went to look in the movie theatre while the wife-½ of my friends and I entered Fat Cow and asked about a missing key.
After some hushed talk, we heard our waitress say that yes, a key had been found and they’d go look for it up in the office because she wasn’t sure where it had been left.
This blog is getting too long (I know, I know, I’m completely out of practice, I suck!) so I’m not going to really get into all the details about how ESS then came back forever later from the office to tell us “there was a key that had been found the day before and it was a rental car key so he’d just take our name, make of our car, and information, and they’d call us if anything turned up” – and then, stunned, how I asked Dara again if a key had been found THAT night and she was like, “yeah, right after you left, under your table, I knew it had to be yours, let me look for it,” and then ESS was like, after I accused him of lying to us about the key and told him we weren’t leaving since we couldn’t leave our car just parked up in the lot and he answered, “well, yeah, that’s why you usually want to take those things with you” in this horribly snarky tone of voice that made me want to strangle him, and I was like WHAT??? And my friend was like, WHAT??? And while he backed off that assholic comment, he then proceeded to say, “well, we have your information, so you know, tomorrow we can ‘shake some people down’ and if anything turns up we’ll call you” and I was now ready to become an ax murderer and chop this guy up but instead I chose to open up a Pinchas Book (go, Kabbalah) and as SOON as we opened the book Dara came to us with the key that “miraculously” had just been located.
I’m telling you. This place is evil. Except Dara. She’s probably being kept against her will.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
PS Something is up and WordPress (my blog platform) isn’t letting me pirate images from the internet anymore. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!!??? So in the meantime, I have no choice but to resort to creating my own images. Don’t get mad at me, get mad at copyright infringement policing!
PPS Wait… um… maybe I didn’t mean that, quite how I wrote it…
PPPS ARGHHHH I’m just a terrible artist, can’t a sister catch a break??? Here goes nothing:
I completely suck at marketing myself (she writes to the handful+ of readers she has managed to “amass” via blogging sans marketing).
Well, okay, there was that ONE BLOG where I attempted to market myself.
Sorry, folks. Just fell off my chair laughing. Oh yeah, that worked AMAZING.
Not too long ago, I tried to hire a friend at a dismally low fee to do some marketing on my behalf. She immediately took the job, exclaiming she would do it for free! (But I insisted on paying) – and then even more immediately did nothing, for an entire month, until she admitted she had no time to help me.
Everyone has time. What we don’t always have are priorities. Specifically, marketing BatSheva’s creative endeavors don’t ever seem to be mine or anyone’s priority, even if I try to throw some money at the problem.
Back when I had a band, “marketing” meant sending flyers via postcard, and later, emails, every time I had an upcoming gig. (Pre-YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Modern Word Years)
It was exhausting.
I gave it up – the marketing & the band – when I just couldn’t do it anymore. The marketing, of course, I would have loved to continue playing. Just not to the same audience of 20 friends plus random stragglers.
I worked for five years on a novel that I was SOOO proud of. Until 45 or so agents rejected me, some after asking me to just ‘rewrite the ending’ or whatever, tantalizing me then slamming the door in my face.
Yesterday, my sister urged me (yet again) to self-publish. “It’s easier than ever now to do it!” she promised. “Everyone is doing it!
I have no doubt.
No doubt, that is, that I could do it, in a heart beat. And then…
… it would languish there, on the digital/metaphysical shelves, for eternity, as yet again, its author neglected to do the one thing that would prompt people to buy & read it – market it.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
PS: Here’s one of my songs that COULD have been a hit… right? If only I knew how to – come on, all together now - MARKET MYSELF!
BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Cradle you – the SONG
The other day, my 6-going-on-16 year old would not stop grabbing beloved items from her little sister and older brother, and running away with them and hiding them.
When I scolded her for it, she shot withering insults at me, like “I feel like I want to side-kick you!” (even when mad, she still is an impressive karate student) and “fine, if you make me go to my room then IIII’m never going to give you any of my drawings or paintings!!” (and while that insult is pretty cute and not particularly worrisome, I like that she is confident enough in her artistic skills that she has decided promising not to give me a picture is just as punishing as a side kick to the thigh.)
So while all THAT was going on all day, her older brother developed a headache, then a stomach ache, and soon was on his way to the fever that was the bane of his every-other-week for years when he was small, but that comes on almost never any more.
Except it came on while all this was going on, of course.
And while I tended to Yehuda and helped him to feel comfortable, to lie down, and to eat a little, Racheli went into full-jealous rage mode, which then brings us back to paragraph one of this blog (go ahead, I’ll wait.)
And while all THAT was going on, little Esther was alternately screaming as Racheli grabbed her beloved playdough or whatever, begging to be held, and/or nagging me to “say sorry to Racheli” – my little Taurus, the peacemaker.
And while all THAT was going on, Yehuda in his dizzy feverish daze got to the toilet in time to pee (horray! Better than the couch he was lying on!) but missed the bowl for most of it and sprayed half the bathroom. (Horra—ugh.)
