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We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


Item! I’m doing it again!

Fluent Self Item!A somewhat goofy mini-collection of stuff I’ve been reading, stuff I’ve been thinking about and oh, some completely random crap.

Basically the stuff that never gets mentioned here because I’m not the kind of person who can just make some teeny little point. Not into the whole brevity thing, as the Dude would say.

Actually, I’m under the strict compulsion to write ten pages about anything on my mind. So this is me. Practicing brevity.

Yes, we talked about that yesterday.

Anyway …

Item! Product development advice (not mine)

I’m pretty much always in product development mode. And I have a whole (fabulous) beta group right now helping me out with The Next Big Thing.

Obviously getting advice from people I trust and respect is great, but sometimes I also need a good reminder not to include absolutely everyone in that process.

I found this article on why not to share your product roadmap to be absolutely fascinating. If you don’t do products, you can skip this.

Item! A little chat with your former paranoid self? More fun than it sounds.

Seriously. Read Shannon’s brilliant piece on making mistakes.

It will totally make you want to engage in witty repartee (or something) with your own FSP.

And if not, it’s something to look forward to being able to do in the future.

Item! The funniest thing I’ve read this week.

My latest obsession is Johnny B. Truant from The Economy Isn’t Happening.

I’ve read this post about pants at least six times already. And every single time I collapse in giggles and then am madly jealous and then am overwhelmed by how thrilled I am to have found this blog.

If you’re a fellow Twitter-ite — and if not … come on in, the water is fine — he’s @JohnnyBTruant.

Also you should subscribe to his blog. And then promise to keep reading me even though I will never be that funny ever.

Item! Sitting down is painful.

The second funniest thing I read this week was this shockingly realistic account of freelancer life from Sparky Firepants.

Also, Mr. Pants (David, to you) may have convinced me to get a new chair.

Whoah, I just noticed that all the stuff I obsess over online has to do with pants. Weird, right?

Item! Avoid Teachstreet.com like the plague

How not to launch your business:

      1. be a spammy jerk and send unsolicited non-personal self-promotional email to random strangers and their ducks.
      2. don’t apologize for being a spammy jerk when you’re called on it.
      3. don’t respond at all to people who offer time and energy to help you not suck.

Here’s part of what I wrote to them (more than a week ago):

Just from a business angle and not only from the “be a mensch” angle — if you’re sending random people unsolicited non-personalized stuff they’re probably going to mark it as spam instead of just opt-ing out.

In a world where word-of-mouth is everything and where we’re all talking stuff up on our blogs and on Twitter, you really, really, really don’t want to start a relationship off like this.

The reason I’m taking the time to write this instead of marking-as-spam is because a. it looks like you have a decent idea and b. you’re from Seattle and I love Seattle. But come on. Don’t make us hate you.

Too late. I already hate them.

Their service might be awesome. But — hey guys, who’s even going to notice that if you’re going around stepping on toes! Don’t step on toes.

Item! I also want to wear a muu muu!

We’re all kind of becoming internet shut-ins with this work-from-home stuff.

And there’s no reason we shouldn’t do it in style. Time to break out the muu muu.

Seriously, I really am a hermit. I always way over-identified with that suspicious old recluse character in detective novels — sometimes it scares me how much I LOVE hermit-ing it up.

The only thing I like more is saying muu muu. Muu muu.

Item! I don’t feel like being grateful! Also, it’s American Thanksgiving tomorrow.

I wrote a (fairly) amusing article last year about the worst thing about Thanksgiving.

Namely, how annoying it is when everyone wants to shove a bunch of gratitude down your throat and make you count your blessings and stuff when you don’t feel like it.

If you do feel like it, then yay! When you don’t — and sometimes I don’t — it’s a big pain. So I will be playing one of my silly Ungratitude Games tomorrow. And I hope you’ll join me for that.

Okay. We’re done.

Have a great Thanksgiving if you celebrate. Until then …….. love from my duck. Selma would also like me to mention that if you eat duck, oy va voy. Don’t tell us about it! Thanks.

19 Responses to Item! I’m doing it again!

  1. Even if you don’t end up being that funny, the simple truth is that I DO NOT HAVE A DUCK. So there’s really no threat of me stealing your readership.

    I did write a post about ducks once. It’s in the archives somewhere. But trust me, it comes up short when stacked against Selma.

    Thanks for the plug!

