Late to the Party

Correct, but many years late. I was all over the “it’s a post, not a blog” topic several years ago. It drove me nuts! It still does, and seems to have increased lately, but as people told me even then, that horse has left the barn and I’m not going to stop it.

Thus it surprises me to see someone at Slate jump on it now, and be linked by Glenn.

This is a post. Or an entry. Or an article. Or even a piece. On a blog. A blog post, if you will. Or a blog entry, blog article, blog piece, this little thing I dashed off, whatever, but it is not “a blog.”

As I said years past, saying “I wrote a blog” is like saying “I wrote a magazine.” The entire thing. Funnier still when the verb used is “published.” Perhaps you could write a whole magazine, though likely that’d be a fanzine, and you’d be hard pressed not to include… articles contributed by others.

If you say “I published a blog on the mating habits of invasive African snails” I will wonder how an entire blog could be devoted to such a finite topic, and whether it wouldn’t be better simply to post on a more expansive blog about snails in general. Ditto for a “blog” about speed records set by unladen African swallows. That’s enough for a post, perhaps, but an entire blog? I know you for illiterate at blogging, and take you less seriously.

Ten Years

I managed to miss posting about my tenth blogiversary ON that date, February 25, 2013, but ironically posted my first in ages goofy quiz result, after a break of almost two months. Blogging in the early days relied heavily on such quiz posts.

So. Ten years! Of blogging. Sort of. It’s an anniversary, but it might mean more to me had I blogged more regularly. On the other hand, I was very nearly a “big name blogger” in my heyday. It’s just that my heyday was essentially the first year, and to a lesser extent the next year or two, coinciding neatly with Changes.

For a long time, I have been something of a homeless blogger, spread thin by life and the pursuit of side income from this writing. Wringing income for the family from past glory that had more to do with editing and managing than writing was all well and good, while it lasted. Who knew! Their turned out to be a way to make money from Carnival of the Capitalists after all, and if it had been active and the site I used for administering it updated regularly, we’d still have that. Or if I had even kept updating it as a general business blog, as intended. Anyway, things got rocky for Deb and I, and it was reflected in volume and location of my posts. I saw income opportunity, and that made me try to spread things around by category: food, tech, business and economics, politics, even culture. I went back to blogging solo. I went back to blogging jointly. I had and abandoned ideas. I had and didn’t launch ideas. My interests changed. Life intervened, yet not writing makes me feel empty. At this point, I see writing as my only logical career path, which is absurd, considering how hard it might be to make real money, even with self-publishing what it is. If I never make more from blogging, I really need to post, to feel right. Facebook isn’t the same, however much it contributed to making blogging a “dead medium.”

In the early days, blogging was social media.

There grew to be what I thought of as overlapping circles of bloggers. Each circle being a group of like-minded or otherwise friendly with each other bloggers – or sometimes non-blogger commenters – who would comment and share among the group in particular, but who were sometimes effectively part of more than one group. There are people I call friends, met through blogging. Oh, and a wife, who gave me three lovely children. Nothing virtual about that.

I posted anything I wanted, though not in the outrageous details of, say, Acidman, not worrying who might read it. I didn’t worry about the topic, since it was a general blog. I’d like to try going some of the way back to that, though unless it were an anonymous blog, I’d still pause and consider who might be reading. Family didn’t know about blogs, at first. Now having a pen name is not enough. At least, not the pen name they all know. We were at Blogblivion for a long time, so people might not look for us here. Same goes for having posted sparsely so long, and for my having blogged solo in places.

My goal has been to import stuff, if not ALL the things, from the old version of AV, from BB, and from some of the topical or solo blogs, bringing it all back here. You can see how far I got, considering it is May and that was one of my “yay, the kids are in school” projects. But then, my goal has also been to write longer things, like a book about my business experience.

Maybe I can’t write for a living. Maybe it can only be an outlet. Blogging was made for that. That’s not what this post is about, but I have no idea what I might do for a living otherwise, to step it up beyond a part-time job, however well paid. I seem to have lost all interest in computers, and between the changes inherent in the passage of time since I closed the business, and the lack of keeping current that was part of why the business had to close, I have limited confidence. Not zero, since I know how inherently brilliant I am at learning and figuring these things out – or intuiting them – but you gotta have skills to get work that pays. Which has been a problem for us, the donut hole situation. What I make on about 22 hours would need to be about five times as much on a 40 hour job that had to pay additional taxes, health costs, and daycare… to break even, but lose time. Add in the confidence I lost when I was unable to interview successfully, for what little I got that far at, and my lack of desire to make the economy look good for this administration, and you have a bit of an impasse.

Remember when my tagline was “but I digress…”? There’s a reason for that!

Here’s to many more years of digression, and hoping the blogosphere doesn’t die entirely.

