Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interview Follows Review of Staying Alive: A Love Story

A lot going on this week! After review of my memoir Staying Alive: A Love Story,  I was interviewed.

Click here for interview.

Click here for  review .

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Season's Greeting - Finally!

I like to take on the season gradually, but this year, late autumn took one step forward and two steps back. After Storm Alfred blew Halloween off the calendar,Thanksgiving seemed misplaced, the Macy’s Parade - premature. Thanksgiving Weekend temps rose to 60 degrees. 
Seasonal spirit continued to slip more and more out of reach – until a friend posted a call to help stuff stockings for wounded soldiers at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio TX. as a token of appreciation for what our troops sacrifice everyday: their time, their safety, their well-being.
Together with my friend Lisa and her Facebook friends, join me in gathering  items that make a difference in these brave men and women’s  daily lives. I’ll be bringing filled stockings and stuffing donations to New Haven, CT Thursday, December 8. If you can’t visit me with your contribution before then, visit to donate towards shipping costs.
Appropriate donations are:

DVDs, CDs, Walmart and Target gift certificates, body lotion, Microwavable popcorn, soap/ body wash, puzzle books, tooth paste, disposable cameras, tooth brushes, decks of cards, Mouthwash, individually wrapped snacks, paperback books, deodorant, pencils, pens, stationary, magazines, hair brushes, chap stick, lip balm, tweezers, shampoo, conditioners, shaving cream, razor blades with a minimum of THREE blades (very important), hand made cards or letters (unsealed), board games, nail polish, boxed tea, wool hats, and baked goods.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

Silly me, thinking life would calm down after Em and Ry’s wedding. Slow its pace a bit. Dish out more expectation than surprise.
How could I have forgotten what I learned years ago? "Normal" is an over-rated myth. The road to everyday, as in paths common and ordinary, is more of a slippery slope. I mean, really – just three weeks after the wedding, (a time frame within which I had fooled myself into believing life would begin to follow a predictable path) storm Alfred blew in through one overnight, reminding little ol’ Mommy-of-the bride me, NOT to take Mother Earth for granted. The she-god’s point, via stormin’ Al, could not be taken lightly, not after the snowy intruder ushered in over a week of no heat, no electricity, and no work (since the community college where I teach was shut down from Monday right through Friday).
I was one of the lucky ones. I had hot water through the powerless week. I could handle the debris in my yard as opposed to not-so-fortunate neighbors who required tree removal services – some  before the electric company could reattach their power lines. I did have one casualty, though, my favorite tree out back below the kitchen window. A dull stump the thickness of two fists now sits where a hundred-year-old wisteria stood three weeks ago. It's sawed just below  the bough that broke from the weight of the single-night’s storm, a break that continued to split into the twisted trunk. The damage would have rotted the tree to death, for sure. This way there’s hope, according to my good neighbor, the one with a chain saw.
Come to think of it, during that short time between Em and Ry's brilliant wedding day (the second week in October) and the wintry October anomaly (the last)  my sought-after normal got interrupted by capricious highs and lows: a surprise letter (snail-mail even) from a long-absent pal, two cancer diagnoses of close friends - both of whom had surgery in that time, news of two engagements, a perfectly healthy woman's passing followed by the surprising recovery of an elderly neighbor, the rise and fall of three presidential nominees, record-breaking volatility in the stock market, and one European crisis after the other. Reminds me of a poster I had on my college dorm room forty-plus years ago: Not to Decide is to Decide. Today’s equivalent would be  Expect the Unexpected.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mother Nature's Trick: No Treat

Been  just over three weeks since Em and Ry’s “ I-dos.” Thank goodness  the date is that far behind us because, had  the wedding  taken place three weeks later, Mother Nature would have wrecked havoc on the event. I’m not talking about just dampening the spirit of the day with rain, or a bit of inconvenient snow. I’m talking  about how, if the wedding was the last weekend in October, Mother Nature would have crushed the party with a freak October blast of a foot of heavy snow. The party would have turned into a non-party because the conditions would have been too much for mid-autumn’s foliage to manage.

