Category Archives: Writing? Really.

November 8 – Oh Crap

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Only seven days in and I fail at NaBloPoMo, and I can’t believe none of you noticed. *Hurumph.*

Of course I’m totally blaming you as I’m totally fault-free.

On the other hand, I totally remembered to schedule our family pictures for the church’s snoop book.

Our last picture was in May 2008 and I was slightly smaller than the average bungalow, just two months shy of my due date.

Oh, and before I sign off, anyone else notice that I started each sentence with the letter “O”?

 

IT IS THE BEST OF TIMES

A couple months ago, I set a goal for myself. It should have been a simple and easily attainable goal, and in the weeks leading up to that deadline, I was convinced it was going to go as planned.

After ZGirl’s first birthday, I was going to give up blogging.

I have been carrying around delusions of grandeur for years, hoping to take this community by the nipples. You might assume I’m pretty full of myself to even think it, much less profess it here, but I’m not an egomaniac. I just never realized how much pull there was in the comments and emails of strangers who are willing to take a minute or two out of their own busy schedules to let me know I’m not alone.

When you grow up use to being a wall-flower, you take whatever attention you can get, you know?

There are some days I can’t believe I would ever think of leaving this behind. It’s the days that you’ve offered a shoulder when I’ve found myself shaken to my very core, or to side with me when I think Mr. DD is being a putz, and of course to share in the greatest joy I’ve ever known. And once in a great while, I get an email – out of the blue – by someone who thanks me for being me. That’s a beautiful and humbling experience right there.

But then there seem to be more days when it just doesn’t seem worth it to even log-in to WordPress. Those days I feel as if I’m forcing the anger or the funny. I ask myself is it because I’m not as bitter? Oh, but I am. Am I angry? Hell, yes! Did I lose my funny? Did I ever have it to lose??

Like most bloggers have confessed, I do go about my day thinking, “Oh! That’d make a great post!” so I sit down at my little desk, fire up my lap-top, my thoughts jumbled and still forming like a little cauldron but then Life outside the internet takes place:

 “I’m out of clean work shirts!”

“XBoy has a Time-Sucking Function to go to at 7:00. You want to stay here with ZGirl or take him?”

“Mom, will you play backgammon with me?”

“Mumum – mumum . . .  Mumumumum! MUMUMUM!!!”

While these things get to be annoying in their repetitive nature, I also find some peace in them, because it’s all I really wanted when I started blogging in the first place. Isn’t that what we all wanted when we started blogging (whether writing or just reading) (if you were/are an infertility blogger)? To get life back to “normal”, whatever that normal was?

I’m returning to the normalcy that I envisioned, but I just feel like there isn’t enough rage, bitterness, sorrow and sarcasm to satisfy whatever your needs still are. And quite frankly, I miss having one of my posts linked to when I wrote something that spoke to your heart, your head, or even your funny bone. In fact, I don’t think we link to each other as much as we did in the past (I say with three fingers pointed back at me). Maybe I’m out of touch, or maybe we become so overloaded that we’ve become passive, if not just plain indifferent.

After taking weeks to get this out (I know. It doesn’t seem like it, but I just can’t get it flow quite like I want), I’ve realized that I won’t stop blogging as I had planned. However, I’m giving myself permission to NOT think about posting; to stop reaching for the proverbial Blogging Brass Ring – an “in” to syndication, to publication. I’ll leave that up to those who find writing an unquenchable passion. For me? I just want to stay connected with friends who saw me through my worst and know that right now, this is the best I’ll be. I’ll no longer apologize if it’s not enough for some. It’s more than enough for me.

DO YOU HAVE A SECRET KNOCK?

If you use a feed reader (Bloglines, Google.Reader, etc.), here’s a tip I use to remember passwords to protected sites.

More than likely, you will have an option to rename a subscription. Say for example, you could change “Punch Drunk” to “Self-Absorbed Hack”. . . If you wanted to, that is.

I amend the names of subscriptions by adding the password: “Punch Drunk” becomes “Punch Drunk: pw lilliputian”.

Now I can’t share my list of reads in Reader, even though I can share individual posts, so I could inadvertently and carelessly share a password. However, I would never “share” a pwp blog or post. That would be stupid. Don’t be stupid.

Bloglines does allow you to share your list, so you’ll want to be careful there.

LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS

pittOne of the magazines in our reception/waiting area is Wired, which I would best describe as a Rolling Stones magazine for the techno junkies. Augusts’ publication has Brad Pitt on the cover…wearing a blue tooth ear piece and next to it in itty-bitty print it says something about how HE can barely pull that look off and you aren’t him(oh, so true, people). I couldn’t figure out how Pitt could tie into Wired so I went to the article inside (of course it was for the article ‘cause Pitt’s face is not the purty IMHO) titled: How to Behave: New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans.

The article is basically a bunch of tips for people like you and me that spend an abnormal amount of time blogging, tweeting, flickring, facebooking, etc. Within those tips are tinier little tips, like these:

  • Don’t follow more people than follow you.
  • No more than 20 tweets in 24 hours.
  • Don’t use a photo of your child as your profile picture.
  • Don’t type BRB. Just go and come back.

By the way, Brad Pitt, star of Inglorious Basterds, is providing separate and bad advice within the column, which is actually kind of funny.

Anyway, one of the topics of the article/column is “Meet Online Friends in the Real World (Beware: It Will Be Weird)” by Mathew Honan. And this is interesting shit, so don’t skip over this or blow me off just yet.

Nancy Baym, who studies online communications at the U. of Kansas talks about what can be an awkward shift from internet friendship to a real world one.

“With all his snappy posts and ripostes, you may have come to think of him as quick-witted. But what’s fast in message-board land can feel slower than dialup in a face-to-face exchange. ‘Sometimes good online socializers are shy in person,’ Baym says. ‘Their medium is the written word.’

This made a lot of sense to me especially later when I was talking to a gal I’ve become friends with at work. She’s outgoing and hysterical and she doesn’t come into my office nearly enough throughout the day to alleviate my boredom. Just today we were talking about boobs. She claims she has pancake boobs – you know what I’m talking about – which she was lamenting when I suggested that she go to her S.O.’s class reunion and wear something to show off her boobage to make HIM look good. She said, “It’s too much trouble shifting them around to make sure I don’t look ridiculous in case it gets cold,” and then she made this motion with her fingers as to how one nip might be pointed this way and the other that-a-way and added some sound effects for good measure.

…I guess you had to be there. I mentioned facebook to her to which she responded with a blank look on her face. “I don’t get it. I have a SIL that sits in front of the computer all day doing that shit. What the hell could she be getting out of it?”

Herein is my point. It appears that a majority of people who seem to have a more difficult time, how should I say this? Socializing, do quite a bit of blogging. I read dozens and dozens of blogs and at one time or another there has been some admitting to being shy. It’s why I veer away from meetings with other bloggers. Why even though I have a few phone numbers stored in my cell phone, I don’t call anyone. I don’t want you to realize how abysmally dull I truly am in real time. When I headed up north for the ConFab and met Molly, Alexa, and Jennifer, I felt like a fraud and an actor. While my blog is hardly spellbinding, it definitely paints a much flattering picture of me than meeting me in real life.

I think that’s probably true for 99% of those who blog religiously. We are terminally shy and looking for some kind of outlet. So to many like me, blogging is actually kind of like Bizarro World for us shy, under-worldly creatures. There’s probably a funny, thoughtful, smart, insightful person inside of me somewhere, but since she rarely makes an appearance on my blog, I’ll just warn you to lower your expectations if we were to ever meet in person. My little nook in an unused room suits my personality quite well.

AND THEN

I made tentative plans to go to BlogHer in Chicago this year. For those of you that have been living under a rock, it’s in one month exactly – July 23-25.

I booked the hotel; shopped for flights; forced myself onto a handful of other bloggers before finding one who took pity on me and agreed to allow me to shack up; and researched blogger card designs. Oh, yes, I was falling into the BlogHer line and getting pretty damn excited about it. It was to be my vacation, the first one in three long, arid years.

And then I lost my job to the body and soul snatching hospital, Faithless.

My husband said I should still go. We would make do, but out of guilt, I put any further plans on hold, hoping things would normalize.

And then my FIL got a wild-hair up his ass and made plans to visit his brothers in New England. My husband would have to be his chaperone/nurse maid. Guess what weekend they chose?

