Interview with Wreke

I took last Thursday off, sorry that I didn’t tell you ahead of time. I just didn’t feel I had anything intelligent or meaningful to add to a meaningful day.

But we’re all back now. Back to building our online communities. Back to learning more about our most favoritist bloggers. For those of you new to Pink Asparagus, Thursday is interview day where we go beyond the “About Me” found on all our pages. It’s no Campbell Brown Interview though. So, if you’d like to participate (and really, who wouldn’t? email me and I’ll hook you up).

Today we’re getting to know the woman behind wrekehavoc. Wreke and I connected over Community Identity

a new family moved in to my neighborhood last year. we’ve befriended them, and a funny thing has happened: when i’m running late because of my medical treatments, she gets my kids and hangs onto them til i get home. when she’s running late at work, i take her kids. we took care of their hamsters while they were out of town. it’s the most wonderful thing. some people probably just naturally have this; i never did until last year.

At the time she commented that, I too was forming bounds with my neighbors. And it is the most wonderful thing.

She has Guilty Pleasure Mondays – who doesn’t love music? So, when you’re done here – add her to your feed reader. You’ll be happy you did. Oh, before I forget – she knows Kelly O. IRL, so she has immediate street cred. Also, she’s participating in Blog Action Day, please support her in this.

Wreke, this are my five readers … five readers, this is Wreke.

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

this kind of reminds me of a question posed to ringo starr in the movie a hard day’s night: are you a mod or a rocker? and he replies, no, i’m a mocker.

seriously, my six+ years of blogging existence (i’ve been online via work or other reasons since 1995) is a mix of both. it’s pretty transparent in that what i reveal about myself is severely truthful. i’m there, warts and all. however, i compartmentalize it in a sense: there are certain topics i won’t touch that involve people close to me. i don’t feel i have the right to blog about certain aspects of other peoples’ lives. if the vehicle was a novel, well, you can certainly fictionalize reality and mask it sufficiently — and you have a certain amount of distance from the reader so that most people won’t know you from adam, nor will they care. but a blog — well it’s not too difficult to connect dots in a person’s public, personal journal; and plenty of my friends read it. (fortunately, my friends know me as a sort of misfit mom, so probably very little is shocking to them.)

so while i do write about my family, i try to write it in a way where i use what we around here refer to as the washington post rule: if you don’t feel comfortable with this item ending up on the front page of the post, then don’t blog about it. period.

Who are you in real life?

in real life, i’m a high school student by day, and i’m a spidey superhero by night… wait, wrong story.

i have been in governmental relations (read: lobbyist for a non profit); i have been a policy analyst; i have been in PR, i have been a volunteer; i have been a web content and design geek. now, thanks to my illness, i’m a stay at home mom who gets to indulge in my real career calling: writer.

i’m a very family-oriented jersey girl who is loyal to a fault, snarky to the hilt, and yet a complete and utter marshmallow on the inside. i have always wanted to be a writer, i have always been a writer, and i’ll always wonder why i wasted a ton of time being a person who did what others thought was the right path for me instead of being a writer.  i’m probably the meanest mom on the block; and i prefer the company of my kids to about 99 44/100 of the known universe (even though there are days when i might consider giving them away for free to the lowest bidder.)

oh, and i have a little bit of an obsession with music. you could say i’m a failed rock star, only i’ve never actually been in a band.

What’s an ideal day for you look like?

does it have to be reality-based? otherwise, it might involve bruce springsteen (did i mention i’m a jersey girl?), a tropical setting, and a drink with a funny umbrella.

in my real world, an ideal day is a day when my family gets together and just does something, something which does not involve lounging in front of the TV. we had a great day recently when we piled into the car and visited one of our local Smithsonian museums. i loved experiencing butterflies, dinosaurs, and mummies with my kids. hearing their observations about things they see and feel makes me grow from the inside out.

some of the best fun i have had involves sharing things i love with my kids — and seeing when they sometimes also love those things back. the first time my daughter rode a grownup rollercoaster with me, i saw her face completely light up with sheer joy. watching my son plunk around on the piano makes my heart smile. and our legendary family dance parties when the kids beg to hear the la’s or time warp is the capstone.