Three weekends  after the Hayden/Mullen wedding, an unseasonal storm did arrive and trees throughout  most of the state cracked, split, and fell upon power lines so forcefully that, not only were lines downed, but transmission stations blew  and substations malfunctioned. Just short of 850,000 households in CT lost power for more than seven days.  Some, including 25% of my town, along with more than 80,000 homes in the state, still haven’t had power restored. Since the power went out  Saturday, October 29 and, in over half the state, continued to be out Saturday, November  5, two weekends of weddings, sporting events, and get-aways from the work week in Connecticut were impacted by the  freak storm and its aftermath.  Massachusetts had a similar toll. Halloween was virtually cancelled, along with  more than a week of school and some workplaces.
 These photograph were taken on a walk around my neighborhood the day after the storm, The landscaped remained unchanged for five days. Now, 10 days laters, 25% of the town still does not have power.
My first real shocker on the walk - just around the corner.

This branch dangled amid power line for days
Common front yard sight

Close up, a scary sight

Power lines scattered on every sidewalk

Cars skirt under wires for days.

Vehicles drive onto sidewalks to avoid felled lines.

An almost entire shut down of life-as-we-Nutmeggers-know-it ensued. Thankfully, mild daytime temperatures kept  pipes from freezing. My home averaged 45 degrees through each heatless night.
Yet, we were lucky  and we know it. We of the wedding and we who  -- just over a week after the quirky storm --  are starting to get back to normal. Other wedding planners  weren’t.  The press hasn’t even had a chance to cover the "fluffier" inconveniences of the storm – like rescheduled ceremonies and parties – as opposed to the  critical scoops of the day: restoring power, removing brush, branches, and limbs from major roads and neighborhoods, CO2 poisonings, storm-related car accidents, smashed roofs and porches, emergency housing, and power politics.  The state population has, basically, been camping indoors or seeking shelter elsewhere for about as long as a family vacation. The anti-family-vacation.
May we all move closer and closer to our wonderfully ordinary days and eventually, rescheduled red- letter days, through this second week of post-storm recovery.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Back Interest

Where was I

·    before the most brilliant week of fall weather in New England history ushered in and then ushered out Emily and Ryan’s wedding day 
·    before those present and those passed became fully invested in their moving ceremony
·     before the sky bore a message of everlasting love
·     before the groom’s mother graced us with a  lullaby
·     before the bride’s brother pulled off a powerful toast –    with a case of Milwaukee Light
·    before we danced and danced and danced and danced?
I was getting out the sewing box, - remember?  Trying to figure out , at eight in the morning, how to secure a loop on the back of Em’s gown, by which to lift its bustle to the lowest satin back button,  so she could dance without tripping over her lace-scalloped train.  
And I was worried. The seamstress’ loop had snapped during the first “dress” rehearsal. The wedding was just a week away. With no time to head back to her– 2 hours away –  to replace it , it was up to me – Ms. MOTB.  How could I mend better than a dress designer with an MFA in Textile Construction?  Really!
Then I remembered, Em’s grandmother Mimi had always been a wiz with a needle and thread (and crochet hook, and macramé yarn, and knitting needles, and quilting stitches and. . . ) 

I thought : What would Mimi have done?
Mimi would have addressed the need for a bit of stretch in the fastener, as well as strength (Em’s gown was beaded – therefore heavy).  Mimi always had elastic thread in her box of sewing doodads, the same box I had open before me. I also remembered how my mother would strengthen  thin crocheting yarn by crocheting it into a chain, using as tiny a hook as she could find.
I took the elastic thread that still remained in her box, dug out a hooked needle from deep within and  crocheted away. Not sturdy enough I decided. So I chain-stitched that chain into a thicker chain. Liked the thickness – but not the give. Wrapped around the satin button, the weight of the skirt  s t r e t c h e d  the loop like an elastic band, which, in fact it was!
I felt defeated. Needed a break. Went to brush my teeth, a  ritual I hadn’t gotten to – due to the long morning mend-fest. A failed mend-fest.  I went on to floss. Floss  as in using  a soft, strong, waxed thread, made of nylon. Sturdy, unbreakable nylon.
 I broke off a piece of floss, threaded it through a  needle, and wove the floss through my morning's handiwork - the elastic loop -  to inhibit its stretch. Sewed the loop onto the lower back seam of the gown. Lifted the skirt up to the lowest back button. Secured  loop .
No matter how big the wedding – it’s the little things!  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some Pics Are Worth 1000 Blogs!