So I turned over my reserved hotel room where the convention was being held, to Aurelia. Apologized profusely to her for leaving her high and dry and sleeping solo. Fate was telling me, “DD? You and BlogHer weren’t meant to be this year.” Like the past three years, actually.

And then my FIL had surgery on his leg. His obesity and failure to follow the doctor’s instructions lead to complications, including a nasty viral infection. My husband, who also started making tentative plans for that weekend, doubted that he’d be making the trip. FIL insisted: yes, dammit, we are still going!

And then!…one of FIL’s brothers ended up with his own scheduling conflict. The weekend of the 25th was officially OFF the table. The announcement came this past weekend.

And THEN???

Oh, hell, I don’t know. Shit. You fill in the blank. I just don’t have the energy.

DINOSAUR EXTINCTION OR EVOLUTION?

I think a lot about how far Mr. DD, XBoy and myself have come over the years. I am so focused on ZGirl, the here and now, that thinking of the past makes me wonder, did I really think or say that? All I have to do is go to my archives for proof.

Here’s a post from 2006 when I took some time off from work to purge our storage of all baby items that we had held onto with the assumption we would have another baby. It’s important that you go read it and the comments with it.

05.20 clown

I did save those dinosaur pajamas. I couldn’t bear to part with them. My daughter is wearing them this very second, asleep in her crib. That’s her in an earlier picture on the left. A picture of XBoy is in the link.

I’m having a difficult time explaining how it makes me feel to see her in them. Yes, of course joy since it means that all those years we waited for it to be our turn once again, came; but I also feel a bit of heartache since I know that in just a couple of months she will have outgrown it as well and I’ll have to wash it and fold it for the last time. Sure I can save it for the ages it will take for me to maybe become someone’s grandmother, but will it survive another 20 years?

My meloncholy mood was significantly deepened when I read the comments.

Kath was still waiting to stay pregnant for the first time back then. Now? She’s had baby girl #2.

K&M’s blog is gone. She’s reinvented herself in a new pwp blog after the birth of her son.

Angela’s blog is gone, but she stops in occasionally and we cross paths on facebook.

Karen, after a couple months of silence has just started blogging again. I missed her terribly.

Leggy is now Clover, but she’ll always be Leggy to me. She’s had boy/girl twins since then.

Baggage has noticeably been absent here, but I also see her updates on facebook.

Kellie stops in still, and I am grateful for her continued presence.

Donielle…she had a blog, but it is also long gone. I haven’t heard from her in ages.

Julie. I feel my heart constrict a bit when I think of Julie (Sisyphus) because I miss her soooo much.

Erin has been a constant friend, but quieter now that she brought home her son from Ethiopia.

KarenPince also had a blog, which is gone now. She recently had a baby boy.

Trish. Former Nebraskan. She has a daughter who is terminally ill, but I don’t see updates from her anymore.

Cricket, who I never thought would become silent, has. She has an art blog and saw a recent update, but I haven’t heard from her since January.

Tuesday is still blogging. After her miscarriage of triplets, she had another baby boy.

Jess…I wish I could remember more about her other than she stopped blogging ages ago as well.

Josie and I non-stopped emailed each other for a while there. I even met her once, and it’s already been a couple of years ago. She finally brought home her son from Ethiopia as well just a short time ago.

Michelle is thankfully still out there. Her surprise pregnancy mirrored my own (non-surprise) with ZGirl.

Midori has gone through hell these past few years. No longer keeping a public blog but I do get to see pictures of her new life on Flickr and see updates on facebook.

Long time sista. My former best friend.

Kati stopped blogging some time ago after suffering several miscarriages during her SIF. I miss her sweet ways.

Rachel went through her pregnancy during her husband’s deployment, but she hasn’t posted in a year.

Menita, darling Menita. We also cross paths occasionally on facebook and I get a silly little zing when I see she’s checking in on me.

Catizhere. That’s all I need to say about lovely Cat. She is still here. Thank god.

Spanglish and I had a falling out, except I don’t know why.

Alli also stopped blogging about a year ago.

Jenny is now the infamous Bloggess and has left me in the dust.

Kellie from One Mother’s Journey deleted her blog years ago. I see someone else took the domain name.

Her Bad Mother also moved onward and upward.

Soralis is still blogging, but at a new site under a new name after she had her baby girl.

