blogito, ergo sum

May 21st, 2007 | Oddments, Site Update

me reading blog

Okay, I kind of hate to bring this up again, but it’s been hanging over my head for a long time and I just want to be done with it. Remember my “open thread” suggestion of April 10 which peeved many readers? I quickly put the kibosh on it, but your comments, pro and con, went on for some time, and I promised that I’d post my own “formal response” after I’d mulled over everyone’s ideas.

“What is the purpose of this blog?” I asked myself. “To whom does it belong? What constitutes ‘off-topic’ when my own posts are often quite frivolous?” And after protracted and deliberate consideration, I replied to myself, “I have no fuckin’ idea.”

I’d sort of like to leave it at that. But before I do, here are a few stray thoughts.

The blog’s purpose has been constantly evolving. It started as a half-hearted experiment. It morphed into a home for my comic strip, a travelog, a publicity tool, and then, to my surprise and delight, a community.

After Fun Home came out, the blog also became for me a kind of journal manqué as I dealt with the sometimes bewildering increase in my visibility as an author. It was a way to hang onto the kind of intimate exchanges I’d grown accustomed to having with my readers, just with a lot more of them at once. Perhaps this has been a “false intimacy,” as the cliché about online communication goes. But perhaps not.

I love this blog. I enjoy having an audience, in spite (or maybe because) of the fact that most of the time you’re chatting amongst yourselves about other things. But recently I started getting a little nervous about the responsibilities of facilitating this sometimes unwieldy discussion. Occasionally there’d be small flare-ups on heated topics, and although people self-regulated quite impressively—ignoring trolls, treating one another with intelligence and respect—I still felt a lot of pressure to keep an eye on everything. After all, it was my website. That’s when I proposed the open thread plan, in a misguided attempt to contain the conversation. But as I explained above, I quickly retracted it when a majority of commenters objected. Still, the rather intense response to my suggestion left me feeling even more overwhelmed and confused about what we were doing here.

But now things seem to have settled back down, and I’m feeling more comfortable with the idea of not having to monitor or respond to everything. I mean, I’ve never responded to everything, but I ‘ve always kind of felt like I should. Someone posted a link to an NPR piece about blogs a while ago that quoted Ira Glass. They eventually had to take down the blog for This American Life, he said, because it was taking too much time to moderate, and anyway, what they really wanted to be doing was making a radio show.

I also read the recent NY Times Magazine piece cited here by a few people, “Sex, Drugs, and Updating Your Blog.” At one point the author writes, “Will the Internet change the type of person who becomes a musician or writer? It’s possible to see these online trends as Darwinian pressures that will inevitably produce a new breed—call it an Artist 2.0—and mark the end of the artist as a sensitive, bohemian soul who shuns the spotlight.”

It’s true I’ve discovered a strangely exhibitionistic side of myself here. But much as I like showing you my blurry wildflower porn, and tempting as it is to spout off my autobiographical musings before they’ve properly steeped, I’m not a blogger. This is not my creative focus, or I’d (hopefully) do a much better job at it.

So for now, the purpose of the blog is: Whatever.

I expect it will continue to evolve. As I cut back on the frequency of new DTWOF episodes and the hullaballoo over Fun Home dies down, there will probably be less, or quieter, traffic here. And once I get properly immersed in my next book, I won’t have time to post so much. But I very much hope you will continue to chat here about factoring polynomials or whatever else strikes your fancy, whenever you feel the urge. That’s all. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

83 Responses to “blogito, ergo sum”

  1. Aunt Soozie says:

    Hey Alison,

    I hope no one notices that I’m up at this hour…it wasn’t a very good evening here in New Jersey so I was stretching it out to see if it would get any better…and look, it did. It was nice to drop in and read this entry in your… uhm… un-blog thing.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you in Philadelphia in June and buying lots of copies of Fun Home in paperback so you can sign them. Until then I’ll keep coming back here cause it’s a habit I’ve aquired and you never do know what you’ll find here.

