Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Wednesday
Aug042010

Anyone there?

I want to hear from you guys. I'm not sure what about... but I just want to hear from some folks, you know? I just kind of want to know what you're doing or thinking at this very moment!

That's all this blogging shit is about, isn't it? Insightful people relating? Or is it narcissistic people yammering?

It seems like people are performing too much on blogs now. Life exaggerated. Every post an episode wherein the most mundane moments of life are recounted in the MOST DRAMATIC/HILARIOUS FASHION EVER! Or maybe that's just the blogs I'm reading, maybe even my own. Or am I being a snotty douchebag?

I need some good reads, though. Real reads.

The other day I was going to ask you all to link me to the blogs you read that blow your mind. Okay, they don't even have to blow your mind, just move you, keep you checking in for more. Then I took down the post because it seemed a bit snooty, like, I'm too good for certain blogs or something. I'm not. I just want to read some new blogs. Honest folks with interesting insight. You know?

I'll go first. The blog I've been reading lately that sticks with me throughout the day is mamapundit. Brutally honest, super painful and brilliant.

Henry.

Don't you get tired of reading about me all the time? What about you? Okay, maybe you don't want to talk about you. If you don't, you can ask me any question you want. ANY QUESTION AT ALL! And I will answer it honestly. Like truth or dare except only the truth part. Beware, if you ask me, I may ask you right back!

My name is Monica and right now I am craving a beer so badly I could cry.

Wanna play? Anyone there?

Reader Comments (80)

Hey! Just found you recently and I've been enjoying the ride thus far (great love story, by the way). As far as blogs - I just read through all the archives of Amy Lawson's blog: http://granolasdodallas.blogspot.com/ She makes me laugh out loud on a regular basis, which is not my norm. Lookong forward to seeing who everyone else recommends!

Oh my, I feel for you on that beer. The obvious question, do you have a preference of a girl or boy? Will you have another child after?

I love your blog and your husband's. I also love Diary of Why and Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds. Those are mostly the ones I check in with. I also have very little in common with any of you alll, but I absolutely love the writing, and feel connected by it.

MONICA: Oh yay! You want to play! I have no preference as to boy or girl. I would love a girl because I want Violet to have a sister. I always desperately wanted a sister and feel deprived that I didn't get one. But a boy would be great too because we don't have one! I think I'd like to spend a couple years getting in shape after this baby and maaaaaybe try for a third.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkds

i just recently was pointed in the direction of your blog by a friend who thought i would enjoy it...i proceeded to read every single entry (including the love story and "girl who" novella). you just sucked me in and i wanted to know everything. i love your writing-you are more honest than most of the blogs i've read and you are genuinely funny as well. (please don't ever stop writing!) my favorite blog other than yours is this one --> http://notafishtaco.wordpress.com/

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercheniqua

Hey Monica! I know what you mean about blogs. I really enjoy writing so I have a blog but each day I cover something different - book reviews, tv reviews, recipe because I just can't write about myself all the time. I work, I eat, I drink, I travel, i try to love my husband and that's about it. Right now, I am sitting in the Oakland airport trying to keep my eyes open and my nose from freezing off my face until my red eye back to Florida.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Oh! I forgot my questions -
1. How do unwind from your work? It seems like it can be pretty stressful at times.

2. What are most excited about re: moving out of your mom's house and what do you think you will miss?

3. If you had to watch the same TV show for the rest of your life - what would it be?

MONICA: I unwind from work by eating, unfortunately. And watching shit TV.

I am so happy to have my own place again. If I don't feel like cleaning up something I don't have to stress that Mom'll be annoyed. I'll miss seeing Violet interact with her grandma, though.

I'd like to sound all high brow and intellectual, but quite honestly, if I had to watch the same TV show for the rest of my life it would be Roseanne.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Hey! Just this week I got bored of listening to myself... talk/write/whatever so your post is timely. I really enjoy your blog the way. And congrats on Baby On The Way #2! :)

I like trolling through http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ because I like the pretty photos. I'm not that into design but I enjoy the "Hey. Those guys are fancy" times.

I really got a laugh out of http://www.fupenguin.com/ when they ACTUALLY UPDATED THEIR BLOG. Ahem.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ makes me laugh & laugh... AND she has as rescue dog which makes her mega cool in my books.

Hmmm. Apparently my big contributions at this time are pictures and funnies and an unupdated blog. Hmmm.

Checking out the blogs the others mentioned- thanks for the suggestions!