Speaking of Obsessing…

 

You Are a Red Gummy Bear

You are the gummy bear most associated with raspberry and cherry flavors. And like a berry, you pack a lot of flavor.
You are an intense person with strong feelings and reactions. Life can be very sweet for you – and sometimes bittersweet.

You feel like your life is full of ups and downs, but you just notice them more than most people. You are very emotional.
You experience the world on a deeper level than most people. This can be exhilarating, but it can also be disturbing.

When you love someone or something, you develop a strong obsession. You don’t go halfway on anything.
You love luxury and you love to treat yourself to something nice. You spoil yourself a bit – no one else is going to!

Facebook and Me

Once upon a time, I was in the fourth grade, lo these many years ago. 1970/1971, to be exact. I had my first crush, which was not something I understood or could have labeled at the time. She was in another classroom, I never learned her name, and when I tried to figure out the next year who she’d been, I couldn’t. Nobody looked like her. It was formative, in that the way I felt was how I expected love to feel, and it may have helped set the stage for my addiction to unrequited serial crushes that started in seventh grade. The closest thing I had to a crush between those two times was the year-younger sister of a friend in sixth grade, with whom I now work. If anything, that one set a pattern of being terrified, rather than merely clueless. Anyway, in fourth grade, the peak experience was when we were in much-hated gym class at the same time, doing some kind of dance thing, and I got to hold her hand briefly in the course of that. It was like… magic. And she looked nothing like Meg Ryan.

Much later, in 2007, I was invited to Facebook, which I joined under my given name, but didn’t use for an extended time. Basically just had a couple of former colleagues as FB friends. I forget the impetus, if there was one, but before it quite got to where everyone was on Facebook, I became more active and added a lot more people. I thought it was cool to find people from as far back as elementary school, in most cases getting to know them as I never actually did before. In the most extreme case, I friended someone I’ve known her entire life, since she was nine months younger than me. Her father was my father’s best friend, and her parents were the witnesses when my parents got married.

I was surprised some of them even wanted to connect with me, since from my perspective maybe I was embarrassed, which for me tends not to fade or be forgotten, or didn’t like them, or thought they didn’t like me. Time. It passes. There are clear exceptions, and some I don’t understand, as they tend to be people I did like, remember fondly, or have no reason to be embarrassed about.

So it came to be that I even had many of my crushes as FB friends, especially the most major ones, including the first major one, from seventh grade, and the last major one, notable for having finally broken me of fixating on some girl or another – or more than one at a time, sometimes – and convincing myself I was in lurve, capturing That Feeling. Or trying to. The huge exception is my ninth grade crush, arguably my biggest, who strangely, since we never dated, was the first ever to say “I love you” to me. I even have one of the only two girls I think of as people I dated before meeting Deb, whom I arguably didn’t date, just married. Quibbling would give you a couple more, including the one of the major crushes who convinced me no girl would ever have me, and one whose sister’s wedding I was her date for.

But who was the mystery girl?

Finally, this girl named Cheryl came along and friended me. I didn’t really remember her, and only vaguely recognized her maiden name. I never knew her at all. Then someone posts a class picture, with her front and center, in sixth grade. There she is. Looking identifiably the same. She looked completely different, later, with the short hair I actually remember enough to associate with the name.

So I discussed it with her and learned she had not been at the school in fifth grade and part of sixth, thus not being able to identify her the next year. I am so close to certain it was her as to make no doubt. She described our gym teacher as sadistic, and was pleased she brightened the experience a tiny bit. Heh. He wasn’t like the elementary teacher, but the main high school gym teacher I had is one of those Facebook people I have steadfastly not friended. Between my elementary gym teacher and my moderate degree of disability, I was put off gym, or the more recent fad of going to commercial gyms voluntarily, forever. She was tickled, because she didn’t think anyone liked her in elementary school, and pretty much had only one friend. Made worse by an abusive dad. In a fit of synchronicity, she once lived in an apartment just three houses away from where I am now, her favorite one ever. Now she’s in another state, with a superb husband, grown kids, and cute grandkids.

Privacy? All the internet are belong to us/AOL revisited? Scary data mining? Well, yeah. I have a friend who won’t go on FB, or anything else, because she is convinced it will make it easier for the scary conservatives to round her up when they liquidate all the Jews, forgetting that fascists who did that and the like are of the left. Yet I can see being concerned, while it’s also going to have to come to fighting technology and non-privacy with the same. And yeah, it stole the thunder of the blogs circa when I started ten years ago, where you had a sense of community and cross-commenting and linking, but the mega blog sites that want to be news sites also did that (we always talk about how we missed the monetization boat, yet it might not be all that) I will always be appreciative of Facebook resolving that longstanding mystery for me, as well as connecting me with the lives of people I might never have crossed paths with again. That is what it’s all about.