Hello? Is there anybody out there?

Hi Frog Lovers. It’s been (counts the months/years on her fingers) quite some time since I last wrote here. I’m going to be here more often in the near future, I promise! I have loads to tell you.

Alcoholic beverages may be required. Yes for you too.

Five Frogs Blog

Do you have any requests? Any types of animals you’d like me to write about? If so, let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, here are a few of the frog’s best bits since I started writing here on the lily pad. I hope you enjoy them.

My Top Ten dumb-arse moments of all time (from August 2012)

Would you change your sex, if you could never change back again? (from May 2013)

Conversations with my brain: And then my Basal Ganglia went on strike (from March 2013)

Conversations with my brain: Tarsiers on crack (from November 2012)

And finally, we discover that the real reason women drink at the races is not because they’re keenly aware that they’re standing ankle-deep in mud while freezing in expensive-but-now-rain-soaked cocktail dresses in order to take part in an outdated social ritual based on animal cruelty. It’s to dull the pain of being slowly devoured by their ridiculously impractical head-wear. A revelation that will change human history (AKA you and your spermatophores are going home alone) (from August 2012)

I’m back, baby. Watch this space.

x

Laugh Link is nearly here – are you ready?

Laugh_Link_smaller
Hello darling Frog-Lovers. Do you blog? Do you have a funny post ready for Monday’s Laugh Link, premiering here on the LilyPad?

Yes?

No?

Better get on it!

In the meantime, here are the two funniest videos I’ve seen in… well, possibly forever.
From the Honest Trailer geniuses, here are the Honest Trailers for my two favourite TV shows. One that’s about to start its new season, and the other that has, alas, gone.

I hope they make your day like they did mine.

BEWARE SPOILERS

Frog of Pond, if you don’t mind. Click here for a history test with dragons. And boobs.

Click on this one to see decapitated turtle bombs and roof pizza. Mmmmmm roof pizza. And Malcolm’s dad.

The best coloured wee I have ever seen

This could be the best wee you've ever seen

This could be the best wee you’ve ever seen

Hi Frog-Lovers. In case this is your first visit to the Lily Pad, between now and Christmas I’m hosting some wonderful and funny writers while I get some amphibious rest. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do. Who knew so many of you were so hilarious!?

Today’s guest is my bloggy mate Alison, who blogs over at Talking Frankly. Here she shares a story about urine samples – a subject so perfect for the Lily Pad that I already had a category for it.

When I got the opportunity to be a contributor to Five Frogs Blog, I was pretty excited, and then hugely intimidated. See, people seem to read this blog which means that meeting Ms M’s brief of ‘funny’ all of a sudden became a lesson in procrastination that is largely unparalleled in all of history.

So I’ve abandoned funny and want to talk to you all about the dangers of doubtful self esteem when defining achievements post redundancy.

When the outplacement consultant asked me to focus on what achievement in the last five years made me feel most proud – mine wasn’t my marriage, two beautiful daughters or the myriad of business achievements.  The first thing that came to mind was a compliment on the colour of my wee.

Wee.  Yes.

When I was uppus duffus with my first daughter, I had been (wrongly as it turned out) diagnosed with placenta previa and had to spend all sorts of time visiting the hospital and getting “monitored”.

On one occasion, I was dispatched to pee in a jar (being uppus duffus is the most gloriously dignified state – no really). I obediently waddled off, peed and returned with my little jar which I handed over, feeling quite pleased by how full it was – aim is not so easy for a female and especially a heavily pregnant one.

The nurse held the jar up to the light and said “That is the best coloured wee I have ever seen”.

Oh my.

I had the best coloured wee she had EVER seen.  Not, one of the best. Not, a very good shade to read a newspaper through. No.  The BEST wee she’d ever seen.

And I’m not joking.  Quite inexplicably – I beamed.  Shiny eyes, puffed up chest and a completely disproportionate sense of pride in the colour of my wee.  “Oh” I said, “I drink a lot of water”.

“Good”.

“More people should you know”

And now my pride knew no bounds.  I was a role model for people wanting to produce the right coloured wee!  She’d probably talk about me in the staff room. Hold me up as a shining example to other clients.  I would be known as the woman with the most awesome wee.

