Rogue Ink

April 23, 2008

Milestones in Blogging

Filed under: Blogging — Tei @ 5:24 am
Tags: , ,

I have my first mean comment today!

I am secretly sort of delighted. It wasn’t even a misspelled, ignorant sort of mean comment. It was a numbered, listed, analytical mean comment, and it touched several times on my insecurities, my ineptitude, and my mental health. (Note to hate commenter: that’s what I do, dude. Quit stealing my material.) You can check it out here, at the tail end of yesterday’s post. You can’t miss it. It’s the long, unkind one.

According to Mr. Oscar Nardini:

  1. I have a disturbed personal life. (Everyone who is actually in my personal life concurs.)
  2. I resent babies. (TRUE. I want someone to spoon feed ME. I am taking applications.)
  3. Nobody really breakdances anymore. (I know a couple of dudes in the Grand Central Station subway who will give Oscar the lie on this one. And these guys in Boston. They’re pretty awesome.)
  4. Ugly babies are ugly; talking on the phone is no substitute for real contact. (I am not sure how those two subjects relate. Though I agree heartily with both statements.)
  5. I am no good at being a phony, and yet I am wildly untrustworthy. (I somehow objected to both of these. I’m not sure why.)
  6. My missives are narcissistic. (Probably.)
  7. I am shallow. (Then why is my cat ugly?)
  8. I am successful at my job. (Oh, Oscar. I wish.)

Being new to the blogosphere, and this most certainly being the first time I’ve had an audience large enough to merit dissenting voices, I don’t know how often other bloggers deal with unkind commentary, nor if there is some communally accepted way of handling the situation. Do you ignore it? Do you have a private little chuckle with your friends? Are you supposed to take it personally?

Now, with material like that, you will not be surprised that my first impulse was to make fun of it. But first, I did what any reasonable person would do:

I Googled the sucker.

And found this blog, in which an author of the same name (and I am assuming, here, that there is only one Oscar Nardini in the world, and if not I most humbly beg the pardon of the wronged party). In this blog, Mr. Nardini speaks of his clinical depression, including medications for Paxil and Celexa. His description of himself on his blog is “By a lot of people’s standards, I live a rather dull existence.”

I can’t be MAD at a clinically depressed guy.

This is a man suffering from depression. I do not suffer from depression. I am, in fact, happier than I have ever been in my life. I just moved to the first place that’s ever felt like home. I live in a house that has roses just beginning to climb up the front porch. I’m starting my own writing business, an endeavor in which all my friends and family avidly support me. My work satisfies me emotionally and ethically. I have good friends and a love life that suits me down to the ground. My town brews good beer. I have nothing to complain about but one guy, who doesn’t know me, pretending he does.

And a lousy cold. The cold really sucks, actually. Anyone out there working on a cure for the common cold: I salute you. But other than that, I’m good. I don’t need to make fun of sad folk. I feel that probably sinks me into a deeper circle of hell. And mine is plenty deep already. I once mocked a midget. No, it’s cool, he was a friend. But I’ve done other stuff. Unspeakable stuff. Stuff Oscar would disapprove of.

So I’m going to ask a favor of the couple hundred people who wander through here on a regular basis. Go on over to Oscar’s blog, and say something nice to him. Don’t offer judgments. Give him a bit of poetry you liked, or an inspiring quote, or just a friendly hey-it’s-okay kind of exchange. He seems like a sad guy. Give him something to not be sad about.

Hope that’s what you were looking for, Oscar.

For all you other nasty commenters out there

I am not usually this benevolent. I will strike you from above if you come around here saying mean things just to be douchebags. I will most certainly not link to your blog and indicate that others should go be kind to you. This is a special event, in celebration of my mean-aversary (named by GirlPie, who is studiously awesome and also referred to this event as my ‘deflowering’), and for Oscar only.

Because I have secretly always liked the name Oscar, ever since Sesame Street.

NEW DEVELOPMENT: Oscar has evidently removed his blog from the net. I don’t quite know what to make of that. Um . . . vengeance is mine?

Stick around. I’m funny when I’m not saddened. Better yet, subscribe, and I’ll be funny at you from your inbox.



  1. SO GLAD you wrote about this because I was about to have to ! You handled it really well (I’D have googled then google-earthed then netSol’ed then posted his pimped up profile on the inmate pen pal website if I’d been in revenge mode.)

    Your takeaways are smart, too — reminds me of the martial art (?) of letting the opponent’s own weight throw himself off balance. Face-in-mud, I think they call it.

