The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Blog Roundup

My mother gave us a CD of music the twins like to listen to at her house: Beyonce, Shakira, and Coldplay. I put it on in the car and tried to strike up a conversation.

Me: So who is singing this?

Wolvog: It's Coldplay! Don't you know Coldplay?

Me: I don't know Coldplay. Do you know Elvis Costello?

Wolvog: Yes.

Me: Oh. Well. (Silence) I know it's uncool to talk about being cool, but I was really cool back in the day.

Wolvog: What does back in the day mean?

Me: It's just a really uncool way of saying "a long time ago."

ChickieNob: When were you cool?

Me: I had a really brief cool period when I was sixteen and into the DC Punk scene--I mean, I went to a lot of shows: High Back Chairs, Nation of Ulysses, Minor Threat. Pretty much anything put out by Dischord Records. I was cool because I was a girl and I moshed.

Wolvog: What is moshed?

Me: Moshing? It's sort of dancing and it's sort of just being a teenager. And I'd crowd surf. So that was a brief cool period. Then, during grad school, I was definitely cool. That was a longer cool period. And then I moved here and slowly started getting uncool. And now, I have reached this interesting state similar to a hypersphere where I am so uncool that I am essentially cool. Except for the days where I'm wearing my sweatpants and then I'm just plain uncool.

Wolvog: So are you cool now?

Me: Well, I don't know Coldplay.

Wolvog: Then you're not cool.

You know what is cool? Fingerboarding. And people who use the term fingerboard in their comments.

So, you may have noticed that Cassandra and I are still cleaning up the blogroll. It is a looooooong, slow-going process made slightly easier because I am not using the program I used up until this point which required dozens of extra steps. But still. It's 1700 blogs and many of them must be moved.

But here's the thing that we wanted to avoid: having the parenting sections start swallowing the rest of the blogroll. Because they were swallowing the rest of the blogroll. So the ever-brilliant Cassandra started to bring people out of parenting categories and put them into diagnostic categories with a parentheses after their name so you would know before clicking over if the person is pregnant or parenting. The situational categories will always be in flux (in other words, you won't stay in IVF forever), but the diagnostic categories or life-situation categories are going to remain more stagnant with parentheses placed after the title.

The additional benefit is that if you have, let's say, endometriosis, you can now read endo blogs that are still trying as well as peek over to see what worked for someone else in the endo category. Before this point, they disappeared into the pregnancy or parenting category and you never knew what worked for them.

We've also created a new category of family building after cancer (and please let me know if you want your blog moved to this new category).

With this change to the blogroll also, I'm sure, will come complaints that it is visually difficult to go to your category and see all of the pregnancy or parenting parentheses scattered throughout the list. And so I apologize--we truly did think about this and it isn't a perfect system. But we didn't want to put something vague like a (P) after the name (because we wanted it to be clear). And we didn't want people clicking over and not knowing what to expect. So--again--I apologize, it isn't a perfect system, but it would also be too much work to break the categories down further (in other words, please don't suggest that as the solution) and this new system allows us to do upkeep on the blogroll faster so that everyone is in the best category.

I am still adding new blogs to the blogroll during the process, but I've stopped updating the counter at the bottom for the time being until we have dead links pruned. Dead links also include password protected blogs because they aren't actually accessible via the blogroll (they go to a "you don't have access" screen).

Therefore, if you want a password protected blog listed,
send it directly to me with the required information and I'll include it on the password-protected list. What is the required information? A blurb and a way to contact you. Please see the password-protected list to get a sense of a blurb before submitting.

So, that's the new and improved blogroll. We're trying to make it user-friendly and make it easier to find the stories you want to follow without dividing community.

As I said last week, I loved the what if game so much that I think we should do this every Friday. So here is my what if. Add your own in the comment section below and answer mine as well as the others you find there.

The Weekly What If: What if a reality television producer contacted you via your blog and said they would pay for all of your family building efforts as long as you allowed them to film you 24/7--would you do it? They would be living in your house and attending your appointments, but they'd also be accompanying you to work with their video cameras labeled with the show's name (double points for anyone who comes up with the show's name in their answer). The footage may or may not be aired in the future--you won't know until your family building process is complete whether they want to use the footage. But it will not be aired while you are in treatments or the adoption process.