And I was in a public hospital.  They were not getting paid to blow smoke up my backside.  This was GENUINE praise.

I told anybody that would listen the story of my glorious moment.  Obviously quite self-deprecatingly, with a wry smile and a ‘get that’ eye roll.  But time has caught me out.  When asked what was my greatest achievement in the last five years – I thought about that jar of wee.

So it’s a small but cautionary tale for all of you.  Do not let your instincts guide your responses to questions about achievements.  Go with tradition on this one and find something more traditional to espouse on your resume.  Money is not paid to people of exceptional talent, but rather to people of saleable talent.

It’s a cruel, cruel world.

What’s your most saleable talent?

_talkingfrankly

Alison is an admirer of wordsmiths, quirky thinking, equality, chutzpah and kindness. Actively opposed to apathy. Blogs about anything from housework to human rights. Professional profaner. Mama to two perfect daughters and is married to the world’s best husband. You can read her blog here and connect on Facebook here. She’s also on Instagram as _talkingfrankly and Twitter.

Accidental behavioral diarrhea and embracing your inner arsehole

ninaanddaisyhat

Nina and Daisy J Dog.
Image courtesy of Nina Bargiel

I believe that we should all stand up and not only call out other people’s arseholery, but also stand up and accept that we ourselves can be arseholes too.

I really recommend that you embrace your inner arsehole, so you can monitor it and take some responsibility when it rears its ugly head. Otherwise it’s likely that it’ll leap up and catch you by surprise. I spent most of my life being nice and denying my inner arsehole and as a result, it became uncontrollable and broke free at unexpected and seriously inconvenient times. These arsehole explosions (accidental behavioral diarrhea, as it were) led me to say and do things that to this day I regret.

These days I accept that I’m a bit of an arsehole and I feel under much less pressure. There are some areas of life, though, from which you have to keep your inner arsehole well away.

A while back I wrote a thing here about chickens and not being an arsehole with your jokes.

Today I read something that did a much better job of expressing my point.

Nina Bargiel, AKA the Slackmistress, is a TV writer, passionate runner, dog mummy and all-round clever and hilarious chick. I love her writing and her jokes (yes even the shitty ones*). Nina wrote this thing and you should all read it:

The best thing you and your inner arsehole will read today. Trust me. Unless you’re a murderer, in which case you probably shouldn’t but if you’re a murderer the last thing you’re likely to do is listen to the likes of me. Sorry Nina, I may have just encouraged a lot of murderers to read your thing. Oops.

Now go follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Tell her The Frog sent you. You won’t regret it.

* Nina never makes shitty jokes but if she did I’d love them. Because I’m an arsehole.

Problogger and how to dilute the Awkward

Awkward – the elephant in the lobby of QT.
Image © Victor Zastol`skiy | Dreamstime.com
 

Last week I attended the 2013 Problogger Training Event, where 450 bloggers got together to learn more about their craft. Many bloggers more accomplished than I have written fabulous posts about their experiences. 

So, in keeping with the tradition I started last year, I won’t be talking in-depth about the conference here. In case you’re curious, here are the messages that resonated with me this year:

  • It’s OK to be multi-passionate
  • We should be wary of the trap that is accidental competency
  • Instead of working on improving your weaknesses, work on making your strengths world-beating.

With that out of the way, I want to talk about the elephant in the conference room. In fact I don’t want to just talk about her, I want to pop a purple tutu on her, sprinkle some glitter on her tusks and parade her around the room to some particularly jarring circus music to make sure she catches your attention.

This elephant’s name is Awkward.

The blogging world considers itself a community; a happy, loving band of like-minded people who share a passion for getting their message across via words and pictures. We like to be seen as a cohesive group of good-natured, professionally-behaved, amiable folk.

I think this is bullshit. Bloggers are no more an amorphous homogenous mass than any other group of diverse and competitive human beings.

Sure, most bloggers share a camaraderie which is truly delightful and this is one of the reasons I go to these events. I’ve developed some solid, lasting friendships with my blogging friends. However, when you get 450 bloggers in one place it swiftly becomes apparent how different we all are.