…then, when the babysitter arrives, my beloved spouse (known in my blog as BS) and i go out and see all our friends at a party where the drinks are free and they’re playing ’80s alternative all night long.

What do you blog about?

me, for i am the center of the known universe. [insert boulder of salt here.]

seriously, i blog about my experience as a mom, as a woman, as someone who observes people in a way that might be considered a professional sport. i blog about politics. i blog about music. i blog about dealing with this serious condition i have called CVID. i blog about whatever is unfortunate enough to cross my path. i’ve hit everything from explaining homosexuality to a nine year old to ranting about kids who are waaay too old to sit in strollers at walt disney world. it’s probably not as consistent as, say, a blog that sticks to parenting topics. a travel blog. a political blog. a food blog. but i never claimed to be consistent.

i’m just not quite categorizable. you just never know which windmill i’ll tilt at from day to day.

When did you begin blogging?

in 2002, when a friend gave me a paid livejournal account as a birthday present.

What does blogging do for you?

blogging helps me capture moments in my family’s and my life. it has also helped me to connect with people all over the world, people i’d otherwise maybe never get to meet. there are high school friends who have even found me, thanks to el bloggo.

and some days, it’s cheaper than a therapist.

What do you hope others get from your blog?

a chuckle. or maybe something to think about.

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

yes, they do. some comment; some send me email about my posts. my parents even read my blog — they often tell me that this is how they know what’s going on in my life in between phone calls.

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

no, though i was tempted to take one down once.

and other than spam, i also don’t delete comments. there was one time when the commenters, homeschooling moms who i unwittingly antagonized (and, in their defense, i painted a too-broad picture of something i didn’t know much about at the time), were getting out of hand, insulting me, my insistence on not using caps (it’s sheer laziness on my part: i was an english major, people, so i really DO have an inkling about proper grammar and punctuation), and even my mother.

i have no problem with dissent, especially when it’s reasoned. but when you go after my mother, i close down comments (and i did.) no one goes after my mother. especially if you don’t know her.

that’s my job.

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

i do check my stats. i am often fascinated by the keywords people use to get to my site. some are downright baffling; some are porn. plenty have to do with fat people disney world. go figure.

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

you don’t need to foist your stuff on other people via spam; find acceptable ways to lead people to you.

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

probably still whining, only now whining mercilessly about life with a teen and a tween. maybe with a design change that moves us out of black.

a book deal would be nice, of course. ::pinching self::

What do you wish I had asked? Please ask and answer.

q: why do people actually want to vote for sarah palin?

a: because people apparently do not want to pay attention to the issues that face our nation. they want to be distracted by the cult of personality. if they only dug a little deeper there, they’d learn that her old boy cronyism is not the sort of personality they really want hitting the white house.

thanks, pink asparagus, for checking me out. and to your five readers (!), feel free to drop in sometime. i’m not as articulate as pink asparagus — i have occasional bouts of potty mouth — but you’re always welcome. i don’t bite.


Thank you Wreke for taking the time to post on my blog! I appreciate it, a lot. Everyone else – add to your feed reader, you’ll be glad you did.

5 smart people left their mark:

  1. talk talk « (Pingback), 18. September 2008, 7:24

    [...] talk talk pink asparagus interviewed me for her most excellent blog. go check it out! [...]

  2. Christina, 18. September 2008, 11:34

    wreke has been in my reader for awhile and I always enjoy her posts. Thanks to her I have now added you too :-) So you can say you have 6 readers!

    Christinas last blog post..Speaking of strange pathways

  3. Pamela, 18. September 2008, 13:05

    What self-respecting member of blogitzville doesn’t want to hang with a chick called Wreke? I’ll be over to make friends later!

    Pamelas last blog post..holy gestation batman

  4. Rosie, 19. September 2008, 7:47

    Great interview! I’ve added her to my list!

    Rosies last blog post..Let’s start a movement, shall we?

  5. Kelly O, 30. September 2008, 11:05

    Wreeeeeeke! She’s a smart one, isn’t she? I’m jealous. With this, you’ve had a longer conversation with her than I have in months.

    Kelly Os last blog post..19 ways of looking at a KellyGO