Tuesday, July 17, 2007


In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a registered lobbyist. Yup, in the same profession as Jack Abramoff. I've even been known to start my part of a meeting by donning a fedora, just for the laugh.

But before you start slinging rotten food at me (or your computer screen), I am a registered lobbyist in the Commonwealth where I work for a non-profit organization that supports community economic development through affordable housing, small business development and asset development. I spent the bulk of today at a legislative hearing about affordable housing. I ran into people I knew, introduced them to each other, met new people and listened to nearly five hours of testimony. Some of the testimony was heartbreaking. Elders, adults with disabilities and low-income mothers talked of their fears that government subsidized buildings might start renting at market rate, effectively forcing them into nursing homes, out-of-state or into shelters.

That is one definition of a schmoozer.

But now this has some cache since I now have been bestowed THIS!

Jenn, lovely, lovely Jenn, has given me the Official Schmooze Bicep button. I could not be more honored. Especially after reading this:

Schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.

Yes, dear readers, I was built for schmooze. But not for gaining an advantage. Simply to make connections.

So now I get to pass this along (see these are the things I like to pass along - an award with a pretty, err, forceful button). My top schmoozers are:

Gunfighter - this man oozes schmooze and coming from me this is a huge compliment! He definitely embodies the spirit of bringing people together.

Soodz - she was one of the first folks to pay attention to me. She was also my first hostess for the Blog Exchange (which is sadly taking a break this month. Boo-hoo).

Jodifur - she set the bar really high for Blog Exchange host. She actually forwarded to me every single comment left on her blog from my piece. She also never let's a comment go without a reply and the ensuing conversations are funny and thoughtful.

The Real Life Drama Queen - she. simply. rocks. My trail is definitely happier after she has strutted on by. And as a fag hag, I just love a drama queen.

Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting - she not only chats it up with me, she actually met me in person. That gets a gold star.

And I had every intention of giving one to this blogger but Mz. Jenn had to jump in and add her after the fact so while I hate giving people awards they already have, she's too good not to get it twice.

Twas Brillig - First of all the name is just awesome. Secondly she is one of those "popular" blog kids who still finds time to visit those of us hanging out in the science labs (or political science in my case). How popular is she? She got 28 comments (I was one of them) when she complained that her site was broken. Twenty-eight.

Now go forth and schmooze! Pass along to as many, or few, as you want.


Jodi said...

WOW!!!!Thank you so much!!!!I'm honored.

CableGirl said...

I've only just started reading your blog but it is readily apparent to me that you completely deserve the Schmooze award. You've got a real gift of gab and, from what I can tell with my limited exposure, you are a really friendly person.

Congrats on the button! :)

Gunfighter said...

You are the best, SMID!

Thanks a million!

Alex Elliot said...

Thanks!!!! I am very honored.

Real Life Drama Queen said...

Well I can honestly say I am truly honored! My first award! Thank you for the honor and for standing up and having my back! HUGS

Brillig said...

Ooooh! Pretty button! If my blog weren't broken, I'd snatch it right up and display it instantly!! As it is, though, I will instead offer my heartfelt gratitude for your incredibly kind words! (And I will guffaw over your word "popular"...)

And you, my dear Schmoozy-pooh, are so completely deserv'ed of such a button. You're an OBVIOUS choice for such a thing! Congrats!!

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

Very cool! I am interested in hearing more about your job. We know not all lobbyists are bad... Lots of them are out there fighting for the common good too!

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

And does that mean you are in DC? (I grew up near Annapolis).

Assistive technology said...

Congratulations! Don't ever forget about the people less fortunate than yourself. Wish I were born to schmooze..

Fourier Analyst said...

Yeah SMID!! You're one of my faves and definitely deserving! I also like you choices and will be checking out the ones who are new to me, thanks!

Jenn in Holland said...

I like the idea of you in a fedora.
My new boyfriend, Jason Mraz, also wears a fedora. You know he's not really my boyfriend. I just want him to come by in his hat, and sing to me. For hours.
Sorry about grabbing that Brillig at the last minute (after already laying claim to The Ambassador), but yes, she deserves this one twenty times over. I just wanted to be one of the adoring who gave it to her.
But as for you, oh-queen-of-the-schmooz, it's just oh-so-nice to have made a connection with you.

Jen said...

Hey Soccer Mom,
I love your blog title and had to come over to see your blog after Jenn bestowed me, as well.
I almost fell over when I saw A Room With a View as your fave movie - mine, too! And many, many people have teased me for this, including scores of literature students over the years.
Anyway, your blog ROCKS!

Goofball said...

Congratulations with your award :)

chelle said...

So very honoured!!! Thank you!

Gillian said...

Excuse the abruptness of this, but I have not been able to locate how to contact you on your page other than here. You've got a great blog. It's funny, engaging, and inquisitive!

Are you interested in schmoozing with me? I started an e-business and for a link on your page (not ads, not junk) you can earn fantastic commissions on downloadabll audiobooks... no hassle to you or cost.

If you're up for it - maybe we can exchange e-mails.

Thanks friend,