Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Litany of Langorous Longings

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. -Russell Baker

Yes I'm back and yes, I am aware you probably didn't even notice I was gone. I cast off the dominatrix gear in favour of the gauzy livery of the season. I traipsed across some of the most bucolic beaches, I savored the most theurgical sunsets, I sipped potent potions until I settled into the halcyon disposition I yearned for. And yes, I took my thesaurus along fuck you very much. The summer has just begun in earnest and here I sit, ready to review a blog whilst I down my umpteenth Arnold Palmer and try not to wilt.

Susan, in an entry dated back in April, contemplates whether the malefeasants here at Ask actually read the blogs they have been punished, uh, I mean assigned. Sadly Susan and not entirely lucky for you, we do. Our personal quest to bring readers read-worthy blogs like this and this and this means we have to slog through blogs that are as feculent as the end of the state fair's overfilled port-o-pottys.

Susan also considers the crew here when she tells us,
they fucking scare me. Yikes. I mean, how about that guy with the big eyebrow? Holy Mother of God. Of course, one lucky blog submitter landed herself a "guest reviewer", who was actually kind of nice. Well, she only tore up about half an ass that day. I would take half an ass tearing anyday from this group.
Susan punctuates that with a nice little graphic at the end.

Now dear, if you did indeed get Nutjobber, I'm sure the whole acorn in the arse thing would be right up his alley, pun intended. However, you got Miss Missives, and I am less about ass tearing and acorn shoving and more about spiky boot poking. Hope you're not too tender fleshed.

Your design is okay. I can get behind the header but the small font on the red background gave me a temple-pounding headache. I am biased against the three column design because I never know where to look. I would ditch the three-column and add some tabs for things like your blogroll and awards, as they are better suited off the main page. Things like your About Me and Archives should be at the top.

As far as the writing goes, I think I know what you're going for but you're not quite getting there. The kid stuff is fine, contrary to popular belief, we are not fundamentally anti-mommy blogger around here, but it should be tight and it should be funny. This has potential as does this but they need to be heavily edited and scrap the openers which would have made me quit reading before I had ever got to the good stuff were I not reading in the capacity of reviewer. This is a good example of tight, it's the on-two punch and it's funny.

On a personal note, the reading experience for me was a bit whiny. I know, I know, it's your place to vent as you cautioned in your About Me. Listen, I know how difficult it must be to navigate the waters of divorce and exes and current husband's exes, and ex-exes and currents of exes and new ones and those other ones and well, their kids too. In the realm of divorce, it's rarely about just one parent being the bad guy. When you go on and on about your husband's ex-wife it makes you seem threatened or bitter and I don't think that's you. Seriously, she does not deserve mention on your About Me page. You are so much more than that and I know you have so much more to say. I think you have some good reasons to be angry but I would focus your writing, when you feel compelled to get something off your chest, on what she has done versus your opinion of her. Readers will get the gist based on her actions and you won't appear to have New Wife Syndrome. Or don't, what do I know.

As a whole, this was a little Meh with a side of one wee Star. Most posts went on too long, editing would go a long way to making this far more readable. Susan has snark but she needs to know when to stop writing. There is a lot of potential for great stories like crushing your kid's lemonade stand hopes, but seriously, you need to put a few stitches in that gaping hole because that shit ain't tight.


  1. Vivian VonDoom7/08/2009 11:43 AM

    Oh, isn't just so shocking that we actually READ the blogs we review?

  2. I found her funny enough, but the template ruins it for me. I don't even want to read. Three columns of way too much stuff, light text on a dark background (on my browser anyway), and the text goes from big to small to left aligned to centered to who the fuck knows.

    No one ever believes we read the blogs because that gives them the opportunity to say we didn't try hard enough to "get" them.

    Welcome back, Miss. You were, well, missed.

  3. light on dark is bad? I spent two days modding mine

  4. I hate light on dark, but apparently my blog has it for IE users and I can't figure out how to fix it.

  5. Chris, are you anti-link? I notice yours isn't working anymore.

  6. Anti link? Im messing with my temp for the last two days.

  7. I definitely did not hate her.

    But I agree about the template. I didnt want to stare at it to long, it was making my eye twitch.

