When I imagine the living room inside my head, I picture it as this basement-like rumpus room space (remember that from childhood? The rumpus room?): mismatched furniture (all of it comfortable and squashy), lots of small tables to hold drinks, television in the corner, some Kleenex boxes scattered about. It has a set of stairs at the back wall that everyone turns around to look at when they hear the door open so they can greet the person descending. The space is sort of as eclectic as its inhabitants. Everyone is welcome to grab a seat. Anyone can call people together to the space. No one is rude, but it's also not a crime to put your feet on the coffeetable. That sort of living room.
It was born out of the need to have a chat space that could hold more than two people that also didn't require the speakers to have a specific email program or software on their computer. Hence the creation of the living room.
Anyone can use it. This is the way it works. If it's not reserved for a specific purpose, feel free to go inside, sit there until others show, or leave a post up on your blog telling people to meet you in the living room at a certain time. Hang out, come and go as you please, just be kind. If it is reserved for a specific purpose and you want to join along (for instance, last night, 4 of us met to watch Grey's Anatomy together), pop in. All events are schedule at EST (so if you live elsewhere, adjust the time difference).
At the same time, anyone can schedule an event in the living room. Want to watch Desperate Housewives with other bloggers and chat as you watch? Leave a comment in the comment section on the living room post and I will add the event to the sidebar so people know. You must leave it in the comments section because you should also scroll through the comments for a moment and make sure something else isn't scheduled for that time. You'll need to leave a date and a time span (again, based in EST).
Reasons for calling a meeting are endless. We're going to use the room for the book tours to have a live discussion (with or without the author). We're going to hold Twelve-and-a-Half-Fighting-Back (THFB) meetings there. You could call people together to sit with you during your first injection, gather a meeting of the minds together to discuss a dilemma, gather the troops to console you during a negative, gather the troops to celebrate after a positive, call together all IF/pg loss bloggers in Florida to come chat together at the same time. We can celebrate birthdays together with a half hour chat in the living room. We can...well, the possibilities for the space are endless.
There is also a second chat room called "The Bean Bag Chairs Behind the Couch" which is used for the same reasons, except it has more administrative capabilities though fewer fun features. So the Living Room is the hangout space AND meeting space and the Bean Bag Chairs Behind the Couch is more a space for a formal book discussion. And all chat rooms can be accessed from the pee-bucket-free icon on the sidebar.
I will try to announce events in the living room in the Lost & Found, but you can also always find what is happening on the sidebar (it's right below the icon). So come kick back and relax. It's my space. It's your space. It's our living room. Use it whenever you wish. The door is always open. And unlocked. So don't steal the mismatched orange and brown throw pillows.
Speaking of THFB, there will be more information and a meeting happening soon--after Thanksgiving. I'll announce it on the sidebar and send out an email to the list. Oh--and I can post transcripts from meetings so if you miss a chat, you can still read what happened later (I'll only do this for a formal meeting or an author talk or book club meeting).
And speaking about the Barren Bitches Book Brigade, new books will be announced soon. I'm just finishing up tallying the votes.
And now, on to the blogs...
I loved this little post at Miss Inconceivability and I thought it came at the perfect time before Thanksgiving. It's sort of a post about what you are thankful for about yourself--your gifts. Frenchie admits: "Fertility and procreation, obviously, are not my strong-suits. But, I have let that rule how I have felt about myself entirely--for too long. When I think about myself, it's all I think about. When I look at myself it is all that I see." I am going to compile my list this week and I challenge you to do the same. And you can't be modest. You have to be honest and toot your own horn (that saying made me sound really old... And dowdy... Like your Great Aunt Mildred). Anyone who is in, go over and read Frenchie's post, and then create your own before Thursday. Okay, Friday. You can have a week. Frenchie, you inadvertently started your own meme!
Meghan at A Little Sweetness had a great post this week about the night before her first injection. I loved it because it's so honest and her thoughts are thoughts that all of us have had at some point on this journey. She actually started the post prior to her first Clomid cycle though didn't post it until this week, on the eve of her first Follistim injection. She writes: "How on earth did we get here. I actually started this post the night of my first Clomid. I know it's pretty low tech compared with so many of the other treatments out there. Kind of like being in awe of an electric screwdriver when everyone around you is building houses....or something lame like that. But seriously, I do not completely understand how I got to this point." The bewilderment is universal. Congratulations to Meghan for making it through the first injection on Thursday night.
Rebecca at A View On My Life had a post this week about the Diner Divas. I will not spoil the post by telling you the identities of the Diner Divas (you will need to read it to find out), but the birthplace of the Divas, a cafe in town, burned down. This is a post in the tradition of the Sweet Potato Queens, the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants all rolled into one Midwestern bundle, and the aftermath of losing the place where this divaness was born. There was a fire that took our college hangout and my heart was right there in the cafe with the Diner Divas while I read this post.
Mchope at The Infertility Monster (grrrr...scary) had a post this week that I think creates a nice bookend for Frenchie's thankful post. So many times, we describe infertility as a roller coaster. Well, Mchope has taken that image and turned the ride into a Peace Train. She writes: "With tomorrow being my baseline ultrasound day for IVF #1, I've decided to adopt the concept of a Peace Train for this cycle...If all looks good tomorrow, then I will officially climb aboard and ask the conductor (mental image of my RE in a train conductor's cap) to punch my ticket." Plus, I loved the ending: "Must remember: 'now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come and I believe it could be, something good has begun.' Off to pack for my journey and planning to leave mental baggage behind." Hope you ride the Peace Train straight out of the Land of If, sweetie.
And that is the Roundup. I may pop up in the Living Room later this weekend, but don't count on me. It's my anniversary weekend and as they say, if this blog is a rockin', don't come knockin' (it's red because our love is red hot...yeow!).