    I feel sorry for him, but it’s a rite of passage in the blogosphere… your first mean (petty, semi-incoherent) comment. And I don’t mind so much that it was mean because mean can be entertaining or educational or challenging. But it seemed cowardly and rude. I dislike the rude the most, and yet I’m a huge Naomi fan. Just goes to show… something.

    Glad you took it in stride, with class and made a post of it — happy mean-aversary, you have been deflowered by someone unworthy of the task (as is often the case.) Keep up the good work!

    Comment by GirlPie — April 23, 2008 @ 5:36 am | Reply

  2. Heh. Knitting. What good advice! (As was xkcd! What a good advice-giver you are! (You can add it to your list!))

    Kudos to you for reaching this milestone. It is only once you have irked someone to the point of nasty-commenting that you know you’re good at this whole ‘blogging’ thing.

    Comment by s g — April 23, 2008 @ 7:06 am | Reply

  3. Tei,

    In spite of the fact that he seemed to be insinuating that you are young and know nothing of the world, it is *you* that handled this with maturity and wisdom.

    So as they say in New Zealand, good on you.

    Keep up the good work – Brett

    Comment by Brett Legree — April 23, 2008 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  4. Done. I left Oscar some love. He needs to know he’s important. The world would spin off kilter without him. I bet he’s a good soul under his curmudgeonly attitude.

    Comment by Lori — April 23, 2008 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

  5. Well, Tei, much as I love you already and adore your wit and sass, I really have no time to spare for Oscar.

    Why? Because people with depression should focus on getting better and breaking negative thought patterns. Been there, done that. Toddling around the blogosphere like some arrogant ass out to blow up other people’s balloons and rip their sails apart is a petty, negative behavior. Depression or not, there’s no excuse for rudeness. (Most depressed people aren’t rude, by the way. They’re apathetic.)

    I don’t give a rat’s ass how old you are or how inexperienced or how shallow you might be. Hey, everyone’s shallow in their own way, and most people getting older wish they were young again. Inexperienced? Man, you have all the fun of learning new things – and if you think about it, even the 90-year old man is inexperienced at something.

    Sex? Sorry you’re not getting any, honey. Neither am I. Neither is Oscar, it seems. I’m a firm believer that there’s way more to life than sex, though. (I know, I know. What blasphemy. Shoot me now, heathen that I am.)

    As for how I handle nasty comments, let me say that I’m French-Canadian. Quebecers are very eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth and if you diss me, I’ll take you out back in the parking lot to beat the crap out of you. (Well, not me. I just get really nasty and sharp. But most Quebecers might kick your ass. I wouldn’t tempt them to test the theory.)

    Comment by James Chartrand - Men with Pens — April 23, 2008 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  6. Okay and now I’m uber upset. WHERE IS MY SUBSCRIBE TO COMMENTS FEATURE? Now I can’t follow this conversation and have to add a post-it note to my desk to REMIND me to come back and see if anyone said anything important. (Which is highly likely. Dammit.)

    *mutter mutter mutter…*

    Comment by James Chartrand - Men with Pens — April 23, 2008 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  7. Tei…you handled this beautifully. In my humble opinion, one of the keys to a happy life and a successful biz and/or blog is to be fully, openly, outrageously, boldly self-expressed. That you are so boldly self-expressed is what draws me back to your blog every day. I LOVE it!

    When you’re fully self-expressed you’re no longer neutral…people will either love you or hate you, but that’s okay. You aren’t meant to serve everyone through your work or blog and by being fully self-expressed you’ll draw into your audience only those that resonate strongly with you and your message. Kudos to you for not letting one dissenting voice get you down or create doubt about what you’re doing and how you’re expressing yourself.


    Comment by Lisa Wilder — April 23, 2008 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

  8. You GO, James! I for one come from another hockey town – Pittsburgh. If you tick us off, we kick your butt and then buy you a beer. And if that doesn’t do it, we continue applying the same method minus the beer.

    Comment by Lori — April 23, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  9. DAMMIT! Nobody gets to de-flower my Tei but ME!! *glaring at Oscar* I have so much better mean fodder too! Consider the following:

    1. Tei has very short toes. No seriously. They’re kind of weird. Her feet in general are quite tiny in fact. She’s basically the anti-hobbit.

    2. Even though she once got the awesome-est haircut ever, making her look hot and Italian, she refuses to go and replicate it again. This causes me suffering on a profound level.

    3. Tei looks amazing in pink. “That’s not an insult!” I hear you say. Not so! Try telling Tei she looks good in pink. Watch the flames of wrath dart out of her eyes. It’s practically a spectator sport.

