Monday, January 15, 2007

Because I Like Memes

Okay, I’m bad. I know it. I’m just no good at waiting to be tagged for memes. I’m rarely, if ever, actually tagged, and I constantly see these cool memes on other blogs that I think would be fun to do. So I just do them, and don’t worry about the tiny detail of not having been technically tagged for it.

So here’s a meme I saw on Ali’s blog and thought would be fun. Time for more Metablognition with a Blogging Meme:

1. Do you like the look and the contents of your blog?

The look? I do. I like the new look a lot, actually. The old look was okay, but this one’s much better, in my opinion.

The contents? Well, I might wish I weren’t going through a depression, which often makes up the content of this blog. I might wish I didn’t have so much weighing on my mind, such that I always feel the need to emotionally vomit all over your screens. But given that I can’t change that, I guess I’m okay with the content here. I think I do a pretty good job (most of the time) of balancing the heavy stuff with more general topics of interest, or some humorous notes. I’m looking forward to making this more photo-rific in the near future, though (hence the randomly scattered pictures in this post).

2. Does your family know about your blog?

Yes, they do. All of them, I’m pretty sure. Mom and Seeser even comment occasionally. I don’t hide my blog from anyone in my personal life (my students are another story…). If there’s something too private to share here, I share it with individuals on a case-by-case basis.

3. Can you tell your friends about your blog?

See above, wherein I explain that I don’t hide my blog from anyone in my personal life. This includes my friends. In fact, I normally highly encourage my friends to read and comment on the blog, because it’s important to me, and thus I want my friends to share in it with me. Some of them are less good about following through (*ahem* Eggman *ahem*).

4. Do you just read the blogs of those who comment on your blog?

Goodness, no. I do read the blogs of the majority of my commenters, but I read way more than that. On a daily basis, I check in with upwards of 30 blogs, and there are not 30 people here commenting every day (which is too bad, really). A lot of those blogs are by extremely popular and in-demand bloggers, so I wouldn’t expect them to come visit me very much. When they do, it just makes me feel that much more special. I think anyone who would refuse to read a blogger who doesn’t comment on his or her blog is a snob, and is probably missing out on a lot of good stuff.

5. Does your blog positively affect your mind?

So much, I can’t even describe. Like I’ve said before, I need this blog. It keeps me sane in a lot of ways. I need the outlet to write, and I need to feel connected to people through my words. Knowing this is here, that it’s available to me anytime, is so helpful. I also like the structure of it. It’s built into my schedule now – every night, I know I’ll write a blog post, and every day, I know I’ll respond to the comments from two days ago’s post. I like the regularity of it. And I LOVE the fact that I’ve met so many amazing people through it. Can’t be grateful enough for that.

6. What does the number of visitors to your blog mean?

Um, that I’m still not very popular in the blogosphere. Also that there are still a lot of folks reading but not commenting. But I’m okay with that. Really. I am.

7. Do you imagine what other bloggers look like?

Not usually. Even when I know what they look like, I don’t usually picture them. I know them through their words, not their appearance, and that’s what I think of when I think of them.

8. Do you think blogging has any real benefit?

I’m confused by this question. What is a “real benefit”? I think the fact that it positively affects my mind (see #5) is a real benefit. I also think the relationships I’ve formed are real benefits. More generally, I think blogging is a great way to connect people who need to find support. My depression series talked about a lot of scary stuff that other people are also dealing with, and maybe it helped some of them in their struggles. I know many of the “mommy bloggers” have found support and comfort in discussing problems and fears with each other (see The Basement for examples). Those are real benefits, not to be ignored or made light of. Yes, blogging has real benefits, definitely.

9. Do you think that the blogosphere is a stand alone community separated from the real world?

I think it is its own community, but that doesn’t mean it’s separated from the real world. For example, I interact with some people through my blog with whom I also interact in “the real world,” and our interactions in the one cross over to the other. It’s a different way of knowing people, but it’s still knowing them, just as if I met them through a club, or at work, or at school, or waiting for the train. It is just a different community, still within the real world.

10. Do some political blogs scare you? Do you avoid them?

I’ve never read specific political blogs, but as a genre they don’t scare me. They bore me, though, so yes, I avoid them like the plague.

11. Do you think that criticizing your blog is useful?

Do I think that my own criticism of my blog is useful? Sometimes, depending on whether I’m being honestly and constructively critical or whether I’m just being insecure and self-deprecating. “That post is crap, why can’t I write anything good?” is not so helpful. When I can get specific and note things that could have been improved, then I think it’s useful.

Do I think criticism from others is useful? Yes, as long as it’s phrased in a way that I won’t immediately become defensive and/or insecure. Others can often see things I can’t because of my closeness to the issues, so it’s good sometimes to get an outside perspective. That said, if any of you have critiques, I welcome them.

12. Have you ever thought about what would happen to your blog in case you died?

Of course. But then, my dying has been on my mind a lot more in the past few months than it used to be, so that shouldn’t be so surprising. I haven’t actually done anything about it yet, though. I think I should just seal up the login and password and give it to a couple people I trust, and ask them to make an announcement for me.