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShauna (Fido & Wino)

Gin and Tacos. Academic, politico, hilarious. He's getting married this weekend so it's on hiatus until Monday.

wilwheaton.typepad.com Because I'm a geek.

Zelda Lily: Feminism in a Bra.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

Heya! I've been reading your blog for years now, and to be truthful yours is one of the ones I get more excited to see come up on my reader with a new post. Another one I read faithfully is TheFeministBreeder. Don't always agree with all she has to say/write about and she *can* be a little abbrasive to those that don't share her views (we were on the same message board for a while) but she's never boring! There's a bunch more that I read but they're mostly scrappy blogs lol.

I have no questions for you. I have a raging headache that I can't take anything stronger than advil for and it's just.not.working. I'd have a sympathy beer for you, except I hate beer. Sorry dude.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChantel

Hey Monica,
I have been reading you for a long time now. I agree with one of the previous posters, I don't have a lot in common with you. But I do have 4 small children and we too are trying to get out of debt to live our dreams.
However, there is something about your writing that just appeals to me. It's honest, more honest than I could ever be.
I'm glad your back. I'm glad your ok and I'm glad your keepin' on keepin' on.
So, I read http://www.cookesfrontier.blogspot.com, it's not overly fancy, there's no big deals but it's an honest blog about a womans life. Sometimes her kids do some pretty funny stuff :)
My question to you is this: Is there something you would change about the way you parent your child? Sometimes I feel bad about the way I interact with my kids, like it isn't enough or good enough quality. Always feel a bit guilty about it. Anyway, enough of me. :)

MONICA: I feel EXACTLY the same way. I would work less and play with her more. I feel like I just drag through the mornings with her, never really spending quality time with her. By the time I get done working 50 hours a week, I'm a drag. I have HUGE guilt about that.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKLabmom

Hey Monica,
I have been reading since...oh I don't know...ages ago when you lived in New York.

Right now - I am 6 weeks pregnant with my first baby and trying to hold back the constant waves of nausea.

Seeing as you appear super experienced at this....my question is, how on earth do you cope at work with morning sickness all day long?? I am struggling big time!

Oh and what should I make sure I do before I have this baby? Like, what are the things you wish you could do now but can't because you are a mother? I want to make the most of it while I still can...

MONICA: Congratulations! The most annoying thing people said to me when I was pregnant was "get as much sleep as you can now". Like I could store up sleep for after Violet was born or something. I'm not really telling you to sleep while you can, but just revel in being alone. Relax and enjoy yourself and watch movies and sleep in whenever you can because, by far, the thing that's changed the most since having Violet is lack of sleep. You can't sleep in no matter what because you've got a baby crying that wants breakfast.

I wish I had some exciting advice but really, I'd just tell you to relax and take it easy and SPOIL YOURSELF WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY, because it's hard to do that after you have children. As far as morning sickness goes: Zofran or Phenergan will definitely take the edge off. Ask your doc for a prescription. Always keep snacks around you, never let your stomach get empty and keep plastic bags (for puking!) in your car at all times!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Dee

Hi Monica,

There are very few blogs I check daily - yours is one of them. Another one I really love is www.finslippy.com.

My latest favorite is www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com, which is incredibly hilarious, partly because she illustrates her stories with drawings done mostly in ms paint. She doesn't post very often, but it's worth the wait.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBailey

Hi Monica!
I've been reading your blog forever, from when you guys were still living in Brooklyn and yours is definitely one of the blogs I check in with daily.
Some of my other favourite reads are:
Holly at http://nothingbutbonfires.com/
Metalia at http://www.metalia.blogspot.com/
June at http://byebyepie.typepad.com/
Kristin at http://camelsandchocolate.com/

They're a bit of a mixed bunch, couple of travel blogs, and some personal blogs, but they're the ones I get excited about seeing a new post from.

OK questions, questions I'm pretty useless at asking interesting questions but how about:
If you could have dinner with any 3 people alive or dead, who would they be and why?
What's the one book you could read over and over again and never get bored of?
If you could go anywhere in the world, no budget restrictions, where would you go?

Congrats again on your pregnancy and hope the remaining beerless months fly by!!

MONICA: Oooh, oooh! I love questions like these! If I could have dinner with any three people alive or dead... That's tough, I'm going to cheat and do three alives and three deads. For the living I'd eat dinner with: Bill Clinton, Howard Stern and... and... Jon Stewart! All men. Interesting. Dead, I'd say... Frank Sinatra, Anne Frank and John Lennon? Hell, I don't know. Help me! Who am I missing? What about y'all?

