Had you happened to pass by my house yesterday near dusk, you would have observed three generations of Urello women crouched by the back gate and having the following conversation:

“All this is pine berries.”

“Some of them are pine berries, some are armadillo poop.”

“I really don’t think so, I think they are all pine berries.”

“Blabbba woo!”

“Ok, look at this one. It’s purple. It’s a pine berry. But then look at this one.”

“Also a pine berry.”

“No, that’s an armadillo poop.”


“Your eyes are old, that’s a pine berry, there’s no difference.”

“My eyes are perfect, you stare at a screen all day. Look, they look just alike, I’ll grant you, and some are pine berries, but others are armadillo poop.”

“I just really don’t think so!”

“This one!”

“That’s a pine berry.”

“Well, fine, so what do you think is digging up our yard then?”

“I agree an armadillo is is present, I’m not contesting that. What I’m saying is that all these little balls everywhere aren’t armadillo poop.”

“None of them?”

“I haven’t closely examined all 5000 tiny balls, but I have yet to see one that isn’t a pine berry.”

“Baba. Ba. BA!!!!”

“So then where is the armadillo pooping?”

“I’m sure it’s pooping somewhere, no doubt in our yard as well, but what I’m saying is that we don’t have to worry that this giant collection of small balls by the back gate is armadillo poop, because—“


“NO NO, give it here! Edith! Give it!”

(Sounds of a scuffle.)

“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH huh huh huh huh!!!!!!!”

“See? It’s a pine berry.”

“Well, thank god. Ok, fine, I guess we’ll see.”

“What do you mean? What’s to see? You can see right here, either it’s armadillo poop or it’s not.”

“I concede the point, ok? I’m happy if you’re right!”

“Woo wa ma.”


(Debate continues.)


As I’ve mentioned before, every year my company has a grand meetup and we are all required to give a 4 minute-long flash talk on a topic of our choosing. In the past, I’ve spoken on rabbits and the underrated art of lying. This year, I read a poem:

Watching this now makes me realize I actually really miss performing.

WordCamp Philly 2014

On Saturday, my colleagues and I gave a talk at WordCamp Philly on how to get a reputation for outstanding support without significantly increasing the time you spend giving it. If you’re a developer, designer, or website builder (or if you ever have occasion to work with clients), check out our slides here!

Karen Alma

Two of my colleagues (Deborah Beckett and Elizabeth Urello) and I spoke about support at WordCamp Philadelphia this weekend. This is a modification of the talk I did in Nicaragua a few weeks ago. Elizabeth Urello gets credit for the original idea 🙂

Sadly, these images don’t let you hear our delightful anecdotes and as I like simple slides with not too much info you will just have to imagine the spoken bit. Someday soonish I am sure it will be up on So stay tuned.

Here are the slides:

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Flash Talks

Every year, my company, Automattic, has a grand meetup somewhere in the world. We are a distributed company and currently we have ~140 employees who work from all over the world. While we have many smaller group meetups throughout the year, the yearly grand meetup is the only time we all get to see each other in person.

One of the traditions is that everyone in the company must give a five-minute “flash talk” on any subject. Here are mine so far —

In September 2012 in San Diego, I spoke about rabbits:

And in September 2013 in Santa Cruz, I came out as a proud liar:

(Thanks to my colleague, Aaron Douglas, for posting his flash talk and giving me the idea to post these.)

In Defense of Lying

Every year, my company has its grand meet-up, and everyone must give a 4-minute “flash talk” on any subject.

This year I spoke on my wish that more people would lie more frequently. Lies are nearly always more entertaining than the truth, they are often less awkward than the truth, and lying creatively probably staves off Alzheimer’s for the liar. If you don’t often lie, give it a try!

Here are the slides from my talk:

Traffic Building for Beginning Bloggers

Here are my slides from this morning’s WordCamp Albuquerque talk on Traffic Building. Thanks to everyone who attended! Remember to stop by the Happiness Bar later for help with your site. 🙂



Elizabeth Barrett Loves Christian Bale

Hi everyone!  If you are not on my email list, you may be unaware that on Monday, October 27 at 9:30p.m., I’m performing a brief, funny one-woman show at Manhattan Theatre Source!  Here are the details – if you’re in the NYC area, come check it out!!

Elizabeth Barrett Loves Christian Bale

Written and performed by Elizabeth Urello

Directed by Joe Beuerlein

A scandalous love affair between a 19th-century teenage agoraphobic poet, and a 21st-century Hollywood film star…an affair conducted entirely through letters and ending in heartbreak…but whose? Elizabeth Barrett Loves Christian Bale will bring back memories of all the times you loved and lost, back before you were brave enough to leave your childhood bedroom.

Presented as part of Manhattan Theatre Source’s EstroGenius 2008 Festival, in the Sola Voce showcase of solo shows. One performance only — Monday, October 27th, 9:30 p.m. at Manhattan Theatre Source!

Click here to buy your tickets now!