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  1. Sandi
    October 22, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    Love, love, love your description of Recurring Mortification Syndrome. Yep. We are old friends, RMS and I. And I’m with you. Love shiny blogging things, hate the responsibility of maintaining it all. Which is why I left Responsible Blogging with .org and came back to the usual .com blog. Now if only I could figure out how to get that icon in my URL bar…

    P.S. You’re awesome.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 10:19 am

      Wahhahahaha—that’s the sound of me laughing and crying.
      I read your comment and experienced that twist of jealousy where someone does your writing one better… WHY I did not think to name the syndrome??

      Go to your dashboard>settings> there should be a link in the right upper corner for a blog icon picture? Mine took a few days to actually start showing up after I uploaded it.


      • Sandi
        October 22, 2012 @ 10:22 am

        LOL You’re too fun. And thank you. I will hie me hence and see if I, too, can Master the Icon.


    • Roberta
      October 22, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

      I wish there was a way for me to show you how hard I laughed. And at this comment too. Are you goin gto tell us what your new RMS from this year is?


      • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
        October 22, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

        Lord no. Well. Maybe if I run out of other things to blog about. It’s not like it isn’t an awesome story… if you’re not me.


  2. vintagekaren
    October 22, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    It’s a rainy Monday morning and I have a pile of work on my desk, but I’m smiling because of you! (BTW, the cat eye glasses are fabulous!)


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

      Lol… thanks.
      I will be sure to show you the purple crinoline… it’s just as awesome as the glasses!


  3. Karen B.
    October 22, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Why on earth did Word Press call it a Halloween themed class? I can totally relate to embarrassing incidents that never leave your memory…I have more that a few. Your cat glasses were the nod to Halloween and looked great on you, thank goodness you weren’t in costume, right?

    Since you rank as one of the smarter people I know (by way of virtual knowing) I am glad you let me know a Word Press class might not help all that much. I operate blind and only create posts with pictures that are placed exactly the same each time because my feeble brain cannot figure out how to make a gallery or any other possible tool word press offers.

    Love the disco skull…does it light up?


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

      I’m not smart in *any* of the ways that tech-blog-people are smart… I can read and follow instructions fine, but I have NO curiosity about web design, so my brain goes immediately to frustration, rather than problem-solving.

      I’m sure that you would learn at least a few things that you found helpful. Even if it’s just a greater understanding of some part of your blog… Also, I randomly happened to sit next to someone that I had about nine-unlikely-things-in-common with, so making a new, local blog-buddy was fantastic. You would really like her… if for no reason other than she blogs about etiquette, and she just visited the Mrs. John L. Strong stationary boutique, which seems like something you’d appreciate. But also because she shared ALL of the things we talked about in our emails.

      It was *incredibly* nice to have a real conversation, in person! I actually thought of you, and how much you would have enjoyed that part of the day…


      • Karen B.
        October 22, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

        How fun! Maybe I’ll look at the link you provided to see when there might be a session near me. How did you know I love etiquette…my grandmother bought me a Letitia Baldridge book on etiquette. I used to study up, but now there are so many who think it’s lame I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I still try to be kind and courteous but I never think poorly of someone when isn’t as kind, unless it’s where blogging is concerned. 🙂 lol


        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          October 22, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

          Mmm. How did I know? You just reek of etiquette. LOL…


          • Karen B.
            October 22, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

            uh oh.


            • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
              October 22, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

              NO! That was totally a joke! You know this right?

            • Karen B.
              October 22, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

              Lol, yes, I may be extra polite (not sure this is a factual statement) but I love a joke. 🙂

  4. Stacey
    October 22, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    Okay… first you look fantastic and I love the glasses! I could almost feel the flush of red come to my face when I read the sentence “and no one else was wearing a costume”! I’m not sure if I would have made it through that… but YOU ROCK for letting that one just brush right off you. Honestly I think it’s awesome that you go to those… and maybe you should wear a costume EVERY time. It could get you some serious attention. People will be like “man, that chick is awesome… lets check out her blog!”. HA HA HA! or at least wear the glasses… cause they are too much fun!