    Johnny Truants last blog post..Unfortunately, pants

  2. Andrea says:

    I read one of those “how to set up your home office 87 tips for new freelancers” kind of articles and the single best item it had was this (paraphrased):

    “Buy a $100 desk and a $700 chair.”

    It’s totally true!

    And in other news, my mom called me a couple weeks ago to say she was out shopping, thought of me, and to watch for a delivery truck. It was a new office chair.

    A comfy non-cheap one.

    Andreas last blog post..A “Sidebar” with Richard Paul

  3. JoVE says:

    Those of us north of the border sometimes get a big annoyed about the whole American Thanksgiving thing, too. Like we did that in early October. Now we are into snow shovelling, for which very few of us are grateful (though I love the snow). And our thanksgiving is a harvest festival with a long tradition and NO patriotic garbage attached… Oh sorry, I’ll save that rant for somewhere else.

    I look forward to whatever you decide to post tomorrow. And thanks for all the randomness.

    JoVEs last blog post..Depriving our children of common experience

  4. Sonia Simone | Remarkable Communication
    Twitter: soniasimone

    I always thought Thanksgiving should come around April. Like, “thank god, we all made it through the winter.” Although I guess if you all didn’t, that would be an extra bummer.

    However, Thanksgiving comes with pumpkin *and* pecan pie, thus I always have two things to be grateful for. So there’s that.

    My version of the muu muu is stripey Hanna Anderson longjohns. They’re sort of muppet wear but maybe that’s fine.

    Sonia Simone | Remarkable Communications last blog post..How to Survive the End of the World

  5. Kelly Parkinson
    Twitter: copylicious

    Hey, Jen Louden just wrote a post about this! “How I Used to Hate Gratitude.”


    Oh, and for the record, we’re having steak for Thanksgiving.
    Somewhere, a turkey is feeling deep gratitude.

  6. David
    Twitter: sparkyfirepants

    1. @JohnnyBTruant is my new favorite funny blog. As of right now.

    2. The muu muu? Really? I talked Jenni out of those last year. Then, we got the Three’s Company first season on DVD and I was forced to admit that Mrs. Roper may have had something there. That’s as far as I go with that admission.

    3. I always hated being called “Mr. Billings,” but I’m kind of starting to dig being called “Mr. Pants.” I think it’s catching on.

    4.You just rock, you really do. I tell all my floating bathtub toys about you. Even though I have a new funny blog to read, I’ll be back regularly to soak in the goodness you always offer up.

    Davids last blog post..Five Freelance Secrets You Don’t Read About in Books

  7. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @David – Oh, you will always be Mr. Pants to me. In fact, the only thing funnier than referring to someone as Sparky Firepants is shortening that to Mr. Pants. Ah, the illustrious Mr. Pants!

    See, that’s even funnier.

    “My dear Mr. Pants, I’m afraid you are quite mistaken!”

    Also, I feel like I should be wearing a monocle when I say that.

    Glad to have infected everyone with my internet crush on Johnny B. Truant.

    Now if I can get everyone letting themselves not be grateful WHILE wearing muu muus … my plan for world domination will be (nearly) complete!

  8. Man, why isn’t my gravatar showing up? You read “crush on Johnny B. Truant” and there’s no stunning visage to go with it.

    Here’s some links to wow you all: http://is.gd/98Rl and http://is.gd/98Ru

    Johnny Truants last blog post..Unfortunately, pants

  9. Johnny B.’s site is awesome.

    Seriously, keeping Jean Claude from losing the Karaoke Kumite is the ONLY reason to sign up for a newsletter.

    Nathan Bowerss last blog post..My favorite “multidimensional loom” so far

  10. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Ohmygod! JohnnyB, if you got Nathan Bowers to even consider signing up for a noozletter you are the king of kings.

    Also, now I want stripey longjohns. At once!

  11. Katie says:

    Dear Ms. Brooks,

    I’m sending you a personal note as well to give you the full scoop and mia culpa… but I wanted all of your readers to get a snippet so that they wouldn’t think that we were indeed “spammy jerks” that “step on toes”.

    Here’s an excerpt from my longer mail…

    We completely understand your frustration with TeachStreet about our belated response to your message which we have since received and value very much.

    On Monday of this week, one of our Community Team members filed a bug to our engineering team after noticing the “contact us” form on our site was not giving us a confirmation message. It turns out that this “simple bug” was really a bigger issue with the contact us form not working properly and not pushing messages to our customer service management system.