These differences can lead to discomfort. I love Problogger because I get to catch up with some fellow bloggers who I truly adore. You know who you are.

What happens, though, when bloggy relationships go south? How do you deal with having to see someone after your friendship has crashed in such a massive flaming wreck that it was visible for several miles and reported on the evening news?

Awk… ward.

Here are some handy tips on how to avoid Awkward at a blogging conference:

  1. When you see the person you want to avoid, rush up to them, give them a huge hug and plant a kiss on their cheek. Babble on brightly as if the plane crash that was your friendship’s demise never happened. This neatly transfers the Awkward from you to them. Use this technique with care – they may call your bluff and return the Awkward by pashing you. This leaves you with nowhere to go unless you’re prepared to sexually harass them. This could get ugly for everyone and lead to you both having to burn down your blogs and leave social media forever. 
  2. Challenge your nemesis to a drinking contest at the cocktail event. The loser must burn down their blog and leave social media forever. 
  3. Move around the conference in a small gaggle of people to always dilute the Awkward (450 people should do it).
  4. Don’t sit next to your ex-friend accidentally. I can’t stress this one enough. DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY SIT NEXT TO YOUR BLOGGING NEMESIS. Be alert at all times; particularly when sitting. Or standing. Or walking. 
  5. Slip something into your bloggy ex-friend’s tea so that they spend the conference comatose in a corner. Alternatively, do the same to yourself. Don’t do both; that would be expensive and wasteful over-achieving.
  6. Don’t go. This is a 100% fool-proof way to avoid Awkward. And everything else, for that matter.

The truth is out; bloggers don’t all like each other. I hope these simple tips will mean you don’t ever need to burn down your blog and leave social media forever, just because you forgot to dilute the Awkward.  

Have you ever experienced Awkward?
How did you deal with her?






Roll Up! Roll up! Come see the March 2013 Digital Parents Blog Carnival!

Seriously creepy clown image from here.

Roll up! Roll up! 

It’s time for the March Digital Parents Blog Carnival!


Come on in and see the Amazing Illustrated Lady and the World’s Strongest Man!

See the fearless feats of our lion tamers!

Be amazed at our astonishing acrobats!

Gasp in awe at our fire eaters!

Be astonished at our list of brilliant blog posts from February!

Please take a tour around our fabulous Big Top and leave some comment love for our hard working performers…


Francesca performs over at “Francesca Writes Here”.

What, 1993 was 20 years ago?:
http://francescawriteshere.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/what-1993-was-20-years-ago.html

This post is about how the passing of time can creep up on us!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FrancescaWritesHere
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FrancescaBlogs



Josefa Pete performs over at “always Josefa”.

Immortality:
http://www.alwaysjosefa.com/the-kinnie-club/immortality/ 

Questioning the reason why we blog, do you seek immortality through your words?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alwaysJosefa
Twitter: http://twitter.com/always_josefa


Jen performs over at “Semantically driven”.

His schooling has turned a corner:

http://semanticallydriven.com/2013/02/his_schooling_has_turned_a_corner.html

Schooling isn’t always a one size fits all, but sometimes it does work even if it takes a few years to get there. A story about a boy, who after 6 years, is finally finding his groove at school.


Twitter: http://twitter.com/jenseeya


Cassandra Wunsch performs over at “10% Inspired”

Shake it out:

http://10percentinspired.com/shake-it-out/

A post about the feeling not of clinging to the past, but having it cling to you.


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/10percentinspired

Twitter: http://twitter.com/10Inspired 


Tara Force performs over at “MUMmedia”

Media Monday – Noisy Children Banned From Shopping Malls – Who’s Really To Blame?:

http://www.mummedia.net/2013/02/media-monday-noisy-children-banned-from-shopping-malls/

Noisy children being banned from shopping centers. Are parents always to blame? 


