Return to the beginning

“It’s not a blog, it’s a website.”

So resolute was I, on its classification, that I would correct anyone who dared mistake my Internet site, replete with my juvenile-esque antics and mid-20’s, precocious as only a fledgling adult in the throes of her first real bout of freedom can be, with those banal, self-centered “weblogs”. may have been many things, but a blog it was not.

Its genesis was the combination of happenstance & laziness, as many serendipitous life catalysts are. Always a writer, when I left for college, away from my friends & family in Ohio, I would send my closest friends mass emails of what was going on in Chapel Hill at my new home in Granville West at UNC. This practice continued well into my early 20’s; I found myself traveling internationally in my first full-time job after graduate school. I’d regale my friends with “hilarious” musings of falling asleep in my soup due to jet-lag in one far part of the world or another (I think that one was Auckland), and would send a mass email as a convenience. Yet I’d inadvertently miss someone on the distribution list, and wouldn’t it be just so much more efficient for world-traveling me to simply post it one place and let everyone just go THERE to read it? Add a week’s lag time in between projects at the Interactive Agency at which I worked, a boss who suggested I have my team teach me rudimentary design (Adobe Illustrator) & coding (Dreamweaver) skills, and with the help of limitless server space, was born.

It was 2001, for those keeping track.

It was a good time. A naive time, surely, but in the aftermath of the first web bubble, many other aspiring writers and tech employees took to the web to share their stories. Their day-to-day lives. Their favorite song; Spotify still nearly 7 years a dream, we’d find a tune on Napster and share the MP3 with other aficionados. These kindred souls were named Helen Jane and Sarah and Joshua and Ev and Heather and Heather and Jason and Jason and Anil oh hell, how we loved to read each other’s posts. We’d comment on them and link to each other and little by little, day by day, post by ridiculous post, we learned a little more about each other, sharing our lives authentically, without caution, the way that a child embarks on running through a field. We were blind that these posts, our words, could come back to cause us harm. Until we weren’t…one of our own – Heather (known online as Dooce) – lost her job for what she said on her site. Perhaps this blog(roll) of safety had its pitfalls.

And still we proceeded on. We made friends. We found lovers. We got new jobs, started companies, quit our jobs to write full time – turns out this “blog” thing could provide fodder for advertisers! – and started communications platforms, 140-characters at a time.

Our posts got shorter.

More infrequent.

We updated our status, not our friends, losing some of that community and collective authenticity we may not have ever known we had.

Movements took place; the equalization of this web, the platforms providing a lower barrier to entry to share what was happening around the world, and not just due to character count. The generation behind us all grew up with computers…any semblance of privacy was removed the first time they saw US Weekly or the travesty that is TMZ.

Celebrities embraced this…finally, a place they could control their updates, independent of their publicists and their managers and if they wanted to curse like a sailor in 140-characters or less, TRY AND STOP THEM.

And we all followed.

#selfies happened.

People stopped writing. Sure, they were LOLing and communicating on these tiny, handheld phone computers we are all now tied to, but perhaps we should say goodbye to long form, at least how it pertains to blogs.

Or maybe not.

Just this month, a new resurgence has begun, where some of the “originals” have taken proverbial pen to paper (more like middle-aged fingers to MacBook Air) and proclaimed the return of the blog. And I couldn’t be happier, both because I was beginning my own reversion – for many reasons, which will be written about in long form shortly! – but because I’ve missed this. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed the connection, the community, the authenticity that comes when people shed the expected facade and start acting – and writing – like the real people we are. I’ve made my living guiding people to give the right answer, say the right sound byte, respond in the publicist-approved way, and it is just as exhausting on both sides of the camera. I’m ready for us to be flawed and imperfect and real and say the right or the wrong thing, ubiquity & consequence be damned.

Thirteen years later, I think it’s time to say goodbye to my website, and hello to my blog.

Welcome, friends. Blog roll, anyone?

Chaotic Homeostasis

When I was little, I loved to go to the fair. Remember that this was long before The Simpsons propagated the “Carnie” sensation and parents didn’t realize that the rides were anything but safe, so really, don’t use this against me in court should I ever be accused of being a redneck. (Besides, we called them ‘hillbillies’ in Ohio.) Anyway, every year the fair would come to town and all the kids would beg their parents to take them to ride on those now-known-to-be-deathtrap rides, and they inevitably relented, if only to shut us up for a few minutes. So we’d anxiously pile into the hatchback-esque car with our best pals, eager to get to the land of endless saturated fat and sugar (or, as we saw it, kid heaven.)

