From Locker Buddies to Bloggy Pals…
Our lockers were next to each other and she sat in front of me during homeroom for four years. In our high school, alphabetical order was how we were “arranged,” so Danielle Barnett and Leigh-Mary Barone (our maiden names) logically became chummy. We weren’t “hang out on the weekend” pals or “keep in touch when we graduate” friends, but we were “Locker Buddies” which meant for four years we would spend each morning and trips in-between classes with cheerful hellos and chitter-chatter. And then, awholelotta years later, we would reconnect on Facebook.
Turns out we had a whole lot more than our Catholic school uniforms and the letter “B” in common – what a shame we didn’t hang out more in high school, but hot damn I am glad to call her a good pal now!
A few years ago, Danielle asked if I would like to answer some questions about having a blended family and a child with special needs for a piece she was working on for a local newspaper. Then, I watched as she created her blog “Martinis and Minivans,” was named the first-ever “Blogger Idol” and evolved into one of the best humor writers in the humor blogging community.
Then, I tried to “Single White Female” her – blogging-style! I asked her for advice, which she gladly offered when I decided to launch my own blog and I have been learning from her ever since. When I asked if I could fire off some questions to her for my readers to get to know her better, she willingly obliged.
Check out what this funny gal has to say…
Why did you decide to start a blog?
I was writing for a newspaper and online parenting community at the time and my editor said, “You should start a blog to say all the stuff we don’t allow you to say here.” And plus, I was looking for things to do while ignoring my children.
How did you come up with the name Martinis and Minivans?
My dear friend Trish came up with it. She’s a PR maven and I was looking for alliteration. I was coming up with crap like Car Seats and Colonoscopies. So yeah, you can say I needed her help.
What are your other writing gigs?
I’m a freelance writer so I write for magazines and sites all over the place. I’ve had the pleasure of writing for The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Parenting.com, AOL, Nickelodeon and various other sites and publications. I also do some television host/panel/anchor positions for programs like Moms Everyday and local news and media.
What has been the highlight of blogging so far?
The readers who say things like, “I was having a bad day and your post made me laugh.” I love that stuff. It feeds my cynical New Yorker ego.
In the future, where do you hope your blog will take you?
Well it took me to my literary agent, Jessica Sinsheimer at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and hopefully it will take us to publishing the books I’m working on. I’m currently working on a non-fiction book where I’m chronicling the lives of 15 women as they navigate through their first year of divorce. Additionally, I’m finishing up a children’s picture book about divorce that will help parents but also entertain children.
Danielle on…mom stuff
How many children do you have? Ages?
I have 2 kids. A girl who is almost 7 and a Tasmanian Devil, I mean a boy, who is 4.
Besides the obvious, what did you find the biggest difference between raining a daughter and a son?
Sassiness. The girl has mastered eye rolling since coming out of the womb. She’s shyer in nature and needs some warming up time. My son basically just wants to molest me all day long.
What three words best sum up motherhood?
Awesome, not-awesome, back-to-awesome. [NAILED IT, Danielle!]
Danielle on…random things
What person or part of pop culture do you wish would *POOF* go away?
Just one? Damn. I would say Miley Cyrus. I know a lot of people say that but I say it because every time I see her, my vagina hurt. It hurts because it’s like I can see the yeast infection just happening in all of her outfits.
If you could have a drink (I’m guessing, a martini?!) with ANYONE (alive or passed on, famous or infamous), who would it be?
Right now I’m loving the Danny Castellano character on The Mindy Project. I wouldn’t kick that guy out of bed for eating crackers.
What television show can you binge watch?
See answer from above question
What sitcom (current or cancelled) role was meant for you?
Tina Fey in 30 Rock. She’s basically my sister from another mister.
Get to know the girl behind the martini
What are your three favorite posts (from your site or someplace else you’ve written)?
Where can we learn more about you?
You can take me out to dinner and get me a bit tipsy. Worked for my husband.
Where can we find you on-line?
Anything to add?
I like to take long walks on the beach and talk about my feelings. Oh wait, no, no that’s not true. I like to stay at home, drink wine and pretend I’m listening to my husband and kids.
I’ve been a guest on her blog two times – check out the links here…
And now we run in some of same circles with lots of mutual blogging friends – and even though she is way cooler in the blogging world, she’s still always makes herself available when her old locker buddy has a question.
I just don’t understand why I was walking in front of her at graduation – my last name was after hers, not before. Did I take the wrong diploma?