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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Musings On My Eighth Leap Year, During Which I Blah-g'd Quite a Bit

I wasn't aware that this was a leap-year until Tuesday, February 28. Perhaps I'm glad I did not, for no doubt I would have spent the weeks leading up to leap day in obsessive reverie over how to spend this sacred day that comes only two times per decade.

Me in reverie and a hat...



























Tonight, as I walked the block home from my parked car, after starting a conversation with a man as a disguise for the fact that I was starting a conversation with him to prevent him from robbing me (yes I apparently think my conversation skills have super-powers), I started thinking about the blog which adopted this moniker in mid October, 2011, and how things have changed after authoring such a wildly successful social phenomenon. (If you don't think that's a funny joke, you're not my audience.)

But I can't hide the fact that writing this has changed the way I interpret and experience the world. Let me first draw attention to the lack of parallelism in the bullet points below as I tell you a little about what I've learned from blah-g-ing:
  • If you're going to write posts about overusing words like ironic and literally, people will start holding you accountable for your language-use. They will literally count the number of times you use the words you write about. It's kind of ironic, right? (No.)
  • I hear people in a different way than I did before. At the risk of sounding like I am disparaging people into blog-fodder, which I am absolutely doing, I constantly absorb anecdotes from my fellow humans (yes, I am a greedy anecdote-absorbing sponge). There is an immeasurable richness in the voices of the masses all around you. Everything is so gratuitously bizarre. Everything is a story.  
  • Overheard tonight:
    • "Two weeks after I was in French prison, my house burned down."
    • "I mean, if you're on the sex-offender list, you did something bad; you don't just get on the list by peeing on a tire."
(I dare you to tell me you don't want to hear the stories behind these quotations and I promise you these would have eluded my consciousness had I not been listening the way I now listen...)
  • I am a less-dispassionate, more-engaged member of society. (Beware: this part gets fluffy:) From time to time, I indulge myself by imagining every stranger I encounter is a potential reader—someone who takes time from their day to take a gander at Hobo Siren. This might sound a little narcissistic because it is and I am, but what I really mean is—community has a broad, far-reaching definition and I accept my broad, mini-, and sub- communities with more open arms than ever before. And this causes me to treat individuals differently. Yes, I am an introvert who more than jealously guards her privacy—an introvert who guards her smiles and salutations as if they were made of gold and blood—but more and more, I'm looking at people like they're part of my world. And this is progress.
These are just a handful of things I've noticed that are different after writing here. Most of you are bloggers. Please tell me what you've noticed and learned since you started blogging.

16 comments:

  1. I started my blog for the purpose of archiving family stories. I figured if it was in "the cloud" it wasn't taking up space in my house and it would never get lost. I discovered the blogging community and I love it! It's the perfect place for an introvert. I get to make friends and express myself without actually showing up for anything, and I get to read what other people are up to in my own good time. AND there's no small talk! Win Win Win!!!

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    1. You forgot the part about how you never have to put on pants.

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  2. What's the anti-robbing conversation starter? Also, how close must one be to have such a preventative conversation? I think this should be a how-to video, as I also believe in the magical powers of befriending predators. :)

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    1. Jenny- that's funny you do the same thing. There were two men walking behind me. They were ambling directionless so I got a bad vibe. Then when I saw the lights on the car I was walking past light up, I felt relief, but also thought— not they've got a vehicle to throw me into in case they want something other than my purse. So I turned, looked him in the eye, pointed to his car, and said, "Hey, that's my spot!" He was a little shocked and said, "this spot?" I said, "yeah, that's my spot." He said, "oh I'm sorry I'm moving." I laughed and told him I was kidding and walked the last block home feeling safe.

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  3. I am not a blogger but I do understand what you mean. Just by reading your blog I feel like I'm apart of your community. And I don't even have to leave the comforts of my home! :)

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  4. About 20 minutes ago I saw an especially crazy looking hobo on the corner of Broadway and Kolb and the ONE THOUGHT in my head was, "I really wish I could send a picture of him to Hobo Siren."

    That is the biggest way blogging has changed my life: A desire to send pictures of weird looking people to you.

    In earnest, I really love blogging but as an introvert, I struggle with how much/what to share, lack of privacy versus making really unexpected and wonderful connections.

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  5. Sorry Summer, but it's your 8th leap year. (mine too) Your first one would be in 1984.

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    1. The funniest part of my miscalculation is I counted 1984. I did not, however, count 2012 ha.

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  6. I think the most awesome thing that I've learned since blogging is that my family and readers seem to have given me permission to write authentically. I used to stress about publishing posts that might have nefarious subjects in them because my moms read. But it turns out that everyone is totally supportive (and actually likes) the occasional blowjob reference. Who knew?!

    P.s. "This might sound a little narcissistic because it is and I am." This makes me crack up and feel like you are my people.

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  7. Oh man, I just realized we're all introverts.

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Your comments are why I get out of bed in the morning. Just kidding. But I do like them.