The Lupus Wrangler

There is no cure for Lupus.

Imagine as I tried to explain that fact to my kids as I took my first round of medication to fight the disorder.

It keeps the Lupus quiet in my body.
You mean it puts it in a cage! Mom, put that Lupus in a cage and show it who is boss!

For @Technosailor :p

I’m a Lupus wrangler, according to my children…and I plan on living up to that image.

It’s hard some days. The disorder is currently being a jerk to my liver. Which means a step up in treatment and a lack of dirty martini’s for Mommy. Sigh. But that’s ok…because we’re fighting to keep Lupus in it’s cage.

Help us.


I don’t know too many kids who like getting shots. I don’t know too many adults who like getting shots. So when the time comes to pack up the van and take the kids to their 3 and 5-year old check-up, I am filled with anxiety and they are blissfully ignorant as to what is about to happen.

Sneak attack.

Sometimes it just has to be done.

For the greater good, it was better for everyone the children did not know, until moments before getting stuck, that needles were coming.

I rarely use the sneak attack move. In extreme cases ONLY would I ever advocate the sneak attack move.

However sometimes it MUST be done.

Senator Barack Obama needs to bust out a sneak attack move.

The unexpected, from left field, swift, shocking, borderline-evil sneak attack.

It’s for the greater good.

If Obama does not employ this parental and strategic hit, I can guarantee Senator Clinton will continue to act just like my children would have, had they known those immunizations were coming. They would have begged, stalled, attempted to change my mind, stalled some more, lied to get out of it, stalled again, and then odds are I’d have to carry one or both of them to the car in tears as I tried to tell them everything would be ok.

In the end they KNOW they are getting those shots. They realize it is GOING TO HAPPEN, yet they would do their best to wiggle and manipulate to stop the inevitable.

The sneak attack makes it easier on everyone. It saves myself the pain of going through the horrific process of getting to the doctor and it saves them the anxiety and desperation.

Senator Barack Obama the time is NOW for your sneak attack.

I know you have one.

Save us ALL the pain of going through this another day.

Senator Clinton is facing the inevitable and handling it like a spoiled child. You can feel free to let her know she will not be the nominee, but don’t expect this to be over until Summer. With more stalling, and lies, and desperation.

Or you sneak attack.

Cold cocked. Blindsided. Needle in arm before she knows what’s hit her.

There will be screams.

There will be tears.

Then we will all get on with our lives.

TechCrunch’s Arrington Blocks Mommyblogger

That would be me.

I’m not kidding.

Remember all the stuff I was saying about how the women in tech are ignored? They are never asked to speak at conferences, entirely overlooked, blah blah blah blah blah? I think I also touched on how the big bad tech boys who are so-called ‘in charge’ of this whole blogging/social media space are frat boys?

Uh. Yeah.

Meet one Mr. J. Michael Arrington. Note that his Wikipedia says “Magazines such as Wired and Forbes have named Arrington one of the most powerful people on the internet.”

Today Arrington (for those who still don’t know, he’s the TechCrunch guy) blocked me on Twitter.


For this :

@techcrunch ummm @mashable just scooped you. Just sayin’. Sorry, old school Journalist in me notices these things

I had been watching Techcrunch (aka Arrington) twitter for the past hour about the possibility had been blocked in China. At last check, he said he had two confirmations and I was monitoring to see if it was true, and how it would be reported.

What do you want from me? This is what I did for a living-I LOVE breaking news.

Not long after a twitter from Arrington about having two confirmations CNN was blocked, Pete Cashmore of Mashable (a competitor) tweeted a link to the story they had posted on CNN.

Having watched the entire thing unfold -OF COURSE I showed Arrington he got scooped.