And after all THAT had happened, and I finally had gotten them to sleep, and was finally getting to my Target groceries that I hadn’t put away yet and the dishes and food that hadn’t been cleared from the table yet…
I knocked over a bottle of water that LOOKED closed… but wasn’t.
After mopping it up, I decided to write this blog instead get back immediately to the dishes.
Something positive had to come from all this rain…
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
And if you were thinking Racheli was dropping empty threats, think again! Proof-positive of her side-kickiness ability:
Okay, I admit, that alone does not excuse my lack of blogging (and not even bothering to re-post old blogs) for the last month+. But it is my latest obsession. And it may not be a coincidence that I watched season 2’s finale episode yesterday, and today is the first day I’ve been compelled to write another blog, despite numerous kind encouragements from friends and fans.
It may also explain why I feel an overwhelming urge to blog in a pseudo-English accent. O, Madonna, how I understand thee!
(PS. Madonna, I also am forever grateful for… uh… thee… specifically, for being 10 years older than me. Thanks to you looking hotter than a teenage Vogue model, I am less afraid to turn – gulp – FORTY – in one week than I would otherwise be.)
(Plus, I don’t feel quite so ridiculous about my newly adopted English accent, albeit it’s only used while I’m writing, not during my actual use of speech.)
So what have I been up to, this past silent month-point-five?
No great excuses for neglecting the blog, I’m afraid. Other than slight burnout, indulgence of my “free time” (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Whew, that was a good one! Wiping tears now, continuing on…), a rigorous workout discipline which includes a 5-days-a-week Insantiy workout, and perhaps most significantly, getting plenty of sleep… which as any writer will tell you, may very well be the number one enemy of getting shit written.
Sleep, that is.
I see I’m still dropping the occasional curse word as I write, despite the good influence of my Merchant-Ivory-ish friends over at Downton Abbey.
Well, let’s see what this next month-point-five brings us… since it WON’T be bringing us the next season of Downton Abbey (until September, I’ve heard), then maybe, at best, it will bring us some more inspiration, and accordingly, more new Grownup Girl blogs. Probably not 3 new ones a week, tho – probably more like 1-2 per week.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Blogging. Reality “TV” for those of us who can’t get a Kardashian deal?
I hate to think that. I prefer to think of myself as a would-be writer who uses blogging as a creative outlet.
But let’s get real.
It’s not exactly as if I’m writing tomes on Shakespeare, or even gossiping about fashion or celebrities. (Well, sometimes I am. But that’s different.)
I’m writing about ME. My life. My thoughts. And while I actually love to read other writers who write about their personal lives (engaging ones, anyway, like Sedaris, Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman, and the 30+ other authors of memoirs I’ve poured through), and I love to write about things ‘close to home’ (duh, ME), it IS a little disconcerting to realize that people I don’t know, or what’s actually even worse, people I DO know but don’t know that WELL, now know me… very well.
They know, for example, that I’m a bad cook. That I hate to clean. That I’m low on dough. That I’ve been on diets that have worked, and diets that haven’t. That I am a Jew who celebrates Christmas. That I changed my name. That I put safety pins in my bras to make them last longer. I’ve written about losing my virginity, for crying out loud!
[BTW - SO annoying that some of my old blogs have disappeared & MOST of the pictures/videos from my older blogs have disappeared. But since I'm as techno-stupid as they get when it comes to 'computers' - other than tapping on their keyboards to make pretty stories - I have little choice but to cringe and move on...]
So, anyway, occasionally, when I’m out and about and I run into someone whose name I don’t remember but whose face I’ve seen around, and that person gives me that knowing smile and eye-crinkle, I can only assume it is likely that he/she has read my blog.
Conundrum: I WANT more & more people to read my blog. I apparently suffer from a bit of a “Kim Kardashian Complex,” AKA I’m happy to put my private self in the public eye. (NO sex tapes, thank GOD – coming of age sexually during a pre-cell-phone video/YouTube age has its advantages!) And yet…
I feel pretty vulnerable when people give me that look.
Ok, readers: eyes averted, from now on!
Just kidding. Read, enjoy, look away. I’ve asked for it, and I’ve gotten it.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
It’s 9:51pm. I’ve made a commitment to myself to go to bed by 10pm (which means I’ll be in bed by 11pm). I put kids to bed, participated in a PTA fundraiser hour long conference call, and while they spoke about items I’m not involved in, I pushed mute and washed the dishes and put away groceries I bought earlier (or rather, forgot to push mute, then got about 10 people annoyed as they heard me wash dishes thru my phone and THEN pushed mute), and when I finished cleaning the kitchen and finished putting the laundry in the dryer, I sat down….
…to write the PTA mass email I had committed to write.
