September 10, 2006

In the years I’ve been keeping an online journal, I’ve only had a few angry comments. I’ve chalked this up to the fact that I’m too uninformed to be very opinionated, and therefore incapable of much shit-stirring. If only I were smarter, so as to have a longer, more useful stick with which to stir the shit! But alas.

As it turns out, being kind of stupid can be controversial too. I don’t think posting my horrible idea of a Steve Irwin Halloween costume was quite on par with, say, fooling hundreds of people into replying to a Craigslist sex ad and then publishing all of the responses, including their email addresses (which, oh my god), but I admit it was pretty obnoxious. I actually didn’t feel remorseful about it at all, though, until Jem–who I like very much–mentioned that the joke hit too close to home for her, as one of her close friends is related to Steve and is in mourning right now. Then I thought about Terri Irwin reading my retarded blog post, as improbable as that would be, and…yeah. Sometimes there are things you should probably just keep to yourself, or only share with your equally-awful husband.

However, if it shook loose a few readers whose immediate reaction to the entry was to tell me I had no morals or heart, and that they certainly hoped no harm would ever befall Riley (insert Ominous Tones of Deserved Retribution), well, I don’t mind that one bit. Begone, froth-mouthed crazies, to a land where no one ever does anything to offend you. I recommend one of the outer rings of Saturn.

Something kind of interesting: my daily traffic on that website has nearly doubled in the last couple days. One of the Irwin Post comments asked, “Are you not getting paid for this site?”. I’m not positive what the relevance of the question is – I guess the implication is that I should avoid any subject that has the potential to upset the readers I am being paid to write for. My guess is that ClubMom doesn’t have a real big problem with the boost in viewers. Presumably whoever is currently paying for that big-ass ad tower on there (at the moment, Home Depot, I think) doesn’t mind it either.

I get paid by the month, not by number of viewers, so from that perspective I don’t care if people go away, and in the words of one reader, “tell all of their friends about my pathetic lack of taste and decency” (wait, so you’re going to send around a link to my blog with the instructions to avoid it because it contains a lack of both taste and decency? Jeez, warn me ahead of time, why don’t you, so I can ask for more bandwidth) and never come back.

But I do actually care about a bunch of people having such vitriolic anger towards me; if every entry I posted – here or elsewhere – had comments like that (setting aside the question of what objectionable content, exactly, I’d be consistently producing to generate that sort of feedback) then it wouldn’t be rewarding at all. It wouldn’t be worth the check, and it certainly wouldn’t be worth the time I invest in it.

So my sappy, lame-ass point here is, I’m awfully grateful for the lack of hateful comments you leave me. You have helped me feel confident enough to write about things I never could share with strangers (you don’t feel like strangers). Thank you for being the most supportive, sane, non-butt-kissing, non-burn-her-she’s-a-witching, stupendously cool group of readers a person could hope to have.

Finally, to Jem: I’m sorry about that post.

:::

Today is Sunday, and it was a fine, fine day. The temperature was, in my Northwesterner’s opinion, completely perfect: 71°; the skies were clear and bright and you could just barely smell the onset of fall in the air, that crisp cool delicious odor of firewood and apples and leaves.

Lately we’ve been noticing an odd number of people who seem to be poking around in the tiny section of woods that skirts a park near our house, and JB finally asked someone, “Hey, are you looking for a geocache?” (They had that guilty look about them, a contrived sort of nonchalance, and of course the GPS is a dead giveaway.) They allowed as how they might be, yes, and so we looked it up – sure enough, there was a tiny cache hidden there, which we found this morning.

We hadn’t been geocaching in a long time, and I had forgotten just how fun it is. We packed up Riley and searched out two more in the neighborhood, discovering a park we’d never seen before in the process. That’s my favorite thing about geocaching, you find all kinds of cool trails and parks and places to come back to.

We also visited Old Navy, where JB updated his jeans wardrobe and I picked out some ridiculously cute shirts for Riley, and later we found a new cheap rug to replace the cheap white shag. I like this one much better, so now we have an extra rug. Clearly, we need a dead body to roll in its dog-fur-coated innards.

91106_rug.jpg
Rug, 2.0.

91106_shirts.jpg
Old Navy shirts. I love the one with the fox: WHAT!

In case you were wondering, the boy continues to be cute. It’s getting harder and harder to take pictures of him; man oh man, he’s always on the move, rarely staying still long enough to stay in frame.

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He looks like he’s dancing here, but I think he’s just in mid-wild-step. Rug 1.0 blinds us all with its shaggy whiteness.

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He digs the straw action, but every other sip comes with a near-death experiences as he hacks on the inhaled liquid contents. Babies! They’re, like, soooo clueless.

