Tuesday, January 09, 2007

overwhelmed by the cuteness

No, I'm not the only reviewer on this site. The rest are all just lazy drunken slackers (not that there's anything wrong with a lazy drunken slacker). I hear that more reviews will be posted this week, which means that the team is now apparently recuperated from their seriously drunken partying holiday gatherings.

Okay, so today I'm reviewing a mommy blog, Team Jacquot. Or, in this case, a military mommy blog. I'm finding that even mommy blogs have their own subtypes now.

I'm not a huge fan of the mommy/wifey blogs. I have to admit, upfront, that like Ms. Kitty, I prefer more of a train wreck. This blog is way too much adorable bland cuteness for me, kinda like eating the meringue off the key lime pie and leaving the tart stuff behind, all sweet and frothy and goodness and light.

The recent postings are the epitomy of bland, albeit cute, and the recipes look good. I suspect Beth is a good cook. But bland like the plain bag of oatmeal in the variety box bland.

So, I started scouring the older postings. I think that Team Jacquot was started when Beth, the primary author, had a husband stationed in Iraq. Like many of us who began blogging our way through a difficult situation and kept it up when things evened out, Beth's earliest postings are about her husband's assignment to Iraq and being left behind with a little boy, alone. Her readers appear to be primarily her husband, family members, and other military wives in the same or similar boats. Her blogs are are mostly hopeful and often pretty mundane, the mommy of a toddler keeping a stiff upper lip while her hubby is on the battle front, but there are moments of damn fine writing.

The best I found was this one, written by her husband, Abe:

We fly around above a battle field that used to be a huge city. Good guys look like bad guys. Bad guys look like good guys. A city, nay a country on fire. We want to help. They want us to die. We just want to sell them McFreedom and we will even super size it to McDemocracy for the low, low price of a controlling interest in their natural resource exports. Heavy man heavy. I sure am full but the refills are free. What to do? What to do.

The rest of that posting is equally good, and well worth a read, giving a mile high insider perspective at the surreal life of a pilot conducting missions over Iraq.

I probably wouldn't add this blog to my blogroll, although I will be making the broccoli soup sometime this week. It's f'ing hard to critique a blog like this. If this blog is primarily directed at family and existing friends, it's fine. If Beth hopes to introduce her blog to other people, though, it would be nice to get a bit more of her inner thoughts, feelings, hopes. They are there sometimes, but only in bits and pieces. Her little boy is too cute for words, but since I have one of those already, sleeping as I type this on a sleeping bag in my office since he wasn't "feeling good" today, I don't really need more cute.

If it were my blog, I'd probably try to write more in-depth things and vamp up the template, but it isn't my blog. There are a million blogs out there like this one, but there also isn't anything really wrong with it.

I give it and a yawn.

Beth, my best advice to you is to figure out why you are blogging. If you are primarily doing it to inform family/friends of your daily doings, well then I'll pat you on your head and send you on your way because you don't really need my feedback. But if you want to write, and you are blogging to develop your writing, you need to think more about your own distinct voice and what you have that you want to say or express to the world.

Your husband, Abe, has a clear, well-defined voice, he writes well and is bluntly candid about his situation. His voice is compelling because you can sense the real person behind his words. Your posts seem to have something hidden in them. There is a person there, behind them, but you don't show her to us. Your blog is mainly just an online accounting of your daily activities, like a personal diary left open on the counter for anyone at all to read, sanitized so it doesn't offend or perturb.

And frankly, it's the sanitizing that I think has killed your writing voice.

Here's an example of a mommy blog that never bores me because she has (in spite of a hideous template and font that is 4X too big) found her own unique voice:

Drunken Housewife

I'm referencing this just to show you that it can be done, if you really want feedback on your blog from an objective source. On the other hand, by giving up your anonymity on your blog, you have also sacrificed something that I like the best about blogging, which is being able to say whatever the fuck I think on any given subject without worrying that it's going to come back and cause repercussions for me in the real world.

Other than that, there isn't much to say except to wish you well, and to thank you and Abe for your sacrifices on behalf of the rest of us.


  1. Thanks for the review. I have to agree with just about everything you said. Sometimes I myself, am bored by my own ramblings. Maybe one day I will grow a pair and actually blog from the heart without worrying about what others think.

  2. There are very few "mommy blogs" I read -- Cranky Momma, Mommy has a Headache, and Supafine are really the only ones I know of which fit the category. I cannot stand Sweetney (the bitch).


Grow a pair.