    Okay, I have to put my two cents in here…. is just as easy as It will never keep you from writing or from seriously loving your blog. It’s awesome! And if YOU want to move…Victoria… I will help with the whole thing and you’ll see how easy it is. I’m serious. I think you’d love it. Once you get your theme and plug-ins just the way you like it the rest is just smooth sailing. Seriously now.. the offer stands. Either way, your posts are always fun and I look forward to them every week. 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

      It is incredibly generous of you to make such an offer. And I may take you up on it at some point.

      Prior to going to the WordCamp, I tried to set up MAMP? I assume you know what that is, but explain for anyone reading comments, that it’s a way of using the .org software on you computer without having a webserver host it.

      I was in a rush, trying to do seventeen things at once, and I could not figure out how to actually get it to work. I was so frustrated I could have thrown the computer out the window. Even though that has never once worked…

      And I HATE that feeling pretty much more than any other. That specific frustration and stress of confusion of why something refuses to function as you think it should… even though what you think is clearly wrong.

      And that’s what’s holding me back. I’m trying to avoid that hair-tearing-out aggravation. Also, my confidence in my understanding of the nuts and bolts is shaky. I’d like to feel like I’m not teetering on the edge of plunging my blog into chaos.


      • agoodehouse
        October 22, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

        Oh yes, I’ve used MAMP and XAMPP and xampp is my favorite. The MAMP was very temperamental and I too found myself frustrated. I would use it for several months and then it would just NOT connect to the database out of the blue. I’ve never had that with xampp and the directions are much easier to install. You might try that instead.
        I totally understand why people don’t want to make the move but once you get settled it’s no different than your .com blog. There’s even a plugin that connects to your .com account that allows you to keep many of the .com features in dashboard. Oh the things you could do!!! 🙂
        I’m currently setting up two sites for clients and having lots of fun with it. I also write a manual for them so they know exactly what to do. I’m sure you would actually enjoy it. But I totally understand why that might be overwhelming. I really do.


        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          October 22, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

          I’m pretty sure my issues with MAMP were based in my own ignorance, but I am happy to blame them on possible issues with the program instead. Without a background in this stuff, it is INTIMIDATING. And once the frustration sets in, you don’t know where to turn.

          I did get the websites of some local meet-up groups… and some training classes in Philly. It’s something I’d like to know more about, although of course finding time isn’t easy. But I’m impressed by the scope of the community and the sheer number of people getting together to talk about nothing but WordPress.


  5. Alex @ northstory
    October 22, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    I’m sorry I’m still trying to wipe the tears of laughter out of my eyes. If you ever go to a conference and decide to dress up in a costume, that would require a video never mind photos. Scarred for life would be an understatement. I get it. I feel that way if I try to walk in heels. Which is never.

    I like that skull. I like the disco balls. I marvel at your DIY skills.

    So the conference was about .org more than .com. Where was I go give the speech of “Stuff no warned me about going self hosted including how much alcohol to stock up for long conversations with tech support”.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

      It was 100% about .org, and your presentation was sorely missed. By the time I left, my brain was so fried, I had stopped paying attention. I came home and Paul was like—how was it? And I was like, it was great… now please do not speak to me for an hour. I need absolute silence.

      Scarred for life is the phrase I should have used up in my description… had I showed up in costume… I cannot even think about how narrowly I avoided such humiliation.

      Now that you’ve settled into .org. And theoretically grasped some of the finer points? Does it feel as simple as .com?


      • Alex @ northstory
        October 23, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

        It is as simple as .com except if you put in the wrong plug in, your world could implode. It’s literally all about the plug in’s. You want a new widget? Get a plug in. You want stats? Get a plug in? You want to find what links don’t work? Get a plug in. It’s endless. Which is great b/c your options to design and control are endless. But if you don’t know CSS or your way around web design fairly well, one plug in could counter an already installed one and suddenly you can’t see your paragraphs anymore on your main page and have no idea how to fix it. Hence why I am of the advocacy that you get a good friend and a case of beer and say I will pay you in friendship devotion if you be my web person for the duration of my blog.

        One thing I have started to notice is all the stay at home moms that have blogs that make it look like it’s a hobby and super easy, also have a fine print in their footer that usually reads “Site designed by” and it ain’t them. Duly noted.