The book I can read over and over again... To Kill A Mockingbird.

If I could go anywhere in the world? That's tough, do I go somewhere I've been and love or do I risk a new place? Serge is always talking about Spain so maybe I'd go there.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

Hey Monica,
Thank you for being honest about everything. Sadly it's a quality that is getting a little to hard to find. Good old Megan turned me on to your blog. We have some extreme similarities in our upbringing and I'm glad we both survived. My blog is pretty much just pictures of my kids for our family back in Utah. www.parkinfam.blogspot.com
Keep up the blogging. Oh and could you please write chapter 13.
Thanks
Katie

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Parkin

Your blog rocks and I would totally read your book. I'm a first time momma and sorta "need" to read about other mummas out there. Its kinda like therapy.
I've been reading the blog These Little Moments for years now, she is a sweet one. Just had a baby as a matter of fact.
I write myself, but it ain't no thang.
Congratulations to baby #2!!! Such an exciting time!!!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergibsondog

Hi Monica, interesting latest entry, you're gonna regret asking so many question, because you're gonna have to write so many answers!!!!

I like the fact you're real, that you ask the readers as much as you tell us, good two way communication, and, well makes you a real person, rather than a "I have my own blog, webpage, makes me a minor celebrity" type of person.

I genuinely log on to your blog every day, sometimes 10x a day, and I'm gutted when its not updated! And when you went AWOL a few weeks back...well, the joy and relief when you came back was awesome! I am really new to this though, and because Thunderpie was my first ever blog, and your's the 2nd, (you always remember your first don't you!) I'm not sure how many more I could get into seriously....connection...its got to be there, otherwise I can't see the point?

Your blog though, and originally moreso, Thunderpie, is personal to me, let me explain...bear with me, I can't stop typing once I get started!

I became a first time dad myself 10 months ago, and around that time I was reading GQ Magazine and read the article in it about Serge, Marah, his life, and him becoming a father, very poignant and I thought wow if he can go from Rockstar to stay at home Dad, then I can give up going the gym 5 times a week, and a few other things. His blog is so cool, (WHEN HE UPDATES IT!!) But when he does, its normally a good long read, so worth the wait. Anyway, that was the road in, and then I found your's Monica..so the two blogs, the Flickr pages, I'm all set, and as Violet is a bit older than Maia its an insight into whats in store for me, for Maia for my wife Liz as our family journey continues....I guess thats why I read it, and why I like to comment, but I love the everyday things, the honesty...talking of honesty, how do you feel about friends and family reading your blog, in all the nasty details and glorious technicolour?

See, I told you I can type!

I have regretted every day not starting a blog the day Maia was born, as a journal, a diary, and each day that goes by, I just think that I'll never catch up, so I don't, but I should, for her, well damn it for me! This is like therapy, and I think I should do it!! How do I do it? I don't even know how to set one up...maybe its that, or the fear of no-one ever reading it...or would it, do you blog for yourself or for the benefit of others?! Maia would read it, when she is able to read that is...could be her bedtime stories!!! So should I start?

Sorry, think I've asked more questions than I've answered there....

MONICA: go to www.blogspot.com and follow the instructions. It's free. Just write when you can. You'll never regret it. Do it right now and then come back and post the link. DO IT!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBluedan

Besides yours, my favorite blogs are:

www.nothingbutbonfires.com
www.metalia.blogspot.com
www.julia.typepad.com
www.alitlepregnant.com
www.girlsgonechild.net

I, too, have been reading mamapundit recently and LOVE her.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

Hi Monica,

I read all the ones you already know about, probably cos I found them via your site! I do look forward to checking out some of the suggested links above.

http://crummymummywhodrinks.blogspot.com/
http://nothingbutbonfires.com/
http://www.citywendy.typepad.com/

Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts with us, I really enjoy a little insight into your life. Even if our lives are worlds apart, geographically and metophorically. I have gone through the archives and literally read all your posts, and love that I have been able to follow your journey through life.

Your writing is so honest, raw, funny, and you're not afraid to share your real self with us. Many bloggers would run a mile from putting themselves, their true self out there.

My question to you, is, did you believe in love at first sight before you met Serge?