As for the dwindling remainder of this day, JB and I are going to continue on our marathon of watching the first season of Rescue Me, which despite some overall cheesiness, I’m really enjoying. Did you know you can say “shit” on FX, but not “fuck”? Just a little wisdom-nugget for you. You’re welcome, and good night.

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Katie
17 years ago

I do like the new rug (but I also liked the old version as well!) What, exactly, is geocaching? I have heard of it, but never heard it really explained. What did you find?

Christine
Christine
17 years ago

I think the comments regarding your costume entry on “Purple is a Fruit” clearly demonstrate the different demographics of your blogs. Us Sundry readers would have probably commended you on your creativity, noted the stingray motife cutely reminds us of the underwater theme in Riley’s room, and someone might have tossed in “pretty fucking gross. Way to go.” Right post, wrong blog.

Like the new rug, btw.

mrsgryphon
mrsgryphon
17 years ago

I love geocaching… haven’t been out in a while (there aren’t nearly enough stroller-friendly caches!) and can’t wait until Jellybean is big enough to wander the trails with us. Might come in handy having a little person on the team, too :)

Sonia (DDM)
17 years ago

Today was the first day that truly had me believing that Fall is on it’s way in the PNW. It even got a little cold this evening. I love this time of year, and the first *crisp* feeling in the air.

I still think that post at your other site was hilarious. Because I too, have a sick sense of humor. I admire that you were willing to acknowledge that some people you think highly of might have been offended. No. I’m not kissing your ass. I just want some COOKIES.

Liz
Liz
17 years ago

My husband was just saying the other day that he wants to buy a GPS and get into geocaching. It sounds like a ton of fun.

I found the stingray post amusing, but then I saw a photoshop the other day of a gigantic stingray crashing into the WTC with the caption “NEVER FORGET” and thought it was hilarious. I may not be the ultimate arbiter of taste.

Philos
17 years ago

I misread this:
Clearly, we need a dead body to roll in its dog-fur-coated innards.
as “in its fur-coated dog innards”, which is a completely different thing.

Also, the new rug looks really nice.

Jem
Jem
17 years ago

I emailed you, but thanks :) I know you didn’t mean anything cruel by that entry, and I still love you!

By the way, I love that fox t-shirt as well. I bought a t-shirt a while ago with a duck on it that says “SHUT THE DUCK UP” but that seems really lame and high school, so I think I’m going to write a speech bubble from the duck saying “FUCK”. That way, it will be like “Shut the duck up! It is saying fuck!” Does that make any sense? I’m ranting, aren’t I?

Lucy
17 years ago

I agree with Christine here and put the different tastes of the two sites down to the different demographics. That and your Sundry readers have a sense of humour.

I thought it was funny as all hell and apparently he was our own ‘Australian Treasure’, like Dame Edna Everage, or something.

pippa
17 years ago

Liz, I’m CRYING I’m laughing so hard. I need to see that image.

As to the folks who blasted you, W.T.F. Sure, it’s sad for the family and all, but let’s be realistic… this SHOCKING! TRAGEDY! The man wrestled crocodiles and dangled his kid in front of him. When I got the CNN emailed headline my first thought was. “Huhn. What pissed off animal was it?” Sure, I get the whole conservation thing, but I also get that animals want us to leave them the fuck alone. And I am more than happy to do so.

Again, though, I’m half Itey, so my family is quite fond of phone calls that start with “Guess who died?” It’s more of a sport, complete with trading cards

robin
robin
17 years ago

I’ve been a long time reader of this blog and the other one as well….and I read many other blogs as well and have never felt the need to rip on the blogger if I didn’t agree with what she was saying. Would I go off on someone to their face if I disagreed with something they said? No..but on the internet it’s easy because you are faceless. It’s still stupid and a waste of time…just move on, shit! Yours is probably one of my favorites and I don’t get why people get so irate and say terribly inappriate things (about your child coming up missing no less). I like your sense of humor and can think of no time where I’ve been offending. Maybe not in total agreement, but still….that’s me and thats you. Differences are okay, people. I was actually getting pissed off on your behalf.

Anyway, I hope you wont start censoring yourself. I find you so funny (OMG that ‘whats in the bag’ from the movie Seven you made a few posts back….that was the best! That’s probably may favorite part of the movie!!) and now that you’ve got Riley I think your blog is the best it’s ever been.

diane
diane
17 years ago

Love the new rug….thought the costume was clever….I guess I must be a bit of a sickie too….you are definitely not alone

Jo
Jo
17 years ago

Wonderful post – good point, well made.

