Interview with CP

This week’s PenPals participant is CP, she is one of three contributors at 3 Giraffes. I met two of the three giraffes at a BlogHer in July. I thought it was so interesting that they would team blog. Personally, I can’t get along with anyone long enough to share squat with them. Remember when Peter kicked me off his domain because I was jacking up his stats? Don’t try to attribute it to my being an only-child either. That surely cannot be it.

Anyway, back to CP. We met. We talked. We talked about my skirt. And then some time went by and there was an inbound link in my admin panel thingy (yes, that’s the official WordPress name for that – did you not read the manual?). Anyway, I generally freak out when I see inbound links. WHY are people linking to me? So, I clicked. And there was reference to an outburst that I had at BlogHer (long story short, I am an ultimate fangirl, if I meet you in public you might be a little scared) and they figured out that it was me. Me me of Pink Asparagus me. But they spun my crazy as delightful and now we’re all BFF.

So, you should also give mad props to someone that can find me “so nice, so funny and so gracious.”

Would you classify your online existence as transparent or compartmentalized? Why? Is it by design or just the evolution of your actual life?

I would have to say, at this point, my online existence is fairly compartmentalized.  I’ve kept my blog mostly a secret from people I know in real life.  A few people know about it but I really find that I tend to censor myself if I think about facing those people after they’ve read some of my more soul-baring posts.  I do, however, have a more transparent online existence via Facebook and there is definitely more and more cross-over every day.

Kim (another giraffe) and I went to BlogHer this summer (where we had the absolute delight of meeting you!) and we went to have a book signed by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor of Baby on Bored.  While waiting for her signing session to start, Kim and I were photographed by the infamous photographer from the New York Times.  I’m sure you all remember the uproar over the photo of BlogHer that was run in the Style section.  Anyway, the photographer asked us for our names and url’s and I panicked for a moment.  First I gave her my full name.  Then I asked her not to use my last name.  My husband’s family are avid NYT readers and I could just picture the end result if any one of them saw my photo in the NYT.   I really do not want my family, in-laws or anyone, reading the blog nor did I really want to have to explain what the blog was and why we have one.

So why did I start out completely anonymous (which was my initial plan)?  I really wanted a place where I could vent about people around me without dealing with the ramifications of hurt feelings, damaged friendships, etc.  Turns out?  I don’t really use the blog to vent about people in my close circle of friends or really even that much about my community.  I wrote one post that had been brewing for a while (and was probably one reason I started the blog) but I never went back and revisited that topic or that person.  I just don’t feel the need to anonymously vent like I thought I did.   Turns out?  I find plenty of things every single day to vent about that I don’t need to do anonymously.

Who are you in real life?

In real life I am a 38 year old mom of 3 kids, attorney and wife to a software engineer, and hopefully a good friend.  My son turns 12 in a couple of weeks and my oldest daughter is 10 1/2.  My youngest daughter is 7 1/2.  I spend a lot of time at soccer fields, at baseball diamonds, at music lessons and, lately, running as I am running my first (and only) marathon on October 5th.

What’s an ideal day for you look like?

Ideal day?  Hmmm, an ideal day would probably involve sleeping until about 7 or so, going for a long run in the sunshine (rare here in Seattle), a hot shower and then multiple cups of coffee while reading the paper.  The kids would manage to be up and have had breakfast without any intervention from me.  Let’s see this is MY ideal day so I think we’re actually on vacation in a tropical paradise so, after coffee and the paper, we all head down to the beach and do some snorkeling, body surfing and swimming with the turtles.  Someone else makes lunch and we eat at the beach while someone brings my husband and I frozen margaritas.  After consuming an incredible dinner, once again prepared by someone else, the kids head off to bed and husband and I go for a walk and stop for drinks at some beach side bar.

How did your team blog come about?

I actually started two team blogs.  3giraffes was BigMama and myself.  Then there was another blog, called 3women7kidsandalottawhine that was started by Kim and myself and we invited a third friend of ours to join.  Heather was really busy then and hasn’t really been interested in blogging.  I managed to keep 2 Twitters and 2 blogs independent for a short while but eventually it made much more sense to have Kim come and join BigMama and I over at 3giraffes.

In case you haven’t guessed, I pretty much don’t take on anything social where there is a chance I can look like a big fool without dragging someone else into it with me.  Throwing a party?  I’ll do it with a couple of others but not by myself.  Hosting an event?  Ditto.  I always think that, by bringing someone else into it, the event will become a success due to the other person’s far more developed sense of social graces.