Thanks for sharing. S

MONICA: I did NOT believe in love at first sight. I still don't know that I do. I mean, how can you really truly love someone after just one night? BUT! They can completely and totally rock your world and then, if you're still with them years later I s'pose you can kind of look back and call it love at first sight but only in a hindsight is 20/20 kind of way. You know? Do YOU believe in love at first sight?

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSM

Hey Monica. I read your blog because I could be friends with you and Serge. I don't have kids. I don't know if I want kids. But if I did have kids, I think it would be similiar to your situation. Like the poop at the buffet story situation. And I also think that you get insecure sometimes, which is totally me. So, blah blah blah, I relate to you.

I also love to read:

dooce (I think I found your blog there? I dunno)
barefootfoodie
brazen careerist
ittybittykittycommittee (don't judge me!)
whatwouldtylerdurdendo
and I follow gawker, just because they deliver the news in a funny way.
knockoffwood because I'm poor and make my own furniture
designconfidential
younghouselove

I read a lot more, but what can I say? I don't really work much at work.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

Dude.
I've followed along for quite some time...and gone back to read from the beginning...more than once.

I think you're completely and totally rad. I loved the photo you sent to mamapundit.

My question for you: did you watch 'Best Food Ever' (narrated by John Goodman)?

I'm in the middle of reading Flotsam's book (flotsamblog.com - book is Half Baked)...so I'll come back and comment again about more blogs you should read.


MONICA: Did not watch Best Food Ever, however, I think John Goodman is one of the most underrated actors ever so I'm willing to check out anything he's involved with.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphotomo

Because this issue is CONSTANTLY on my mind lately (and because my first baby is just a few months younger than Violet), how did you know you wanted a second baby? Did you have any reservations about going for #2? Do you have any reservations now that it's underway?

No one reads this blog but me and like, three other people, but this woman is a brilliant, funny, honest writer -- not to mention a fantastic illustrator. Read a few posts and you'll know what I mean:
http://tempestpilot.blogspot.com/

MONICA: I always knew I wanted to have at least two kids that are pretty close together. No reservations at all. Was pretty freaked about being sick again, but this pregnancy has been TONS better than the last so there is hope for ladies who had bad morning sickness. You stressing about having a second?

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjive turkey

Delurking -

http://www.traumaqueen.net/ (Scottish, paramedic - perhaps not for the faint of heart and/or pregnant, but very well written)

http://elizasnitch.com/ (ex-mo, new to me, but enjoying it so far)

http://www.nonworkingmonkey.com/ (Brit living in Canada, v funny)

And so many more!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Hey Mon (yeah I call you Mon because we are such good friends that go way back....IN MY HEAD!!!)
I would be honored if you read my man's blog... he is my blessing and quite frankly the most amazing man on the planet. Yeah, I kissed a lot of frogs before him, but some beautiful energy within the universe saw fit to finally land me a prince,-kinda' like.

http://beearl.blogspot.com

That being said, I am getting back into writing mode and hope to become motivated to start adding to my blog again. I would be MORE honored if and when I do, I can send you a link and you can peruse and hopefully enjoy.

Okay my question.... Is Monique in "Dishwasher's Dream" a nod to you Babes? I was bopping to it in Long Island traffic yesterday & felt a warm feeling, like I had an inside scoop or something. (I have mentioned in the past I don't really have a life-so humor me.)

One last question, do you just want to nibble on Violet's bottom lip sometimes? (No, I'm not some weird baby toucher- I just think her lips are delicious, and I am constantly nibbling on my kitty Wolowitz's lips-because they are delicious too!!)

You're amazing Monica, please believe that every single day!! You touch so many people, and I am just lucky to be one of them.

Rock on Chick-a- dee!!

MONICA: You make me laugh. Yes I am the Monique that Serge sings about in Dishwasher's Dream. My favorite song he wrote about me though is Wild West Love Song off Angels of Destruction. You can listen here (and see a hot picture of The Surge)

-->http://www.thesixtyone.com/s/BETpGSOSx9U/

Songbirdz and The Apartment are great too.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergiac

I'm here! Still reading after finding you through Dooce about a year ago. I've got such a mixed bag of blogs I read, and I'm pretty boring so I won't share them here. I'm serious. I'm a SAHM living in West Jordan UT a little afraid to write what she thinks for fear of backlash from her family. Pretty boring.

