Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Questions My Readers Would Ask Me If I Was A Better Blog Host.

First of all, I want to say a big fat huge THANK YOU to everyone who read and shared my last post.  I was shocked to discover just how far on the interwebs my little blog had spread and for that I am so grateful.

To tell you the truth, I'm always a little bit skeptical that there are actual real people out there reading my posts, and to know that some of you really care about what I have to say always blows my mind a little bit. It's awesome. I will try not to bore all my new readers to tears with stories about my freakishly adorable children, or poop, or how I haven't slept for more than 5 hours straight in the past four years (and there go all my blogging ideas. Grrreeeaat.).

Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I was able to see that I had a huge number of hits on my website this past weekend. I did a little happy dance every time I refreshed the page...not that I'm self-obsessed or anything.  However, I noticed that even though there were lots of people reading my blog, there weren't any people commenting on my blog.  And I began to wonder...

- if I smelled bad.  Virtually or otherwise.
- if my readers are scared of me.
- if I'm doing something to put off commenting.

Because even though I love writing, I also love reading what you think about my writing, and I love finding out more about the people who care about the same things that I do.  Maybe it's my fault that you don't feel comfortable enough around here to leave me a comment - and that, my friends, will never ever do.  I am nothing if not hospitable!  Actually, I am the kind of person who obsesses about the comfort of my guests before they arrive.  I over-clean and over-cook and over-bake and then when my guests are here I feed them to the point of barfage.  Okay, so it's possible that I come on a little too strong.  But I fear that the opposite is happening here at V2B.  Maybe I'm not coming on strong enough?

Therefore and ergo (my two big words of the day), I have decided to pull up some chairs, put on a pot of tea (not coffee), and offer you some treats.  In a manner of speaking.  No, I'm not going to ask you to leave me a comment in exchange for free gifts (homey don't play that. See here for details).  What I am going to do, is tell you some stories.  About myself.  And maybe you will start to feel a little bit more comfortable around me, and maybe we can take the next step to commenthood together. But first we have to stop flirting and get to first base.  Are you ready to take the plunge?  I am!

So here we go.  I give you:

The Questions My Readers Would Ask Me If I Was A Better Blog Host.

I can't comment on your blog because your name puts me right off.  How do you pronounce it?  How do you pronounce the names of your husband and children?  Why do you have such weird names?  What is wrong with you?
I'm so sorry about that.  I blame my parents for basically giving me an unpronounceable name.  I should just turn it into a symbol - you know, like Prince did between the times he was known as Prince.  My name (Mahreen) is pronounced MARE-REAN.  Mare like a female horse, and rean that rhymes with bean. So now you're probably wondering what that silent 'h' is doing smack-dab in the middle of my name.  Basically it's there just to piss people off.  Trust me on that one.

Yousuf (the husband) is pronounced YOU (like the opposite of me)-SUF(like the first syllable in the word "suffer").  His family, however, calls him Chris.  I call him El Cheapitan (and other terms of endearment that are meant for our ears alone).  He will answer to any or all three of those names, but prefers if you make an effort to at least try to say Yousuf.

Inara is our eldest daughter.  Her name is pronounced EE-NAA-RA.  I can see how people would want to say IN-nara, but that's not how we pronounce it.  It just doesn't sound as nice as EE-nara to us.  I guess we could have just named her Enara instead of Inara, but that's not how the name is spelled.  Hmmm.  I suppose I went and gave her an unpronounceable name, just like my parents did with me.  I rock.

Lastly, Nissa is our wee baby girl.  Her name is pronounced NISS-A.  It's really that simple. Except for the fact that everyone wants to call her Nisa-rhymes-with-Lisa.  It's not that hard, people.  There are TWO s's, not one.  Figure it out.

I really loved that last blog post you did, but then you fell off the face of the earth.  Why don't you post every day?  What is wrong with you?
It's just me here.  There's no helpers or housekeepers or assistant-type people or even grandparents. My wonderful husband does so much to help me carve out some time in the day just for me, but he does have a full-time job, and well, my full-time job is being with my kids.  In between bum-wiping, meal-making, breaking up fights, running to and from school, and being completely responsible for two other human beings, it's a wonder I remember to even put pants on in the morning. (Note to self: Find pants for tomorrow morning.  The pants you are currently wearing are disgusting. Your mother would be horrified.) In fact, it's probably taken me three weeks just to write this whole post.

So, while I would love to blog every day (goodness knows I have enough ideas), finding the time isn't always that easy.  I have good weeks and bad weeks when it comes to posting depending on what is going on here at home, but I do always write a little bit every day.  I just wish I could find a way to do it all.