        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          October 24, 2012 @ 10:02 am

          Yes. They covered that—how plugins are AWESOME. Until one has an allergic reaction with the others and you have no idea why…

          I need to find a teenager who wants to be my tutor. There were some kids there on Saturday. I mean KIDS. Like maybe they were thirteen? I would have asked them if they wanted to make some money, but they were clearly so much cooler than me, I was afraid to talk to them.


  6. RedCandy
    October 22, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    I like the shirt they gave you….oh, and the striped jacket you’re wearing. I love stripes! Um, I must be a blogging idiot because I have no idea what the difference between and is??


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

      I love stripes too… Especially navy and cream. And I was pretty pleased with the t-shirt. I have a collection of tees from all kinds of places and now I’m always disproportionately happy to get another one.

      Not an idiot at all… there’s not necessarily any reason you should know the difference. .COM—what you and I use, is hosted by, is free and easy… but also doesn’t let us alter the format of our blogs very much outside of say color or background or theme we chose.

      .ORG on the other hand is the actual software from wordpress. And you can change it and gussy it up anyway you want… assuming you have the ability. They don’t host it for you, and every part of building it and maintaining the blog is up to you.


      • RedCandy
        October 22, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

        Ahh I see. Well, that all sounds too complicated for me. I’ll leave .org to the experts.


  7. mrscarmichael
    October 22, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    Firstly, I didn’t know there was a I will investigate tomorrow. had the almost same situation with 2 of my daughters when party mother changed the plan and party became NON dress up. My girls arrived as Tigger and Tinkerbelle and handeled the whole thing much better than I did.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

      Good on your girls for not crawling back into the car and hiding (like I would have done). But, if you think about it, it’s clearly superior to go somewhere as Tinkerbelle, as opposed to just being a normal person…

      .ORG is like building your own house—you get to pick everything from the tile to the lampshades. But you have the responsibility of paying the taxes and making sure it doesn’t catch fire.

      .COM is like renting an apartment. We never have to mow the lawn or worry that the roof is leaking. But we also can’t improve the kitchen or knock out any walls. (which is possibly overrated anyway?)


  8. Jennifer S
    October 22, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    You look mahvelous… and would have totally pulled off the costume. (Though I’m glad you didn’t have to… nobody so sweet should have to suffer unnecessary embarrassment.)

    As for the seminar? Honestly… I feel like my blog is taking too much time from my regular life. I’m thinking about sitting back and taking a break. Do you relate to this? I’d be curious what your take is on striking the right balance.

    And I thought of you today! Drove past a house with an old enamel cookstove for sale on the front lawn. It was white and not too rusty. Pretty lines. And only $35!!! Of course, we have nowhere to put an antique cookstove. Also, of course, I had to call the number and attempt to buy it.

    Fortunately? It already had a taker.

    I was a little disappointed. I’d already begun thinking about all the hard work I could put into restoring it.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

      Lord. Yes. This blog is eating my life.
      Actually? That’s not accurate. I waste an enormous amount of time on random crap on the Internet that is vaguely related to this blog, but is NOT actually writing on MY blog. I am actually dismayed at the disproportionate amount of quality thought vs. absolute crap I spend my time on.

      That will be my next blog post if I can force myself to focus long enough to actually form thoughts as opposed to jumping around with Internet-inflicted ADD.

      You may be different. You post far more frequently than I do. And they’re usually pretty long, so you ARE actually writing more… and you may have greater impulse control.

      If I were doing nothing but writing on this blog, I would be thrilled with myself. It’s the accessories that go with it.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 22, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

      I went and searched for a contact page on your site… and umm? Apparently you do not wish me to contact you to tell you ALL of my most lengthy thoughts on this subject. Really? Why not?


      • Jennifer S
        October 22, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

        See? I’m so in over my head, I can’t even properly set up the contact page. I’ll do that … if I can figure it out… because I want to hear more from you.

        And I feel my posts are frequently blech. Just not so well-conceived or executed. Just ramblings. I think yours are always interesting and well-written… which is why you’re the one whose advice I’d like to have.

        I look forward to that next post… and will now attempt to fix my contact page. Because that’s way more important than listening to Obama and Romney discuss foreign policy issues.


        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          October 23, 2012 @ 10:15 am

          I watch the debates via the filter of Bill Maher’s facebook page. It is the only way I can control spontaneously combusting.