TB took a very long hiatus after the birth of her son over a year ago. She has posted since then, but not often enough IMO.

Nico went on to also give birth to a second son and a different blog.

Every one, not just my daughter, is growing, evolving. However, the difference between my daughter and these blogs and their owners is that she is growing up – eventually to grow away; these long lost bloggers…? Is the rate for extinct bloggers really that high, or do I need to only look in the mirror to find the answer?

FLY ON THE WALL

This is an approximate mock up of how things look when I sit down in front of my lap top. Except I really have darker bags under my eyes and not glow-in-the-dark teeth. Plus, I hope I don’t look nearly as insane in person. Photoshop is a bitch.

01.15 Hazel and me (2)_edited-1

Have a great weekend.

JUST TRY TO GUESS WHERE THE TRANSITIONS IN CONVERSATION ARE IN THIS POST

Everyone just needs to stop emailing me and begging for my next post. Here’s a list of those of you who were wondering if I was OK and inquiring as to my writing schedule:

  • ______

Yeeaahhhh.

OK, so three days doesn’t seem like an inordinate amount of time to some of you, but for me? I’m wondering if my keyboard has been laced with crank. No, not the crank I emote. The crank you snort, silly.

ZGirl is going to be 10 months old this week. She’s already been showing some early signs of toddlerhood (the pitching a shitfit kind) and I am so not ready to give up my BABEEEEE!

XBoy came home from school a couple Mondays ago and said, “We missed the school’s Spring Concert yesterday.” (insert pouty face and sad eyes). “Oh, no!” we replied. How could this have happened?? There was no note from the teacher. Nothing on the school’s website or the calendar. I emailed his teacher about it. She replied:

I did send home notes with the students on white paper, however while we were making stars to use as decoration for the concert XBoy told me that he wasn’t going to be able to come so when he wasn’t there, I didn’t think twice about it.

BUSTED. And like how.

He confessed that he didn’t want to go so I did what any mom would do in that situation. I made him feel like shit by saying that he only gets one Spring Concert a year and this was the only one he’d have as a 1st Grader and mom and dad and grandma are very sad that we didn’t get to see him sing with his class or see his artwork hanging (combo Spring Concert and Art Show). He was appropriately shamed.

The rabbit still lives.

Now that I’ve typed that I wonder how many of my readers will think I’m pregnant when someday I post, “The rabbit died.”

My friend’s ovaries have been bitch-slapped out of their coma and produced 3 follicles after her 3rd round of increasing dosage of clomid. The first two rounds were bust. I’m really, REALLY hoping for her.

I have had a post about secondary infertility in my drafts for a couple weeks now. I don’t know if it will ever come out of there as I’m struggling with my desire to work out some aggravation as opposed to my ever present sensitivity to my faithful readers. Yes, that was sarcasm. Gold star for you.

I am NOT writing a book. You can relax now.

This is an awesome response to a babysitter who was in serious need of a Nunya Smack.

I hate Period Poops, don’t you?

NO THANK YOU, DR RUTLEDGE

Occasionally I do get hit up for reviews and ads on my blog from outside sources. Today I got one from Wellsphere.

A very flattering, yet strangely canned, email from Dr. Geoff Rutledge on how they wanted my blog content to be part of their HealthBlogger Network at wellsphere.com. I’m naturally dubious of these requests but this one immediately made me go “huh??” when I read this in the first paragraph:

We carefully reviewed your blog, and based on the high quality of your writing, the frequency of your posts, and your passion for helping others, we think you would be a great addition to the Network.

Uh…ok.

And…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaha!

I did check out the website (dull) and from there I googled, “what’s up with wellsphere” and that brought me an article titled, “How the Blogosphere was Scammed.” That doesn’t bode well, does it?

I can only guess that some of you would have received the same email since scammers hunt in packs. If you did, my advice to you is to think twice about it and make sure you read the article about scams. My posts may be shit, but they are MY shit.

NOW FOR THE COUNTER-POINT

Wasn’t that nice of Aunt Becky to come over here and ramp up my stats? Here she thought I was doing her a favor letting her get a blogging fix when instead I was reaping the rewards by being ass-dimples deep in comments.

It was a bit odd to have several commenters profess their love for me…until I remembered, “Oh, yeah. They are professing their love for Becky. I feel so dirty.”

