Thursday, August 31, 2006

What's in a blog?

You know what I would like? I would like for once at work to be able to ask someone exactly what they wanted, in what format they wanted it, what the purpose of it was, and when they wanted it by and to have all of those questions answered. Instead, we have our current haphazardness, where the procedure seems to be giving vague directions (from multiple people, of course), no real timelines (they are currently either "we needed it yesterday" or "whenever you get around to it"), and then expecting exactly what the boss was thinking of but never told you that that was what they wanted. Frustrating, huh?

Anyways, to ignore that frustration and move onto something else that has been bothering me. Recently several bloggers have been talking about the role of blogs. Which is an interesting topic. Blogging can and will change the world and the way we communicate. Look at the role of blogging and online communities in politics and in business. If a politician or business gets on the bad side of the wrong blogger, they can damage their career or business. On the other side, Howard Dean rose to prominence primarily because of his success in raising awareness through the internet.

I think all of that is fascinating. Honestly. I'd totally take a class or do a study on it. More bloggers, however, seem mostly interested in why people blog. Which you might think a blogger would know; afterall, who can understand a blogger better than a fellow blogger? Why do we write these things? Is it because we want an audience? I think that has to be true for most bloggers. Why else write something to put online? People say it's a good way to stay up with friends, and that's certainly true, but if that's your sole mission, then why not just send group update emails? I remember reading once that most people who write in diaries have an imagined audience. That is something I completely understand. When I write in my diary, I picture someone, somewhere, at some time finding it and reading it. In a blog, the audience becomes immediate. For some bloggers, it seems to be a popularity contest. How many readers and hits can you get? How many people will write in comments telling you how great and funny or entertaining or intelligent you are? For some, it's perhaps cathartic. It's a way to get something outside of your head, to express your feelings and think that perhaps someone is reading and understanding what you are saying. I know I've been comforted by things I've read in other people's blogs. They feel things that I've felt, say things that I've been too afraid to say, experienced things that are similar to what I've gone through. Some people maybe want a connection. So many bloggers are in big cities, where you pass by hundreds of people everyday, but can count how many really know you on one hand, two or three if you are lucky.

There are many more reasons people blog and they're all legitimate. And here is what bothers me. It seems like so many bloggers trying to figure out why people blog tend to judge or pidgeonhole people. The reasons I blog are probably more complex than I realize. But I do it because I want to. I can see myself in many of the blogs I read. I see real people behind them. I don't care why they blog. I don't care how many people read their blog. If I don't like the blog, I don't go back. It doesn't mean that my blog or a more popular blog (not that that's hard at this point) is any better or any worse than that blog. It just means the topic might not interest me. Because, let's face it. No matter what topic you write about, you're only writing about yourself. There are some blogs out there with a specific topic area and specific readership. But for the most part, it's just people talking about whatever they want to. With as much information is out there, the only novel thing a blogger can bring to teh internet is their own perspective, their own experiences, and their own voice. And no one should judge that.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lonely little shoe

Today I saw a shoe. This might not seem strange in and off itself. But this shoe was missing a foot, an owner, a mate. It was sitting all by itself on the curb. This made me wonder. How do you lose a shoe like that? If it were right outside a hotel or apartment building or dorm, I might be able to understand that. After all, someone might be moving stuff in or out of a room and just have had a shoe fall out. But this one wasn't. It was all alone, lost. And I couldn't help but want to know its story.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Whatever, Wilson

This woke me up last night. Not that I wasn't prepared for it, thanks to article. Well, that one and the 180000000 others written about that stupid bridge. Really. They blow up one bridge and it becomes this huge mass production. Yes, I know that they have been working on it forever. I know like a zillion people cross it every day in their commute from hell. The reason it matters to me though? A. it woke me up. I don't like that. Even if I'm prepared. And there is no way that that was "as loud as a thunderclap." I slept through an earthquake once but this woke me up. (True story, too. My friend woke up, saw everything shaking, saw me sleeping and thought it was a dream. The next morning, everyone was talking about it. I didn't even roll over. No recollection of the shaking at all.) And B. I didn't get a free carwash. I realize most of you aren't going to read those articles (really, they aren't that interesting), so let me explain. The Wilson Bridge is a pain in the neck for all involved. The commuters hate it. The neighborhood around it hates it. The construction project, only half-way done btw, has been going on for years. And the construction teams have constantly put the convienence of the drivers above that of the local people. Not without reason. After all, if they blew something up or shut anything down vaguely close to rush-hour, the entire city would implode. Or at least a lot of people would be very late and very pissed. So the loud construction has been done at night. Such as loud explosions that really aren't that exciting. ANYWAYS. All this construction has also made a lot of dust, dust which gets on everyone's car. (It also has rattled a lot of snakes. Can you imagine waking up with a snake around your arm? Oh, it happened. Not to me. But it happened.) In order to make up at least for the dust, since they can't do anything about the lost sleep, they handed out free carwash coupons. I live relatively close to this area. My car indubitably has become more dusty thanks to the construction. But did I get a coupon? No! I had to pay for my carwash, which wasn't all that thorough, thank you very much. I feel they owe me.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Sorry no post or picture on Friday. Blogger was being a pain and I had work to do, so... Also, I promise that I'll get more recent pictures of Cassie to put up soon. These are all from two batches, both of which were taken at least two weeks ago. And two weeks is a big deal in the life of a kitten. For example, since the last one of these pictures was taken, Cassie discovered tv. She also has developed that awkward legginess of a teen, has taken to attacking my legs while I'm walking, and now has a tiny little belly. Since I just know all my readers want to be a part of that... Though, if you really cared, you'd either send me money to pay for an internet connection at home or start campaigning my boss to give me a raise.

So, date weekend was fun. The Carlyle was amazing. I had the best steak (probably not as good as Little Zagrebs, but up there, and definitely better atmosphere). They even butterflied it so it would be cooked the way I liked it. And I didn't even ask. And the bread pudding? OMG, SO GOOD. It was a complete food-gasm. White chocolate, with melted caramel in the middle and topped with ice cream. I thought my stomach was goign to explode, but it was worth it. The atmosphere, though, was a little strange. I don't know why the Carlyle has trance music in the downstairs area, but they really need to quit it. It's just annoying. Luckily they turned it down before too long into dinner, but still.

Apparently everything we decided to do on Saturday was somethign the retirement community wanted to do. We got to Shirlington and the line at the movie theater was almost to the parking lot. Most of the older people in line with us wound up at another movie (something about a beach?), but once our theater filled in, it was primarily full of older people as well. And they all clustered around us. Spyboy said he was getting a little claustrophobic. There were very few buffer seats. It was strange. Then at the restaurant, it was all older people or families. I mean, I know we aren't hip, but are we really on the same level as retired people and families? It was like 7:30, totally a decent eating time. Though I was glad we were there, because we wound up chating with this woman who had been abandoned by her family. Seriously, they came and sat and then all four of them (son, daughter-in-law, two grandkids) left for 20 minutes at least. It was the daughter-in-law's birthday and the woman was from near Annapolis and REALLY didn't want to drive all the way to Arlington, but did anyways. And then they just leave her? What could have needed to be done in Shirlington at 7:30 when you're waiting for a table that took all 4 of them? And then, when they were there, they just ignored her. Their baby though? So freaking cute.

Also, I've started getting google hits. Whee!! They're a little strange, but highly entertaining...