Favorite comments: imposter syndrome, yoda, retirement goals, and sausage factories #Noteworthy comments#favorite comments December 21 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel Sausage Factory. Original photo by Bobby Johnson, used by Creative Commons License. It's that time of the week when we round-up our favorite reader comments on each of the Offbeat Empire blogs, as a way to celebrate the brilliance and hilariousness of y'all. Also, I've got some seasonal ramblings about digital sausage factories and actually taking time off for the holidays. Offbeat Bride On my post about Othering and the ways Offbeat Brides (…and offbeat anyones, really) push people away, Teresa M made this wonderful comparison: This makes me thing of how EVERYONE in graduate school at some point experiences imposter syndrome, even though most of us are FINALLY finding a place with Other Nerds Like Us. We're just so used to feeling like the weirdo that when we find the other weirdos, transitioning to being comfortable is a process that for some of us Offbeat Brides, involves some questioning. Some questioning indeed. I loved so many of the comments on the Othering post. I really am going to make an effort in 2013 to write more of those philosophical-style posts… I got a lot of feedback on the Reader Survey that people want them, and it's sort of sad that I've gotten so busy as a publisher that I make so little time for being a writer. Offbeat Families On Offbeat Families, we had a great inadvertently timely post titled, Monsters aren't real… but sometimes they are. On the heels of the Newtown, CT tragedy, it was hard not to read a little extra emotion into the piece (which was written well-before), but maybe that's why we extra appreciated Natasha's lighthearted take on things: My son has a stuffed Yoda who sits up at the head of his bed to watch over him while he sleeps. My son believes that Yoda will use the force to hold off the monsters until his own magic warms up and banishes them. Note to self: get Yoda to carry around with me all the time. Offbeat Home Speaking of light-hearted, we ran a slightly snarking post called How to throw a Solstice Party, Montaninavian style on Offbeat Home today (happy solstice, everyone!!), and the comments have been awesome, including this one from Finnick: .. oh my god, this post only got better as it went on. The end had me laughing really hard. I look forward to being 70+ and lighting a firepit with a flaming arrow. That's my new retirement goal. In … forty-four years. Look out, pig. I'm comin' for ya. Offbeat Empire I posted some initial Reader Survey results, and it spawned a HUGE and very interesting discussion about sponsored posts. Basically, a reader suggested I "strive" to bring in more lower-income and lower-educated readers. My response was this question: "If very-low-income readers are bad for my business model, should I aim to cater my products to them?" The resulting conversation had almost nothing to do with the reader survey, but was HUGELY interesting. If you missed the discussion, I'd suggest clicking here to read along. Joining into the conversation might be a little rough, since the reply threads got pretty maxed out over there, so remember that you can do this. Oh and wait, what? Is it almost the holidays? Did I almost forget? One of the weirdest things about the kind of work we do here at the Empire is that it Holidays have a way of sneaking up on you. The internet is getting quiet… what's going on? Oh right: Everyone's getting off their computers to actually, you know, HANG OUT WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS! Maybe we should do that too? It's weird: I know other blogs take two weeks off… and I'm half jealous and half like BUT MY SAUSAGE FACTORY CAN'T STOP PRODUCING SAUSAGE! Megan reminded me that a few years ago we took the week off between Christmas and New Years… and I was just like HOLY SHIT WE DID? HOW DID THE PEOPLE SURVIVE WITHOUT OUR DELICIOUS SAUSAGE?! Apparently, I have delusions of delicious sausage grandeur. But seriously: things will be quieter than usual around the Empire until next Wednesday as my poor, sausage-producing staff are granted a few meager minutes to turn off their smartphones and look up at their loved ones and acknowledge they exist. Then I get the whips out, and the sausage returns!! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS 2012 Reader Survey: the first-glance overview NEXT Slow news day Show/Hide comments [ 8 ] I love your sausage. Impostor syndrome. I swear to Bob, that's my LIFE. It's so extreme that I even mentally diminish the achievements of others, assuming them to be impostors, as well. I'm not sure if it's bitchiness or a genuine disorder. 5 agree Reply Wait guys. Wait. This is a sausage factory? I thought it was more like a cla– oh, sorry, I'm thinking sausage PARTY. my bad 6 agree Reply It's a pastry party. 9 agree Reply I wish I could spam "THIS" like, 16 times now. 3 agree Reply It does get confusing, the many sausage metaphors — both "watching the sausage get made" (where sausage = delicious product made from disgusting ingredients) and "sausage parties" (where sausage = penis). But Pastry Party definitely works for me. Definitely. 3 agree Reply Yesss. My girlfriend and I adopted "pastry party" as one of our favourite euphemisms after that post! 3 agree Reply All I can think of is this: 1 agrees Reply I'm glad you're going to try to do more philosophizing posts – they're actually my favorite part of the collective Empire. I know it's tough because you guys are SO BUSY!!!!!! running the respective sites but I get pretty excited when the Philosophizing header shows up on a post. 10 agree Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.