Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Faced With A Teaching Moment, Brodi Fails Miserably... and FBF Winners

FBF Winners
Two winners today:

1. Jenny Jackson
2. Greg and Kimberly

email me your top three choices (from the new picture below) and your addresses. brosam (at) gmail dot com.

1. So lately Kid C has been obsessed with Good vs. Evil, and he has taken this theme and used it to view Jesus vs. Satan.

Kid C: “Brodi, you’re the best.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Kid C: “Wanna know who’s not the best?”

Me: “Who?”

Kid C: “Satan.”

I nod my head. You can’t argue with that.

And the other day, in the car, Kid C was worried we were going to run out of gas. He kept begging me to go get gas, and when I told him we had plenty, he mumbled, “Jesus has more gas than you.”

He’s also become aware that there are evil people in the world. He was trying to come to terms with this fact last weekend in the car. Sam and I tried to be dutiful parents and help him out.

Kid C: “There are mean people in the world, right?”

Me: “Yep. Unfortunately, there are too many mean people.”

Kid C (looking around): “But I can’t see them anywhere.”

Me: “Yeah, usually you can’t see them.”

Kid C: “So if I can’t see them, they’re not there. If I can’t see them, that means there are no mean people.”

At this teaching moment, Sam and I both started to speak. Sam assumed we were both going to say the same thing, and, being a gentleman, deferred to me to speak.

So I turn around to Kid C and say: “C, just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. For example, just because you can’t see the bogeyman in your closet at night doesn’t mean-”

Sam cuts me off: “Bro!”

Me: “What?”

Sam: “I was thinking this would be a good time to teach him something about faith.”

Kid C: “Who’s in my closet?”


Me: “No one, buddy. You need to have faith that no one is in your closet at night.”

2. And now, please participate in a little survey:

Recently I had a couple people ask me what the secret is to getting people to comment.

My answer: I haven't the slightest idea. So I thought I would pose the question to all y'all. What makes you comment on someone's blog? Do you have to feel comfortable? Do you answer questions? Do you only comment when aliens with bananas are mentioned? (Sorry, that's just a personal rule) Do you only comment if it's a contest? Would you rather snort cinnamon juice than comment, and no amount of bananas and aliens is gonna change your mind?

Let me know, if you get a chance. And let me say thanks to all of you who make the comments section such a fun discussion forum. Or snarkfest. Or whatever it is we do in the comments section.

I'll have a rundown of the James Dashner event on Friday.


  1. Thank you for making me laugh this early in the morning. Sure, it's 9 am, but if I had my choice I would still be sleeping; these kids think they need someone to take care of them, go figure.

    I comment when I have something clever to say, which isn't very often. Hence, I've been a lurker. But now that I've taken the plunge, I'll comment more. You wouldn't know me if you saw me on the street, so I can be as big a dork on here as I want. And you can ask Debbie and Jenni, I'm a bit of a dork that tends to put my foot in my mouth. (Which is very painful, I wouldn't recommend it, btw.)

    Yay, I won a book! Thanks, Brodi!!!

  2. Kid C rocks! Last week, he put his shorts on backwards, by accident. I mentioned it to him and he laughed and changed them around...he then walked away muttering "Good thing he told me or I would have had to explain to all my friends that I bought backward shorts at the store.' He is a very funny little kid.

    I comment usually because I am often portrayed wrongly on this site (whether it be about birthday gifts, locks, etc.). My job is to set the record straight. Consider now the record straightened.

  3. I'll usually comment when there are questions I feel like I have a relatively competent answer for (except in this case, obviously). I've noticed I usually get more comments when I pose a question at the end of a post. Sometimes.

  4. I was really excited there for a moment because until I was about 10 years old, I was Jenny Jackson. Then, I remembered that not only had I changed the spelling of my name to an I instead of a Y, I was no longer a Jackson because I took my husband's last name. *sad*

    Kimberly is a dork, but that's why I love her! We're all dorks in my universe! :) I don't think she puts her foot in her mouth, though.