The topic I gave Becky was one I had been mulling on for some time, and one I’ve attempted to cover before. I wish it was also one I felt as optimistically about as Becky and her readers do. Now it’s not because I don’t believe you can’t form BFF relationships via the internet. It’s because I can’t.

Outside of my family (and even then, it’s just a couple), there’s only one person who I have maintained (and I use the word loosely) a friendship with for any significant length of time: my husband of almost 12 years (plus 5 years prior to our marriage). Even with a life-time commitment made emotionally and legally, there are plenty of moments when I could merrily club him to death with a frozen log of cookie dough on any given day of the week. He’s lucky I refuse to sacrifice the cookie dough in anger.

A couple of the comments really hit home as to why internet – specifically blogging – friends are made. First, it is easier to find a connection with someone of similar interests or experiences via blogging. I found infertility blogging while googling the instructions for follistim injections. From there, I was introduced to several women who had experienced miscarriages. I also found out that secondary infertility wasn’t an oxymoron. Through blogging, I found Suzanne, a fellow Nebraskan who was going to the same clinic as myself and “shared” some cycles with. Blogging via a specific niche gives one “automatic” connection with others in surprisingly similar situations.

Next, everyone who blogs is beautiful, smart and funny. OK, everyone but me is beautiful, smart and funny as I am but a Gnarly Troll, and as such, mightily attracted to all things shiny and beautiful. Women can be horrid, petty, back-biting vipers to each other in person. I’ve been instantly sized up by the private school’s Moms who carry Gucci diaper bags, drive Mercedes SUVs, and wear heels even to wrestling meets just because I may or may not be wearing pajama pants and my husband’s sweatshirt with flip flops and chipped toenail polish. But did you see that? I’ve done the same. I take one look at them and I perceive them to be snobbish, unhappy and uptight trophy wives. Just because of the way they LOOK.

With blogging, there’s no snap judgment based on our appearance or surroundings. The “Haves” and “Have Nots” are assigned based on whether or not one has gone through infertility treatment; or has had a miscarriage; or is pregnant. That brings us back ’round to the first example: birds of a feather and all that.

And finally, finding someone In Real Life (IRL) who understands what we (for sake of this post, “Infertility Bloggers”) are going, or have gone, through, is incredibly difficult, especially for those who live in low populated or isolated areas, e.g. northeast Nebraska. Even my husband’s love and own brand of support would not have been enough to get me through these past years. That’s not his fault, it’s mine.

This brings me to what I said in the beginning of this post. I would love to believe that all the friends I make from my blog will be my friends in a year, two years, ten years from now, but I don’t. I couldn’t maintain any friendships from high school, college, and even am struggling to keep the friends I had from my job I just lost in January. I’ve carried torches for many bloggers over the years and I can count on one hand how many are still around. Real life always seems to get in the way whether it’s due to a birth, cancer, being outed, divorce, or feeling left behind in the community, all of which I’ve seen happen to my blogging friends.

I love so many bloggers (and those of you w/o blogs who stop by), very deeply in fact, but I try to remain aloof because it’s too painful to be rejected and ignored and avoided, which seems to happen when I openly wear that Girl-Crush-Heart on my sleeve. If I wouldn’t appear so stalkerish – not that I don’t now – I would probably email many of you daily, if not call the ones who have foolishly provided me their phone numbers. I have to reign myself in frequently from appearing too needy, too desperate, and altogether, too pathetic. Yes, really, I do try to tone it down, but I’m obviously not very good at it.

I seriously get a lump in my throat thinking about how in 10 years, all the men and women I know right now will be on to bigger and better things and not worrying about maintaining a relationship with a Nebraskan blogger who didn’t write remotely well; who wasn’t particularly funny or witty; and who probably didn’t convey in action or word how much she appreciated your friendships.

STONE COLD SOBER, AS A MATTER OF FACT

~ Guest post by Aunt Becky

This morning when my own blog somehow got a Case of The Monday’s (on Tuesday. Dumb blog doesn’t even know the days of the week.) DD offered me the use of her own blog so that I could once again fill The Internet with my pointless drivel. Because my Twitter account only allows me to say stuff in 140 characters or less which is not NEARLY enough blathering for Yours Truly, I was most pleased to do this. Plus, DD is kind of my own personal hero, so I kinda got hot and bothered thinking about posting on HER blog.