          There are things I have to say about this experience that I wouldn’t share in a public forum. But at the same time, I don’t know how to write a post about it without actually saying what I think. Also, no doubt if I feel this way, lots of other people do too…

          I love your blog. Your humor is right up my alley. And you are actually WRITING. Which most people are not. Or, at least not stuff I want to read. Plus, I’m inundated with restoration-blogs and house crap and decorating mindlessness. So I would be sad to lose your corner of blog world. But I can ALSO understand how it can start to feel like you are trading your one, only, precious life… to interact with strangers on the Internet… And when examined objectively, that is pretty stupid.


  9. Jessica
    October 23, 2012 @ 1:09 am

    Oh, I feel your potential embarrassment soooo much. When I was a kid, I was in Girl Scouts. And there was some sort of costume dress up for a meeting night thing. I dressed up as we were supposed to, walked in and…no one else was dressed up. The troop leader’s daughter “forgot” to call me and tell me we weren’t dressing up. I have not dressed up for anything since then and it was almost twenty years ago. My husband goes to a costume party every year, but I don’t think I could make it out the door in a costume without throwing up.

    Anyway, I’m glad you didn’t go in costume because it looks like you had an awesome time. You look great!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 23, 2012 @ 11:15 am

      Oh… groan. Sometimes being a kid is so not fun. No doubt you have a special place in your heart for that girl and her “forgetfulness”. I guess that was your “thick skin” badge. Or maybe your “scarred for life” badge…

      That’s the kind of memory that makes me so glad to not be young anymore. Whenever I have nostalgia for high school or something, I always remind myself that actually, it really wasn’t all that fun.


  10. the home tome
    October 23, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    ha ha! you really dodged a bullet – I too, would have been mortified if I’d been the only one in a full costume. And I know ALL about those embarrassing moments that plague you for years and come rushing back to you at the weirdest times.

    I love wearing costumes – a few years ago Rob and I flew to Seattle on Halloween night – Rob wore some outlandish sunglasses and I just wore devil ears, but it satisfied my need to be goofy. I thought for sure there would be other people at the airport in costume or at least some goofy hats, but nada! Zip! Nobody! Nothing! Not true – we did see one worker with alien antennae and I almost hugged her – but loosen up people, reconnect with your inner child. Have some fun! Celebrate silliness! ha! okay, enough Halloween ranting.

    BTW, that T-shirt is pretty cool. And so are your cat eyes 🙂

    I went to a SEO class last year – it was only relevant to .org peops…interesting but I couldn’t implement much of it…


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 24, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

      To borrow Stacey’s phrase—you went to spam jail. Apparently Askismet thought you wanted to sell me outlandish (knock-off) sunglasses or satanic headwear. Or possibly a way to hug aliens?

      An entire airport on Halloween with no costumes? That’s kind of creepy in and of itself. The dress up element is so fun, I never understand why people forgo it, or just aren’t interested. Like, hello? How do you not see the appeal of wearing shiny red horns?


  11. Áine Warren
    October 23, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    Halloween IS my birthday, so I love it doubly! Good job on the inadvertent ass-saving… that would have been embarrassing indeed!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 24, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      AHH! You are incredibly lucky!! I was always envious of the kids who got to have Halloween-themed parties. It just seemed so unfair. I mean, there is NO better party than a costume party!


      • Áine Warren
        October 24, 2012 @ 10:44 am

        Hahaha so true, my birthday parties were fantastic. I used to decorate our breakfast/dining room with dozens of witches and other halloween creatures and started making them every year in September. When I was really young I kind of thought everyone got presents on Halloween, it was kind of weird when I realised that some people didn’t think it was a big deal. 🙂


        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          October 24, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

          I’m of the firm opinion we should trade one of the other major holidays for a second Halloween. One that ALWAYS occurs on a Saturday. This weekday business is nonsense!!


          • Áine Warren
            October 24, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

            It is, isn’t it? Thanks to it being on Wednesday I’m having to choose between going to a party that is ridiculously difficult to get to and from or just having a quiet, costume-free Halloween/birthday this year – which is really not on! I like your solution.


            • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
              October 28, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

              Did you decide? We are supposed to have terrible weather here for Halloween… very disappointing!!

            • Áine Warren
              October 29, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

              Yeah I’ve decided to go to the party – my boyfriend has access to a car so that helps an awful lot! That sucks, I think we’re going to have rain in the morning but it’ll clear up later, which is pretty good going for October in Ireland. 🙂

  12. Danielle
    October 23, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    You are adorable and I love the glasses!!