Didn't even have to bring a camera. Various folk took various shots - all night. Here are the links to what our friends and family captured from Emily and Ryan's Big Day

Ceremony starts

Ceremony ends . . .

. . .with a surprise from the groom.
.Click the links below for more.

ASA Photography

Cousin Amy's awesome photos

(to be continued)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dress Rehearsal

First allow me to clarify: Dress Rehearsal is NOT Rehearsal Dinner, the get-together that celebrates all systems go for the wedding day to follow. It’s Dress Rehearsal. That is, going through the motions well before the Big Day. Motions in which the engagee ( accent on the last syllable,long double - e)  will don her dress, walk in it (as in down the aisle) bend in it (as in crouching down low enough  to  hug toddlers of full- grown cousins) , and , after a hearty dinner, dance the night away in it as a married lady. That’s a high order for a single garment  – any garment – on a single night -- not to mention a reconstructed full length wedding gown(with train) that has been altered to fit like a glove.
Dress Rehearsal discoveries:
·    That the bride must put  the gown on over her head, not step into it, because the slip that poufs out the A-line of the gown cannot be tucked down into the dress’s skirt without stressing the seams of its  lower half . Good to know. We don’t want stressed seams (or stressed bride or stressed MOTB) the day of the wedding.

·    That the hooks on the bodice of the gown will stretch to the farthest row of eyes on the built-in corset as long as the bride sucks in her  breath as deeply as  possible  Do not underestimate the extent to which a bride will inhale to  zip the snug bodice of a fitted gown. I understand there is no need to worry unless – after all hooks are eyed – a bride-to-be’s complexion matches the latest craze of wedding party gray. Fortunately, Em retained her rosy glow throughout the Dress Rehearsal.  

·   That there is one concern. The threaded  loop designed to hook the lower half of the gown to the lowest button of the bodice's back, thus  lifting the gown’s train high enough to let  the bride dance the night away, that loop doesn’t look as if it can stand up to  the job through ceremonial pomp and celebratory circumstances on the dance floor.  

Time to get out the sewing box – which is what Dress Rehearsal is all about.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome to Wedding Central

I have to admit Em's wedding  - less than three weeks away - is too close for the comfort of my being able to put off this or wait till later for that. We're beyond prioritizing. It's do-it-all-now time: the final flower decisions, the DJ song list, the hotel and party count, readings, guest bags.
And that's just this weekend. The storm before the calm - I hope.  I'll  gladly face a frenzy a few weeks before the wedding for a smooth run on October 8.
My tiny house seems to be getting smaller and smaller now that it's Wedding Central. Gowns - the bride's and mine - hang, out of the closet, to avoid wrinkling. Gift boxes are stacked here, cartons of goodies for the candy bar show up there. Baskets are being amassed for the sweets. There's 300 feet of packaged string lights piled on the piano bench. 

Good thing I haven't played the piano in a while. Maybe I'll get it tuned after the wedding.

After the wedding. Now there's a thought that hasn't crossed my mind in a long time. There's got to be a morning after the wedding, right? A quiet break of day when bride and groom are off to Vermont for a  long weekend. When the to-do lists are all crossed out and the happy hello hugs and kisses have been replaced by  bittersweet goodbyes.

When the Mommy of the Bride becomes the Mommy-in-law.

Oh my!

Better dig out that piano tuner's phone number!              