We’d ride the rides…the Spinner, the Tornado, the Himalaya, each one guaranteeing the elated child at least a minute of pure terror and excitement. Our bodies catapulted right, left, up, down, and despite our pseudo defiance of gravity, we returned (relatively) unscathed to the unmoving ground below, weaving and swaying and waiting for the world to stop spinning.

I remember that feeling well, and can only compare what I’m going through these days to that topsy-turvy sensation when you get off one of those rickety carnival rides. Whereas before you were being spun into oblivion at speeds illegal in most states, you’ve returned to reality where the spinning is all in your head and everyone else around you thinks your bobbing and weaving walk is a little bizarre. After all, they weren’t on the Matterhorn and don’t realize that the aftermath causes your reality to be different from theirs, if even for a short time.

And so it might seem bizarre to you, too, that in any time of calm I feel out of sorts, since for so long I’ve lived in a Matterhorn-esque state. I’ve been working and writing and going and doing and seeing and traveling and talking and joining and attending and any other verb that would convey the opposite of what I’m doing right now; namely, not very much. It’s a time of transition, this ‘old job done, new job starting’ when I’m still trying to figure out just what is expected of me and sort of running in circles trying to discern this information. Also, things at home have been settling down a little, what with darling Miss Lila *FINALLY* nailing the housetraining down pat (even if she does bark at the wrong door, at least she’s barking as a signal.) And so in the midst of the whirlwind that was my life as of late, I’ve entered a time of relative calm, knowing full well that I should enjoy my acclimation to a slower pace since, without a doubt, I’ll soon be getting back on the Tilt-a-Whirl to return to my chaotic homeostasis. Right where I like it.

One of a Kind (sort of)

Glad to know that my predilection is non-replicated in the animal kingdom:

It’s a behavior limited to humankind, says Katherine Gould, author of “A Tiger in the Bedroom: Lessons From Mother Nature’s Sex Shop.” “From my research, I can’t find a single creature that gets loopy and goes looking for an ex,” Gould says.

What is this elusive behavior? Read more…

Watching Pretty Woman is as close as I get to being Richard Gere

In my last post, I mentioned my **BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW JOB** within Google (it’s not like I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited, or anything here), but didn’t go into much detail. I’m going to now, so forgive me in advance for some techno nerd-speak.

Google recently acquired a web analytics company called Urchin (, allowing us to take our services to clients to the next level. Prior to this acquisition, we had limited insight on what happened after our users clicked on the ads and gets to the client websites. Now, if clients want to use this product & give us access, we’re able to discern a ton of helpful information, allowing the clients to put their money where it’s working for them and converting the most profitably. Previously a huge frustration heard from our clients, we can now deliver on many of the things they’ve been asking for. The MOST exciting part is that I’m going to be working with the Urchin team to meet clients all over the country to promote this product, help with its implementation and continued development, and train our teams on how to use the software. Yes, I’m a huge nerd, but I’m elated that I’m getting to make such an impact.

Anyway, one benefit of working on this fabu team of super-smart people is that I get to learn about the product & all its reports on MY website. Oh yes, that means that I know that approximately 53 unique people from the great land of Australia have come to my site in the month of July alone, and that I have at least one fan from Warszawa, Poland. (Hi there!) It also means that without a doubt, I can see what queries people are entering into search engines (like Google, of course) and that they’re finding my site from some, um, interesting queries. Some are to be expected (i.e., "shesheme", "Aubrey website" or even one of my favorite songs, "waiting for my real life to begin") but then there’s the queries that make little sense to me, beguiling ones like "non-biting guinea pigs" and "boys buttcracks". And then there’s the one that caused me not just to laugh out loud, ping half of the office in amusement, and sit, perplexed, for the last five minutes, trying to figure out just HOW somebody on Google found me when they were really looking for "Aubrey the ass hamster." Because really, I just don’t see the similarity between me & Richard Gere.

Lazy Days no More

I thought July was going to be my *calm* month where I leisurely descended upon my life in a nice, quiet fashion, catching up with friends and returning to the state in a state of relaxation.

Oh, hell was I wrong.

Since I’ve been back, it’s been one thing after another after another after your mother another. I’m all-too used to being busy and in a state of mini-chaos, but I hadn’t expected it; instead, I saw the month ahead as a blank slate; August to follow only had one(!!) trip! Wahoo! And now, nary a night goes by where I’m not driving or flying or en route or returning from or trying to figure out where the day went while I try to coerce my puppy to stop biting me for the 38977th time. Alas, month of leisure is actually month of burning the candle at both ends.