And i LOVE that rug, where’d you get it?

jonniker
17 years ago

Beautifully done all around, as usual. I didn’t read Jem’s comment until you just pointed it out, but I think it speaks great volumes about her, and the type of person who really *would* be gently offended by that sort of thing, instead of the faux-offended ones who just want to scream and shout about how horrified by you they are and make you feel like a turd. The holier than thou-ers who have no problem calling you a classless asshole whose child should die in a fiery crash as some sort of karmic retaliation for a tasteless joke (albeit a still-highly amusing one) really get under my skin.

Separately, I adore the rug. And my favorite Riley shirt still remains the one he’s wearing up there – that plaid with the white flowers (is it lace? It’s not lace, nevermind, it’s not lace. Sheesh).

warcrygirl
17 years ago

I left an equally “tasteless” comment for you, hopefully my talent of putting my foot into my mouth will deflect some of that vitriol, or at the very least shut them up. But now you have an possible craft for that shag rug! Too bad a croc didn’t get him; then you could just buy a regular babies alligator costume and sew foam legs sticking out of its mouth. Of course, this is coming from someone whose mom went to a Halloween party dressed as a pregnant nun…

Kate
17 years ago

Hi Sundry,

I’m a long-time reader, never-commenter. I love your blog, and although sometimes you are a little “out there” for me, you crack me up. Don’t worry about offending people– one of the best things about your blog is that you say what you think, and your creativity just amazes me. Some people are just dumbasses.

Jessie
17 years ago

The geocacheing sounds like fun. I’m going to have to look into that.

Zoot
Zoot
17 years ago

Did your Old Nave have buggies/carts full of mens shirts for 1.97? Ours did last weekend and my husband bought 5 new shirts for less than $10. I’m so proud.

Lisa V
17 years ago

I personally think a joke about the dead is in poor taste, especially when this would is so fresh for so many people, not just people who knew him. However, I don’t think there is going to be some sort of karma pay back for you. And making comments about Riley- equally poor taste by your commentors.

I love your site. Will continue to read, and recognize this as a post where we part ways. My guess is that I would say things you would disagree with once in awhile too.

Jennifer
17 years ago

Dude, I love that “What!” shirt. I hope they make them in adult sizes.

Kaire
Kaire
17 years ago

I’m going to a costume ball this halloween. I am willing to bet there will be tons of Steve Erwins there. Would it have offended people less if you dressed Riley as the string ray and made JB carry him?

Emily
17 years ago

Yay, you’re finally watching Rescue Me! Just wait, the second season is even better. Denis Leary is my hero. The first season left me wanting to buy a poodle and name it “Asshole.”

wealhtheow
17 years ago

To be honest, I did find the whole dead-Steve-Irwin costume to be in poor taste, but I’d imagine we all do things in poor taste from time to time. Except me, because I’m cearly the zenith of perfection. But of course I still love your blogs, and will not stop reading them. Unless you’re being deliberately cruel (which I can’t imagine you being), I see no reason to freak the fuck out when you post something I disagree with, and have real trouble taking anyone who would seriously.

Leigha
Leigha
17 years ago

People shouldn’t freak out on you the way that they did – questioning your son’s safety was stepping over the line. Your sense of humor doesn’t imply that you’re a bad mother, so shame on them for trying to take it to that place.

I don’t agree with this topic being funny, but I’m allowed to disagree. Most of what you write is pretty hilarious, and I see alot of my own thoughts in the way that you write about the frustrations of being a mother. I’m not going to stop reading just because you said one thing that I didn’t like. How sad and frustrated are those people to get all riled up in that manner?

Don’t censor yourself because of a few jerks that you didn’t entertain out on the internet. You apologized to the friend that you hurt, but that’s the only person you need to worry about. And none of us think that The Boy is in any IMMEDIATE danger. Long term, possibly, but not immediate.

Kristen
17 years ago

After seeing the uproar on the ClubMom blog, I ran the whole thing past my husband to see what he thought. He said, “Yeah, it’s too soon for that.” I said, “I don’t think the amount of TIME that’s passed makes any difference to these people, I think they’re just thinking this is somehow mocking Steve Irwin or AUSTRALIA ITSELF, as opposed to seeing the shock-humor value in making a BABY’S HALLOWEEN COSTUME…” He said, “No, I mean it’s too soon to start thinking about Halloween costumes. Should have blogged that in October.”

Mary O
17 years ago

You’ll always be my favorite blogger…controversy and all! If you started censoring yourself because of what people *might* think or be angry about, then it just wouldn’t be the same. Don’t worry about those stinkers, because you have so many more readers who are supportive of you!