He responded with a tweet that has since disappeared and was here. So this non-techy Mommyblogger (who can’t possibly ever read TechCrunch) went and pulled it off of TweetScan:

TechCrunch : @QueenofSpain haha. scooped us on the story we’ve been talking about here on twitter for hours? we’re not covering that. oh yeah. blocked. 2008-04-18 02:50:40 Reply

My response (still in twitter, not randomly gone) was ” ROFL @techcrunch is cute with the blocking. Apparently censorship isn’t a big deal for them. kudos to @mashable for posting it”

Now on to the important part of all this…

The term ‘citizen journalist’ is yammered about a lot these days. Web sites like TechCrunch are discussing politics, they are reporting breaking business and technology news. They are influencing readers-a few million a month– (wow, not even as big as Dooce or BlogHer…just learned something tonight) and pushing themselves as an ‘all things tech news’ related site. They get cited for ‘breaking news’ and for ‘being the first’ yet when you actually call them out on having posted a story SECOND, they get pissy.

So it occurs to me that maybe Arrington, and some other web site owners, need to understand the very basic principals of Journalism, having very obviously skipped over it while en route to conquer the internet. Afterall, this so-called ‘citizen journalism’ is taking over the main stream media dinosaur. It is influencing news cycles and fueling on-air pundits. Therefore it seems to me these sites could use a few quick pointers on how to be responsible citizen journalists.

Mr. Arrington,

Hi, I’m Erin. We haven’t met. I get the feeling we may not meet now, but hey-I’m around if you want to chat. I also have a decent background not just in citizen journalism but in traditional journalism. Let me give you a quick J-school 101, so maybe next time you don’t get too uppity and block a Mommyblogger on twitter. K?

In traditional media it’s common place to be scooped or to scoop your competitor. In fact, its what the game is about. Eventually EVERYONE is running the story-what sets you apart is either the ‘exclusive’ (which I can explain in another blog post if you like) or being the FIRST. You will absolutely promote a story you post before anyone else (because man, sometimes getting confirmation is a bitch) and you will yell at your staff with a red face when someone else runs the story before you. Such is the life of a newsroom. And make no mistake, TechCrunch is a newsroom.

A couple other hints-if you are working on a story but it’s still not ready to publish, you might not want to discuss it on Twitter. Because later, after you’ve been scooped and you claim you were never going to post it anyway, we silly readers aren’t sure if we believe you or not. You’re either saving face, or all that past discussion on confirming if China was getting seems confusing and misleading. Hell, I don’t know…maybe you just were super curious for your own knowledge about China and it’s censorship of foreign news media. I know I am, so you’re not alone. Either way, sure looks like you were working on a story.

Also, when the entire world watches you discuss China, and sees a competitor posts the story, and points it out to you-you might not want to just silence them on the spot like some communist regime.

Oh, the irony.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve blocked a guy on twitter-but he actually physically threatened me and called me some very nasty names. If you go around blocking everyone who criticizes your cute little website, you may end up with a legion of yes-men (yes-tweets?) and lose touch with what’s happening around you.

In fact, you might even lose touch so very much that you have a party with a beauty blog, having really done nothing with the actual majority of women occupying this whole social media, blog, web 2.0 thing you keep reporting on.

In short, Mr. Arrington, it may serve you well to take a few cues from old school media. They might be an aging dinosaur, but they at least know how to handle getting scooped.

If anyone needs anything else, I’ll be reading Mashable. Pete is much more handsome anyway, and since it’s clear on the web all that matters are looks, I might as well subscribe over there.

*updated with a twitPic of Arrington’s Friend Feed from @snobcrunch

Are You Reading This On

*updated at 1150ampst with new email from ‘Dave’ at bottom. My site has been removed-has yours?

If so, find a way to click back to MY blog and be very aware they have syndicated this content without my consent.

MANY of you are being syndicated. If so, take action now-Email and tell him to REMOVE YOUR FEED IMMEDIATELY, and feel free to mention I sent ya.

Here is the email exchange with ‘Dave’ and I-

From: Erin Kotecki VEST <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:15 PM
To:,, Aaron <>
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers

Hi my name is Erin Kotecki Vest, owner of Queen of Spain blog.

I’m concerned about what appears to be my site’s feed streaming into BlogNetNews. It is a)taking away traffic from me and b)not sending anyone back to my page. I see no links back to my blog. I have no indication of any hits from your service. I also am not sure I recall opting-in, although I see the last correspondence I have from you is dated 2006.