  2. Aunt Soozie says:

    oh, tired typo…acquired…same thing though, really.

  3. Eva says:

    All hail “Whatever”!

  4. Al, et al. says:

    You scared me for a minute there, Alison– I thought you were pulling the plug on us. Don’t worry about the blog. I don’t think anyone holds you personally responsible for the content of our postings. And as much as we enjoy your entries, I think we all understand that this is not actually your job.

    See you at Bunns & Noodle next week!

  5. "miss egg" says:

    oh, please do focus on the creative outlets that are important to you! for me a new book, new dtwof episodes are far more appreciated than monitoring and updating the blog. indeed, blog = “whatever”. keep up the good work!

  6. Ginjoint says:

    “Whatever”‘s fine. “Whatever”‘s good. “Whatever” works for me. (Well, whatever works for you, AB, but you know what I mean.)

  7. mlk says:

    seems my carefully crafted suggestions re: handling the monster you’ve/we’ve created aren’t really necessary. still, you should be getting them in a few days, Alison, along with a book I thought might be of interest. if you still pick up mail from the Joneswhatever P.O. box.

    I plan to stick around to see how the blog continues to evolve, and to chat with this most fascinating group.

  8. mlk says:

    p.s. my Latin’s not so good. will you translate your header for those of us who are classically challenged?

    (I’ll be really embarassed if I guessed the language wrong, cuz my mother was once a Latin teacher. but that was after I left home, so I didn’t benefit in the least!)

  9. Laura says:

    “Cogito, ergo sum” means “I think, therefore I am,” from Descartes trying to prove that, at the very least, he did, in fact, exist. Therefore, “Blogito, ergo sum” would mean “I blog, therefore I am.” I, on the other hand, use too many comas, therefore I exist.

  10. Laura says:

    Oops, sorry, “commas” I use too many of, “comas” I put too many people into when I speak.

  11. Tim T. says:

    for mlk:
    “I blog, therefore I am.” A tskeoff on the French philosopher Rene Decartes’ famous “Cogito ergo sum”–“I think, therefore I am” quote. Latin indeed. (Didn’t he also develop the Cartesian coordinate system used in graphs?)
    Best wishes to all.
    Tim T.

  12. Alex K says:

    You fancy-pants latinates are ignoring a different kind of Latinity.

    That’s Latin as in Latin America.

    “Blogito” is clearly analogous to “burrito”. Burro, burrito; blog, blogito. Hence, blogito: A small, dark-complexioned, flashing-eyed blog that enjoys its siestas. And tastes great, particularly with sides of sour cream and guacamole.

  13. Tim T. says:

    for Alex K:
    “Siesto ergo sum?” Sounds pretty good to me!!
    Best wishes to all.
    Tim T.

  14. Deborah says:

    RE: “Whatever” –
    A few college queer groups in California have named themselves, in recent years, “GLOW” – which stands of course, for “Gay, Lesbian, and Whatever”.
    You are in excellent company, in other words!

  15. LondonBoy says:

    “Blogito”? I love it. Clearly a regular first conjugation ( “a”-stem ) verb. When you learn Latin verbs you learn their “principal parts” – how the verb changes depending on what tense and voice it’s in: here the principal parts are “blogito, blogitare, blogitavi, blogitatum”. This is particular nice, because it gives us ( by analogy with “cogito” ) the new English abstract noun “blogitation” for the “act of blogging”. For example: “she spent the morning engaged in intense blogitation”.

  16. Jeffster83 says:

    When I was in college, there was a short-lived group called GLOW: Gays and Lesbians Organized for Whoopee. I think it might have been a joke, just to see if the University would list it in the student handbook among the Ski Club and the Hillel and the BSU. They didn’t re-register themselves the following year.

