My Blogging Double Fantasy

Growing Up Austin - A Double Blogging Fantasy

This has been a secret until now, but I feel ready to be open about this.

I have blogging fantasies.

Fantasies change over time. A few years ago, when my girls were really little, my fantasies were about free, overnight babysitting. Now, just every now and then, they are about blogging. Like last week, as I was working on my post about Meredith Walker, co-creator with Amy Poehler, from Smart Girls at the Party and my fantasy went like this…

—–

I’m in my office for my day job, on the computer, crunching some numbers, when my cell phone rings.

[Carol] Hello.

[Amy] Hello. Can I speak to Carol Ramsey?

[Carol] This is Carol.

[Amy] Hello, Carol. This is Amy Poehler.

(I’m not sure why my fantasy is about Amy instead of Meredith, Meredith is way better looking.)

[Carol] Hello, Amy.

[Amy] I just read your post about your interview with Meredith. That was a very good piece of writing.

[Carol] Thank You.

[Amy] I can tell from this one small writing sample that you are very talented. Your writing is strong, technically and artistically, and you are also very funny.

[Carol] Oh, my, thank you very much.

[Amy] I’m calling today to offer you a writing job.

[Carol] That would be great, but I have a family to support and my teenage daughter starts college in a few years.

[Amy] Oh, you mean that rumor that writers early in their career don’t make much money? That is just a rumor. You would make about the same as you do now, as a software professional with twenty years of experience.

[Carol] Wow, that is great.

[Amy] We need you Carol. The world is ready for what you have to say.

—–

This may seem like a lot, but I have been in a vulnerable place. I have a vision about encouraging family experiences with hiking, live music and art. I want to believe that, on a given weekend, there are a few dozen of families in Austin that are hiking on Bull Creek, dancing at Guero’s or making art on a Second Saturday at Laguna Gloria because GrowingUpAustin made it easier. But I know how to crunch numbers and I know that I don’t have the reach to make that happen, not yet.

I laughed a little about Amy’s phone call. It’s OK to have fantasies, as long as you don’t fantasize all day. I got back to work. Then I started to imagine…

(I’m on a panel at the Texas Conference for Women about very successful writers who started as bloggers. A woman in the audience, I’ll call her Karen, is asking me a question.)

[Karen] Back before your writing was discovered and you had to write day-in and day-out and often late at night, feeling like maybe not many people were reading, how did you keep going?

[Carol] Well, Karen, that is a good question. It wasn’t always easy. Most writers have to write for a long time before they find their voice and their audience and there isn’t a short-cut to good, old-fashioned hard work. But there is one thing that helped, sometimes I would have these blogging fantasies…

—-

OK, wait a minute. I was having a fantasy about my fantasy. Is that a double fantasy? Is that healthy? Or maybe it’s an initial sign of instability? Of writing too many late nights after the kids go to bed? Or ……maybe this is a sign that always comes just before your writing is discovered…

Oh, my. Then I got back to work again.

But, I was wondering, if you are a blogger, what is your blogging fantasy?


Singing Songs and Dancing Light

Downtown Hong Kong

(This post is part of a series about my trip to China. It all started here and here.)

If you are going to sing karaoke in the afternoon with co-workers you don’t know super well, here are a few tips…

1. Katie Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” might be a little much for the first song.

2. But, it isn’t as bad as Mumford and Sons’ “Winter Winds”, with its story of lost love using metaphors of plague, pestilence and death.

3. Everyone sings better when you pick better songs.

4. Everyone sings better when after they drink green tea and whiskey.

The awards for the afternoon went to…

1. The best singing award went to Rachel, because I mistook her voice for Alicia Keys‘ voice and even when I was looking right at her, it was hard to believe someone in the same room as me could sing that well.

2. The best video performance award went to Derrick Tuggle’s dancing to I’m a Lonely Boy by The Black Keys because you don’t have to make a big production of it to have fun.

3. The best song award went to Adele’s “Someone Like You” because everyone in the room lived their worst breakup all over again, even if they had been married for ten years or more, singing, “Don’t forget me, I beg…” as if it happened yesterday.

Later that night, my friend and I were at The Peak, high above the Hong Kong downtown. We found a restaurant with no wait and were seated at a table with a great view just before the lights on the downtown buildings started to dance in patterns with changing colors. Sometimes it comes easy.

I’m glad I got on the plane.

And lucky for me, there was not asteroid hit and WWIII did not start. I made it home to half a million hugs and kisses. I want to go again, with Blue Eyes next time.  Remind me of that, next time I think about falling down the escalator so I might break something and stay home.


The Trouble With Open Spaces in Hong Kong

Growing Up Austin

I don’t like to plan everything when I travel. Maybe plan one or two things in a day, then leave open spaces where I can walk around in whatever direction looks interesting. The trouble with this in Hong Kong is that this usually leads to shopping.

There are places to shop in every neighborhood, on every street, on both sides of the street and on multiple floors. There are flea markets, souvenir stands, huge malls and tiny boutiques. They are selling purses, purses, purses and shoes, shoes, shoes, along with watches, electronics and cosmetics, some real and some fake, at any price you prefer. No matter where you are or where you are headed or how much time you have in your open space, there is a store right there, waiting for you.

One afternoon, my friend and I were minding our own business, having a drink and getting foot massages, then taking a walk. Just for fun, we stepped into a boutique dress shop. Right away, a sales lady named Fanny started pulling dresses off the rack for me to try. She didn’t check sizes, she knew my body by looking at it and she knew her clothes. I came out of the dressing room in the first dress and she said in broken English, “Off, off with that, feet, fix it!” and she handed me a pair of high heels. Apparently, fashionable dresses cannot be tried on with socks.

I tried on a few fun dresses, then it got a little crazy with a leather mini-dress with an over-sized knit turtle neck collar, a black jump suit with gold beading on the top and a black spandex mini-skirt with a gold-sequined tank top. I might have bought it all, if the clothes were 50% off the price marked, instead of being 50% off with the price already marked. I got the fun dresses in the end, now I just need new shoes.

My very favorite shopping find was unexpected and inspired and it started when I noticed…

1. There aren’t many overweight people in Hong Kong.

2. There are more women with small breasts, like mine!

3. Hey, wait a minute! Get me to a lingerie store!

And there they were. Size 36AA. In multiple styles and colors. I can tell you from a lifetime of struggles shopping for bras that this size bra is more rare than a UFO sighting in a big city with multiple witnesses and the cameras rolling. Shopping for bras has made me cry more than once, as I asked the clerk one more time, “Is this really the smallest bra you have?”, “Can I order a smaller one on-line?” and “Maybe there is a pattern I can buy and I can sew it myself?” I bought all the bras they had in my size. Lucky for me, there was enough open space in my suitcase to get them all home.

(My trip to China started here and will finish later this week.)