And now, the blogs...with an extra little twist this week:

So Dear and Yet So Far has a heartbreaking post on her blogoversary. It is a year since she started the blog with these words: "I started this blog, but can't seem to fill it. The idea of putting down words still feels so scary. Even my comfort is no comfort these days. Yet another loss. Sometimes, I feel like I have no words at all, only tears. Or the words that come are so maudlin, so trite. They don't seem to be...enough. Maybe I'll start with their names: Jacob and Joshua." A year later, she is deeply hurting and the pain rises out of her current words. All I wish for her is peace of heart, a comfortable space. I found this post incredibly moving.

On the other end of the spectrum is discussion about the end of a blog, namely Living Without Brenna. While she is not ending her blog, she muses about how long she'll write in the space. She writes: "I thought to myself, It will have to end sometime. You can't write how you miss your dead baby forever. Then it dawned on me, I am going to miss her forever. Until I die I am going to miss my baby. It seems so unreal to me." It is an emotional thought about how her life has changed forever.

Getting There has a post about why she blogs. I think this is a beautiful idea: "I need to start to deal with 'what is' rather than 'what isn't'. I've tried ignoring it - but that doesn't work. I've tried to keep so busy that I have no time to think - that doesn't work. So this - this is my way of dealing with what we've lived through and trying to find a way forward." And I laughed too--I also blog to bring my husband peace. It was just a great explanation for what she gets out of writing.

And now, the twist.

You guys picked the fourth entry with the comments you submitted to win the Purim basket. Therefore, collected for your reading pleasure, the posts that others said were the best (or, at least comment-worthy) from this week. Each title is linked to a specific entry (I only included specific posts rather than whole blogs. If no post was mentioned, I couldn't move it up to this list):
Y'all didn't know I was going to do this (I didn't even know I was going to do this) and I certainly didn't make it clear from my Purim post that it needed to be a specific post. everyone is game, I'd like to do this again in the future (with or without the giveaway element) and have everyone throw in their vote for the fourth entry in the Roundup. Coming to you randomly some point in the future.

The roundup to the Roundup: I am really uncool. The blogroll is getting a cleansing. Answer the weekly what if or submit your own. And a ton of great blog posts to read. Catch you here Saturday night for some showing and telling.

Oh wait! You wanted to know the winner of the Purim basket! It's Tash from Awful But Functioning. Ms. Tash, come up and claim your prize, and yes, because you are now unofficially part of our family, you can change it to Cup of Joe (Biden) Toffees...


Marie said...

I think that you are a special person to do what you do for this site. I have been changed for the better because of your lists of blogs. The woman that you have helped introduce in my life have made my life better..

Thank You!

calliope said...

I am so so behind in blog reading these days but I always start my catch up with you. I am always just in supreme awe of how MUCH you do. Just what kind of coffee are you drinking?!
The blogroll project? WOW. So so effing amazing and brilliant and appreciated and vital. I love that the blogroll is alive and ever changing and morphing.

As for the what if:
I would TOTALLY let someone from a reality show follow me around. There is so much chaos in our life and family right now: Grandmother in nursing home, Mother in a frantic job search, the real possibility that we may have to move before or immediately after Snork is born. I can't keep up with it all so having a film crew document it would be great. I may have to add some contractual rules about how I am filmed (no wide shots, please). & maybe I could have a showmance with someone on the crew....hmmmm. My brain is all a twitter now with the possibilities of fingerboarding.

Marie said...


Tash said...

Oh My good gravy, I never win ANYTHING! Especially in February! Thank you so much, Mel! I can't wait!

I'm so hopped up with potential sugar high that I can't think of a clever tv show title ("Hell's Bedroom?" "So You Think You Can Conceive?") but HELL NO. I have enough problems keeping it together in front of my family and every day people.

Lori said...

I hear Obama banned fingerboarding at Guantanamo.

That conversation with the Wolvog is priceless! You really should know Coldplay and he really should know Elvis. Costello. For the cool factor.

Happy for Tash. Beyotch.

Love the bonus!

Queenie. . . said...

I think it's amazing that you are putting so much thought and time into the blogroll--thanks!