This brings up an issue I’ve considered also, which is how I would feel to read one of my regular blogs and see a note that the blogger had died. I think in most cases I would cry. A lot. Because I feel like I know these people, and with some of them, I even feel like they are good friends of mine. Can you imagine coming here and seeing a note saying, “Lara has died. Please send good thoughts to her family. This blog will no longer be updated.” It would be weird and sad in a detached way, right? But still better than disappearing forever, I figure, so I’ll probably do that (in a better worded way).

13. Which blogger had the greatest impression on you?

Oh, see, this question is just not fair. You can’t ask a question like this to someone who reads 30+ blogs every day. Okay, I’ll just give lots of different answers…

Lady M is the one who first got me thinking about blogging in a totally different way, both through her own posts and by linking me to other great bloggers.

Her Bad Mother has given me lots to think about, both in general topics and also in how I want to write. But we all already know how much I love her.

Mocha Momma, Mom101, and Sunshine Scribe all taught me soooo much about strength and courage, and how to blog through it. They taught me about the kind of blogger I wanted to be, and why saying “I am a blogger” is never something to be ashamed of.

Lilit has taught me how to look for beauty in ordinary strings of words, and how to find truth in the dregs of emotion. I doubt she realizes that, though.

And Aly and Sassy have taught me that friends need not be physically together to feel close. And that words can form powerful bonds. Beautiful bonds. Forever bonds.

14. Which blogger do you think is the most similar to you?

Again, Aly and Sassy and I have much in common. And while I realize this may just be me reaching out because of my own extreme admiration, I’ve often felt that HBM and I have some writing similarities, as well as similar ideas in some areas.

15. Name a song you want to listen to.

Okay, does this strike anyone else as totally weird? What does this have to do with blogging?

A song I want to listen to right this very moment? Um… I can’t think of one, honestly. I’m currently listening to “How to Handle a Woman” from Camelot. (If you’re curious, “The way to handle a woman is to love her – simply love her – merely love her, love her, love her.” Of course, she cheated on him and left him for Lance, so clearly love wasn’t quite enough in poor Arthur’s case. Cynical much? Yep.)

Um, I think I’m supposed to tag people for memes, but since I never wait to get tagged, I don’t see why any of you should either. So if you find this interesting, consider yourself tagged. TAG! You’re it.


Totally random note: Go to Muldrowian Me and celebrate the wonder that is my roommate's ass. :-P I wish I were that brave, 'cause my ass really isn't too bad, all things considered. Of course, I don't have panties with the word "Hustler" on the back.

(And if that didn't get you to click the link, I don't know what will.)


Day 15 of SaBloBoMo: The Cynster novels by Stephanie Laurens

Yeah, I know, I’m sort of cheating here. This isn’t just one book, it’s an entire series of books – at last count, 14 of them. They are historical romances set in the early 1800’s, and they all revolve around a powerful aristocratic family in England, the Cynsters.

The first book, Devil’s Bride, is about Devil Cynster, the eldest of his generation and the current Duke of St. Ives. Subsequent books are about his brother and cousins, Vane, Scandal, Demon, Gabriel, and Lucifer (and yes, all six of those names are nicknames, not given names), eventually moving to friends and more distant relatives. All the Cynster males are hard-headed and arrogant, and somehow, they all manage to fall in love with strong and equally stubborn women. No dainty misses here – these are women a 21st-century gal could admire. I’m currently waiting for the 14th book to come out in paperback, so I can add it to the other 13 I already own.

Yeah, I'm cheesy. I admit it. So what?


Tandava said...

Who says you have to get tagged to join in a meme? It's your blog -- do whatever the heck you want. :-)

tmb said...

Love the photo series in this post. Just thought I'd share. =)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tali. The photos definitely add to the blog. I imagine your voice reading your blog and now I can see you too. (I mean that in the least stalkerish way possible).

LaLa said...

Even I had to go and look at your flatmates bum.

What a lucky wench. And if yours is like that, you are lucky too!

Photos is good.

Anonymous said... that i know that you liked to be're getting the next one!!

seriously..the last question totally came out of NOWHERE!

Anonymous said...

What a kind and lovely thing to say. I'll have to do this meme myself and return the favor.

Lara said...

graham - which is exactly what i tell myself when i go ahead and do them anyway. ;)

tali - yay! thanks. :) i liked them too, which is why i shared. i'm loving the whole photography thing.

charcoal - yay again! thanks! (and you know you're totally a stalker.)

lala - yes, she is a lucky wench. i don't think mine's nearly as nice as hers, but it's not so bad, really.

ali - oh yeah... tag away, lady. and yes, last question? completely random.

lilit - first, it wasn't a favor. just a statement of fact. and second, i didn't do it to have it returned. i did it because i thought you - and any interested readers - deserved to know you've influenced me and my writing. that's all. :)