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thank You Kenny Chesney

Where was I?
Oh yes, Emily's bridal shower.
A shower  that Hurricane Irene almost crashed. We missed her rude entrance by a single weekend.
 But there is more to that lucky miss than meets the eye - of the hurricane or mine.
Em’s shower was originally planned for the day Irene would eventually crash through Connecticut . But that soiree was moved up a week because two bridal party members had tickets to see Kenny Chesney in Boston on Sunday, August 28. They couldn’t be two places at once. So we switched the date of the shower.
My English teaching colleagues and I call that situational irony.
We Wedding Planners call it Miraculous.
A fortuitous twist of fate of which Jimmy Fallon might write:  Thank you Kenny Chesney for being the reason behind having to reschedule Em’s bridal shower which in the end inconvenienced her family and friends much less than if your concert  had not inconvenienced them in the first place.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Extra Extra

Bear with me as I interrupt this blog of wedding news with other family news.
The Mommy of the Bride has just become the published  Mommy of the Bride.
If, while reading about the closer-than-ever nuptials,you have  strayed to the right margin of the blog and ventured to my website at you are aware of the book I wrote – last year – about my family. One MOTB blog, in May,  spoke of the death of Emily’s father over ten years ago. Emily, her brother Conor, and I have come a long way through the years, adjusting to our daily lives without Larry.Yet his presence has really never vanished. Every day, what we say, what we do, what we think, triggers memories of his love and devotion to us.
I began writing the memoir about our life with Larry – and our life without him a few years ago. If you feel as if you have become part of my family by reading about Emily’s wedding, I invite you to become an even greater part of it by reading the memoir Staying Alive: A Love Story.You will find the first chapters  here for Kindle readers and here for Nook readers.  The paperback can be ordered here from Barnes and Noble and here from Amazon

Now, back to the busy-ness of planning a wonderful wedding.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Shower - not a Hurricane

Em's bridal shower was supposed to be this coming weekend - but it got pushed back to last weekend. Thank goodness. Hurricane Irene would have crashed the party this week. The shower would have been torrential.

Thanks to bridesmaid Mary, the rest of these photos start to capture the wonder of the day.  

Linda's cake looked exactly like the invitatin

Nancy's decorations gave us a hint of what October will bring.

The bridal party gathers for a photo.

More photos to come

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting Formal

My dining room has been invitation headquarters for a few days. The long oak table serves as a desk for a couple of laptops – my HP Pavilion , Em's  Mac – and a printer that came free with the HP a few years ago. An assembly line of the envelope inserts spreads across the surface too: invite, info card and reply postcard. The postcard will require its own stamp before stuffing.
I’ve taken on a variety of new roles during wedding planning. Last week I found myself punching out tiny flowers to decorate wedding favors. Paper crafting is new to me.  Proof that you can teach an old quilter new tricks. Seems what my generation did with cloth this generation is doing with card stock. (Totally random observation there.)
This week Em and I are printers, producing envelopes that give the official wedding invitations a classy look our handwritten addressing would lack. Easier said than done, but worth it in the end. Trouble was, the envelope size did not jive with Microsoft Word  choices, but  a click on Options. . . gave us some wiggle room on  return address margins - one-inch top, .7inch left. That could be saved as default. For some reason, the five-space  differentiation for a centered delivery address has to be manually set for each envelope.  More-miscalculations-than-I-would-like-to-admit later, we had our format and a pleasing font - .Andalus italics. Bold italics was a tad too heavy.
There’s actually been an evolution to this envelope-by-envelope print-out plan, all  phases steering clear of  handwriting. In March, the save-the-date reminders were mail-merged onto clear labels that gave  a nice, uniform look to the postal harbingers, but not nice enough for the Big Day invite.  I practiced printing one after the other addresses on the shower invites a few weeks ago, but the envelope size matched one of Word’s choices – so that was a cinch. This week, with the give and take Word allows, and the give and take of a Bride-to-Be and a Mommy-of-the-Bride, we are on our way to feeding those odd-sized envelopes through the HP Pavillion, but not before a trip to the Post Office for stamps . . .