I once read that the number one rule for growing your blog is to post every single day, regardless of how good your content is.  Honestly, I just can't get with that.  What good does it do my readers, or myself, to read some half-assed post that is just thrown together at the last minute?  Believe me, I am FAR too obsessive-compulsive (it's a gift) to let that happen.  So, even though you may not get to read something here every single day, rest assured that I am always working.  On something. And hopefully the poopie-diaper fairies will take pity on me long enough to post it more often than not.

What lead you to start blogging?  Was it the lure of money? Or fame? Or the joy you would receive from an endless stream of comments from people you don't know?  What is wrong with you?
I have always loved the written word.  I love books and reading and writing - I have for as long as I can remember.  I used to write little poems in grade school, scrawled on scrap pieces of construction paper.  When I was in the eighth grade I used to carry around a little Bart Simpson notepad and write prose - it was all very angsty and emotional and basically it was the only way that I could deal with not being tall, popular, and pretty.

In high school I loved English and History but I took Science and Math.  I still wrote stories and poems in my math binder or science lab notebook, but I never showed them to anyone.  I grew up.  I went to college. I tried to become a doctor.  I hated it.  I got depressed.  I stopped writing. I worked for a pharmaceutical company.  That just made me even more depressed. I got married.  I moved away to a different country and away from my family and friends and everything I knew.  I got depressed again.

I tried to make myself a better person in order to fix myself.  I worked for non-profit agencies.  I started writing press releases instead of poetry.  I was helping others but not really helping myself. It blew chunks. Then I became a mother.

I looked at my baby girl and wanted to write a thousand love letters to her.  But I was just too tired. My baby grew and my husband finished grad school and I became a kick-ass mother and wife.  But I still wasn't complete. I picked up a paintbrush to find myself.  I sucked at it.. I picked up a camera, and I loved it, but still...there was something missing.  We moved again.  I got pregnant. I had another beautiful baby girl.  And this time, mothering wasn't as hard.  I wasn't so tired.  I wasn't so sad. I was alone again, in another new place, but I wasn't lonely.

Slowly, very slowly, I started once again, to write.  Bits and pieces, here and there, scribbles on grocery lists, lines on the inside covers of coloring books...but ever so slowly the stories started flowing again.  And I knew that I had to keep writing.  I decided that I was a writer.  I wasn't going to become one - I already was one, I had been for a long time.  Even if I never got paid for it (which I'm not, currently), I could still do what made me happy.  I could write.  And so I started a blog...and I can't thank you enough for giving me a chance for sharing my writing with you. I finally feel like I am doing something that makes me really and truly fulfilled, and knowing that there are people who are reading my words makes it all the more worthwhile.

Why do you take so many pictures?  Don't you have anything better to do with your time...like say, write a blog post every day? That's what REAL Bloggers do.  What is wrong with you?
I take pictures because I feel like everything in my life needs to be documented.  I have a problem with enjoying the moment because I'm always trying so hard to capture it.  It really is an issue. My kids hate it. My husband thinks that I am off my rocker.  Luckily for you, it gives my readers some visual interest in addition to my spectacularly long-winded writing.  Lucky you! Part of the reason that it takes me so long to post is the fact that I try to add a picture to every piece.  So I guess I'm a hybrid phlogger/blogger.  Or something.

Anyway, processing pictures is - for me, at least - quite a process.  It takes me time to tease out what I'm after when I look at an image that I've photographed, probably because I'm anal and terribly self-conscious about my photography skills, so I over-compensate by trying too hard to make things perfect, thereby losing valuable blogging time.  That is definitely something I need to work on.

Please tell us. What is wrong with you?
Seriously.  After all that, do you really even have to ask?

Alrighty, my sweets.  That is basically everything you never needed to know about me.  Aren't you so glad you never asked those questions?  But now - it's your turn.  Pull up your own chair, sit down for a minute and tell me about yourself.  Who are you?  Where are you from?  What do you like or hate about V2B? Do you find me insufferably boring?  More than a bit neurotic?  Well fine, then.  Be that way.

Let's get to know each other.  How about this.  I promise to answer EVERY comment that is written after this blog post.  Even if it means that my children go hungry and I don't shower for three days.

Did I mention that I'm also a compulsive liar?  Well, it's true.  Or it may not be - you'll never know because I may or may not be lying about it.  In fact, I may or may not be lying about this whole post.  I might actually be a big hairless dude with too much earwax and an overgrowth of belly button lint.  Oh, crud.  Now I've just offended hairless people with earwax and belly button lint issues.  Way to go, Mahreen.

Let's do this thang, peeps.  Bring it on like Donkey Kong.

Oh, here is my obligatory picture of the post.  It has nothing to do with anything.

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