Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why, you silly goose? Why?

So I was going to do 10 things I love about NYC even though summer is a little stinky here. Then I thought make the problem your solution and do 10 things about beating the heat here. (2 words: chafing prevention) Then I thought 10 things about Google Reader, with which I am currently obssessed, but frankly that just didn't seem all that interesting. 10 things about my high school reunion is slightly premature though planning continues apace to get my ass there in a safe, timely and affordable manner while not leaving my pets to fend for themselves. Then I started reading this blog that keeps being tossed in my path. Google Reader made it easy for me to add to my list of dailies so I decided to finally jump in and it gave me inspiration for my 10.

10 Blogs and why I read them.

1. The blog in question, Sweet/Salty, written by Kate. It kept jumping into my path because she's going through a really tough time. She was pregnant with twins and had a truly terrifying delivery quite prematurely. She's been eloquently writing about the journey from being maddeningly too pregnant through life-threatening and -altering surgery into the NICU with tiny boys and slamming through the door of losing one of them. I started reading today because I'd swept past the rumors of Liam's death on other blogs but hadn't read about it. It's not for the faint of heart, this blog in these days, but she was a blogger long before this happened and she does have a way with imagery. Ben & Liam hooked me, but if I keep reading it'll be Kate that keeps me.

2. Brownstoner and Curbed. These, too, are newbies to my list. For years people have told me to check out Brownstoner and when I finally hitched my wagon to theirs Steph tipped me off to Curbed. They're not exactly news blogs, more like the online equivalent to a suburban over-the-fence grapevine. It's all about whose dog is pooping on whose lawn and who bought the Old Granger place and what Mr. Ford is going to do with that extra room now that the twins have gone to college. It's real estate and development and shopping and it's fascinating to me and just feeds my already enormous love for this amazing city. Curbed just posted about Brooklyn Historical Society exhibit on the rebuilding of the Bushwick section of Brooklyn after the 1977 blackout and subsequent riots and fires. I can't wait to see the exhibit and then go take a walking tour of the area now. Kath, you in?

3. Big Boobed Canuck, Head Tilt, Candlewax Dreams, Ygrawn and a possibly shameful number of others are all fanfic-related. I read them because I love me some well-written fanfic and these people write that and they know where it can be found and they're all about telling the world so to read their blogs is to know where to find the crack. I could read romance novels instead, I suppose, but I'd have to pay for those.

4. Utsusemia was originally a Veronica Mars based fanfic writer to me, that's why I started to read her work. And she writes really wonderful stuff. Turns out she's about to have her first novel published and she's a Dorothy Dunnett fan and she speaks beautifully about how reading fiction affects (effects? I'm just never going to get that right) her and therefore how she thinks about writing it.

5. Championable is not, it seems, the frontrunner in that Hot Daddybloggers competition that people occasionally bring up. I do not know why not. It has to be some sort of travesty of justice. He's a runner, he's an entrepeneur, he's a recovering alcoholic, he's a dad and a husband. What I think I find interesting, what I think keeps me reading this story of his, is the fine line he's drawn between the badass tattooed adventurer and the homebody who turns on a webcam to show the world that he's doing laundry and cleaning the basement while his family is away. His posts on alcoholism, both his own and that he's seen around him, have a straightforwardness that's compelling to me. Plus, did I mention he's hot?

6. Mandajuice & Katie Granju are representative of something I've tried to say before and said really very badly. Last time I tried to say this I hurt someone and it sucked and I don't want that to happen again. So let me be clear that they seem like great people, wonderful moms and genuinely honest, caring writers. However, we differ on so many points, or at least in the way we approach so many points that I tend to get hot under the collar reading them. Yes, breast feeding is important and good and natural and no, people should not be kicked off airplanes for it. On the other hand there are a number of reasons that women don't or can't breastfeed and sometimes the way these women advocate for it in their firm, black & white way feels to me (someone who never has, probably never will and really never had an inclination to breast feed, so take it for what it's worth) like an indictment of those who do not follow their dictates and a perpetuation of "the mommy wars" which I think we'd all agree do no one any good. That's just one example of where I have a blood pressure issue, silly, no? So, why do I keep reading? As I said before, they write well. They are telling the story of their lives and it's interesting and well told. I want to see what happens next. Maybe part of me wants to see if they get their minds changed on one of their strongly trumpeted opinions, but mostly I just want to see what happens next and they do a good job of telling me.