I’m going to have to ask you remove Queen of Spain Blog’s feed immediately.

Erin Kotecki Vest

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 21:57:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers
From: “David Mastio” <> Add Mobile Alert

We certainly aren’t taking traffic away from you. Click on any headline or the “…” after the excerpts of your posts and you will appear on your site. (compare that to trying to get to a blog when it appears in a section front of technorati (here for instance: )

You can find an archive of what posts are getting the most clicks here:

I don’t know whether any of yours appear there. Anyway, there is no place on our site where anyone can read your whole posts, people always have to click thru.

I’ll remove you from the site when I reopen the database in the morning, but I hope you’ll reconsider.

Dave Mastio
We Serve Blogging

Remember to visit our advertisers

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 19:21:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: “Erin Kotecki VEST” <> Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers

Your click thru is frames, correct? Or your has something going on?

You’ve essentially syndicated my content. I am not being paid for this syndication. I am not being compensated for this syndication. There are others upset as well. We work hard to protect our brands and keep readers on our own sites, not yours. If you were writing an article on parenting and linking to me occasionally, that’s one thing. But instead you’ve syndicated my feed and used loop holes to abuse my community. Even some indexing sites have the courtesy to only use headlines in order to be genuine in their want to drive traffic out.

You are exploiting, plain and simple. You are not part of our community, you are simply here to capitalize on this community.

Expect emails from about everyone else on your blogroll in the parenting and politics communities.

I appreciate your quick response and thank you in advance for removing my feed and the feed of everyone else who asks.

I hope that if your business is sincere you extend an olive branch to the communities you are pillaging.

Erin Kotecki Vest
@queenofspain on twitter

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 10:04:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers
From: “David Mastio” <>  Add Mobile Alert

We do not do frames and I’ve just been on the site, the redirect is working just fine.

If you can tell me what browser and os you’re using, I’ll ask our programmer to check if there is a compatability issue.

If you can forward to me the email you recieved or the URL to the site you saw that gave you the idea we are exploiting anyone. I can give you many examples of how BNN is far more blog friendly than lots of other sites that are out there.

You’ll be removed shortly.

Dave Mastio
We Serve Blogging

Remember to visit our advertisers

I Have Pneumonia

So I sent my daughter, who will be 3-years old on March 30th, to entertain you while I rest.

CastleGate 2007

*not to be confused with the Turkey Riot of 2004 or the Teacup Riots of 2005


I’ll swear more, for real, in a few paragraphs, but first let’s travel back several weeks to this family’s brush with the Southern California wildfires.

We evacuated. We hung out with Nana and Gramps. We came home.

Somewhere in between hanging out and coming home, we made our way through Orlando International Airport.

Orlando International Airport has TWO Disney Stores. Not one, but TWO. One in Terminal A and one in Terminal B. I’ll give OIA two. I mean, Mickey lives in that there city…I’ll give them TWO.

Anyway, on our way back to Los Angeles (which was no longer ON FIRE) I hastily stopped in Terminal A’s Disney store to buy a few small things to occupy my children on the very long flight home. A nice Princess set. Maybe some Mickey coloring books. A few Goofy cookies. You get the idea.

Princess Peanut Punk as Fuck entered said Disney store and IMMEDIATELY flipped out over this:

Mind you, in real life, this box is rather large. About as BIG as she is. There is no way I’m getting this on the plane and certainly no way I’m forking out $80 for plane ride distractions. Cue Princess Peanut meltdown. Of EPIC proportions.

I try and explain this won’t fit on the plane. I try and explain she’s NOT getting this toy. Maybe Santa can bring it? Maybe Christmas is coming and this can be on her “list?”

There is no getting through to her. At all. She’s on the floor screaming and we have to get through security like NOW.

Always thinking, I ask a nice saleswoman if they have a smaller castle. Maybe a picture of one. Maybe some little trinket. She calmly (which was pretty good considering the screaming child on my leg) says there is another Disney store in Terminal B, and they have a castle bank.

