Friday, March 09, 2007

George The Blog Monkey

Momish asked me, "Why do you blog?"

I’ve been struggling with the answer.

A few years ago I went away for the weekend with my girlfriends from college.

My friend Ponygirl told the rest of us she was spending too much time reading blogs.

She got blank stares from the rest of us.

Huh?

What’s a blog?

An online diary?

Who would want one of those?

Psshhhhhhh.

Months later she sent me an e-mail with links to blogs she liked and I got the idea that it would be fun to have a blog where I could post idiotic things and make K laugh at work.

I posted a photo of me humping a pole followed by his revenge on the cuckolding pole.

I posted evidence of the the cataclysmic devastation caused by my MIGHTY WIND.

Unfortunately, K’s work put up a firewall that blocked Blogs so he couldn’t read it at the office anymore.

Harsh.

Mission (to crack up husband at work) Impossible.

By this time, my friends Ponygirl and Little Monkies knew about Oh, The Joys along with my mom, my granny and my aunt. Posts became a way to “talk” to them each day.

...and then came the freaky strangers!

I’ve mentioned before that Melanie in Orygun and Kevin Charnas were among the first to comment on my blog (and scare pee out of me), but Sayre Smiles has been here almost all along too.

One by one, I found other bloggers that made me laugh, cry, think, ache… and I became drawn in to this whole, weird... whatever it is... and I developed new relationships.

I first saw the video below about Web 2.0 on
Not Fearing Change and it fascinated me.




I struggle to explain my fascination with blogging to K and routinely come up short.

I made him watch that video because I think it captures some of what I can't articulate well.

At the very end, the video suggests that the change happening on the internet will create the need for us to rethink copyright, authorship, identity, ethics, aesthetics, rhetoric, governance, privacy, commerce, love, family, and ourselves.

After he watched it, I was able to talk about my online relationships - those established, developing and on the horizon.

Online relationships make me feel like a pioneer in uncharted territory.

What does it mean to be so intimately exposed to others through their writing and the interactive commenting without ever having met them?

What does it mean to know the hardest things they have ever faced, the things they’re most afraid of, the experiences that have given them the most pain and the most joy and yet to never have stood before them, put your arms around them or wiped their tears away?

What does it mean that I sometimes fall asleep at night worrying about a particular blogger?

What does it mean that at any time any one of us can opt out, simply turn the computer off?

What does it mean to have a virtual relationship with someone?

What are the boundaries? What are the rules?

That there aren’t any, or that perhaps they are being developed as we go, is fascinating to me.

The only thing I can say for certain is that this way of relating feels new and different.

I'm curious about it.

I am curious to learn about people – the ways they are similar to me, the ways they are different.

I am curious to learn about all kinds of people and explore what binds me to them despite our differences.

I’m curious to know if and how the definition of human relationships will be adapted or re-defined.

I’m curious.

I blog because I’m curious.

Which brings me to my final and most salient point.

I am most curious to know who is going to cough up a National Park Ranger Uniform so I can satisfy my Park Ranger fetish.

Surely if I keep this blogging thing going long enough, someone somewhere out there on teh internets is going to feel sorry for me and send me a National Park Ranger Uniform so I can dress K up in it and git busy.

Right?

[Bow chicka bow bow!]

Until then, I blog.

Curiously.

curious_george_1

74 comments:

Domestic Chicky said...

Score! My friend, whose husband is a park ranger, gave me the top secret location of where she buys her husbands uniforms...shhh...come closer...

JC Penney's

I'm still working on getting some patches out of her for you!

Augs Casa said...

excellent read. I really enjoyed this post. Speaking of on-line relationships and uncharted territory. One day I'll tell you how my wife (DraMa) and I met. That would crack you up.

Momish said...

Wonderful reasons to blog, which I can completely relate to as well. Thanks for sharing!!! Have I mentioned that I am sooo glad you do blog? Well, I should, so there.

Anonymous said...

I forwarded your blog address to a friend at Grand Canyon NP who I KNOW has old uniforms--my husband and I used to borrow them for halloween---I'm sorry I didn't abscond with them for you but it was years ago. No one knew what we were supposed to be, most thought we were policemen (??)

slouching mom said...