  8. That was me, I totally am the cause of minor strokes.

    This one not done yet I just need the slidry doo dads. Thaey speak to my ADD

  9. I think Im stroking out, sorry bout the gibberish.

    I cant say why I don't like her template but I don't.

  10. MissMissives7/08/2009 12:42 PM

    I was asking Chris b/c I linked you in my review as a good blog. The link isn't going to your site right now so I thought maybe you were shy.


  11. Ok... I survived the spikey boot. Thanks for the feedback - design wise I'm clueless as I had someone do it for me. Otherwise, I will attempt to de-whine.

  12. You know how sometimes you write reviews and then someone comments with a "I actually really liked this blog," and you must be thinking, "Well, who the fuck asked you?"

    Which is fair enough.

    But I really liked this blog.

  13. I am shy but the link seems to work.

    You might want to clear you cache and try again.

    Im sorry Mrs customer but I cant duplicate the issue, it seems to be a browser problem.

    That was my service voice.

    I thank you for your vote of confidence and your constant use of Jazzhands makes me want to kiss you.

  14. I think you made a linking error, Miss Missives. You linked me with Pos & Chris. If that was on purpose - wow, thank you.

    This whole "not reading the blog" idea seems to be a running complaint. I never get that impression when I read a review. It seems to me that the reviewers put a lot of time and energy into each review.

    I'm going to read some more of her stuff before I decide either way how I feel about her. I kind of like whiny bloggers, truth be told.

  15. Missmissives7/08/2009 12:56 PM

    Oh Gwen, you're funny. Uh, yes I linked you on purpose.

  16. And as I actually now see what you mean by the one-two punch when I look at which posts you highlighted.

    I think I just need to write when I'm sober. Much more precise which now be my focus.

  17. Damnit! Yesterday I was all worried that I may very well be a drama queen. Today? Confirmed! I love that dark, sexy, cluttered, three columned, crazy font template.
    Then again, all I actually read about was the lemonade stand.

  18. Shes kinda hot, so I like her blog!

    This is why Im not a reviewer.

  19. Miss Missives7/08/2009 1:02 PM

    If this was a friend of mine, I would love this blog probably because I would know the rest of Susan's personality and meld that with her commentary. The hard thing about reviewing so many blogs is that after reading some fantastic writers, it's hard to read the good(ish) blogs. I am much harder to "grab" read wise than I was even a year ago. Susan, there's good stuff there and I found you to be very likable, now just edit more and try to write about a wider variety of things.

    One star might seem lame but around here, one star means you are worth reading. When you put it against the flaming fingers and go fuck yourselfs, it's pretty good.

  20. I think 'More Wine' is always a good rule of thumb.

  21. Miss Missives7/08/2009 1:05 PM

    By the way, I didn't link it but Susan wrote about her husband's taint and he wrote about 'mowing his lawn', so you know, she clearly fits in around here.

  22. Wow, this woman IS a drama queen. Exes suck. But, it's all relative. I could tell her stories that would make her hair fall out about my ex-husband.

    Her problems are mild.

  23. Miss, that comment you left? If this woman was a friend of mine blahggity blah blah?

    So true.

    I feel like such a bitch sometimes, because really, really, really...I only want to read blogs where the writing is phenomenal. Honestly, I'm not doing this shit to make friends. I want to read good writing full of personality, and I want that personality to echo something I identify with.

    I think I need to clear out my blog roll.

  24. I feel the same way about my blogroll at times because I feel a certain obligation to read certain blogs that I've been reading forever and who have been faithful readers of mine at times (none present, I'd give ya'll virtual footrubs if I could). But then what happens in the end is that there are really kick ass writers I let fill up in my reader and when I get to them, I read them in a rush. Fuck that.

    But I'd be a liar to say it hasn't become about friendship for me too over time.

  25. Internet friendships are just like, a pleasant side effect of trying to zone in on writing and finding a style.

    Plus, I get to talk about myself.

  26. The gorgeous and thoughtful and intellectual writing of yesterday's blog (couched in a blog design with confusing navigation) gets all around mehs but this one says "taint" and she's in. Y'all are a fickle, vulgar bunch, which is probably why I love you so.