I wish I had a question for you. Oh! Here' one:

What is the first drink you are going to have once baby #2 arrives? Champagne? Bud Light? A specific bottle of wine? I just remember planning what I was going to have once my baby #2 was here, and all I could think about was Margaritas. (Sorry if I made you crave a beer even more)

MONICA: Hello! I'm generally a Corona girl but Serge has been drinking a local beer called Provo Girl, ironically enough (I was born in Provo) and it is the beer I'm craving constantly. You should check it out!

http://www.squatters.com/our-brew/year-round.aspx

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnjie B.

I've followed your life since NYC too. (I won a month of your contest last year.)

Well since then, I had an accident and ruptured a disc in my spine/neck. Ohmygawd, the pain. Bedridden. Months of therapy. Pills. Pills. Pills.

No blogs really do it for me. Where is real life? Like you write. I love that.

Right now I love The Fabulous Beekman Boys on Planet Green, Friday Night Lights, my baby bunny Bleeker, my Ipad, and getting tattoos. I love Miranda Lamberts newest album, and I can't wait for Will Ferrell's movie this weekend.

MONICA: SHUT UP!!! Serge and I are obsessed with The Fabulous Beekman Boys! Seriously. Cass, was it you that sent us Firefly (totally loved) or am I mixing that up?

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCass

Right now I am designing **** for ****. Yeah, can't tell you, but it's fun.

Been around here, watching you come and go for several years ago. Congratulations on the new little one...

Also, someone asked that question of me a few weeks ago, and the blog that blows me away the most with the writing is your husbands. No lie.

MONICA: What kind of tease is "I am designing **** for ****". Tell us, dammit! No one will know. Just the internet.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Ahem... Are you trying to tell me that the crap I took this morning that came out in the shape of a number 3 was not the most brilliant crap ever taken by a human being? Because I will have to disagree.

My blog is boring, but Eddie and the Hot Rods are not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJr2oFN7L2s

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

I'm a little, part-time photographer in Annapolis, MD, who has challenged myself to take a photo a day for an entire year. The photos are of nothing in particular, just random stuff in my world that inspire me, or catch my eye that particular day.

http://katiehyde.com/blog

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

i just read all of your comments here and am thinking " quite a happy bunch of readers you've got here".Just reading them brought me up a few notches.
Frankly your blog is the one I prefer reading since you just speak your mind and take great photos, and give me the feeling that everything blows over in a matter of a day or two. You know. It's like another day, another rare find at a good deal, Sort of keeps going and it's got this rhythm of a life. Hey, I heard this song yesterday on my way to work and I started t think about moving to Green Acres. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ammIs7X1y9U

Blogs? Good question. My eyes are burning out and time is short. Actually, I read dear old 'Xmastime'. and not because I am in agreement with that rat liberal, but more for the comfort of familiarity and curiosity. Okay, some say I am addicted but that's not really true. Days could go by where I am too busy or distracted, so when I do get around to googling, I go to him. By then, I will find pages and pages of postings I missed while I was away. I scroll over the disgusting exploitation of women and food, the filthy language, skim articles he's written on sports stuff, and read his insights and exposes' on the irony and hypocrisy of politics and life which often include arrogant 'I told you so's 'with links back to his original thoughts. Quite often I will find a gem, some hilariously funny tale from his past, maybe an old pic or you.tube, or a song or a link to something better. or me, Xmastime is a lot to get past but he's true to himself and I find all kinds of interesting and stimulating information via links.To get to 'The Girl Who', I go through G Dubya. The perplexing blog about everything.. by a man about his business.

MONICA: Xmastime is genius. And the biggest softie you ever knew. Exhibit A: http://tinyurl.com/25qor7f

www.xmastime.blogspot.com

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

I've got WAYYY too many to suggest lol, I'd be here all day so just hit up my blog and check out the blogroll on the sidebar! ;)

If you have puppy fever, read this:

http://thefosterpaws.wordpress.com

Just wanted to let you know that California wasn't swallowed whole by the Devil last night now that the court stated that gay couples do in fact have the Constitutional right to be married.

I'm sure though that many Family Home Evenings will be filled with solemn prayers for a return to "normalcy"!!!

I am soooooo happy and I hope the plot to put up a weak argument in order to get this case in front of the Supreme Court supremely backfires and this issue can be put to bed at last.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreenInOC

Yeah, I stopped reading the "performing blog". It's so obviously exaggerated.