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spinning in Place

The Mommy of the Bride doesn’t  know what direction to head in this week. She considered the  path to Em’s wedding  journey-enough, for now, especially with the bridal shower in a couple of weeks and just two months to go to the Big Day. .
 But a few weeks ago Em and Ry decided to move from an apartment five minutes away to one 55 minutes, by Google map measure. It will place him closer to his physician assistant intern rounds. And as if that isn’t flux enough for one month, Brother of the Bride moves to Boston tomorrow for a sports management internship. 
Good thing I have a GPS.   
I ‘ve been lucky to have my son and daughter living very close to me for the last two years . Not having them spontaneously pop in for dinner or to do a wash will take some getting used to.  I won’t get to walk Em and Ry’s dog as often.
But as much as I loved their close proximity, I know they have to choose their directions.
  • What if my grandfather and grandmother remained close to their mothers in Quaglietti, Italy– and did not board a ship to America in the mid-1920s?
  • What if my father and mother remained in Brooklyn, New York to be near their parents, 35 years later?
  • What if Em and her brother remain here – because of me?  
Same answer for each. None of their lives would  have played out as they should have.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Since You Asked

“So when do we get to see this dress? The suspense is killing me,” a FB friend asked after the Dream (Gown) Come True post last week.

Expect a photo post October 9 – the day after the wedding. A bride is entitled to unprecedented entrance in an, as yet, unseen dress. By the groom, at least.
It is in this regard that the Mommy of the Bride almost blew it  three months ago, when she used a few too many details to describe the bridal gown in the Snip and Tuck post. . (Notice the MOTB has to write this in third person because it is still so difficult to admit). But, in her ever-so-slight defense, there was no picture. The MOTB is not that stupid. She just got carried away with details. She should have known the devil is in the details. 
Minutes after that very early morning post, the  MOTB received an e-mail from the ever-judicious Bride-to-be.
I think I'd feel better about the dress being as much as a surprise as possible (especially since in an earlier blog you mention that the dress should be a surprise to the readers.)
The Bride-to-be was correct. The MOTB  did write that,  ten months ago.
The now MMOTB (Mortified Mommy of the Bride) immediately reworked the tell-all paragraph and hoped the mental picture was not one  that would be easily processed – by a male brain. After all, could Prince William really envision how singularly beautiful his Kate would look after these details of the royal gown were published before their wedding?
A design of individual flowers, hand cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle would be worked onto French Chantilly --  combined with English Cluny lace --  hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition, in a gown drawing on the fashions of the Renaissance with a touch of modernity, characteristic of the artistic vision of Alexander McQueen.
I hope not.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dream (Gown) Come True

The saga of the dress continues. . .

The dress of Em’s dreams was larger than Em – much larger. Say, five sizes.
Seamstress #1 said the alteration could be done – but not by her – she was a costumer (from Em’s theatre group at college, about 100 miles away). But maybe  seamstress #2 – about 50 more miles away - could do it.
I was beginning to get worried. If seamstress #2 reneged, this must-have gown could have been headed for an eBay auction -not that I have anything against eBay! But that wasn’t the marry-tale ending I wanted for the dress of Em’s dreams. It had too much of a settling-for-second-best feel to it. Fine for, let’s say, a rent-a-car, but not the raiment of the bride.
Seamstress number # 2 recognized what was at stake.  Jenn couldn't wait to get her hands on the gown.

“Sometimes I get an idea and am up at three in the morning, pinning and sewing,” she said as cousin Rachel and I oohed and aahed  at her progress at yesterday’s fitting.  The gown will travel back from Lowell with us in a few weeks. From the looks of its perfect fit on Em, there’s just the hem to do.
Jenn's  middle-of-the-night comment led me to imagine her, in the wee hours of the night, restless, until she gets the picture in her head to appear on the headless mannequin form before her. The vision brought me back to a scene in Disney’s Cinderella, mice and birdies singing in a turret as they assemble Cinderella’s dress for the ball the way Jenn has reassembled Em’s dress for the wedding. Since, for the time being, I’m bound to secrecy on the picture-perfect image of Em’s gown, Cinderella's remake will have to do.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat Wave