Which, because I am not clever enough to come up with a topic on my own, brings me to the topic I’d begged her to give me. Can you be honest-to-God friends with people you meet on The Internet?

It’s tricky, yo. But after thinking about it for 30 seconds as I refilled my eleventy-ninth cup of coffee I think I have my answer: yes. Even after the posts I’ve dedicated to how self-serving and self-important blogging is (put down the pitchforks, I have my own blog, so what does that say about me?), I can honestly say that I have met a handful of people I would actually call my friends.

Back in January and February when my daughter was born with a part of her brain hanging jauntily out of the back of her head, a condition called an encephalocele that we weren’t aware she had, I took to my blog. Somehow the act of writing down my feelings and putting them into a cohesive form rather than the scattered bits of worry floating around my head made things ever slightly better. And The Internet, prayed for me, with me, and around me when I needed them. 

In some tangible way that I’d not expected, having the collective prayers of people from The Internet made having to put my newborn through brain surgery was made slightly easier. Many times, the people in the computer were more present for me than the friends I’ve made outside of the computer. And because I was able to pull my feelings into a readable (okay, that’s debatable) format, many of the people who know my blog were able to tap into the real me. They didn’t have to see my frazzled hair or blood-shot eyes, they didn’t have to come over and witness for themselves the balls of dog hair floating about my house to know who I am.

The blogs with whom I have personally connected are of the same ilk. Maybe they don’t sit around talking about deep and meaningful stuff (preferably they don’t) but on some level I can relate to their owner. Maybe they make me laugh, maybe they make me think, maybe they just make me like them. And in some way, I feel like I know them.

I’m not saying that everything that The Internet says is true. God knows that everyone has left the worst parts of our personalities (let’s hope) out of their blogs. I mean, I hate to tell you this, but my waist is not ACTUALLY 24 inches. Hell, it’s even possible that my favorite bloggers are simply PRETENDING to be who they say they are when they are really midget transsexuals living in Decatur. But it’s possible that the friends outside of the computer I’ve had for 15 years are actual midget transsexuals living in Decatur too. Maybe they just hide it really well.

Stranger things have happened. 

What do YOU think, DD’s Internet?

RETIRING, PREGNANT, AND GETTING A CT SCAN

What if I told you I’m retiring from blogging?

I’m not. I just wanted to get your commenting juices flowing. You’d have to cut off my fingers to get me to stop blogging. Then you’d have to remove all pencils with eraser heads on them because I swear I would tap out a post, letter by letter, by holding one in my mouth.

What if I told you I’m pregnant au natural?

I’m not. I just wanted to get your blood pumping, whether in excitement or anger. And pregnant naturally?? HAHAHAHA ***wiping jovial tears away***! You guppy.

What if I told you that the daycare dropped ZGirl on her head…again?

They didn’t. I just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention. Still looking for a replacement though so that whole lightning doesn’t strike twice thing doesn’t help me much.

So, do I have your attention? Good. You’ll need it for later.

Now . . . run along.

CONE OR CUP

I think I have misplaced what I would equivocate as my pimp hand when it comes to blogging. It’s not that I’m no longer bitter, but maybe my daughter has been the honey on my spoon that eases that nasty aftertaste.

It might be the lack of adult, human interaction I haven’t had recently, which since the beginning of the year, has been reduced to my husband during the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Trust me when I say “adult” refers only to his physical age. His mentality rivals my seven year old son’s.

It also might be I’m not reading enough blogs that write stuff that get under my skin – aside from the earlier post about those who ask for handouts. Instead I’ve settled into the overstuffed easy chair that is my blogroll.

It’s no wonder many bloggers go out with a bang instead of letting themselves become simpering dolts who whine and complain about losing their pimp hands, and possibly even thinking that “pimp hand” is a hip and cool reference.

What has happened to me? I’ve become…vanilla!

PICS DRUNK CROTCH

Sorry, none here, but I can’t help but wonder….WHAT. THE. FARK?

Aren’t search terms fun? This is just one that stood out today. The list is seemingly endless.

Tell me one of your most memorable search terms that you’ve used (if you dare to share) or that you’ve had show up on your blog?

Today marks Day 3 of 7 for National Delurking Week. Delurk!