I also wanted to thank you for everything you do with L&F. I had a very sad day on Monday, and it helped so much to be able to check my email on my phone every time I felt overwhelmed with sadness, and see the encouraging and supportive messages from the community. Such a little thing, but it meant a lot.

Queenie. . . said...

PS No way on the reality show. But, I have really good health insurance, with really good IF coverage. I might feel differently otherwise.

Jendeis said...

Was going to write a comment, but got fingerboarded. You know how it is.

I laugh every time I see it. Thank you.

Jen said...

Tell the Wolvog that I was never cool, so at least you are ahead of me there. In college, I was at least not not-cool, so that's something.

Speaking of the Wolvog, is he still into blackberries and electronics? If so, I might have something for him.

Cassandra said...

The blogroll process all sounds so planful when you put it like that.

People who complain about the blogroll are cordially invited to try pruning and reclassifying 1700 blogs themselves.

My husband would say that Coldplay is no longer cool, and that any band that's been on 60 Minutes has jumped the shark. (So I only listen to them when he's not in the car.)

I wouldn't do the reality show anyway (there's the whole thing about almost nobody IRL knowing about our journey), but the show wouldn't want me. I would make for such boring reality TV. No one wants to see me blogging for hours, or calmly administering shots, or driving to the clinic at 6:30am and then reading US Weekly until my blood draw then going home and sleeping another hour, or not getting upset over most things. Reality TV requires drama! I do have a name for the show, though:

America's Next Octomom.

luna said...

brilliant idea with the blogroll. smart women, you are.

I think you're cool. because you can make anything from sugar.

still having a hard time imagining you crowd surfing though...

the what if Q sounds like an awful MTV experiment for a sensationalized reality show. I'm surprised they haven't done it already.

Kristin said...

"What if a reality television producer contacted you via your blog and said they would pay for all of your family building efforts as long as you allowed them to film you 24/7--would you do it?"

In a heartbeat. Sadly, I have no brilliant show title.

decemberbaby said...


Or is that too cliche?

Brenna said...

A reality show based on my life would be painful to would consist mainly of my dogs sleeping at my feet or staring at me while I type on a computer. Brief breaks for potty walks and an afternoon jog. Riveting entertainment! But yes, I suppose the crew could camp out and fall asleep in our quiet little household if it would pay for IVF.

I'm amazed by your attentiveness to your blog and to this community of bloggers--it boggles the mind. I suspect that along with your sugar-spinning skills, you've secretly developed a method for manufacturing time.

Thanks for the blog list--I'll enjoy reading my way through over the weekend.

Jess said...

I would so.totally. do a reality show. Really.

Hands down.

But at this point they'd have to pay off my debts instead.....and maybe another kid while we're at it I suppose!

Thanks for doing the blogroll! It sounds like an ENORMOUS amount of work!

Cathy said...

Hearing about the blogroll makes me think there has to be a better way!

It's probably way too late in your project already. I'm thinking javascript and then a form to search for blogs with certain tags - by diagnosis or parenting or what have you. It might require an actual webserver though. It just got the programmer wheels in my head spinning to think of you two sitting there manually sorting the list.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so VERY, VERY much for your work on the blogroll. As a new IF blogger, I feel so luck to have fingerboarded with you and your fabulous site!

As for the the TV show, I would TOTALLY do it! I'm such a large-mouth bass about the whole thing to my friends and family, and the blog pretty much covers anything else, so why not? I loved Tash's suggestion for 'So you think you can conceive?'. Let me see what my show should be called...what about "Law & Order, IVF".

I'm not even getting IVF yet, but the ratings are always extremely high for all the "Law and Order" shows, so I think I could really do well.

It doesn't matter if you're cool or not past the age of 30. At least that's what I'm telling myself.


'Murgdan' said...

If they would pay for everything...we would do it. We had this situation arise a little bit ago, but they couldn't pay anything at that time, so my husband was completely no go. He could only be convinced financially to come out of the closet.

Rebecca said...

If they would pay completely 100% for us to have a your sweet ass I'd do it!!! They probably wouldn't pick us, but it would be nice to dream...