PS… Till today, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a geocache. See, I LEARN things from reading your blog!

Allie
Allie
17 years ago

I thought your Steve Irwin costume idea was hilarious. On another note, I have an internet friend who lives in Australia and came across something on her blog that you and all of your readers might find intresting:

“A Steve Irwin Tribute?

It’s barely been a week since the passing of Steve Irwin, and how are people mourning the loss of this environmental conservationalist? By hunting down great bull stingrays and hacking off their tails. No people I am not kidding, a number of stingrays have been caught by Steve Irwin fans, who then mutilate these innocent creatures. What the hell is wrong with these people? I know people have a tendency to turn on those who take people we care about away from us, but wake the fuck up! They are animals, not even the one that killed the guy, its pure butchery of an animal that doesn’t even understand why they are been targeted. Way to tread all over Irwin’s belief’s and life’s work!

People are taking this obsession way to far, yes he’s dead, and yes it was a lost, but morn with some goddamn respect to him and the environment he loved so much!”

So IMO you are not going to hell for your costume idea, the people who are killing those poor animals are!

Kaite
17 years ago

Not only do I like the new rug, I like the table sitting on it.

(I also think you are amazingly charming. Don’t just tell JB all your thoughts, we would miss out on so much!)

Lisa
17 years ago

You know, I’ve always been a little baffled by comments like “I think it’s in poor taste,” because … well, isn’t saying that also in poor taste? It’s like the etiquette conundrum we’re all faced with when confronted with rude behavior: calling someone out is rude, even if they were the ones originally being rude. You know?

Then again, I freely admit I have a problem with other people being the arbiters of what’s in good taste and what is not. Except for Linda, because clearly she has good taste: that living room is gorgeous and I love, love, love the coffee table.

Leah
17 years ago

From one badly lapsed geocacher to another, thanks for reminding me that I really ought to get out there and use all that expensive equipment.

Erin
17 years ago

I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s a complete geek and enjoys the geocaching.

Speaking of, I know that’s supposed to be an antenna coming out of the groundspeak frog’s head, but it doesn’t really look like it, now does it??

Pete
Pete
17 years ago

A friend of mine was a buyer for Jack-in-the-Box and had mentioned that McDonald’s designs their menus to offend the fewest amount of customers. Jack-in-the-Box, on the other hand, will put out a menu that might offend some but is actually interesting (and tasty). Thank you for not being McDonald’s.

M.A.
17 years ago

Love the rug! And the fox t-shirt — do they make those in adult sizes? Riley continues to be such a pleasure to “watch” grow up on line. He’s just beautiful.

In terms of negative comments… as someone who truly adores your writing, my first reaction is to defend you pretty much regardless of WHAT you say. Maybe that makes me POTP in the other direction (just call me Hedy to your Allie… heh heh KIDDING!) — but so be it. As others have astutely pointed out, it’s just like anything we have the CHOICE to watch/listen to/read. Don’t like what’s on TV? Click. Don’t like what People has to say about Jennifer Anniston? Put the magazine back in the rack and don’t buy it (and start unloading your groceries, dammit!) I tend to bristle when people feel they have to critique another person’s life, which they sellflessly share with us in this forum. Sundry, you just keep putting yourself out on any old limb, dear. I’ll support you. (P.S. Your hair… I really like it… where… do you get it cut? Just… you know… asking…)

Buffy
17 years ago

Love that table. Love that rug. Want that kid.

angela
17 years ago

personally, i am offended by the people who insisted on dragging your child into their Linda Is Heartless tirades. Jesus, if they’re gonna start taking digs at your morals or whatever, they should examine their own and learn to tackle the issue at hand, rather than go clawing at the nearest objects (or children) to drag in to their argument (look, an orange, i’m sure I can use THAT in stating my case). and perhaps learn to spell before they do. almost all the negative comments had misspellings, which, IMO, totally negates them.

Nikki
17 years ago

did you see the halloween costumes at old navy? they were too cute. my 2 yr old is going as a chicken. they also had frogs, monkeys, lions and some other ones i can’t remember. your pics were great! (and i love the cheap rug!)

justmouse
justmouse
17 years ago

i have had times where i said something i thought very witty…only it turned out to be totally offensive and i felt like a huge ASS! i never ever WANT to hurt someone’s feelings…but sometimes it happens. i have a weird, sick sense of humor. i’m sorry, but that’s just who i am. also, i have found lately that i am sensoring what i say in my OWN blog! so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings! but WTF?! these are MY thoughts, MY feelings! i am as entitled to them as anyone is to theirs. in fact, really, who the fuck are THEY to critisize ME?! *sigh* and then it goes round and round in my head. i want to be able to speak my mind openly and freely…and yet, live in terror of offending anyone. it’s a good thing my son and husband “get” me.

xoxox

(ps, while i found your stingray entry a little morbid, and kinda sad, i have to admit i also found it clever. does that make me a bad person?)