Thoughtful and funny at the same time! That's talent.

Curious George? Excellent choice.

NotSoSage said...

I bow down to your bloggy introspection. Love the link, I sent it to my hubby.

Kendra said...

The Big Guy and I gad a similar conversation the other night. How can I feel like I know someone I have never stood next to? Why do I feel joy or pain for friends I have never "met"? This is great writing! I am going to forward this on to all of my friends and family that just don't get the whole thing. You truly have a gift, I am so glad I stumbled upon it!!!

Jenifer G. said...

Wow. You managed to coral a lot of things in my head about blogs and blogging.

I love knowing other people are as intrigued, hooked and moved by this as I am.

Thanks!

TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocre said...

This blog thing is, not only addictive, but just as you say, a new and never-before-thought-of way to be intimate with hundreds of people without catching something.

Speaking of bow chicka bow bow...

Anyhoo, I got nuthin for ya on the park ranger thing. What, you think because I live in Oregon we all have brothers or neighbors who are park rangers? Sheesh...stinkin' stereotypes....

Back me up, Mel!!

Ann M. said...

My husband always asks, "wait, is this a computer friend or a real one" and I'll yell at him.

This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.

still standing said...

Yea, it's all of that. . . and it's a way for me to get this stuff out of my body, have an adult conversation and feel as though I have some value. Something good to share, even if it's a laugh. All on my own schedual.
I need this.

mamatulip said...

And am I ever glad you blog. Don't lose that curiosity.

Jennifer said...

This was great! I'm curious, too. My husband thinks I'm a crazy wack-job for blogging, doesn't get how I can spend hours reading about people 'I don't know'.

metalia said...

I loved this post. So...not only are you completely hysterical, you are incisive and eloquent on a more "mainstream" topic, too?

I bow to your mad blog skillz.

Kelly said...

Wait...you can blog out? Nobody told me that!

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

That's a wonderful post. SO many reasons to blog...but meeting strangers from all over the world is fascinating!!!

Geologychick said...

Nice Post! *Applause*

Mel said...

TSM - what? My brother is a park ranger...
Okay, no he's not.
Heh. ;)

Nancy said...

Great post! I've been online for a long time and have made some really great friends around the world. Blogging is new for me, and I only started it to keep in touch with friends and family, but now I'm venturing out with it and having a blast.

karrie said...

You know, The Man With The Yellow Hat is sort of park ranger-ish.

Kyla said...

Great post.

And I see some Bow Chicka Bow Bow in your future...people are lining up with the inside scoop on the park ranger uniforms, aren't they? *lol* Blogging is useful in so many ways.

Lawyer Mama said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! This has been such a topic in bloggy world lately. Yes, we do have a real community. I just sit down with my coffee and my computer to chat instead of my neighbor. Great post, OTJ!

Sayre said...

You hit the nail (or should I say pole?) on the head, OTJ!

My brother was one of the first bloggers in the COUNTRY and I sure didn't get it. But I get it now! I am a frustrated writer with not enough time and too many commitments - and blogging is a good outlet, plus it let's me stay in touch with family and friends. And when I find someone I relate to, I pass the word. My mom just ADORES you!

Keep on blogging, my real-friend-I've-never-met!

Abbynormal said...

That video was awesome. Blogger is like a good disease. You tell someone about it and it catches onto them. It's practically airbourne.

Cece said...

First, I loved the pictures of Seattle. I haven't been since 2005 & looking at your pictures made me miss it & my friends there. Note to self: Must get back to Seattle soon.

Back to your post *lol* I was the same way when i got a stranger's comment on my blog. Then it turned out to be sort of cool, huh?

Sorry I can't help you w/the ranger uniform. We don't have anything like that in Los Angeles. *lol*

Aimee said...

I think you're right about being on the forefront of something. There hasn't been a lot of research about the internet and relationships. I studied sociology in college and my professors were clueless about it as well (and omg was it hard to find anything to research that was already done. grrr)

This was a great post. I'm a first time visitor. I'm sure I'll be back. :)

Patience said...

Pioneering Bloganistas! Forging a new frontier!

notfearingchange said...

