CBS Tampa's Most Valuable Blogger 2011

Last week I was awarded with CBS Tampa's Most Valuable Blogger Award in the local affairs category.

I appreciate the inclusion and honor, even though I’ve lacked the time to write about it until now. I’ve been a little busy with life - doing good, enjoying havoc, entertaining myself and getting by. 

Thanks to Clark Brooks, fellow winner and creator of the blog Ridiculously Inconsistent Trickle of Consciousness, and a great cheerleader and friend.

Also big hug to another winner, Kate Robinson of Out in Left Field. I think we both got our start as Tampa writers as bloggers at Sticks of Fire, the best blog ever to ever grace Tampa but a few years before its time. (Can it come back now that the city is ripe & needs it more than ever?!)

Also many thanks to a very thoughtful advocate & blogger I don’t know, Benjamin Kirby of The Spencerian, who recently wrote that he can’t stop reading my blog. Might be the best compliment my writing has ever gotten.

I started this blog because I wanted to write regularly and have a reason (as if I needed one) to participate more in my community. I didn’t anticipate anyone making my words part of their daily routine, so thank you.

Now a few thoughts about doing good: I believe that everyone should, as they say at WEDU, be more. Do what you can, then see if you can take it up a notch (BAM!). It'll take some time to build, but after a while you'll have created a neat web of resources, friends and acquaintances. You'll meet your neighbors. You'll know what's going on around town before it ever makes the news.

There's no Brownie points for good intentions, for wanting to help, no life experience spending the evening’s prime time hours in front of the computer or TV. It’s human nature to need one another, and ridiculous that American society practically discourages togetherness. Think segregation, suburbs, polarized politics, gated communities, private clubs, and on and on.

Practice moderation. Helping others is not about taking on too much, after all helping others only works after you’ve helped yourself.

Focus on those who want to be helped, not the ones who don’t. Ask if your help is needed, and don’t get discouraged if your offer is rejected. Be resilient. Someone somewhere needs the skills and support you have to offer.

If you have a bad experience volunteering one place, move on. Gravitate towards places and people that make you feel appreciated. Don’t waste your energy or passion on people that make you feel bad.

Most importantly, though, is simply showing up.


WMNF's Birthday Bash

Happy (early) 32nd birthday WMNF!

Celebrate with us (and Bob Schneider, the Ditchflowers & Monica da Silva) at Skipper's Smokehouse Friday, September 16th.

Check out this show and a week full of birthday events on WMNF's events page (because who the heck celebrates for just one day?!).


Divorce Crazy

@Caitlinconstan's Sasha has better things to do
My friend Jenn, also a relatively recent & young divorcĂ©e, has a term she calls divorce crazy. 

The definition is self explanatory. And she was smart enough to foresee it before it occurred, so she planned for it.

It's poignant for me because in a marriage that didn't work, I found that my biggest enemy was not the partner who didn't fit me but my own wacky self.

Jenn is the queen of serial monogamy. I've always known her to be in a very long-term relationship. Or in long-term periods-of-abstaining-from-long-term-relationships. She's my model for the ideal mentally healthy & balanced person, which I fail up against time and again.
From a recent im chat:

Jennifer: need to be celibate for at LEAST the next six months for real!
me:  omg what if i die! (not from, you know, but like get hit by a bus?)
Jennifer:  What if you totally get your stuff together and work out all your issues? And go on to a happier healthier life??
me:  Right. I guess that would be fun too.
Jennifer:  LOL

Thus far I've made my divorce crazy work for me. One of the first things I did when I felt like I had my life back was contact every friend I had dropped or drifted away from, including a few ex's. 

Not in that wacky High Fidelity tell-me-what's-wrong-with-me kind of way. (I know that much about myself by now.) More like when-we-agreed-to-be-friends-I-meant-it-now-let's-get-beers-and-not-make-out.  

It's nice to be reminded that just because a romantic partnership didn't work out doesn't mean a friendship can't bloom. Something special still exists in that person who initially drew you close.