Lesley
Lesley
17 years ago

Dooce has hundreds, if not thousands, of morally superior readers who threaten to boycott her and never do. Boycotting would get in the way of their mission to keep the Internet tasteful at all times.

Slap up some ads on this site and quit your day job, girl. You’re going to be reeling them in now.

ginger
ginger
17 years ago

Oh, see, I think not only is Christine on the money, but you’ve been pushing your luck over at ClubMom for a while now, what with “goddam” (even if it was in quotation marks and attributed to JB) and “full release massages.”

I was surprised how sad I was about Steve Irwin. But I found the joke funny, or would have if I had come upon it naturally instead of being referred to it (even tasteless humor is delicate, and does not survive dissection.) I expect it over here, though, not where you can’t even say, “fuck,” lest you tax the sensibilities of the gentle ClubMomFans.

Some of us need black humor to survive, and typically we apply it even when we don’t strictly need it, which sometimes gets us in trouble. Keep an eye on those angry folks, though. Righteous indignation – particularly on a third party’s behalf – fuels a lot of stupid, dangerous behavior.

Unrelated – did you intend to camouflage Riley against Rug 2.0 with those tees?

TB
TB
17 years ago

Wow Linda, you don’t pimp your Club Mom blog enough. I’m not sure I even knew you had one.

Anyway, I thought the post was vintage Sundry, but from what I’ve heard about the Club Mom readership (attracts a lot of internet crazies along with the normal folks) perhaps it was better suited for this space. I’m just saying.

ginger
ginger
17 years ago

Well, sure. But do you really need the stress of being that blogger? Maybe you can talk Amalah into taking some of the heat.

honeybecke
honeybecke
17 years ago

i bet 10-1 those mf*ckers leaving you the dissatisfied comments hadn’t even read a day of you before just then. you know what that means? it means what they say doesn’t even count. they don’t know shit. those of us who read you and love you know where that crazy fucking stingray costume idea came from. that sticky sweet place in your brain. we’re used to it. we love it. even if it was uh, so weird.

geocaching is fun! it’s like a treasure hunt! we also can’t wait for our boy to get old enough so he can tell us which way to turn etc. yo ho yo ho.

Seattle Suz
17 years ago

How very Seattle of you to back peddle and pander to those ‘offended’ by your crass humor. You can be irreverently funny, my dear. Own it. And fuck ’em if they can’t take a (bad) joke.

Sundry
Sundry
17 years ago

Suz: wait, so I SHOULD do what people tell me to do, or I shouldn’t? Help me out, I’m too much of a Seattle pussy to make up my own mind. ; )

Jem
Jem
17 years ago

Just for everyones information – I don’t think Sundry should censor herself to try and please everyone. Even if I was kinda offended, I swear there’s been many times I’ve been the one offending other people, and I know Sundry is an awesome girl, so I don’t expect (or want!) her to change what she says and constantly think about who might take it badly. I think this is the first time I’ve even been slightly offended by anything she’s written, anyway, but I know it wasn’t meant in a cruel way. Live and let live!

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
17 years ago

I stand by my original comment.

Dood! Excellent.

Shelly
17 years ago

I think you should do a re-write of how you met your husband, and everything that went into the relationship and such, because I can find the part about the apartment sleep over (unintentional?) but I never could find the whole story. I dunno maybe I’m being too nosey, but I’m being pmsy mushy and I think it’d make a great post?

I dunno.

Sincerely Shelly.

Misti
Misti
17 years ago

Long time reader and yes, your jokes are/can be offensive, but seriously, the best jokes ever are those that are offensive. It was a tragic death, but damn people, get a sense of humor about it. It was a freak way to go and frankly, wouldn’t a Halloween costume just pay tribute?

Our world is too damn PC. Keep up with your jokes! You’re avid readers will get it and other people can just pretend to live in a world where only those with no soul and/or values offend other people.

Rock on, dear Sundry!

*misti

Amy
Amy
17 years ago

The new rug looks awesome, but I hope the shag finds a good home. (I have an inexplicable fondness for white shag.)

And for what it’s worth, I thought the joke was hilarious *and* can understand how it would offend someone. But trolls like your offensive commenters? They’re worth worrying about every bit as much as they were back in ’96 when I first started seeing them.

Keep up with the uncensored Sundry, please. :)