  17. Jana C.H. says:

    And by back-formation we get the verg “blogitate”, as in, “I blogitated on the subject until three in the morning.” Blogitating is clearing a more serious business than merely blogging.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    To write like a bureaucrat, academic, or educator: Never use a word of one syllable when you can employ two or utilize three.

  18. The Cat Pimp says:

    I don’t know if this blog software allows it, but I know that livejournal allows you to custom post your blog entries. A friend of mine who is an author has several ways to post his blogs. One is for folks who are willing to proofread and bounce ideas around. Another is for personal friends. The third is public. He can use the public one to announce publications, tours, and so on, as well as little tidbits to lend a certain familiarity for his readers. The proofready one is mostly questions about where one would purchase a widget in Country (or State) X for a novel set someplace other than his home. The friends one is for complaints about bunions, writers’ cramp, and what pub he’s going to be at. His cats also have blogs, but I think that’s his wife’s doing.

    Something to consider.

    And yeah, once the excitement from “Fun Home” dies down, traffic will dwindle a bit.

  19. Feminista says:

    Blogitate–that sounds like blogging and agitating. *grin*

  20. Lauren Z says:

    I think whatever is perfect. You only have so much “responsibility” for your blog. Blog away and let the peanut gallery have at it. If it gets out of hand: whatever, next topic. The posts go on and on about some obscure topic: whatever, here’s a nice video of some more birdies. Enjoy.

    Thanks Alison! 😀

  21. Josiah says:

    “Cogito ergo sum” always reminds me of the shaggy-dog story from the old BBC panel show My Word:

    René Descartes and his wife are hosting a New Year’s Eve party. Madame Descartes, a wise woman, knows that at such events you always run out of nibbles an hour or so after midnight, so sets aside a tray of pastries for the late-night snackers. She tells René, “Don’t eat these until an hour after the new year starts.”

    Of course, as always happens at such gatherings, everyone ends up in the kitchen well before midnight. Descartes notices that some of his friends, deeply engaged in philosophical discourse, have begun nibbling on the pastries. He doesn’t want to interrupt the conversation, so he scrawls a note to his friend:

    I THINK THEY’RE FOR 1 A.M.

  22. tallie says:

    i think a friend of mine coined the term “blogsterbate” and “blogsterbation.” which i find funny. because apparently i’m ten.

  23. Doctor E says:

    Then there was the time René Descartes went into a Burger King and ordered a Whopper. The clerk asked “Do you want fries with that?” Descartes said “I think not.” and he disappeared.

  24. D.F. says:

    thumbs up for flashing-eyed blogs, Whoopee, Whatever, and even corny decartes jokes (there’s no place like this blog, i swear). and, most of all, for birdie videos.

    ya-ay!

    y’all make me happy.

  25. Jana C.H. says:

    I knew things would come around eventually. You can’t keep a good blog down. And just to prove it:

    Librarians are never off-topic here, so here’s a paragraph from my report on Seattle’s Syttende Mai parade last Thursday, as excerpted from the new Maoist Orange Cake blog:

    ***
    Dozens o’ drill teams, or at least it seemed that way, all pretty much alike except for La Senoritas in their sexy black outfits and flashing swords. (Can’t find a photo. Sorry.) But the champeen drill team in my book was from the Seattle Public Library: half a dozen librarians decked out in red and silver capes, pushing matching bright red book carts. They got a bigger cheer than even La Senoritas. Seattle is a bookish town.
    ***

    I managed to track down a couple of pictures of the team, sans capes, at http://www.chocolatespoon.com. You have to look around a bit for them. While searching I also came across this You-Tube item about a different library cart drill team. I haven’t watched it yet because I’m posting this at work (on lunch break, in case my boss is watching).

    My full Syttende Ma post is here: https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3151314217446794832&postID=4059850656820324146

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Stan Boreson: Who hid the halibut on the poop deck?

  26. Ydnic says:

    Perfect, Alison. I salute and admire your decision.