Record-breaking heat in these parts lately.
103 degrees in the shade yesterday.
No stagnant air factor at work here. One that would make it feel hotter than it is - just like when a wind chill factor can make 19 degrees feel like 2 below. (I only added that part about the wind chill to try to make me feel cooler. Didn’t work.)
No, the 103 is a true blue – or should I say red hot - never-been-reached-in Connecticut -on- July 22 temperature. More of the same is expected today, July 23.
JULY 23!
 How can that be? Where is this summer (that didn’t feel like a summer till a couple of weeks ago – and now feels like a pizza oven) where is it going?
For me, there’s only one answer to that question. Day by day, it’s getting closer and closer to Em and Ry’s wedding, now only  77 days away.
I remember at just about 777 days, when they got engaged two years ago. That was the easy theoretical talking-wedding  stage.

                     It’ll be a country setting . There’s a horse farm they’re looking at.

At about 700 days a barn was reserved (sans horses). If you don’t book the barn of choice a couple of years in advance, you don’t get the barn of choice.  
Then the next couple of hundred days got us through no-pressure brainstorming and lots of conversations that ended with Oh but we don’t have to decide that now.

The next couple of hundred days we had to start deciding - wedding dress, seamstress, guest list …
The next couple - fare, guest accommodations, décor, photographer…
Now there is no next couple of hundred days. Not even 100.
And I find myself thinking – the heat is on.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mail Order (Mother of the) Bride

When the package appeared on my porch, I still pretty much doubted my fashion mission - accomplished - with an eBay order. A 12” X 14” priority-mail box doesn’t exactly emit MOTB gown-worthiness through its cardboard. The 10” X 12” plastic bag of merchandise inside the official USPS parcel evoked even greater hesitancy. This is probably going back I thought as I scissored a careful slit through the see-through wrapping, careful not to damage the goods (or not-so-goods) inside.
I unfolded a brown mass of chiffon out of the bag. Deep brown and deeply wrinkled - from packaging. Yet, on a hanger the dress fell into a long line that had – let me say – possibilities. This mail order wasn’t a wash – yet.
I hooked the rather crumpled garment onto a hanger and set it  behind the bathroom door. Took a shower. Emerged, myself, slightly wrinkled. The dress, however, seemed to have ironed itself out in the steamy after-bath. The thin pleats above the slightly raised waist of the dress, straightened. The flow of the A-line skirt below the pleats, softened. Nice hanger presentation, I had to admit.
But a perfectly-engineered standard hanger and the imperfect construction of my torso are vastly different display apparatus. Still dubious, I donned appropriate undergarments.
Appropriate undergarments, in my mind, were my best undies. Not any kind of upper corset or lower girdle that would allow the dress to fit like casing over a sausage. I wanted a gown that would comfortably fit over everyday (er) foundations and allow for easy  (er) execution of everyday (ahem) functions.I 'd heard too many horror stories about breath-constricting zip ups and impossible zip-downs from MOTB’s I have known.
I gathered  the skirt  and put my head into the circle of its hem, up through to the deep V-neck of the garment. The bodice set firmly against my upper body. The bottom seemed to float over me from the waist down. Hmmmmmm. 
But the gown hadn’t passed the zipper test yet. Until it did, I thought it best to err on the side of doubt  as I reached back to the pull tab and raised it from hip . .  to waist . . . to mid back . . . to . . . BINGO . . .   the top stop. 

 Then I turned my back toward  the mirror.Metal teeth meshed smoothly.  I turned again . Viewed classic lines.  Tasteful décolletage.
This garment – with tags that affirmed its Tadashi Shoji design, not to mention its full price, slashed to half price, slashed to eBay price – this gown was a keeper.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let the Buyer Research

I had my doubts about the eBay  Mother-of-the-Bride dress I happened upon, but the ad guaranteed quick delivery and no greater risk than the cost of return postage. This was nowhere near the gamble taken on by the way too patient bride-to-be I had read about. She spent two months waiting for a wedding dress from ‘China Nation’ on eBay (cost: 170 pounds --  $275 U.S currency) I would have cancelled the order after a week or so and hustled to the local bridal shop. Her eBay buy  finally arrived two weeks before her wedding – wrong size, cut, material, the beading patchy and peeling.  