So in lieu of anything cute & witty & fun, I’ll leave you with the entire batch (all 400+ of ’em) of Hawaii photos. If you need me, I’ll be the one with her head in the oven.

Cutting the Ties

I’m going through my old calendar to get people’s birthdays so I can put them in my brand-spankin’ new datebook. I’ve always been really good at remembering birthdays, but even so, the thought of me forgetting to send a card or ecard or even an email worries me to the point that year after year, I put them in the calendar without fail. And amongst the close friend and family anniversary and birthday reminders exist remnants of friendships and relationships past, which inevitably causes me sadness and longing and a little reminiscing. Though I know I’ve moved on both emotionally and physically, the stark reality of their name on that day in my handwriting reminds me that yes, they once were someone I cared about. And now, through circumstance or happenstance or distance or betrayal or even the subtle passing of days that invariably weakens our relationships without our intention, they’re not.

When is it time to let go?

As I’m transferring over these events, I wonder: even though my ex is now married, is it poor form to still send him a card? Even though we’ve broken up, I *STILL* know when your birthday is, I still wake up that morning and wonder what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it with. Does that mean I want to get back with you? Nope. What it does mean is that on that given day in April or May or August or October, I think of you, sincerely hope you’re happy doing what you’re doing, being who you’re being, without me in your life. And that even though you may not know it, I keep you in my datebook, if for nothing else to remind me that yes, once things were good, once I celebrated this day with you with cake and balloons and long, lazy mornings in bed and while I’ve moved on, I can still be as wistful as I want by those meager entries in my datebook.

So yes, I’ve let go of most of you, but these memories – they’re mine, even if they’re only prompted by the pages in my calendar.

Mon Petit Chien

I can’t remember a time in my life without animals. From my first pet (a turtle eponymously named "Turtle") to my hamster "Hammy" (and let’s not forget my goldfish "Goldie" and the guinea pigs, "Crunchy" and "Munchy" – ok, so I wasn’t a good animal namer, I admit it) I’ve always had a pet. My first dog was named "Pumpkin" and while there was a stretch in college where I didn’t have a pet, I claimed my parents’ dog Bailey to be my own. (*HE* certainly thought he was my dog, after all.) So now, however many years (um, 10) later since I graduated from high school, the fact that I have Le Sabala Menagerie isn’t that surprising.

What *IS* surprising, however, is Miss Lila Belle.


Miss Lila, so kindly named in part by your creative suggestions, is approaching the crucial six-month mark, and I’m waiting to wake up on July 28th with a calmer, quieter, non-biting dog who only goes potty outside and certainly doesn’t chase the cats and run around the house with my underwear on her head. After all, the books (and you know I’m trusting ‘the books’) say that six months is when you should see a marked improvement in behavior in all aspects, so I’m going to hope with all my might that they’re right.


Now, Miss Lila Belle is getting big, seemingly bigger than her "no more than 20 pounds" claim would attest (especially since she currently weighs in at 21 lbs, and seems to still be growing.) Perhaps I got a genetic anomaly since both of her parents really *WERE* 20 pounds (I even met them!) but she towers over the cats, even the fat one that looks like he ate an entire other cat himself. Yep, my little girl is growing up.


But not really acting any better. While she can sit on command (I don’t know how she picked that one up, but she did, and will do it unless she thinks I’m making her sit to put on her prong collar or put her in her crate) she still is having some, to put it delicately, huge-ass big bad dog issues with biting. I know schnauzers (of which she is 1/2) can have a temper and cockers (the other 1/2) can be stubborn, but this dog will get pissed at me when I won’t let her, say, eat the cat or chew my brand new shoes or – her latest – stand on the coffee table, and will show her dissatisfaction by nipping at me. BAD DOG, Lila.


Only it’s not necessarily just a nip – sometimes it’s harder. Like last night when she wanted to eat out of the litterbox (by far the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen) and I wouldn’t let her, she bit me.
In the butt.

Apparently we’re in agreement on this one point – puppy training bites ass.

Here we go again…

Welcome to my new(ish) site, version 1.0. I’m sure it will still be undergoing quite a few changes in the next few days & weeks, but for now, this is what I’ve got. It shall suffice.

I write this from a darkening New York afternoon, and am surprised how dark it is already at 4:42pm. Atlanta doesn’t get nearly this dark until, hmm…4:55? Seriously, though, I may just have to cab it to the hotel, THAT’S how dark it’s getting.

Much more to tell, much more to come, so instead of writing about it, I’m off to go DO it. Until next time…