    Anyway, as far as commenting goes, I comment when:
    1. I have something clever to say, which isn't very often.
    2. I want to encourage the blogger because they're having a tough time and evidenced through their blog.
    3. The blogger comments on my blog religiously. I want them to keep coming to my blog, so I keep going to theirs. (And, it doesn't hurt that I like those religious commenters and like to experience life with them, even if it is vicariously through their blog.)
    4. I like the content of the post. (I have a hard time posting comments on my mother-in-law's blog because she only posts things about her grandkids. And, because I don't have any children, so I'm not really included in any of her posts and I'm sick of hearing about the grandkids, I just don't comment. I know it's kind of petty, but that's the way I am with my husband's family.)

  5. Kid C is hilarious! One of my favorite kid stories about my kid P was in singing a song that ends with "...if they live righteously", kid P would sing "if they live just like me". Now that is confidence!

    I love your blog, but only comment if I have anything to add to the incredibly interesting discussion. But I don't look at it as lurking! Rather, enjoying!

  6. Ha, ha, ha! I like your explanation better than some old boring lesson about faith :) I also still love that your kids call you Brodi!

    Comments - I comment to everyone so I can't help you out. Actually, I think asking people questions, for advice, for personal experiences, etc. makes it easier because it takes of the pressure of thinking of something to say. Then you don't have to comment for commentings sake.

  7. I just comment when I have something to say. (Which seems like a "duh" but hey.)

    I can't decide what prompts people to comment on my own blog...

  8. Brodi - I love stories about your kids, it seems they inherited your wit, especially Kid C.

    Why do I comment, because I feel welcome here and I feel I have something in common with everyone here (this is insanity anonymous, right?) Seriously though, I comment when I have something to say, or fun questions to answer (which your questions Brodi are always funny and interesting) and you always say something that just spurs me to comment. In fact, I never lurked here, once Debbie told me to check out your blog, I was hooked, commenting and addicted!

    For the few other blogs that I comment on, it's because of the discussion and "atmosphere" I feel there, it makes me feel like not only I have something to contribute in the comment section but that my comments are welcome...*sniff* like I'm I belong (why does this feel like a flashback to high school????).

  9. Thanks everyone for the insight.

    Kimberly- Dorks are welcome here.

    Sam- the record is officially straightened.

    Melissa- good to know.

    Jenni- Sorry to get your hopes up! I need to be better at commenting on other people's blogs. Good suggestion.

    Emblems- I have no problem with lurkers. I have been known to lurk, on occasion, on other blogs. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

    Cam- I love your comments. I love your blog too.

    Britt- Pretty straight forward. I'm the same way.

    Una- Hi. My name's Brodi. And I'm insane.

    *Hi Brodi*

  10. I comment on blogs for pretty much the same reasons as Jenni Elyse:

    1. I "think" I have something clever to say (which usually turns out to be not so clever);

    2. To offer encouragement, support, or show solidarity for a blog friend in need;

    3. The Golden Rule--I like it when people comment on my blog, so I feel I should comment on theirs;

    4. The post reminds me of a related story I just HAVE to tell;'

    5. I feel strongly about the subject of the post.

    I usually get the most comments when I bring up a polarizing topic...I guess other people like to comment on topics they feel strongly about, too.

    Kid C's "Jesus has more gas than you" makes me think of two things: the typical "your mom" response that perpetuates when my siblings and I are together, and a thought--would Jesus actually get gas? Considering the ascetic lifstyle He led, I doubt he would even have a car.

    Unless we're talking about some other type of gas...then it might depend on where He ate lunch.
    (pardon my sacriledge :O).

  11. I just read a post, and if a thought pops into my head as I'm reading, I comment. So, to write posts that bring the most comments, I guess the usual tips are to write interesting/funny/useful posts, and to pose good questions at the end. I think you usually do both of these things on your posts. I struggle with it sometimes with book review posts. "What do you think - did you like this book too?" gets kind of old.