He designed this MOTB's dress

Too bad the hapless bride of the misbegotten gown didn’t do the kind of online research that led me to her predicament. A search term as generic as “eBay gown complaints”  directed me to a general eBay warning to stay away from copies of British gowns made in China . My gown of interest, a never worn Tadashi Shoji  design -- tags included --  would be shipped out of Kansas. The  seller had good ratings. The eBay warning  site also offered a link to an Internet guide on how to spot a fake designer label.
After I found the designer carried in Nordstroms and Bloomingdale's and checked out celebrities in his gowns, I felt ready  to take the plunge as  deep as the (almost) off-the-shoulder neckline of his 2010 gown that caught my eye. When the package arrived, three days later, I wondered if my next blog would be a yay or nay.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Was I Under AdSense Arrest?

I went to post the eBay? No Way blog a couple of days ago and ran into a problem. With text completed in compose mode, ready to publish, I clicked preview.  The window popped up, but just white space filled the preview box. No print, no picture, no URL links – all of which I’d spent the early morning formatting on the compose screen. I tried preview again and again. After the third try I was certain I knew why the blog wasn’t appearing.

The AdSense police had  Mommy of the Bride under surveillance.
Which could  lead to Internet incarceration -  solitary confinement of to the place where all bad bad bloggers go – the no publishing zone.
I immediately began a defense in my head.
“I swear I didn’t click one ad. Honest Officer AdSense.
“Save your excuses for Judge Google,”  he’d reply. But that alone would not spare him my plea.
 “Sure I thought about it, But the nuns always said the thought wasn’t a sin. Just doing it was.”
“Doing what?” he’d ask. I’d caught his attention.
“Clicking.” Not the answer he’d hoped for.
“Tell it to the Judge.”
I pictured the judge would look like Columbo, in a crumpled gown.
So I’d go on to tell the judge how I only speculated about clicking my own blog ads. I’d own up to a sudden jump in ad activity after the AdSense Nonsense blog. A show of family support I suspect. And yes, I’d apologize, if he thought the title of my post – a bit rude. I meant no disrespect. The Nonsense could just as well refer to my rambling – as to Adsense absurdities.
 If Judge Google bought that, I’d go on to mention how any sweet and understanding top-of-the-heap Google law enforcer like himself (who I pictured dressed Columbo – like in a crumpled black  robe, squinting his eyes as I spoke),  how that wise-as-Solomon kind of  judge could certainly understand why I had used the official Google AdSense logo as the banner for that entry. It looked so pretty and went along with the blogspot  suggestion to  add an eye-catching visual to every entry . Then, in one long breath I’d begin to say , “What’s  a blogging MOTB to do? Especially one who’s  trying to break the mold of  MOTB  blogs that just copy and paste stuff out of, or”  I’d get a quick sniffle in before I’d continue, through the same breath, to explain, “I'm only trying to tell the story of my only daughter’s wedding." Or maybe  my daughter’s only wedding would sound more convincing. Or only daughter’s only wedding.
And then, after patiently listeningl to whatever I had decided to say,  Judge Google would rub his forehead in true Columbo fashion – and say. . . 
What would he say?  I continued to wonder as I scanned my Google Account details for some sort of warrant of Internet Arrest until I finally found an alert from Blogger headquarters. Something that would probably kick me off the Internet for life.
I half-closed my eyes, clicked the alert, and forced myself to read:
English to Hindi transliteration is not working since 07-July-2011. The font symbol " " which earlier used to appear is missing now. It’s a global  problem ALL users are facing same. We are working on solving the problem. Thank you for your patience.
Until the Hindi symbol    could appear again, I would not be able to post a new entry.
The Hindi font symbol soon became visible , along with those  that allow me to write:

वर-वधू के माँ के एकांत में नही  

In other words, the Mommy of the Bride is not in solitary confinement.