Now, my life? There's no way anyone could make any of this up.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Domestic Goddess

Well I work too damn much! I am 32, i have two jobs, a homo roommate and a big loud Chevy truck!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Hi Monica,

I’m a blog hopper as well, getting hooked on a few at a time, only to start getting bored and move on. I’m at an in-between period right now. Craving new material, but haven’t found anything worthy of my “favorites” bar just yet. That being said, I’ve been following your blog since I came across it a year or so ago- was utterly disappointed when you closed up shop (when you first got pregnant with Violet)- but was persistent enough to keep checking back in hopes you’d go back online. And you did. And I’m glad. So thank you. I enjoy reading your posts.

I started a blog when I first learned I was pregnant (a little over a year ago). My baby just turned 5 months old. I keep it real, because I like to look back and see how far I’ve come. How much I’ve changed. Or really, how much I haven’t. Anyway, thought you might like to take a peek into my world, just to see what kind of people follow yours: http://nowglowing.blogspot.com

Ps. I loved how you told Serge you were preggo. Such an awesome moment you’ve captured & can hold on to forever.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Long time stalker, er...whatever the hell you call people like me.

LURKER. That's it.

Anyways, my name is lisa and right now i'm considering resigning from the lds church. and trying to get my ass back in school. university. with three kids. oy.

good god re: henry. i cannot--don't want to--imagine. but i can't stop reading. jeebus.

a blog you may enjoy--i get giggles from it at least: http://everyoneissocrazy.blogspot.com/

My own blog keeps changing. i like making past entries private b/c i don't know what i want to do with it and am *extremely* insecure about some of the things I write, but it works (kind of) for me at the moment. my first blog was fun while it lasted liberalmormonthatcould.blogspot.com. if you want.

i do very much enjoy your blog for what it's worth. it's for sure one of the better ones out there imho.

questions, questions. i want to ask what your tipping point was for your resignation letter, but i've this sneaking suspicion i've already read about it and have forgotten. if you'll please forgive me, i'm a bit obsessed over yesterday and what it all means (woo!)

MONICA: If you ever need a recovering Mormon's advice, feel free to email me at monicabielanko at yahoo dot com. I was done with the church by 21, ready to resign by 25 but didn't see it as a pressing need to offically remove my name from their records.

For some reason, when I got pregnant with Violet I suddenly felt like it was absolutely imperative that I was not a Mormon when she was born. I wanted her born free and clear of anything. Also, Prop 8 had just passed with the generous donations of thousands of Mormon faithful. It was the right time.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

Yours is pretty much the only personal blog I read. For me, one good one is kind of enough.

I do want to tell you this though: Late last year I met a musician at one of his shows. We chased each other around the country for about three weeks while he was on tour and I was about to move abroad. We kept in touch after that though, and the first chance I got, I visited his city... one month later finds us in the local courthouse secretly getting hitched the day before I moved back across the ocean. Now we're together in Europe, things are crazy, things are good... and I think we may have joined the ranks of Great Rock and Roll Love Stories.

I have definitely thought about writing a memoir of sorts about it. At the very least, it would help when explaining this to friends I'm out of touch with who didn't know I was even dating anyone, etc. I guess maybe that's my question for you. Did you have trouble explaining your short-term courtship to people? It's been more than a little uncomfortable at times... people have trouble understanding non-traditional ways, to say the least. Anyway, is this info in the long awaited Chapter 13 or what?

Keep doing what you're doing, we like you, we really like you.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRPG

http://www.extraordinary-ordinary.com/ -real-life friend of mine and mommy-blogger
http://www.notyetawino.com/

Those two and yours are pretty much the only one's I keep up with regularly, I need some new reads also!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShawna

mommysaidwhat.wordpress.com - a friend's blog that i like to peruse, if yer looking for real life.

serge's blog is A+ by the way - and the odd time i have gone to read it and/or yours and they have disappeared, it's a downer. (tho, i understand the retreating feeling.)

have you ever thought of writing something together? a blog...a book?

when you've posted your texts to each other: solid gold.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralex

Well, I know some blogs I read are heavy on DRAMA and PERFORMANCE. Some I unsubscribe to, some I adore. If the performance is good, I don't care. Sometimes though, I just want to read something quiet, yaknow?

I have a few questions. (Sorry if you've covered this elsewhere.) How did you pick Violet's name? Are you a name-in-utero type of couple or will you guys wait to name the one on the way? Wait... Is Violet a pseudonym? I honestly don't think so, but I know some bloggers give kids different online names that are actually names, i.e. not Tickles or Sweetiepie or whatever.

