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.

Item! 2009 is practically over.

Which makes this the last Item — Item! — of 2009.

But my plan is to be around with unnecessary exclamation points and a duck on Wednesdays next year too. And to be here the rest of the time talking to monsters and giving biggification advice and stuff.

Also, the title today refers to my quote of the year (yes, I’m quoting myself), which will also have to become a post at some point.

Item! Post No. 47 in an ongoing almost-every-Wednesday series that continues to amuse me, and possibly other people but really mostly me.

Item! Havi’s Surprisingly Great Finds of the year.

So. Much. Great.

And no, I’m not including any bloggishness or related internettery in this list. Because there is too much and it’s impossible to remember which internet crush on whom started when.

But my biggest non-internet 2009 obsessions are, officially and as far as I can remember, which isn’t very:

Mr. B is @gentlemanrhymer on Twitter.

Item! Serious exclamation points!

So yes, I like to make fun of my self for how exclaim-ey I get on Wednesdays with all these Items. Item!

But here’s someone who works the exclamation point in a way that puts me to shame.

The blog is called Sodiapop and boy is it enthusiastic. It made me smile. So that’s a good thing.

The tagline is This Blog Is To Be Read Happily. And it appears to be written by a small doll. Really, what’s not to like?

“This is a big spider!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ottawa is fun!!!!!! “

Found this by way of Andi (love Andi!) who is @annaline_39 on Twitter.

Item! One thing leads to another.

I was reading Sodiapop (see above) and it brought me to this.

Item! All things in moderation. Including moderating. Possibly.

Moderating comments: it’s just something that needs to happen. Because it’s your space and you’re trying to make it a safe experience for your right people.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden pretty much shares all of my opinions.

On the idea that people would try to “create a set of guidelines to shape online discussion and debate”:

“Uh-huh. And I’m busy constructing a bamboo-and-wicker water gate that will hereafter govern the flow of the Mississippi River. “


“You can’t have a good online discussion without moderation. Every weblog out there that has good comment threads has a policy of moderating the discussion and kicking out the fuggheads.”

Agreed. I don’t moderate my own comments — I have people on the pirate crew who do that.

And when someone can’t play nice, I am willing to consciously engage if I don’t actually think they mean to be obnoxious. Or they’ll get deleted if it’s clear to all of us that they are.

But a policy? Or even a non-policy policy like the ones I have and described in the Blogging Therapy series? Absolutely.

She’ll even give you a certificate to tell off the “vexatious persons”. Awesome.

Got to this via our Caryn who also told me about Get Your Own Effing Blog, which totally made me laugh.

Teresa is @tnielsenhayden on Twitter. Caryn is @clr.

Item! Arachnophobia and other terrifying things

Loved this concise, simple, lovely post from Deanna about fear, creativity, vulnerability and spiders.

“What am I afraid of?

  • I will write and no one will read
  • I will write and everyone will read
  • Everyone will read and think I suck
  • Everyone will read and tell me I suck
  • I will believe everyone”

She’s @DeannaLohnes on Twitter.

Item! I’m not the only person who makes up rituals, you know.

Eileen does it too, beautifully.

“One of my current favorites is lighting candles before we sit down to dinner every night.

It originally started because we didn’t have power in our dining room during a homebrewed electrical project. But now it’s just the thing we do before we start dinner.

Where we say this, now.

(Although come to think of it we still don’t have power in the dining room.)”

Did you hear that? “Where we say this, now.

That is the grand summing up of ritual.

She’s @evalazza on Twitter.

Item! Oh, it hurts.

So true. This is Andrew’s sarcastic, wonderful list of how to make sure you fight at Christmas.

“Christmas is the perfect time to implement everything you’ve ever read about mindfulness, conflict resolution and being peaceful.”

Yes, I know Christmas is over (though I’m not sure that Zombie Yule is), but really this is all good advice all the time.

Also, thanks Casey for giving me this great idea about the “family aquarium tap” in the comments.

Andrew is @alightheart and Casey is @casey_cole on Twitter.

Item! Kelly’s 3-Years-In-Business Truthiness Address.

This is excellent.

“My past indicates I seem to be drawn to working with convicted felons, people in crisis, and puppets.”

You should read the whole thing.

She’s @copylicious on Twitter.

Item! Update from the land of the Peculiar & Hilarious Shivanauts!

The “peculiar and hilarious” thing comes from Melynda’s sweet bit about Butterfly Wishes.

Pearl wrote a lovely post called synapses, habits, soul.

And we had an awesome guest post on the Shiva Nata blog from Anna Barnett:

Something is clearly happening after my practices, during shavasana. There’s the swirly, buzzy, crunchy-peanut-buttery sensation. The weirdly addictive mental fatigue. I love it.

The thing is, it’s hard for me to put up with it.”

Her post is called The Flailing. And you should read it.

That’s @AnnaBarnett and @pearlmattenson on Twitter.

Item! Comments! Here’s what I want this time:

  • Things you’re thinking about.
  • Something inappropriate to do for Silvester — ideally something that doesn’t involve people. Or seeing any. Because I’m not good at that.

My commitment.
I am committed to giving time and thought to the things that people say. Even though asking for what I want still feels awkward for me, I’m just going to remind myself that this is a thing I’m practicing.

That is all.

Happy reading.

And happy Blustery Windsday.* And productive releasing whatever is done for 2009. And joyful incoming 2010. See you tomorrow.

*Someone (the charming @claireofttat) asked about changing it to Balmy Windsday due to the inclement weather. I would much prefer Balmy myself but I’m not sure if I can wish you a happy one, since it is most certainly Blustery here in Portland (Snowpocolypse!).

So I’ll wish for some Balm to make the Blustery better.