Monday, February 25, 2008

so this blogger walks into the oscars...

hard to believe this, but i've had this here blog since 2003--my blogiversary is looming and it will be the big number 5.

the world of blogging has changed, morphed, and shifted since 2003, both personally and in overall practice. what first began for me as an exercise in unmitigated and uncensored public unloading, warts and all, has turned into--or perhaps veered off into--different directions. i come here when i'm either incredibly sad (it seems, hello, most of this february) or deliriously happy, but never to chronicle my actual goings-on (see: Facebook, see: Twitter). while i was never the "dear diary" type completely, for me, my life has moved away from making that kind of confessional bloglife possible. it isn't like i can blindly dive off the precipice any more, because in having done so in the past i've had to face the consequences, many times and in many forms.

of course, i blog. a lot. i just happen to do it over at LAist, where i've seen firsthand one of the definitions of blogging change the face of modern communication. it sounds lofty, and believe me, it is. it's a lot to digest when you really sit down and think about it. i started writing for LAist on a whim in 2005, and am now the Co-Editor, and have crossed over into the realm of legitimate blogging; yes, blogging as a source of income. we've grown to bring in over 1.5 million page views a month on the site, and have a solid local reputation as being a high-quality site for news, events, arts, sports, snark, food, and a hell of a lot more hyperlocal goodness. it's amazing to be a part of it.

over the past five years i've been fortunate enough to have in my circle of friends (mostly virtual, yes, but some in person) many amazing bloggers. i've seen people get married, have kids, make major moves, and find success through their writing. i am sitting here thinking of so many people that to name them all out would be an arduous task, for each of those four categories i listed, and that's amazing to me.

a few weeks ago i showed up to a reading and book signing at book soup for diablo cody's screenplay juno. i'd missed the chance to meet diablo in person before when she toured for her book candy girl, and had tried about a zillion times and ways to find an email for her that worked. for those of you who remember blogging in 2003 (i'm thinking of shannon, t-bone, ari, jenn, cati, chevy valentine right off the bat) and how we all came to link to each other, probably many of you remember brook's (seriously, i can't call her diablo) pussyranch blog, and their "filthy five" (ah, my archives) and how those same changes and life-paths took brook from blogging to where she is today (which is why for the life of me i can't get a hold of her anymore since she's so megawatt cool!!!). a few weeks ago at the book signing from the podium i could have sworn she looked at me like she knew me--i mean, for crying out loud, look at that awesome drawing of me secret agent jo did way back when that's sitting up top here; i've definitely been recognized in public before from the blog, too) and when i set my book down for her to sign, and as soon as i said "it's me, sassylittlepunkin" she said "i KNEW it! i recognized you!" and for one moment i thought 2003 was possible again. don't get me wrong, i don't want to go back to 2003 (or 4, 5, 6, or 7, either, for the record) because i know you can't ever go back, but that heady innocent excitement of realizing someone you click with online is a real human being is really powerful. it's that "i've known you forever" kind of feeling that's unique to blogging (since we only know a portion of each other anyhow).

earlier this month LAist threw a primary night party, and i got to meet people who read me at LAist regularly, and also someone who reads this blog (or the tara-like ashes of it, really), which was a trip. most of my original bloggy pals have migrated with me to the environs of facebook, and i will admit i'm a lazy blog reader (but do have you all in my bloglines reader, so i do read!), and feel like this blog isn't really who i am, but more who i used to be. that's a good and bad thing. i like who i was, but the thing is, i like who i am now even more. i'm not saying i'm closing up this blog, because i'm far too sentimental and loyal and egotistical to do that, but i am saying that i'm equal parts nostalgic and indifferent about it. it was a surreal moment last night watching brook get up on stage and accept an academy award for a movie she wrote in the snack shop of target and went home and blogged about it.

the rules have, indeed, changed, and while i think many of us bloggers are too cynical to believe anything in the best sense is possible in blogland, i think a lot of us veterans bloggers have seen the best things and know them firsthand. i think of when many of you chipped in to help save my ass when i lost my job and my car, or when poor secret agent jo accidentally got loopy at my half-birthday party, when i had a really awesome phone chat with the once post-hip chick, or when i got to shop in thrift shops with cati fabulous, or got a mixed cd from styro, or hosted jennn for a night when she came to town. i thought of parties and nights out in new york and here in l.a. when i got to giggle and drink with so many of the internet's smartest voices. just incredible, you guys. just look at fish's ivillage blogging, and deb's foodie blog success, and sarah brown's cringe, and, my god, the babies, the romances, the travels, the degrees, the adventures...

i don't know what's going to happen with blogging, or with this blog in particular. but i'm doing just fine, thanks! i'm writing, i'm teaching, and i'm enjoying my life. and i'm enjoying hearing about yours, in whatever platform you make it possible. the limits may yet be boundless. i mean, for crying out loud, my bloggy pal from the one-time blogspot real estate known as the pussyranch won herself an oscar.

congratulations, brook. and congratulations to us all.


Monday, February 11, 2008

holding pattern

it's when i wake up in the middle of the night and watch the cosby show, or brighton beach memoirs, and can't stop thinking about the worst student opinion survey ever filled out about me, or broken branches on my family tree. it's when scenarios play out on a roller coaster that never stops. i look to the cards for answers, to the trees for the hummingbirds, and to anything for distraction. i can't focus enough to read, or manage to take myself to the gym or for a walk. i'm superstitious, anxious, and unlikely to get anything productive done--except, paradoxically, my laundry. i indulge in my favorite bad habits. i will navel-gaze, over-analyze, and look to the past to find clues to the future. i marvel at where i've been, where i am, and where i might go. i tend to not make plans, just in case. i might not answer your call, text, or email. i always think that sound i just heard is my phone, or a certain vehicle driving down my street. i'm full of want, but dehydrated. i will avoid things, but yearn to confront. i can't focus enough to read a good book, but crave what a good book might give me. i eat the wrong foods, and probably say the wrong things. i get scared, and feel alone, and worry for how i might feel if the holding pattern doesn't relent. i blog as some strange (and often fruitless) form of therapy, but i will break appointments with my therapist. i apologize. i wonder what i did wrong, and when things will be right again. i want things to get re-set, to have contact, confirmation, and affirmation.

but most of all, i wait.


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