    4. I used to be a perfectly well-adjusted human being, with normal expectations for what life has to offer. Then I met Tei (and Tara, our sister-in-crime) and now look at me! An elitist wreck of my former self. Unable to interact with polite society, judgmental of everyone I meet, destroyed for the average shmuck on the street because that slavering idiot will never be as cool as my friends are.

    5. Tei does not, in fact, hide her disapproval of ugly babies well. Particularly when she’s promenading with the particularly beautiful spawn of a certain MILF we all know.

    6. Because she’s attractive, has an active social life, and several people who love her in that profound “I will uproot my life if you need me” way, she makes many other people on the internet looks substantially less cool. Which isn’t nice; the internet is all they have, don’t take it away from them!

    That is all.

    Comment by Tessa — April 23, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  10. Fuck. I just used “particularly” twice in once sentence. I lose.

    Comment by Tessa — April 23, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  11. I just snorted diet coke out my nose! Thank you for the terribly entertaining post!

    Comment by Sandie — April 23, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  12. Not that I’ve had any ‘nasties’ of my own (knock wood), you have to know that any crappy comments are all about THEM. Not you. And I think Oscar demonstrates that quite clearly. The fact that these people have nothing better to do is the sad part. It’s just a speck of dust on your pant leg, babe.

    Comment by Karen JL — April 23, 2008 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  13. To Everyone: You’re awesome. Thank you for your willingness to main, destroy, and otherwise cause bodily harm to those who profane my little webspace.

    James: I don’t know HOW! Tell me how! I will be ON it! Heeeeeeeelp! Also: CommentLuv. I want that sucker too.

    Lori: Rock.

    Brett: Great. Now I have good all over me. That’s just fantastic. I need a sponge.

    Tessa: I know the short toes freak you out and all, but they never keep you from inviting me back to bed, do they. DO they? . . . P.S., I hate you. P.P.S. It’s not true, I can’t even joke. I adore the little pile of marshmallow fluff that is your soul.

    Sandie: That’s all I need to hear.

    Karen JL: I’ll pull an Obama and just get that dirt of my . . . pant leg. Damnit, Jayzee.

    Comment by Tei — April 23, 2008 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

  14. I’m very sad that Oscar’s blog appears to have been taken down, and I won’t get the chance to say anything nice.

    Oh, well.

    Comment by jimsmuse — April 23, 2008 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

  15. Jimsmuse: I know! What’s up with THAT? You’ve got me sending sunshine and roses over and you close the door? This dude must be crazy devoted to his depression.

    Comment by Tei — April 23, 2008 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  16. @Tei,

    If you scroll to the very bottom of my blog, you’ll see a link out to “The Sponge Emporium”… there was a method to my madness, you see

    Comment by Brett Legree — April 23, 2008 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  17. Tei,

    Karma well played.

    I have some bad news for you.

    Your niceness is showing. 🙂

    Comment by wendikelly — April 23, 2008 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  18. I know you asked James this, but you may not be able to add those features to your blog. You’re on…so no-can-do. If the template you chose doesn’t have the ‘subscribe to comments’ (some do) you’re SOL. And the commentluv is a plug-in. You can’t add plug-ins here.

    I started on the free site too, then migrated to my own self-hosted domain. Stick around on for a while, then get hosting and own the blog yourself. It’s worth it if you’re serious about this (which I know you are). Then you can add all that fun stuff and make James a happy guy. 🙂

    Comment by Karen JL — April 23, 2008 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  19. Brett: You think of everything.

    Wendi: Damn. Don’t tell.

    Karen JL: Oh. Hm. Well, I’m supposed to have my actual website up and running in a few weeks, so I’ll just have them host the blog as well and start adding all the happy features. That’s good to know.

    James: It will not be long. I will come forth reborn with widgets.

    Comment by Tei — April 23, 2008 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  20. @whomever In the meantime, while there is no subscribing to comments, there does appear to be a separate RSS feed for the comments. Wouldn’t that do?

    Comment by Matt Tuley — April 23, 2008 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  21. Matt: Is there? Really? I did not know this.

    Come on, people! All I know is how to type! And only that because Mavis Beacon taught me, long ago.

    Oh, Mavis Beacon. And the old Oregon Trail, with the black background and the little white man with his shotgun who spun in a useless circle. How I miss you, games of my youth.

    Comment by Tei — April 23, 2008 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  22. Oscar by the way, is the name of the plant that used to hang above the trash can in the kitchen, the long green droopy ivy… that is if you haven’t killed him yet.