I wrote that email. A beautiful, color-coded, bolded in just the right places, web links inserted, just-the-right-amount-of-cheery email. And as I cut & pasted the email addresses into the “to” box and prepared to click “send”…
My Outlook crashed.
Wait – no biggie, right? Restart it, and check my “drafts” folder, and… voila!!
It wasn’t there.
It had disappeared.
So instead of re-writing it, I decided to vent.
(Sorry, my dearest readers. This is not my finest hour.)
But I have to get this off my chest:
Not cool, Outlook.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
WHAT I PLANNED FOR LAST NIGHT/TODAY:
- 1. Think of a good subject & write Monday’s blog.
- 2. Get kids to bed early.
- 3. Go to sleep by 10pm.
- 4. Sleep restfully in my bed.
- 5. Wake up at 5am.
- 6. Exercise.
- 7. Allow my great mood to influence my children as they wake and prepare for school.
- 8. Finish my writing assignment.
- 9. Help husband with work.
- 10. Get Tuesday’s blog ready.
WHAT I WOUND UP DOING LAST NIGHT/TODAY:
- 1. Can’t think of anything to write about. Click a lot of “likes” on Facebook instead.
- 2. Get 2 kids to bed early. Then fall asleep in my son’s bed, trying to get HIM to sleep. Wake up when he is finally ready to sleep, an hour later.
- 3. Head to bed at 10… then get re-routed to Racheli’s room, where she has thrown up all over her bed.
- 4. Spend the next 2+ hours with Racheli as she barfs & writhes in pain, etc.
- 5. Sleep uncomfortably with 2 little knees poking into my back.
- 6. Wake up at 6:15 to the words, “Ima, my stomach hurts.”
- 7. Keep the bucket handy for Racheli while waking and getting the other 2 ready for school.
- 8. Yell at Yehuda for stealing, chewing, then spitting onto the floor an entire pack of gum.
- 9. Try to figure out how to get any work done, for me or my husband, while Racheli is still here and not feeling well.
- 10. Write this blog.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
You might say it’s “hard” to get everything done when you are a stay-at-home mom who also works part-time, blogs, volunteers, studies Kabbalah and keeps Shabbat, helps her husband with his work and is trying to learn guitar so I can actually accompany myself when I sing the songs that I wrote.
Then again, if you did say that… you’d be wrong.
It’s not hard at all!!!!
Why is it, that the minute I’ve folding four loads of laundry, there are instantly TWO new loads that must be washed? I haven’t even put the four loads away, for crying out loud! Seriously. They are spread out all over our living room couches.
No TV tonight, kids! It’s our clothes’ turn to watch their programs. Their soaps.
Did I mention I’m also losing my mind just a little bit?
The good part about THAT is that I seem to be losing the bit of my mind that actually thought I was able & CAPABLE OF FINISHING THINGS. Because I can’t.
The girls’ room was clean yesterday morning. Now every time I cross by it, my brain spasms ever so slightly at the sight of toys all over the rug. I WILL NOT GO IN THERE I WILL NOT CLEAN IT UP I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO LIKE – OH YEAH, EAT. OH YEAH, AND WORK.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
And by “mighty,” I mean those who used to have a full time housekeeper.
And by “fallen,” I mean they got trapped in a Sartre play, only this time the situation they cannot exit is the mess they live in.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
If you wanna hear one of my songs, just click on the audio link, below. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could strum along to my OWN SONG? Yeah. It would. WARNING: I HAVE NO TIME TO FIGURE OUT WORDPRESS SO WHEN U CLICK IT’S GOING TO OPEN UP A BLACK WEBPAGE. JUST SO YOU CAN HEAR THE SONG. YOU CAN SKIP IT IF YOU WANT. THOUGHT U SHOULD KNOW.
Folks, this GrownupGirl is tapped out. Tired. Done.
I wanted to try & sleep tonight before 11pm (I know, who am I kidding, right?)… just finished the exhausting & demoralizing process of applying for a partial scholarship for my 3 kids’ tuition… still need to read a script for work, oh, AND fold four loads of laundry. Literally.
Oh yeah, and wash my hair with the MOTHERFUCKINGLICECOMB because that’s what we moms do. When our heads itch.
And please don’t ask me if my room and my kids rooms still need to be cleaned.
So who has time to write a blog? No one’s paying me to write this, and my adoring fans numbering in the – uh – “aughts”? Is that a word? The adoring ones, plus the other occasional fans… still not quite the incentive I need to keep this thing alive.
So what is?
It’s an amazing creative outlet, for one. Duh.
And then there’s that ‘miracle’ aspect to it – the thing that I’ve noticed happened since I’ve been maintaining this blog, which is to say… a smoothness to life that otherwise feels mighty bumpy. That, and the direction of my professional life since I’ve kept up the blog has continued to move forward and – while not YET financially rewarding – it does appear a bit more exciting and promising, each and every month that passes.
I’ll stay up at least until midnight just for you.
And by “you” I mean, of course…
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)