What do you blog about?

Pretty much anything that’s on my mind.  Kids, work (to some degree- I do exercise caution here), marriage, the gym.  Bathrooms and elevators in my office building come up A LOT.

When did you begin blogging?

I only started blogging in March of this year.  I think I’ve been reading blogs for about 4 or 5 years but only decided to take the plunge about 6 months ago.

What does blogging do for you?

It does a couple of things for me.  One is that I can ramble on and on about something that is on my mind at that moment and just get it out there and out of my head.  Then I love it when people comment on either the fact that they had the same thought/thing happen to them or with some great insight and advice (if I had posted a question).

What do you hope your blog does for others?

Good question.  I’m not sure I’ve actually thought about it from that point of view.  (Scolds self for being so self-involved!)  I do hope that people, depending on the topic, either get a good laugh out of a post or feel as though they’re not alone in something.  Lately we’ve been doing more political posts and I hope people get a chance to express their opinions and know we read them and think about what they’ve said.

Do your day-to-day in-person friends read you? If not, why not? If so, do they say much to you about it?

Mostly no.  I think four people I know in real life who I see on a regular basis read the blog.  I’d prefer to keep it that way.  Only one or two of them really every say much about it although they all do occasionally.  There are a couple of who start many conversations with “So I read on your blog…”

There are actually three or four other people who know about the blog who have no interest in reading it as far as I know.  I’ve made it a point not to bring it up and I assume they’ve just forgotten about it.  Guess I’m really not that interesting.  :)

Have you ever taken down a post? If yes, without divulging your inner-most secret, can you say why?

I actually have not taken down a post… yet.  I had written a draft of a post that was going to be one of those “venting about those in the close circle of people here in Seattle” but hadn’t yet posted it.  That person happened to leave their one and only comment the very same morning the post was going to go up.  I never did post it.   As far as I know, that person has never come back but I probably will never put that post up.

Do you check your stats? If so, what are you looking for?

We finally did put up a stat counter a couple of months ago.  I check it occasionally but look more at the locations stats than the numbers.  I’m always excited to see where people live who read our blog.  It’s really kind of cool to see people in S. Africa, Iceland, all over Europe, etc coming and reading what we have to say.

If you could make one rule for the Internet what would it be?

No anonymous trolls.  We have been lucky (or maybe we’re still just too new) but we haven’t had any trolls, any negative comments and I think, only one anonymous comment.  But I’ve seen the horrendous things people have commented on other blogs and it just seems so pointless to be mean and then hide behind the anonymous comment.  If you really feel that strongly, then stand up and own your feelings.  Be respectful and leave the line open for dialogue after you’ve disagreed with someone.

What do you think your blog will be like in 5 years?

I fully expect all 3 of us will be writing about our angst of having multiple teenagers in our homes and I’ll still be rambling on about my issues with personal space.

Since we met at BlogHer, are you planning to got to BlogHer ’09? Why or why not?

Kim and I have actually been talking about BlogHer ’09.  If it’s in Portland (where I lived from 1994-2003), Kim and I will definitely be making plans to go.  And maybe we’ll get BigMama to join us all the way from Japan.  She and I met when we both lived in Portland.

What do you wish I asked? Ask and answer:

Who do you think should be in charge of running things in the universe?  Answer: Me, of course.  Shit would get done and people would learn the art of not standing too close in elevators, not peeing in the stall right next to me and how to use one of the 25 empty treadmills instead of the one right next to the one I’m using.

Thanks CP for spending your time posting to my blog, I really appreciate it. Next week we’ll meet one of the other giraffes!

3 smart people left their mark:

  1. patois, 26. September 2008, 8:12

    Love your set-up of the interview and, of course, the interview itself. I so get a kick out of 3giraffes. CP’s ideal day all sounds divine, except I’m not joining her for the run.

    patoiss last blog post..Gains and Losses

  2. MzEll, 26. September 2008, 9:16

    Yay Chris! This was great guys, thanks for sharing it all with us.

    MzElls last blog post..Bidness

  3. BigMama, 26. September 2008, 9:35

    Wow…lot’s a thought went into both questions/answers…
    Thank you for doing this!

    BigMamas last blog post..CP Interview over at Pink Asparagus