    Our Community Development Team works hard to return customer e-mails within 24 hours. When we launched TeachStreet in the Bay Area, we concurrently released a whole new site redesign. We did a lot of bug testing to make sure the site was up to our high standards, and I would say that this issue was the most critical technical problem that we missed. Customer feedback, especially constructive feedback like yours, is the most valuable thing we can get, especially after launching in a new market.

    We know that your first experience with us was both frustrating and disappointing, and that the damage may already be done, but we wanted to at least make our best attempt to explain the circumstances and let you know that we do respect both your opinion and your feedback.

    We’d also like the chance to make your second impression of TeachStreet a bit more representative of the type of company we try hard to be. If you have other ideas about ways that we can improve, and ways we can do outreach to teachers and instructors in new cities, we’d love your input.


    I hope this clears things up, or at least gives you a better sense of our intentions.

    My direct contact information is below. I welcome you (and your readers) to check out the site and let us know what we can do better. We might not always get it right the first time, but we’ll work like hell to get it right the second time. ;)

    Thanks for the post and your feedback,

    Katie Gruver

    TeachStreet Community & Operations Manager
    206.381.0652 | 877.832.2470

    Katies last blog post..Frugal Gal’s Guide to Fitness: Upper Body

  12. GirlPie
    Twitter: TheGirlPie

    Love the Items, Havi — it’s like we’re just puttering around the kitchen/farmer’s market/shoe store and chatting off whatever pops into our heads — only my side is mostly: “yeah, he’s great” and “me too!” and “I called him Mr. Firepants but at least I was wearing a monocle…”

    Thanks for the riff on a bit of the pain of “scheduled gratitude.” I like mine off the cuff and on the fly ~ and very, very fun, like my favorite blogs. Great links (points for having been to most?!) and lovely visit, as usual.

  13. Melissa says:

    If I were your host for any meal, you wouldn’t have to mention the food preferences, I’d have already asked… Too bad I’m in Michigan or I’d have you over. =(

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t necessarily feel grateful when prompted to do so. I’m not bah humbug, I’m just not grateful all the time during the Holidays.

    I’m not sure I could make myself wear a muu muu. I always think of a bright green flower print thing in size XXXXXL. Muu Muu is a funny word… And that makes me wonder, is it Pom Pom or Pon Pon or Pom Pon?? I know, random thought inserted. *sigh* That’s just how I work sometimes.

    And I’m sorry to those of you who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving that it is shoved down your throats. I’m a born and raised American, and I can’t stand Thanksgiving. I think the whole concept is stupid. Why are we hiding behind our forfathers landing on the flippin mayflower when all we really want to do is eat a bunch of food? Maybe it should be renamed Thankful to Gorge Yourself Day. =)

    *another random thought* the street out front of my store is spurting water like 15cm into the air and making a small river down the gutter of the road!!!!

    Melissas last blog post..Get It All Out!

  14. Hola Havi ~

    Looking forward to the Next Big Thing you birth into the world. And I loved reading the roadmap too ~ I’ve learned to be quite disciplined with containing, protecting & nurturing my energy & ideas until the time is right. I just love that word – containment – at the moment :)

    Wishing you a gorgeous shining day!

  15. Laugh, giggle, smile!

    Thank you,
    need that at the moment


  16. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    I know we’re NOT being thankful and all, but I just acquired a mini-TV, thanks to my son James, and yesterday got to practice the amazing SHIVA NATA arm positions, after which I felt so great i wanted to go out and hug everyone, even George W. Bush . . . so there you go, Havi. One part of your plan for world domination is knocking the other parts for a loop. :-) Thanks so much for the Dance of Shiva DVD, and for brightening a grey morning as always with your warmth and hilarity. I haven’t tried the Shiva Nata with muu-muu on yet . . . maybe tomorrow. :-))

    Hiro Bogas last blog post..Happy Thanksgiving, Baby

  17. Eveline says:

    ahhh…suddenly I have this image of a young woman, wearing a muu-muu, striped long johns, a pink beret, holding a duck in one hand, doing that crazy brain drain Dance of Shiva routine while yelling “Hey Mr Pants”…………..think it would make one heck of a DVD!

  18. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Oh. My. God.

    @Eveline – you’re so genius! It practically writes itself!

    I’m so going to do it.

    And then @Hiro will make a video of herself whispering sweet nothings to George W. Bush and we’ll have YouTube wars for the largest number of WTH comments. Awesome.


  19. […] in case you were wondering, this is the post by @Havi which mentions Johnny B. Truant.  (He was an Item! way back in November […]

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