Nice post! And thanks so much for mentioning me - i'm one of your firsts! ;-) lol.

If a guy can blog about trading a paper clip and get a house out of it...i just don't understand how you can't get a Ranger Uniform...maybe you need a large photo sidelink?

Ron Davison said...

Why do we blog? Some things - like good food, sex, engaging problems at work or in games - provide their own motivation and enjoyment.

Kevin Charnas said...

LOVE that video. Thanks for sharing, baby-doll-tender-love.

amyerj said...

You nailed it - and I'm so glad you're here for me to admire!

DraMa said...

Damn you. I had to look up succinct. And mine was a meme... your's was an actual real post with real thoughts and like, a point and shit. And of course your reason for blogging is MUCH less self-centered than mine.

However, the curious part did come eventually. Now I cherish my readers and blogs that I follow.

Laurie said...

How DARE they set up a firewall at your husbands work. Please don't let this information get out to the federal government!! It would increase productivity by about a million percent, but we would all hate our jobs!!

carrie said...

I think your friends are going to come through for you and that uniform! Yippee!

And you already know that I agree with everything you said here, and I appreciate the questions you raised, as we don't really know what this means as we, as a culture, experience this new medium together. Fascinating!

Carrie

Velma said...

I won't presume to know your feelings on ading Baby Joy 3.0 to the family, but if these comments are any indication? You'll be getting the uniform, so I'd plan accordingly.

flutter said...

Oh how I love why you blog, and that you blog.

jo! said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I friggin' love your blog!

KC said...

It is a curious (and really nice) connection.

Lovely post.

Mad Hatter said...

Well said.

jen said...

you are brilliant at it, simply put.

you bring the warmth. we just come to gather around.

liv said...

You've summed it all up wonderfully. I salute you, my sister. seriously, call Jane @ Costumes, Etc... she can help.

wendy boucher said...

Sure, all this virtual friendship is great. But what about some virtual cat fights? More drama, more drama!

Just kidding. Sort of.

The Queen Mama said...

Unfortunately, I don't have a National Park Ranger uniform that I can send you and therefore emblazon your kinky desires. But I might have a friend who does...

Unfortunately, he doth not blog.

I agree with a lot of your points about why you blog. And I must add another.

I think it's for exhibitionists with a shy streak. Hence why so many blogs are, to some extent, anonymous.

Aliki2006 said...

All great reasons for blogging--and lots of food for thought. Thanks for the link to the video, too!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I feel the same way about blogging....and I also have the same trouble explaining to Mr. Mayhem why I like it so much!

I am CERTAINLY glad you started to blog....I love reading yours!

Misa Gracie said...

Love it! I have to say a huge thanks for pointing me to yet another great blogger - I jumped over to Kevin's page and he is HI~larious!

I think the reason I blog is because I work so much and have little time for the in-person-interaction. Also, I refuse to admit how loserish I am at making new friends.

I'm very happy that I can share in your joys!! (and I'm a fellow curious-explorer of this thing called the web)

Em said...

Excellent post. Excellent video. And perhaps the best reason I've heard yet for blogging. Curiosity. We share, we read, we communicate...because we are curious.

Moobs said...

Before you blogged did you have an outlet for all that talent? YOU must have been like a shaken bottle of cola.

deb said...

I think you summed it up wonderfully. As for the Park Ranger uniform, girl, you have a one track mind.

kevin said...

I don't have a park ranger uniform, but I might be able to find a pick-a-nick basket around here somewhere. You could be Yogi or Booboo.

Or do you just want to be lost hiker in the woods?

I sometimes wonder what will become of the cyber revelations that are my blog. Will me revealing too much about me come back to bite me in the ass or will it help me land a job over someone else?

If my daughter reads it when she gets older, what will she think? If my grandchildren discover it after I am dead, what will they think? And if my thoughts and feelings and beliefs are out there still to be studied or dismissed or shared, am I really dead?

Mom on Coffee said...

Thats it...Thats the ticket!!

Pendullum said...

Glad you are here...
Glad that curiousity caused the blog...
and I say we all have a blogger convention at Kevin Charnas' house... we all just crash and hang out in the condo...
And I I know,I know, in his wee tinker trunk full of costumes, there has to be a Park Ranger outfit screaming to be let out... and brought back home as a party favour...