  12. I went through a phase as a kid when no one could ever have enough gas. I was with my friends mom and we were 2 blocks from my house and she ran out. For a good 10+ years after that I was very adamant about people having enough gasoline.

    Comments: Mostly what the others mentioned. Golden rule, story to share, answer to your question.

    However on yours I mostly comment because then you comment back and it's fun to get a nod from the rockstar herself.

  13. Jessica- Sacrilege pardoned, because you know that's where my brain went when he first said it...

    Infant- ha ha. I guess that question would get old after so many reviews. good tips for the actual blog posts too.

    Debbie- "Rockstar". lol! Sam also had an experience as a child where his mom ran out of gas. To this day, he's still obsessed with the gas needle. They must be traumatic moments in a child's life!

  14. Brod - I think the reasons you have such good comment/discussion on your blog are:
    1. You're funny as heck.
    2. You ask questions.
    3. You are quick to respond to people's comments. No comment goes unnoticed (by you). That makes readers WANT to say something.

    Thanks for making all us little people feel included in your blog world.

  15. Man, I've ran out of gas at least 5 times & I still look down with 2 miles left & think, "Huh, I should get some gas!" I wish I had been instilled with the need to keep the tank filled- when the aliens come & there's no gas I'm gonna be screwed.

    Comments- I comment for all the reasons mentioned, comfort, people commet on mine, something to say. Like Debbie I like commenting on yours because you comment back. I've tried to start doing it too.

  16. Often I don't comment because even though I think I have something hilarious to add, I am reading the blog WAY too long after the fact for my comment to be meaningful. Although, I have started checking YOUR blog more regularly because it always makes me laugh.

    I usually only comment rarely. I have commented way more on your blog than any other. I think that is because 1)you comment back. I love that you comment back. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy, 2) you ask interesting questions that sometimes I think I have an interesting answer to, 3) sometimes there is a chance of winning something! I am not above groveling for free stuff.

  17. Cath- Thanks. I love your blog too!

    Wow, this post is becoming a love fest. Awesome.

    Olivia- I've run out of gas on the freeway twice. Still haven't learned my lesson. Thank goodness for a hubby who is sorta OCD about it all.

    Jenny- I love it when you contribute to the comments section. And I'm never above grovelling. In fact, I try to grovel at least once a week, so I don't get rusty.

  18. I'm not a blogger, though I've toyed with it from time to time. I'm more of a content consumer than a producer.

    Contests, sure I'll comment. But that doesn't mean it will be a post with *content*, which is different and presumably more valuable to bloggers.

    Questions are better. It gives me something to answer and maybe I'll have something to say.

    You asked about being comfortable and I do think that is important. I'm not going to expose my thoughts if I feel like I'm going to be scoffed at. Or I won't post if I think the blog author won't get what I'm saying - either taking it the wrong way or just not understanding at all.

    The community of posters (which presumably blog authors have not a lot of control over) also has some effect. I'm much more likely to post here than to post on youtube or digg. It's a different environment. The same comment on different sites gets different responses. If I feel like the site is one of those where I would be subject to random insults (or sometimes just misunderstood), I won't post.

    If the article has struck a cord with me, it could go either way. Sometimes there are subjects where people have already made up their minds and commenting leads to flame wars. Sometimes it's something I might feel passionate about and have an opinion or information about. I still might not comment because I am tired of talking about the subject in general or because I don't feel I would express myself well. Passion doesn't always mean posts.

    There are various combinations that change whether or not I will respond, but I think those factors are important to consider.

  19. Cari- thanks for the insight. I totally agree- I would never post on youtube, or even on some of the really popular agent/publisher blogs because strong opinions can get you run out of town. I'm like you- I don't have the time or the inclination to get involved in comment wars!

    I do love the community here, and I hope I never have to get to a point where I have to monitor comments, or not allow anonymous comments. Partly because that would be sad. And partly because I'm lazy.