7. Suburban Bliss is what might well have happened to me if I'd married a guy I dated in HS. (I would like to clarify that I'm pretty sure that Melissa and Logan did not date in HS and got married well after they'd both graduated.) She loves her kids but man it's hard to burn daylight with them. She has a hard time balancing money in the hand and what she wants for her family. Her husband is a fitness freak but she's not. He's all about the wardrobe and she hates to shop for clothes. If I'd chosen what was behind curtain #1 I might have been doing the same thing at a similar US latitude a few hundred miles East, it's competely freaky. I wish I lived next door to Melissa. I want to go to play group and have pizza and beer with her and do craft projects to see how much summer daylight can be burned with our kids. She's funny. Even when she's freaking out, she's funny. She's buried 3 St. Joseph's statues in her backyard to get her house to sell faster. I don't know, I just love her.

8. MightyGirl is Maggie Mason. She's written a book, she's worked on a presidential campaign, she's got an apartment in a city and a cabin in the woods, her apartment has been written up in online magazines, other fancypants bloggers come to her for fashion and decorating advice. She's like Martha Stewart if Martha Stewart actually lived a life I was interested in living. She comes across in her own blog as quirky, fun and a little scattered. When other people speak of her she comes across as the best friend anyone could ever have. If she were writing this post it would be 10 links with 10 perfectly crafted pithy sentences, one for each link. She's a superhero, that's why I read her.

9. Eden of Fussy is another old school fancy pants blogger. She hangs out with people like Melissa and Maggie and Dooce and Alice and Jen. She thought of, mentioned offhand, implemented and completed NaBloPoMo, which awes me, both the thought and the resulting deed and following. In a completely other sort of way she lives a life by which I am enthralled. Her posts about her father's death have stayed with me. Lest you think she's only good in moments of high emotion I can tell you that she once, probably over a year ago, in the midst of a post about being awoken in the night by some sort of child- or house-related mishap spoke of her husband coming back to bed and trying some "enthusiastic cuddling" on her (to no avail). That phrase still pops into my head without warning sometimes. She's got a way with the innuendo, and I like that.

10. The reason I read any blog is the story. I like a good story and I don't like to leave before it's over. I like sequels. I like having a show renewed for Season 2 (ahem, NBC execs). So I also read Zelda, Chrome, Chili, Gertrude, Sara, Jason, Kath, Baldsug, Longshot, Sooza and Steph because I got hooked on your stories and invested in them long before we ever started up this internet craziness and I want to hear the whole thing. I want to watch the TV show and play the game and buy the action figures and everything else that Mattel makes and Universal sells that comes along with it. The stories are all good and all compelling and I can't wait to hear them never end.

What's that statistic? Only 15% of an iceberg is visible above the surface of the water? Even though I cheated and included more than one blog in some cases I don't think it's an innacurate assessment for what I've shown here in relation to the number of stories I continue to read on the here intarweb.


  1. Hello! This is not a comment about your blog post–sorry. I'm frantically getting ready to leave for vacation but wanted to say hello before I left and yes–I'll be at the reunion. See you there!

  2. I LOVE this idea - may I steal it for next week?

  3. Steal away! Mockery is the sincerest form of flattery...no, that's not quite right, now is it? :)

  4. Would that I had the computer time to feast on all this info!! Hopefully I can browse through later.

  5. Its blog therapy. Just like Comfort eating and any of those other good things.
    If your blog were Ice Cream it would be Strawberry Shortcake... creamy vanilla with strawberries and pieces of shortcake mixed through out.
    I need to get out more and enjoy the landscape.
    As usual you have inspired me.
    Will let you know what I find.