MONICA: I honestly can't remember how we picked Violet's name. To be absolutely honest, I had a name picked out for her (it was also a color) and I was sure that was going to be her name. But Serge was never sold on it so we started exploring other ideas. I don't remember who brought up the name Violet first, but toward the end of the pregnancy we just kind of knew that was the name. We both liked it. But we never told anyone the name and didn't really refer to her as Violet. We kind of wanted to meet her first to make sure it fit. And it did.

We're tossing around names for the new baby. There is a boy name that keeps coming back to me that Serge also seems to like, there is also a girl name we both like that I'm not entirely sold on just yet. Am open to suggestions!!!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

Monica,
Hand to my heart, yours is the blog I always go to for a honest real read. Your husband's blog is also a fave. That man should be writing for the New Yorker. He is crazy talented. I also like www.mattlogelin.com. He's a super cool guy. As far as questions for you....Who is your favorite author/favorite book? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you have a motto you live by? I could go on and on....but I'll stop there. Oh, my grandmom's name is Violet. She is a 93 year old firecracker who lives with her husband of 70 years. She is such a gem....I adore that name!
Tricia

MONICA: One of the reasons I like the name Violet so much is it's good for a little girl and a 93-year-old woman.

My favorite author, sheesh, that's tough. You almost have to separate by genre or age. Growing up it was Beverly Cleary, hands down. Ramona Quimby kicks ass! When I was in junior high this dude named Christopher Pike wrote some books called Slumber Party, Chain Letter and Weekend. Does anyone remember these? They blew my mind. And V.C. Andrews! That women came up with at least ten new ways to commit incest, right?

I've always really dug Mark Twain. Overall I'd say favorite authors are Dickens and Steinback. Favorite books, To Kill A Mockingbird, Diary of Anne Frank, Roots and Grapes of Wrath.

In five years I hope to be living a much more relaxed life, not working as much, gardening a lot more and writing, in some capacity, for a living.

I don't think I really have a motto I consciously live by, do you?

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

I alternately want to marry and/or be this guy: http://www.sweet-juniper.com/.

MONICA: Funny you should say that! I was just reading his blog today in which he calls his blog a performance. Kind of made me feel stupid for mentioning how I'm tired of people who perform on blogs. Because, ironically, his is one of the blogs that seems very heartfelt and genuine and not like a performance at all. Still, I get what he means. All blogs are a performance, just some more than others. Love that blog. He and Serge are similar writers, I think. They remind me of each other a lot. Thirty-something dads raising daughters, great writers...

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Hi Monica. Never commented here before, but I love reading your blog because you're a fantastic writer. Thanks for letting us ride along with you.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMCQ

Yes, that was me! Isn't Beekman the best show? I am in love with Josh. And Polka Spot. Farmer John and his sweet cry last week....oh my.

I follow them on Twitter. Josh does live tweets. They are making T-shirts that say Llama Ddrama!

Ok, I know I'm a little enthusiastic.

:)

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCass

Hey! Right now I am waiting for the Akimows to wake up - Rob and Richelle are here for a few days and they head into NYC today and I am afraid I am going to BALL when they get on the train. And I don't want to burst into tears at the thought of them leaving, but that's how I feel right now.

We saw Gaslight Anthem at the Pony last night and they were good.

Blogs? I don't even read mine anymore.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

Delurking...and can I just say, I LOVE YOU. Er, in a totally non-stalkerish way, natch.

(I randomly stumbled across your blog several months ago and fell in love with your how-Serge-and-you-met story...bloody awesome. You're raw and funny, and those two things always kicketh ass.)

Soooo, here are my questions:

When the Dickens will you continue with the next chapter, WHEEEN?

Have people ever told ya you have a celeb doppelganger? (During high school, I used to get Katie Holmes circa the Joey Potter days...nowadays I get Natalie Portman and blanch, but hell, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't simultaneously flattered and humbled, DUH.)

Is there a kids movie you can still watch? (God help me, mine is Home Alone 2...and My Girl. One would think I have a penchant for Macaulay Culkin, but one would be wrong.)

Is there really a Mormon TV channel in Utah, and what sort of..riveting televisual fare does it feature?

(Love the blog and keep writing, dammit! Ooh, and biiiiig congrats on the pregnancy, wonderful news. And like many have said, Serge's reaction was incomparable!)