    I think your comment would make a great post for your own blog. Let me know if you get one up and running!

  20. Our family still teases Debbie to this day about her gas paranoia. Between Debbie, Sam and Kid C, it sounds like there ought to be a support group put together for this particular childhood trauma.

    I am going to go read the faith story to the hubby right now. Truly, very very funny. I've been thinking about humor in writing lately. How do you develop it? That ought to be a blog post sometime - since this is one of your strengths, teach us!

    As for the commenting, very interesting question. This is actually the first time that I've read everyone else's responses. I'm glad you asked this.

    For me, I comment because I read. I don't take time to read many blogs. So I figure if I take the time to read, I ought to let them know I've stopped by. I stop by here, because I so often get a laugh. Also, I like the questions. And since you are a faithful responder, I will check back to see what you have to say (though that actually isn't a reason I comment). Finally, yes, I am hoping to win a contest one of these days.

  21. Um, ditto to everybody else. Like when you asked for spider stories, and I had some good ones, I commented. It's like that. Except more complex. Like everybody said. Right now, for example, I'm commenting even though I have nothing to add except ditto.

    I'm also commenting because really I'm trying to be like Brodi, I'm following in her ways. (I feel like there should be a melody to that, but maybe that's a bad idea.)

    Thanks for funny posts and responding to all your comments!

  22. PS. The hubby laughed out loud. Maybe this will get him to start stalking you too. Just doing my part to boost your male reader demographics.

  23. Heids- I'm glad I could make your hubby laugh. Making hubbies laugh is very tough. They can be so surly. We definitely need more testosterone around here, so I hope he follows.

    Nikki- You're right- it does need a melody. I sang it to the beautiful strains of that 1992 classic, "Baby Got Back."

    Thanks for saying such nice things.

  24. I only comment because I feel completely pressured by my sister to comment and that she knows where I live if I don't comment. Other than that, I'm a total closet reader :) Just kidding! I actually love commenting and then reading all the other comments from everyone else. It's like we're all part of a wonderful, insane, comical family...kind of like my own family.

  25. Erin- I fully admit to pressuring you to comment. What are sisters for?

  26. Ok, Brodi, I'm taking your survey. Unfortunately, whether or not I comment on a blog actually has very little to do with the blog itself--I am selfish, and it all has to do with me. Sometimes I don't comment because I just don't have time, sometimes I can't think of anything to say, sometimes I can think of something to say but I'm embarassed to post it or can't figure out a good way to put it in words (my default style of writing is ramble...ramble...repeat myself...ramble...repeat myself--overcoming this style is seriously very challenging for me, which is why I'm not trying to overcome it right now), or sometimes I've got plenty of time and plenty to say but I'm just too darn lazy to type it out. Either way, it's all my fault. Even if I am reading the most hilarious or most inspirational or most helpful or most life-changing blog post I've ever read, there is no reason to assume that I'll leave a comment. BTW, I also suck at sending out thank you cards, so I'm basically just a reclusive jerk. The bright side is that I DO talk to people frequently about blogs I read, so I'm giving you word-of-mouth PR, I promise! Seriously, I was just telling my neighbor about your blog the other day--she wants to write a book, and I totally plugged you as not only a brilliant author but also a savvy navigator of the publishing world. Consider it a comment-I.O.U.

  27. Amy- you tend to ramble? no way! :) I love you. Thanks for taking the time to comment, since I know how rare it is.

  28. well i comment, because there were only 27 comments.

    i had odd numbers and had to make it an even 28! :O)

  29. and i can't spell (which is why i only SOMETIMES comment)

    should say "commented"

    which now brings you to 29...

    someone else hurry and comment! (odd number thing again!)

  30. I am more likely to comment if there is a question, because I don't have many funny life experiences to contribute. I don't want to waste all 3 seconds of your time with a silly comment. But I really love your blog.