This week, Cat and I
conspired cooperated on a joint post and made it through to Week 4. (Awesome!) I’m one of eight remaining contestants, all strong writers. You guys make me happier than a honey badger eating a cobra. As always, thanks for your votes! Here’s the post:
Chris writes about life in his 1950s bungalow: special needs parenting, step-parenting, and observations and conjecture about life in general. He often bares his soul with his raw, honest approach to making connections with his readers. https://fromthebungalow.wordpress.com/
All that is on the menu at How to Skinny a Cat is truth served with a side of butt hurt. A bloggity on turning 40, weight loss and the train wrecks I like to call my daily walk through WTFville. http://howtoskinnyacat.blogspot.com/
The two of us may have the most dissimilar blogs out of everyone in this contest. But in talking over the phone, we felt like we were kindred spirits. Our content and voices may be different, but we both believe that unapologetic honesty is the best policy. It was absolutely a pleasure and a riot talking with each other, and our conversation carried on way beyond our interview questions:
Cat: You are the Blogger most unlike me- what did you think when you found out you were stuck with me this week?
Chis: I wondered if it was really random! After I read your blog I thought, “Funny, super honest–I like it.”
Chis: But what’s with the honey badger references? Are you comparing yourself or other women to what some consider to be the craziest, most fearless animal on earth?
Cat: Yeah, in a way. How that cultivated is there’s this video on YouTube called honey badger don’t give a shit or something like that (The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger). Have you seen it? You have to be an ornery, take-no-prisoners type chick to be a honey badger.
Cat: Speaking of crazy animals, aliens or zombies?
Chris: Zombies! They’re the walking dead and eat brains for Christ’s sake! Aliens have agendas that are years in the making. I think I have a better chance of survival in a zombie apocolypse than I do an alien invasion. Zombies just wander around moaning, looking to eat brains. No agendas, no plans. Grab a shotgun and take some heads off. Everyone knows that’s how to deal with a zombie.
Chris: You’ve undergone some very big life stressors in recent months: finalizing a divorce, quitting a job, moving to another city with a new partner and becoming an “empty nester.” How do you cope?
Cat: Xanax and whiskey! I totally believe in medicating oneself and making it better. This is what happens, and you roll with it. Some things are out of your control. You can choose to roll with it or be run over by it. You have some stress in your life, also, with a new fiancee and stepson to mesh with.
Cat: When you get to the finish line and your kids are 18, what’s the one thing you want them to be able to do so you can feel like you succeeded as a Dad?
Chris: That’s a hard one to answer. My oldest son has special needs. I’d like for him to live as independently as possible. For the other two, I want them to be critical thinkers. For example, when they ask me for a toy, I’m happy to buy it, but I want to know why they want it. If they say because so-and-so has one, that’s not good enough. I want them to be able to form an argument and be able to discuss it. I also want them to be able to appreciate the little things in life. To me, God is in the details. I want them to be able to pick up on subtle nuances like knowing what the air smells like right before it rains. Things like that.
Chris: You’re a parent. In my favorite post of yours so far, “A Soft Place to Fall,” you paint a picture of an incredible woman: your daughter. You show a deep appreciation for the person she’s become. How do you account for raising such an amazing human being?
Cat: Taking beatings, man. Actually, I’d say I always listen to her. I always talk to her, It doesn’t matter what it is. Sometimes it’s naked sexy time questions. I don’t hold anything back. I think that’s good for her. Plus, she’s heard a lot from me and my girlfriends. She shouldn’t be too surprised when she goes off to college. She’s been forewarned by many an angry woman. If she’s got something she thinks is going to horrify me, she’ll say, “Mom, grab a glass of wine and let’s sit on the patio,” and I think, “Oh shit, here we go. Better grab the whole bottle.” It’s a reality check. Do I want her to have a clear picture or am I going to cloud her vision with rainbows and unicorns.
Cat: You know, that makes me think- If you had to be on any reality show, which one would you pick?