  27. You've got to admit that the word taint is simply fabulous. It tain't, however, something that's gonna keep me coming back forever.

    Oh, and Rass? I know you keep reading my blog because I'm keeping your filly hostage.

    Jesus I fuckin' love myself!

  28. And now I would like to make a note of the fact that I am still laughing hysterically.
    Fuck, get a life MG!

  29. I'm just going to go on record saying that y'all should probably not even bother with my blog.

    It's been a load of horseshit lately.

  30. But Booms, y'all are becoming media moguls and shit what with the TV and the radio and the t-shirt and the hot sauce.

  31. Sadly, it's gotten to the point where I'm all, "who has time to write?" (glug glug)

  32. In honor of today's blogger I am releasing my treatise on taints earlier then planned.

  33. Hey, how do I get a spiky boot up my ass?

  34. Danielle, up at the top where it says "Submit." But I warn you: get rid of the bold and italics type on your site. No rush, though. We have a longish waiting list so won't get to you for a couple of months, I think.

  35. Even use of the word taint isn't enough to redeem this blog for me.

  36. I've been thinking:
    1) Miss Missives gave this blog one "MEH" along with one "Star".
    2) We've also discussed the reviewee's use of the word 'taint'.
    3) Taint in my part of the world is described as, "Tain't pussy, tain't ass...just somethin' in the middle."
    4) I think ASK should consider having a new rating level called 'Taint' when a blog is just somethin' in the middle.

  37. Miss Missives7/08/2009 5:57 PM

    MG I like it, taint, t'aint great but t'aint awful either.

  38. Just somewhere inbetween, baby. Just somewhere inbetween.

    Leg hump?
    Pumpkin muffin?

  39. Wow, Chris, you really know how to clear a room.

  40. I did just fuck you over there on your blog, Chris. Well, I read it for the first time anyway. I even added you to my reader. Why has this not happened before? I hold you completely responsible.

  41. The Meritocrat7/09/2009 3:18 AM

    Father Gene, what have you done:

    (and can you do more of it?)

  42. First off, Miss Missives: I love the fact that you gave her the "you've been reviewed" notification comment on that post in April rather than her most recent.

    I have to agree with the general consensus: the template (especially the dark back, light text) isn't my taste and makes for difficult navigation.

    The content is a mixed bag for me, much like a lot of the mommy bloggers I read/share a community with: some stuff (i.e. the parenting stories) are good, and for the most part funny; the rest of it isn't my bag, however.

    As an aside, I wrote a paragraph or two about the possibility of being reviewed here when I was first considering submitting. I'm curious if my reviewer will discover it when my review comes up (yes I did finally submit) because I can't see anyone reading over 700 (probably over 800 given the time from submit to review is so long right now) posts just to review me.

  43. I'm glad you did that, Sci Fi. Your blog is awesome. I think you'll get a rave review. I just submitted for a re-review because I'm a masochist, apparently sexually and otherwise.

    Unlike Sci Fi Dad, I'm not always interested in just the parenting stories. It takes a talented person to write about kids and keep me interested. I like a good blend of parenting stories and stories about the woman or the man who also happens to be a parent. Zen Mom is a great example of that. And Formerly Fun. If I'm only getting the mom perspective in a blog it bores me. We aren't just moms (or dads)...we are so many other things too. Or we should be.

  44. Gwen - so does that mean my blog bores you?

  45. I love your blog, Sci Fi. I can see the man behind the father in your words. And like I said, it takes a talented writer to keep me interested in parenting/kids. You are. I wouldn't read and comment if I didn't find you interesting.

  46. Well, just to close the circle of mutual admiration in one big orgasmic group hug ... thanks for the compliment, Gwen. I hope you know that your blog and SFDs are two of my hands-down favorites. Never miss 'em. And I agree, I usually like a broader brush than "just" parenting posts.

    Gwen, just my humble opinion, but your re-review should get an I-Fucking-Love-You. No question. Your writing rocks.

    SFD, I finally got the scrot to submit to AAYSR a few days ago, too. We can hold each other's virtual hands when we get reamed. :)

  47. Why is everyone such a kiss ass lately? Is there a full moon or something?


Grow a pair.