Facebook: 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/MUMmedia/183041278392874
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MUMmedia


Lara Cain Gray performs over at “This Charming Mum”

Top 5 rainy day games for kids of hungover parents: 

http://thischarmingmum.com/2013/02/17/top-5-rainy-day-games-for-kids-of-hungover-parents/ 

How do you keep the kids happy on a rainy day when the room spins if you move off the couch? Here are my tips!


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/This-Charming-Mum/117182621742426

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThisCharmingMum


Becci Sundberg performs over at “Becci’s Domestic Bliss”

Tucker Tuesdays ~ Breakfast Smoothies:
http://beccisdomesticbliss.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/tucker-tuesdays-breakfast-smoothies.html

My 4yo doesn’t like to eat breakfast on kindy mornings. What better way to get a healthy meal into him that by making some breakfast smoothies!


Facebook: 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beccis-Domestic-Bliss/303322393023376


Georgia performs over at “Parental Parody”

Ikea v McDonald’s : A breakup and a new relationship:

http://www.parentalparody.com/2013/02/ikea-v-mcdonalds-break-up-and-new.html

I’m breaking up with Macca’s because Ikea’s moist (meat)balls and free supervised play area wooed me.


Facebook: www.facebook.com/parentalparody

Twitter: www.twitter.com/parental_parody


Dorothy performs over at “Singular Insanity”

If there was one thing you could change in the world…: 

http://www.singularinsanity.com/if-there-was-one-thing-you-could-change-in-the-world/

If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/singularinsanity

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/singular_insane


Danya performs over at “Danya Banya”


S is for Space Satellite Saturn Sun Stars Solar System Fancy Dress ups:
http://www.danyabanya.com/2013/02/s-is-for-space-satellite-saturn-sun-stars-solar-system-fancy-dress-ups-halloween.html

OK, so your family has been invited to an “S” themed fancy dress party – what do you wear?  Space outfits of course! Satellite, Saturn, Sun, Stars – the whole Solar System really…

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DanyaBanyaBlog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Danya_Banya


Tahlia performs over at “The Parenting Files”

I heart everyday moments:
http://theparentingfiles.com.au/i-heart-everyday-moments

This year I want to notice more, capture more and appreciate the everyday moments. And I want to inspire everyone to as well. So I have set up a whole new community to get the party started. 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theparentingfiles
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/parentingfiles



Tegan performs over at “Musings of the Misguided”

The truth is better than any story:

Dispelling the myths around being in jail.



Bronnie performs over at “Maid In Australia”

Not just swimming, diving:

Bronnie Marquardt puts her hand up from the sinking sensation of depression and finds she’s doing more than just swimming.



Angela May performs over at “Melting Moments”

B1 and B2′s Rainbow Themed 2nd Birthday Party:

My twins rainbow themed 2nd birthday party. A run down of the day, food, cake and decorations.



Peta performs over at “Peta-Jo”.

Can I get your number? And other favourite things to be asked:

A woman’s phone number doesn’t lose its currency once she’s married. Or so I’ve discovered!

Your RingMistress for this month is yours truly, The Frog. I was tempted to link to my dead possum post but thought the better of it at the last minute. 

Please do not poke my subconscious with a stick – the top 10 9 things that shit me:

What it says on the box.

Digital Parents Blog Carnival

You make the rules

Welcome to 2013 people!

In March I’ll have been writing here for a year. Let me share with you some (cough) wisdom I’ve accumulated so far, about blogging in particular.

But really I think it’s a metaphor for everything in life.

Enjoy. I’ll be hitting “Publish” again in earnest here soon.

The long history of New Media (anyone for a pamphlet?)

Welcome back to the Lily Pad folks. Pull up a comfy chair, sit down, pop your feet up and settle back for a small history lesson about pamphlets.

From the 1500s to the early twentieth century, pamphlets were a common way for people to share their opinions. Pamphletswere short, quickly-created publications that had a distinct aim. They related to something of common, current interest such as politics, religion, personal issues, famous people or literature. They often used satire and were frequently controversial, even slanderous. They were designed to be read by the masses.

Someone who created and distributed these pamphlets was known as a pamphleteer. Pamphlets were around before either books or newspapers.
A Pamphleteer getting his pamph on. Nice tights.
Image from
here.