    Comment by The Monsters' Mama — April 23, 2008 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  23. @ Tei: Hey man, I just draw. I’m still learning all this blogging stuff too. 🙂

    Comment by Karen JL — April 23, 2008 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  24. Tei,

    I think of *almost* everything.

    (If I told you that my kids TWICE jammed the exhaust vent on my hot water heater with crab apples, two years in a row, would that be embarrassing? 🙂 )

    Comment by Brett Legree — April 23, 2008 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  25. @ Brett: we say “keep up the good work” in Australia too. But I suppose since we stole Russell Crowe, we’ll let you have that turn of phrase.

    Comment by s g — April 24, 2008 @ 12:18 am | Reply

  26. OK, I was all prepared to discuss the Oscar issue. I was also going to talk about the guy who recently stopped by my blog with his nastiness, a person who lives and works in my small city and who works in an industry I will likely need to hire from in the near future.

    Then James showed up.

    I swear to God, if I hear James Chartrand nagging one more fucking person about Subscribe To Comments I will go all Oscar on his ass. I will out-Oscar Oscar. I will stop taking my own Celexa (wonderdrug, btw) just to Oscarize him.

    I love that you have enough readers now to make him take down his blog. That is STEL-LAR.

    Oh, and by the way? You are a wildly untrustworthy person.

    Comment by Naomi Dunford — April 24, 2008 @ 2:24 am | Reply

  27. Ooooo,

    I should be more careful about what I carelessly type into this little white box 🙂

    But such nasty bastards deserve what they get. I agree. I promise. Scout’s honour.

    And my blog is not going to be deleted, so please go and have a look. Please.

    Albert @ Headspace

    Comment by Albert@Headspace ( — April 24, 2008 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  28. Taravitch: I haven’t killed Oscar yet. He sits on my windowsill. He has a couple yellow leaves though. What? What do you WANT? I give you water!

    Brett: Why, yes. Yes it would.

    Naomi: It’s true. I am.

    Albert: Go to Albert’s blog, all and sundry! For he was kind and benevolent in the comments box.

    Unlike that bastard Naomi. Oh, you’re up next, Naomi. Untrustworthy my ass.

    Comment by Tei — April 24, 2008 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

  29. Tei: “You have died of dysentery.”

    Re: Comments RSS: Well, yeah. At least it’s there on both browsers I use:

    Comment by [last person to leave a comment]…
    RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI [sic]
    Leave a comment

    Am I the only one who sees this? Do I need to seek professional help?

    Comment by Matt Tuley — April 24, 2008 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  30. That’s it. If this blog isn’t all about me, I can’t participate anymore. I mean, really. There are how many million people on the face of the earth and MY happiness isn’t the most important thing going aroun-

    *ding ding – EMAIL!*

    Ahh. *ahem* Tei. Darling. I’m glad you’ve come to your senses and saved me from Naomi going Oscar on my ass. (What would that involve, anyways? No. Wait. I don’t want to know.)

    I assume this means the pitch-fork waving crowd about to shred my blog will be called off, yes?

    Comment by James Chartrand - Men with Pens — April 24, 2008 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  31. Hmm…

    I’ve been called narcissistic – and worse. My response usually runs alomg the lines of my explaining that they have missed something very fundamental: it’s not that I think so highly of myself, but only that I think so little of them..

    If you are happy, that’s more than 99% of what’s important in life. Doesn’t matter what someone else thinks, depressed or not.

    Comment by Tony Lawrence — April 24, 2008 @ 6:01 pm | Reply

  32. Yes, I wrote what I thought was a very witty post about discussing blogging with people that don’t get it (“Why Risk Being Murdered by Blogging”), and received a series of comments from a woman posing as a man that was pretending to be a stalker/identity thief/murderer or something like that to make a point.

    Like you, I did some sleuthing (as she had been a frequent commenter, I could see by her IP address that she was not a man/stalker/identity thief/murderer–well probably not), but the whole thing kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Why? 1) It’s called HUMOR (ok, I guess not everyone thinks I’m as funny as I do), and 2) just leave me a comment and stand behind it–why pretend you are someone else?

    Comment by Retired Syd — April 25, 2008 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  33. Love it, Tei. This is my favorite way of dealing, but I’m usually not brave enough.

    If someone hurts you, it’s so smart to say, “Oh, wow, OW.” Out loud. It really does make it feel better. For me, anyway.

    Comment by Sonia Simone — May 9, 2008 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  34. […] 3. Call the commentator out on the blog and we can all beat them up. (Did you see what happened to Oscar?) […]

    Pingback by IttyBiz » Feedback Wanted: The No Asshole Rule — May 20, 2008 @ 4:40 am | Reply

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