A bank. That might work.

So with both kids, and two carry ons, we run to Terminal B. Go ahead and stop and imagine what that looks like. No no, don’t stop to see the fishies…come on…we have to go…no, hold my hand….I see the big Mickey, yes…but we need to get down this hallway…

We make it to Terminal B’s store and low and behold Princess Peanut thinks the castle bank is SHIT and won’t even look at it. Now I’m thinking it’s time to get ugly. It’s time to just grab a random coloring book and the screaming toddler and the 4.5year old and the two carry-ons and run back to Terminal A and through security and onto our soon-t0-be departing plane.

Instead my daughter, aka Sybil, decides she really likes this Little Mermaid backpack/doll set and happily skips to the check out. Happily skips to Terminal A. Happily skips through security and onto the plane.

Let’s catch up to present day, shall we? Our little peanut watches her Disney movies until we can ALL recite each line. And as many of you know, they all begin with a very nice animation of Cinderella’s castle. And each time, our little girl proclaims ” MY castle! MY castle!”

Yes, HER castle. Not Cinderella’s. Hers.

If asked about HER castle, she’ll tell you Santa is bringing it. It’s #2 on her Santa list (right after a HORSE) and she just knows it will come. Just knows.

Now Princess Peanut’s Nana, being the NANA she is (that’s capital N-A-N-A) says she will find said castle and get it for our darling. Turns out houseboy (my brother) and his girlfriend have a connection at Disneyland who can get said castle at a discount.

Said connection checks out the situation in Anaheim. Guess what? They only sell SLEEPING BEAUTY’S castle there. And they are ONLY selling these castles at the PARKS THEMSELVES (or ebay) and it’s Cinderella’s in Orlando and Sleeping Beauty in Anaheim.


Now, I really can’t ask my Mom to pay $115 on ebay for a play castle. I’m still hoping we don’t have to pay admission to the park in ORLANDO (um, hi, mom, can you drive to Disney World for me?) but we’ll see. Of course I’m calling the airport store in the morning to figure out how the fuck THEY got them and if they can SHIP one.

Bottom line here…Santa is trying to deliver. Maybe Santa should just go ahead with some doll or coloring book and not get caught up in making sure we get the Castle. Maybe the castle isn’t meant to be. Maybe the castle is a lesson for Princess to learn.

Or maybe I need to get on the phone and online.

What say you? Castle? Or No castle?

I Hate Winter

And preschool germs

And cold weather

And kleenex

And cool mist humidifiers

And vics

And inhalers

And prescriptions

And popcicles

And night sweats

And a sick Mom and sick kid and trying to take care of him and me while we both lay in bed

And everything else…

Fuck Winter

Pixar, Can We Talk?

It’s November and naturally that means my children have that ‘fine one week’, ‘snotty and puking the next’ thing going on. It means when Ratatouille comes out on DVD, and we’ve been couped up in the house for a week with some random preschool virus, I go to the store to get it right away.

Now. I’ve talked about this issue before…but can I just please, say this again…just in case you didn’t hear me way-back-when before CARS came out…


We’re going to buy your shit anyway. You’re not getting any more marketing leverage here. We’re a captive and totally sold audience. All you are doing is making my life hell. HELL.

So really, I see two options here…you can release WALL*E now, or you can send a letter of explanation to my robot-loving son giving him solid reasons (that means I don’t want to hear “to generate buzz” “to market more toys” or “to pump up the hype before the box office release”) why he has to wait until late summer of 2008. I fully understand you need a few good months of hype…but HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD THINK of the PARENTS.

You make amazing movies. They are kid movies, and yes we adults love them too. But I have to ask-DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND KIDS AT ALL? You don’t even MENTION santa is coming until about Halloween, because you KNOW they will be through the ROOF until December 25th. You don’t tell them you are going to DisneyWorld a YEAR before you go.


I can swear on my womb that you don’t need to worry about selling us WALL*E toys. We’re buying them. It’s just a GIVEN. My wallet is yours.

Now release the fucker early or babysit my kid. Take your pick.