Archive for the ‘Academiblogger’ Category


July 14, 2008

The other night I did something that I had never done before: I Googled myself.

(No, seriously, I’d never done it, not once. Seriously. Because, you know, I’d heard you could go blind from it.)

Here’s the thing about Googling yourself: once you start, you can’t stop. Even when you go through a page of Google listings that have nothing to do you – I share my name, apparently, with numerous Irish women of the 19th century, and at least one high school sophomore in Chicago with a distinguished record in middle-distance running – it’s fascinating. And it’s all the more fascinating when you hit pages upon pages of links to references to yourself. Look – there’s me mentioned in the Globe And Mail! There’s my AlphaMom interview! There’s my first peer-reviewed academic article! There’s that cheesy essay about being Prime Minister that I wrote as an undergrad! Look, everyone: my 15 (fractions of) gigabytes of fame!

It is, in some respects, I suppose, the 21st century equivalent of rifling through a shoebox of mementos – the newspaper clippings that your mom collected and kept in a ragged file folder, the tattered certificates of achievement, that undergraduate essay that got published, somewhere, the picture of your graduating class – except that the things you find aren’t things that you’ve saved – they’re things that the Internet has saved. The virtual detritus of an unfamous but not entirely obscure life. Which makes it a little surreal. I came across that aforementioned undergraduate essay, along with a handful of professional academic articles, a lot of blog-related miscellany and an assortment of virtual newspaper clippings about awards and speeches and the various whatnots of an overfunctioning young woman trying to prove herself in a world that records bits and pieces of that life in code, and holds it out for anyone to see.

That Google search revealed, in some small and completely messed up way, an index of my life (and, of course, my blog life, which may or may not be the same thing) as it has been captured on the virtual screen. It is, for better or for worse, my biography as it appears to the virtual world. So I thought, why not use it to introduce myself? It is, after all, BlogHer week, and we should really be trying to get to know each other, better, no? And what better way to get to know a blogger than through her online profile? Herewith, then – Five Things That You Can Learn About Me Through Google:

1) Despite my protestations to the contrary, I am Tracy Flick. Rather, I was Tracy Flick, once upon a time. I am so not kidding. My career as an undergraduate was one long exercise in look how good I am! I am smart! And a good person! OMG I can totally save the world!

2) It was kind of sweet, though. I meant well. Also, I figured that if I played my cards right, I could be Prime Minister.

3) But then I decided that I hated politics, and committed myself to the pursuit of the philosophic life. In the pursuit of which, I embraced misanthropy, and publicly (academically) defended Hannibal Lector as a tragic Rousseauan figure. I’m still proud of that, as I am for having, in my first peer-reviewed book review, called out Erich Segal for writing what is possibly the worst book on comedy (v.v. the history of classical thought) ever written in the history of the world, ever.

4) Misanthropy gets old fast, though, so I turned my professional interests to love, sex and virtue in the history of political philosophy. Because, you know, love and sex are much more fun to think and write about than are grumpy, bourgeois-hating old men who may or may not indulge in a little cannibalism. Which brought me around to the field of academic research that I stuck with, which was women – and specifically motherhood – in the history of political philosophy. How did I get from misanthropic critiques of bourgeois liberalism to motherhood? Basically, this: they are, if done properly, the same thing.

5) Which brought me here, to the state of being and creating that is Her Bad Mother. Here – the domain of my Bad Motherness, Badtopia, Badmotherlandia, the Badlands – speaks for itself, I think. But if you’re new to HBM, and don’t feel like spending hours reading the archives, or if you just want a refresher on what I look and sound like (I am so much more, after all, than just words on a screen) Google offers you this HBM Live With LeahPeah On AlphaMom TV moment:

It’s two years old, but I haven’t really changed all that much. At all, really. So there you go. Just look for the blond bobbed, recovering-Tracy-Flick-with-babe-in-arms in San Francisco. That’ll be me.

(Um, hey? You should totally do this too! GoogleHer yourself! You know, for fun and edification.)

I Am The Cheese

March 10, 2007

Sometimes, WonderBaby puts cheese on her forehead. Soy cheese slices, specifically, because they have good traction. Real cheddar just won’t stay on there.

Today, I feel exactly like a limp piece of soy cheese product that has been pinched flat by a giant, shrieking toddler and then smushed onto the yogourt-smeared forehead of that same toddler and left to dangle pathetically for an eternity before collapsing with a grim slap onto the cold, hard plastic surface of a Fisher-Price booster seat tray.

And that, my friends, is why I should never, ever drink more than a thimbleful of any alcoholic beverage, and why I should never, ever chase three glasses of wine with three chocolate bars. BAD.

You’ll have to wait for that particular story, and you may have to wait a very long time – that is, unless one of my fellow debauched Toronto mommy blogger friends spills the details – because it is a very silly story and not all that interesting and because I anticipate being unable to even spell the word alcohol for weeks to come.

In unrelated news, you’ll also have to wait to find out what this picture has to do with you:

I know. I am killing you with the suspense.

While you’re waiting, I have a favour to ask. Go check out these posts by Joy and Mad – spectacular examples of meta-blogging at its finest – and give them some thought and leave your comments and maybe – maybe – write your own post. (Leave a comment for me if you do so that I can link to you. ) I’ll be weighing in later this weekend – once the Sauvignon Blanc has worked its way out of my system – and will be soliciting links to posts on the general topics of whence the mommyblogger? whither the mommyblogger? what, the mommyblogger? and WHY? in preparation for our conference panel in Kentucky (hell yeah!) later this month and other academibloggy projects. So, you’re in, right? Share your thoughts?

To get you started (feel free to consider any or all of these questions; suggestions for questions are more than welcome):

1. Who are we? What is a mommyblogger? What kind of mommyblogger (parent blogger) are you?
2. Who are we writing to? Who is our audience?
3. Why are we writing? What is our purpose?
4. What is the context for our writing? What are we saying? What is our message?
5. How does the medium of blogging affect all of the above (that is, does, or how does, the communication of our messages through blogs, bear upon the message itself? Bonus points if you leave Mcluhan out of it.)
6. What kind of citizen are you in the parent blogosphere? How and why do you comment? Link? Give awards? How important is ‘off-blog’ (or inter-blog) activity to the parent blogging community?
7. What are some tried and true hangover remedies that you know?

There you go. Discuss amongst yourselve. Am going to go curl up in a dark corner now…