    As soon as you said no one was wearing a costume I immediately thought of that scene in Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon shows up dressed as a Playboy Bunny. At least if you showed up in full Betty Draper, your tush would’ve been covered. See… it can ALWAYS be worse. 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 24, 2012 @ 9:59 am

      I didn’t think of that. But yes. So, so, so, yes. Not to mention how I would have been incredibly uncomfortable sitting around in the bunny tail all day.


  13. Shenshen
    August 26, 2013 @ 11:28 pm

    Hi Victoria! Love your blog. I found you via the kingdom post like many others, and I was rolling on the floor. I also have a giant fetish for giant mirrors, ornate things and craigslist. And ebay. It must be said I only like giant ornate fancy things if they cost dirt cheap.) Thanks for the useful posts. I was wondering, did you find attending Wordcamp useful? (I ask because there’s one coming up in Baltimore and thinking of attending. Background – I blogged using from 04 to 09, then just quit. I always meant to learn .org but just never found the time. Now I’m thinking of reblogging and trying .org. What do you think? Background- I am not a techie. At all.)


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 27, 2013 @ 7:20 am

      If it’s local and convenient, I would really encourage you to go! Even if most of it is over your head, you’ll still be introduced to ideas that are good to have HEARD of, even if you need to spend hours on google to figure it out.

      The biggest thing I took away was meeting a woman who introduced me to a local group of bloggers. I haven’t stayed in touch with her, but one of the women she introduced me to, I’m friendly with– and THAT’s been invaluable.

      Good luck!!


  14. stina
    November 9, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

    what the heck? halloween theme but no costumes or decorations or candy-filled goodie bags? dude, you were totally gypped.
    and where did you get your glasses please? because i don’t know where you live so i can’t come sneak into your house late at night and steal them. besides, it might be difficult to find your house since it no longer has yellow porch ceilings or indigo detailing.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      November 10, 2014 @ 9:36 am

      I still have residual anxiety thinking about how I almost went in full costume… glasses are old/cheap (costume shop?) but if you google cateye glasses, you’ll probably find 10,000 options.


  15. Adrienne J
    September 9, 2016 @ 2:21 pm

    I found your blog while internet searching for something… that was around 4 hours ago. Now I can’t recall what it was but I read your all the Craigslist posts first, damn funny. Then I figured hell, since I’m not working while I sit here at work why not start at the very beginning… well, this post has me in tears. The only thing that would’ve made it better would’ve been that you actually did show up in regalia. Oh- I did find some sweet stools on the Craigslist in MPLS… pasted below is my current convo trying to get the guy to accept their awesomeness and let’s go get them. 🙂

    This is where you go to the bottom and read up.
    From: adrienne
    Sent: Friday, September 09, 2016 1:01 PM
    Subject: Re: possible stools?
    And something you love even more… the possibility of just making it:) See concept pics. I’ve spent some time (ahem, lots) scouring the interwebs for directions and have found multiple blogs and youtubes. It’s not hard and can make a custom size for ridiculously small $ compared to a purchase. If you like the concept that is… see the inspiration pics.

    … I love you…

    Sent: Friday, September 09, 2016 12:53 PM
    To: adrienne
    Subject: RE: possible stools?
    I’m more worried about getting a bar to fit behind the couch…I’m not sure I like the gray vinyl, but can’t really tell from the pic…

    From: adrienne
    Sent: Friday, September 09, 2016 12:51 PM
    Subject: possible stools?

    I know you love when I search the Craigslist…
    For the couch-back, bar-table in the basement what do you think of the metal stools (see pic)? They are counter height so hauling one of the island stools downstairs and sitting on it might help decide if that is an ok height… description from the post:
    “Set of 4 midcentury Shaver-Howard brushed steel with slate gray vinyl seats (we’re told this Shaver-Howard design is by Arthur Umanoff – and we also found info on an internet search – but his name isn’t on the labels that are left.)”
    I think they’re pretty t*ts!
    Also on the same post are some other stools: (location=kitchen) EEk! Amazing…
    And finally I can inquire about the doors to see if the size would work as our barn door (cutting off the round top part).


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