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I'm going to have to say no to the reality tv crew. While I could do one of those cooking shows (actually, I couldn't because I don't work well under pressure), I couldn't do one of those follow-me-around-all-the-time shows. They freak me out.

Carrie27 said...

Big fat NO to the reality show. I cannot and would not expose myself emotionally like that.

Tash, I'm jealous that you won all those goodies.

Barb said...

No I would not do it. Too private a person.

And you would LOVE coldplay! sheesh! They make me think of a younger U2. :)

Anonymous said...

my only caveat to the reality show is that they would have to edit out my AA activities. I'm out about my recovery but I can't have my friends' anonymity invaded. But other than that. If they would pay for IVFs, I'm ready for my closeup.

Parenthood For Me said...

What If...?
I thought many times of trying to put together a documentary of going through ART. So I would do it but I would allow them to see the 18 guage needles and bruises the size of a cantalope on my abdomen due to the blood thinning shots I have to take. I would want them to see the "real" experience of IVF or other procedures. How us civilians have basically had medical school training learning about RE and administering drugs, etc. I would also do it to show a journey to adoption. All the facets of it.
Just to be a voyeur into my everyday life of emotions wouldn't be worth it to me- give 'em the meat! (could that be a show title?)

Also, everyone should know who coldplay is. Viva la Vida is one of their best songs yet. But everyone should listen to Billie Holliday and Ray Charles and Beyonce (she is my guilty pleasure).

p.s. thanks for all the work you do. Shame on anyone for complaining.

S said...

Another comment about how cool it is that you guys have the blogroll all super organised. My sincere thanks!

As for the hypothetical 24/7 reality show ... maybe if I was a skeletal Angelina Jolie type so I could show off my awesome tatts and my red-black-blue-yellow-purple clexane belly bruises complete with sharps container (how 'I vant to drink your bloood') and go for the "hot tattooed biker/masochist" motif... but sadly, I'm fat (part thanks to IVF/PCOS), which makes me the scary biker moma-wannabe, I like my privacy, I like the freedom of choosing when to wear my knickers, I like using over-the-top-disgusting foul words at 6 in the morning after the sting of shooting up the clexane, I like farting when I want to (its the damn progesterone) ... so, no deal!


1. they call the show "Angry IVF veterans who will rip off your head and $hit down your throat" (duke nukem style);

2. they pay enough for all cycles for at least 2 live births; and

3. they blur my face and "blur" my voice to that scary movie type electronic voice thingy. you know, like, "hello sydney".


Fat Chick said...

Thank you so much for all your efforts! You really keep the IF community together.

And there is NOOOO WAAAAYYY I'd allow my mommy journey to be a reality show. I mean, I don't even like that the nurse gets to see you hoo-hoo.

Fat Chick said...

Thank you so much for all your efforts! You really keep the IF community together.

And there is NOOOO WAAAAYYY I'd allow my mommy journey to be a reality show. I mean, I don't even like that the nurse gets to see you hoo-hoo.

Liv said...

I think your process to update the blogroll is great. You have my true and faithful admiration for all that you do...and the great ideas you come up with.

Thanks to Kristen who posted my blog and said asked for people to go say something. I made me feel pretty good!

Ah man...Eve totally was ahead of me with her Reality Show suggestion name with Law & Order, IVF. Perhaps you could fuel a ratings war over on CBS with I-CSI Miami.

Fertilized said...

As for the reality show - I think I'd do it. I am not that private of a person, But it would be one boring show watching paint dry. At times it would be a derailed trainwreck. The problem: I am NOT that interesting of a person living in a not that interesting of a town.

Congrats Tash

Fertilized said...

Could we call the Show Fingerboarding through ART?

Bea said...

Hehe. Fingerboarding through ART.

Um, I would not. Then again, my treatments were pretty well insured. Do I have to compare it to being completely uninsured? I'm thinking no.

Maybe we could just go with "The Fingerboard".


Anonymous said...

Thank you both for working on the blogroll; I can't even imagine what a big job that is.

No way on the filming, mostly because all my clients would see it and it might hurt business. We're so private only a few people even know after 4 years. Cool idea, though.


Rebecca said...

Yes, I'd do the 'what if'. And I think the show would be called 'Baby or Bust'.