 

In 1518 Martin Luther* – a German religious pamphleteer – was surprised to find a private publication he’d written had been translated, copied and widely circulated by some of his friends. It soon spread through Europe. Imagine his even greater surprise when this “95 Theses” became the basis of the Protestant Reformation of the Roman Catholic Church.

Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the church.
This is a myth.
He sent it to them via homing pigeon or bicycle courier or something.
Never let the truth get in the way of a good
“nailing his protest to the door of the church” story.
Image from
here.


In 1776 a pamphleteer called Thomas Paine** anonymously published a pamphlet called “Common Sense”. It would become the rallying call for the American War of Independence as it was copiedand handed out across the country.


Feeling edumacated?

Now, go back to the top of this page and read it again:
  • Replace the word pamphlet with blog.
  • Replace the word pamphleteer with blogger.
  • Replace the word copied with shared.

 
New Media? Really?
 

 

Read any good pamphlets lately?

* Yes I know Martin Luther was many things besides being a pamphleteer. Shhhh!

** See above *. Insert “Thomas Paine” where you see “Martin Luther”.

 

 

Badly behaved cutlery, shark penises and broken moustaches

I started to write my post-ProBlogger Training Eventpost, because that’s what you do after a blogging conference.

You write a brilliant piece outlining everything you did, the blogerati you met, and the amazing epiphanies you experienced.

Here’s my last one. A literary masterpiece (if you’re into questionable cutlery behaviour and broken limbs).

Here I am sitting in Hobart airport typing away. On my blog post. Except, the blog post didn’t happen. This did:

Yes this is what happened to me at Problogger 2012


I realised that I have a book that needs to be written. Looks like it’ll get written whether I like it or not.


Problogger was terrific and I recommend you go next year. Plenty of other people will blog about the amazing stuff they learned.

Here are, instead, my Top Ten Seven Moments from ProBlogger 2012:

Poorly Behaved Cutlery Strikes Again

Yes, another blogging conference where cutlery became the inadvertent star. This time, the spoon invested in a social media strategy. SMART SPOON.

 

 

The Devious Etihad Spoon demonstrating Blogger Pay Scales

The Mo goes Mad

I got to wear my (generic no-name nasal wax *cough*) moustache stencil to the cocktail party.


 

Then it broke. I proved that if nothing else, I can improvise.


 
Thanks to Jackie Purnell and Sarah from What Sarah Did Next for playing with me in the photo booth. Photos courtesy of Smile Booth Australia.


I sweated champagne


The morning after the night before. Sorry to anyone sitting near me. Despite showering and changing I’m pretty sure you’d have been able to get drunk just from licking me. So I’m glad you all restrained yourselves. It was best for everyone really.

Shark penises

That is all.


If you weren’t in Room 1 for this session, you missed out. They gave free marine mammal penises to each attendee. Did nobody tell you? Oh, it was a secret?

Oops. Sorry.

The one where I didn’t break my ankle (but I did try)

On the morning of the second day I tripped UP the tram steps, then spent ten minutes panicking because I couldn’t find my stick on moustache in my Tardis handbag.


Yep. I was ready for Day 2.

I met the woman who changed my life. In the toilet.

Let me clarify. I met Valerie Khoo in the bathroom.


Not the toilet itself.

And she changed my life because of what she said on a panel.*

Not what she did for me in the toilet.

Which was nothing, other than say hello to me.

I hope we’ve cleared up that horribly embarrassing misunderstanding.

I met some amazing bloggers and writers

I met so many people, some for the first time, some again after meeting them at the last conference. You were all wonderful, hilarious and beautiful. It made me happy to see so many of you embracing both your luminosity and your crazy at the same time.


Sarah from What Sarah Did Next gets a special mention because she put up with my whinging, chattering, general constant presence and a vague champagney smell for the whole conference. Plus she let me get changed in her hotel room.

Pity she didn’t want to go the traditional blog conference pash.



I have no idea why she’s laughing.
Photo again thanks to Smile Booth Australia.



 

*More on that in another post.

Did you go to Problogger 2012?
If so, did you meet all the people you wanted to meet?