    Now I want to know how to pronounce “blogitation.” With a soft or hard G? I like Feminista’s association with “agitation.” But “blog” itself ends in a hard G. Hmmm.

  27. Cate says:

    I’m in full support of “whatever,” Alison — and to let the community find the space that it will. Focus on the stuff that gives you the most energy!

  28. Jana C.H. says:

    Whether or not “g” is hard or soft is governed by the vowel following it. If followed by a narrow vowel (e or i), the consonant will (usually) be soft, as in “agitate”. When followed by a broad vowel (a,o, or u) it will (usually) be hard, as in “agate”. Thus “blogitation” shifts to a soft “g”.

    The rule in English is much more consistant with “s” than with “g”, which is why we say “Seltic” instead of “Keltic” unless instructed otherwise. The original Greek, Keltoi, has a kappa, but that doesn’t rule English pronunciation unless you’re an incurable pedant like me.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Floss Forbes: If you don’t know the tune, sing tenor.

  29. Tanya M says:

    Doctor E beat me to the punch with that Descartes joke; I’ve heard it just a tad differently and so here shall tell my version of the tale.

    Descartes walks into a bar (ba-dum-ching). No, seriously folks, Descartes walks into his usual local bar after a long day of philosophizing and mathematizing. He stays drinking long into the night, until closing time. As the bartender wipes off the taps and the counter and is about to turn the sign on the door to ‘closed’, he asks, “So, Rene, how about one more for the road?” Descartes replies “I think not” and poof! he disappears.

  30. --MC says:

    Did I already tell you about that university where the faculty complained about a scheduled seminar on sitcoms of the ’60s, specifically “Mr. Ed”, and it was cancelled and replaced by a seminar on classical philosophy? That’s putting Descartes before the horse.

  31. shadocat says:

    Alison,

    Thank you for writing this…I hope I’m still welcome here.

    And thank you for swearing (’cause even nice people do it from time to time, to illustrate a point).

    I mean, I was jsur sayin’…

  32. shadocat says:

    Uff Da! That was supposed to be “just” dammit! (see?)

    That Uff Da was for you, Jana

  33. Jana C.H. says:

    Ya, sure, ya-betcha!

    JcH

  34. Doctor E says:

    Shadocat:

    Good to see you.

  35. Erin says:

    From the Uff Da belt about an hour south of Madwimmin Books in Northfield (yes, St O), another Descartes joke that ought to bring this comment thread to its point of maximum entropy so that we can all drop it and resume our normally-scheduled lives: “I’m pink, therefore I’m Spam!”

  36. Aunt Soozie says:

    MC,
    no you dih-ent…!

  37. Deena in OR says:

    Erin-

    Are good DFL-er’s still boycotting Hormel?

    Deena the Minnesota expatriate.

  38. dna says:

    do what is best for you AB.

  39. Louise says:

    Yay! shadocat is back! That’s all I have to say right now…

  40. Ovidia says:

    for all our sakes (though will miss you!) glad you’ll be the artist first & blogmom second but hope you’ll still occasionally ‘use’ us blogmob as your off-time community though… everyone seems to know all about descartes’ drinking habits but did you know william shakespeare got picked up for going poaching with his friends once? they had to pay a fine for going after one sir thomas lucy’s rabbits & after w.s. paid the fine he wrote a nasty poem about it & put it up in the middle of town for all to see–we’ll be here any time you feel like going after rabbits…

  41. Berkeley Expat says:

    Hey Jana CH…. Did you originate that quote about writing like a “bureaucrat, academic, or educator?” If so, may I swipe it to use in the signature block of my work email? I on a writing team for a report with a guy who won’t use 3 short words when 87 polysyllabic words will do.

    (Thanks!)

  42. Spark says:

    Berkeley Expat/Jana CH: I live in (scientific) academic jargon land, and any time I manage to get “use” substituted for “utilize,” I consider it a small victory. I mostly do so when writing/rewriting instead of editing because I often use up my red ink (or graphite, in my case) elsewhere. But, yeah, I hear you!