MONICA: Celeb dopplegangers... yes. In junior high when Skid Row was popular people told me I looked like Sebastian Bach. Not sure how I feel about that. I get Jennifer Garner sometimes with the brown hair which I don't see at all... and I get Darryl Hannah a lot too.

I could watch Goonies every day for the rest of my life.

There's isn't a "Mormon channel" really, but the NBC affiliate here is owned by the LDS church which is super weird. They won't air Saturday Night Live.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBalkan Girl Down Under

Ack, forgot to recommend a blog:

http://www.jiveturkeyjives.com/

Methinks you'll love her. She's sassy, witty as hell and awesome.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBalkan Girl Down Under

I am sitting in the law library and it is very quiet this morning. Not very interesting, I know.

I found your blog through dooce. Those are the only two non-livejournal blogs I read on a regular basis. I have been "blogging" on livejournal since 2002, so everything else I read is on there. I can't bring myself to blog publicly. It makes me too nervous. But I really love your honesty. I really think that everyone's lives would be better if we were all honest about our difficulties... our imperfect marriages, our mental health struggles, etc...

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

You can read my blog, although it's probably boring to anyone outside my family/friends.

I'm on a tear of windy-fying my new house. My body aches, I'm pleased with most of what we've done and I couldn't be happier!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwindylou

I found you kinda through Caryn after you and I corresponded about a southby trip on myspace (wow, remember that site? I wanted to meet someone who "likes to weed" and it just so turned out that I like Marah, but of course never saw them in Austin, only in NYC and I've heard that Austin was horrible to them and for that I am very, very sorry). And every once in a while check in because I think you're funny. And sassy. And, you weren't afraid to write to a random girl on myspace. And then another friend sent me to Serge's blog, which I read once in a while (not an insult to his writing, which is great, but I don't have a lot of time to read on the internet).

Anyway, your daughter is gorgeous and super congratulations on the getting out of debt (if the general population is any indication, making a baby is a LOT easier than getting out of debt).

So, blogs I read (some of this will explain my ever-ballooning weight):
http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/
http://smittenkitchen.com/
http://www.scoutingny.com/

None regularly. <sigh>

AND a question - three new good bands? Could use mixing it up.

MONICA: Hi! Three new good bands? Damn, I'm so out of the loop. I did hear two songs on satellite radio yesterday that I absolutely love. One of the bands (Dr. Dog) I'd never heard of so they're new to me.

Artist: Dr. Dog
Album: Fate
Song: The Old Days
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9pK7RHxyKo&feature=related

Artist: MGMT
Album: Congratulations
Song: Congratulations
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRXwTuR_ABc

Totally digging on these songs.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM in Austin

Hi again, in response to your response, yes, I do think I believe in the idea of love at first sight. Would you have ever put yourself out there with Serge, driven all those miles, opened your heart so suddenly, to someone you weren't meant to be with?

I thnk you know when the stars align.

Another question if you don't mind. Having left a religious background myself (severing all family ties) I worry at the back of my mind, about everything that was drummed into me. How do you let that go? Even when we don't believe in it now. Isn't there some nagging doubt? Or is that just me?

PS. I can highly recommend Sunshine Underground, Vampire Weekend, I am Kloot, Temper Trap, new Arcade Fire album, The XX, Mumford & Sons, Bombay Bicycle Club - some stuff I am listening to here in London.

MONICA: Wait! I am dying for new music, I think I need to do a whole new post asking for requests!

As far as religion goes, I have no doubts about leaving the Mormon church. Organized religion is not for me. It brings comfort, but I feel like the comfort is a lie to make people feel better (or collect their money). But if it works for you, more power to you. My only problem is, now that the fairytale of heaven is gone for me, contemplating death is really horrifying. No one knows for sure what happens. The concept of ceasing to exist is the most terrifying of all. What is the nagging doubt that you have? Describe it.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSM

I have gotten myself into this -thing-.... it's a murder mystery. When I was in high school, a 14 year old girl was murdered after a house party, and there's a thread on my home town's newspaper site that is investigating it. I've become obsessed, and one of the suspect's ex-wives has contacted me; we're trying to get justice served.

We've found all three suspects (thaaaanks internet/Facebook) and now what to do??! The people on the thread seem to want to harass the suspects, who are now in their 40s, but I want to contact the state's attorney general and alert him to the case.

Blogs? Haven't been inspired by too many. I read mamapundit but also like: www.thenoisyplume.blogspot.com, www.honeyrockdawn.com, www.thepioneerwoman.com.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

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