Lindsey said...

That video was so cool. I loved this post. It totally described how I feel about blogging, too.

Aw! I'm so glad I discovered your blog.

Crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crystal said...

I'm new to blogging & your post has really touched a part of me. I can relate to so much of what you said.

Except that uniform thing but I have an uncle that did that so that would, eww, I just can't even think about it.

Iris said...

I have struggled to explain my online relationships and my addiction to blogging and bloggers to non-internet addicted people....I always just get that deer-in-the-headlights look.

My journey on the internet started 11 years ago, when my second baby was just a newborn. I found a place where people chatted in real time. I made friends there. Real friends. Some I still know, some have disappeared.....one I am planning to marry!! It is a strange new world........

rookiemom said...

Awesome post. Some good points there, too. I think I do it because there's certain things I need out of my brain and it's easier to write them then to say them.

Got nothing on the park ranger thing, though. By the looks of it you will be getting piles of them on your doorstep, though.

Chelle said...

You said it better than I ever could!! I love meeting new people on blogs....well, I just love meeting new people!! lol

Great post :)

Beck said...

Excellent!
Blogging is funny. I know a couple of real life bloggers, but casually, you know? And suddenly I'm reading their blogs and finding out way more about them then our relationships warrant.

Mimi said...

great great take on the meme! you've given me some stuff to think about. i just did the same one over at my place.

curiosity. it's a great way to move through the world ... move through the world in search of park ranger uniforms.

A.J.Reams said...

You are an amazing blogger....period, exclamation point (hmm, do I now end this sentence with an exclamation point?)

I always enjoy clicking over here because I know there is going to be an interesting read. I was talking to the "moms" at school about your hilarious blog about "poopin' on the table" and I swear we must have had a 2 hour long conversation about child birth. I now know way more about these moms than I should. Oh, and 3 out of the 5 pooped on the table.

Thanks for the daily laughs and for sparking conversations with the ladies at school. If your ears are burning on Monday, you now know why!

Groovy Lady said...

I've been working online for several years now. Some of my best and longest lasting friendships have developed through this venue. I have never met any of them face to face.

Mamma said...

You were one of my "firsts." You were the first blogger I felt I got to know through their writing, the first blogger I regularly went back to read (before I discovered Google Readers), and you were one of the first strangers to comment on my blog.

So for me, you're the cool senior and I'm the pimply freshman. Though sometimes I feel like we grew up in the same neighborhood, because I remember when you were just the sophomore with a few comments a day.

I'm just hoping you might wave to me every once in a while when you see me in the hall between classes.

SciFi Dad said...

Very well written and thoughtful post.

Fred Wong said...

You have good blog!

d. chedwick bryant said...

I always loved reading biographies and memoirs, so blogs appealed to me. I read them for years before I started one of my own--I didn't think I could stick it out. But this year it was my New Years Resolution to blog for one year (consistantly) and see what it was like. It took me 9 days to get up the nerve to write my first post. I read more and more blogs every week. I learn so much and laugh so much. It really is a phenomenon!

d. chedwick bryant said...

consistently. doh!

King Isepik said...

I feel as if I've known you for years and I've only been reading your blog for a little less than a year.

Your explanations are dead on! :)

Great blog!!!

Shannon said...

Carry on Blog Monkey!

Many of the same reasons I love blogging.

Lotta said...

Loved this post!

wayabetty said...

I'm so glad to have found such talented writer bloggers like yourself. It's a great community of "online" friends that I wish I had in real life.

gingajoy said...

I SO love that web 2.0 video--it actually makes me slightly verklempt because it resonates so much for me (and I work in digital realm also, so it's all the more relevant).

I think your questions and insights are spot on, and if it takes me til my dying days I'm going to get you that uniform, dammit

angela said...

geez. the only thing you left out are his measurements.

gypsyhick said...

Bwahaha! Thanks for the morning laugh, and the morning thought.

I'm new to blogging, but I tell ya, I feel *connected* in a very unusual way since I started. Web 2.0 carries on.