Chris: I don’t watch much TV, and I usually hate “reality” shows because they’re so far from any reality I know. I did get sucked into Celebrity Apprentice this season because of my fiancee and the human train wreck that is Gary Busey, so I guess I would be on that one.
Cat: Who would you most want to be on Celebrity Apprentice with?
Chris: Sarah Silverman. I have an unnatural crush on her. She’s hilarious and hawt and I would have her babies if roles were reversed.
Cat: Who would you not want to be on the show with?
Chris: Oh, who’s that nasty political writer? Ann Coulter. Bleh.
Chris: By the way, how are your boobies? (Can I ask you that if I’m on “Team Stix?”)
Cat: Yeah, you can. Everything came out, wait, are you asking me in a ♫bow chicka bow-wow♫ kinda way, or about the tests?
Chris: Um, tests?
Cat: OK, so not in the baby oil kinda way. I have to show up every six months and do it again; make sure they haven’t grown horns or anything. Everything is ok, it’s part of the deal when you turn 40.
Chris: I did notice a shift in your blog. I think it’s important that we let our blogs evolve organically and let them follow where life takes us. Did you start your blog as a weight loss journal?
Cat: I was going to be a vegetarian and I thought, “I bet there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to eat farm animals.” But after a few posts I said, “screw that.” There’s all kinds of crap that happens to you when you turn 40. The blog started morphing into that. I was like, “Holy shit, look at all these tests I have to take!” It’s hard work, though.
Cat: What’s the hardest part about Blogging for you?
Chris: Knowing what’s worth writing about. A lot of times I’ll think a topic seems too obvious, but then you write about it and get a positive response. Also, writing meaningful posts; not just churning shit out. I can’t please everyone. I know I won’t be able to appeal to 80% of the population, but I’m not trying to make a living out of it. I have to stay true to my own writing style.
Chris: I thought your piece about dairy products was good, and I’ve switched to almond milk myself, but the thing that stood out to me the most was the phrase “put on your WTF panties.” Your writing is filled with these little, oddly descriptive phrases. How do you come up with this stuff?
Cat: I’m talking to girls mostly on my blog. I know my demographic. We like to say things like, “Put on your big-girl panties.” Why not have WTF panties? I talk with girlfriends and we’re all honest with each other. Sometimes punches are thrown, but that’s where the creativity happens.
Cat: You have to know who you are, so describe yourself in three words, Chris!
Chris: Nerd, hippie, pantheist.
Cat: I knew you would use a big word! Everyone will just have to Google that last one to get to know you better!
“Nice work – I really liked the conversational tone as opposed to a formal interview. It definitely seemed as though both of you were familiar with each other’s blogs and that you weren’t just pulling random questions out of the air.
Cat – I don’t know how to phrase this the right way, but I’m glad to see that your language wasn’t as….”colorful” as it has been in the past. Don’t get me wrong – I could make a sailor blush, so it’s not like I’m offended by the f-bomb, but when writing for a broader audience, *I* like to see it toned down a bit – I don’t know if you did it intentionally for this post but I noticed the difference and I liked it.
Amy, from Non-Stop Mom
“I loved it! Very conversational, and everything transitioned very smoothly. And the boobs part…. LMAO!!! I was dying….lol. I learned a lot about both of you, and your blogs that I didn’t know, even though I follow both of you!”
Heather, from My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream
“I like that this flowed more as a conversation rather than an interview. It really seems that you both did your research and learned about each other before posing questions. I certainly learned a lot about each of you through this! And the boobs? LOL!”
Kim, from Mamas Monologues
“It’s like you guys were talking on the phone, stopped and said, hey we can use this conversation for that Blogger Idol thing we have to do!! Which is great, your connection and rapport really shows.
I do feel that the conversation is very ‘Cat-heavy’? Or it’s just natural that women talk more? LOL!”
Alison, from Mama Wants This!
Chris, from Dad of Divas