  43. mlk says:

    Shadocat, of course you’re welcome! the question in *my* mind was — does she want to stick around?

    I’ve been thinking, this blog could use a sign: CAUTION! nerdiness practiced here . . . or something like that. I suspect that those who were uncomfortable with the extensiveness and obscurity of posts simply have limited social experiences with nerds. we don’t have too many places to hang out!*

    *except nerds who are specialists, like those into floral pornography, or polynomials

    what a blessing that AB’s a nerd — and a dilletante!

  44. shadocat says:

    Nope I’m also a nerd—-I totally embrace my nerdiness!

  45. calamityJ says:

    I too must live w/the scarlet N lo lug around…good to be in like company!

  46. Feminista says:

    This quote has been attributed to Bill Gates: “Be nice to nerds. You may be working for one someday.”

    I prefer to be called an intellectual. Who’s also a multi-issue activist,and a few other fascinating things.

  47. Jana C.H. says:

    Berkeley Expat– I know I heard or read the line about bureaucratic writing somewhere (not on the net), but I put it into the exact form I use as a tagline. I think the original referred to only one type of person (bureaucrat, academic, or educator), but I don’t remember which. You can attribute it to me if you want to; that’s where YOU learned it.

    Here’s one I did invent:
    If you want to direct (or vulgar), use Anglo-Saxon.
    If you want to be sophisticated (or effete), use Norman French.
    If you want to be authoritative (or pompous), use Latin.
    If you want to be intelligent (or pedantic), use Greek.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Proud Language Nerd

  48. geogeek says:

    jana, that’s great, my brother the philosophy major will love that.

    BTW, there’s a book out recently that purports to explain the different branches of philosophy through jokes,”Plato and a platypus walk into a bar…” I heard the authors interviewed on NPR last week-end. Here’s an excerpt;

    “When Thompson hit 70, he decided to change his lifestyle completely so he could live longer. He went on a strict diet, he jogged, he swam and he took sunbaths. In just three months’ time, Thompson lost 30 pounds and reduced his waist by six inches. Svelte and tan, he decided to top it off with a new haircut. Stepping out of the barbershop, he was hit by a bus.

    As he lay dying, he cried out, “God, how could you do this to me?”

    And a voice from the heavens responded: “To tell you the truth, Thompson, I didn’t recognize you.”

    Which apparently differentiates essential and accidental qualities (?).

  49. --MC says:

    I was at a nerd wedding this weekend. The vows mentioned old school Atari videogame cartridges three times!

  50. reed_maker says:

    Hi Alison: I love your “blurry wildflower porn.” Both the actual products and their appellation are delightful.

  51. Anonymous says:

    If you heard about the burning of the Cutty Sark ship this morning – it will be rebuilt/ repaired/ rejuvenated. Half of it – the frilly bits, masts + stuff – were in store anyway. So when it’s rebuilt, will it be the same ship, or a copy, or a new one? Will it still exist?

  52. NLC says:

    [As a practical demonstration of the issues involving threading in a single-message ‘blog environment…]

    The Ohioans here might be interested in clicking [Here].

    AB, Ray Billingsley, Mike Peters, Ted Rall, Mort Walker, Jules Feiffer, Gary Groth. Now that’s a jam session to dream about. 😉

  53. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Deena, do you really think that being a DFLer is the only compelling reason why one would boycott Spam? I’m a lifelong Minnesotan, and I shudder just thinking about the stuff. There’s a sushi bar here in Minneapolis that actually does Spam sushi- how horrifying is that?

    Love the blogito- even though I’ve made something of a career out of arguing against the Cartesian subject position. I love the way Larry Gonick rips on Descartes in the new Cartoon History of the Modern World- “If you throw out everything absolutely, where do you start? Descarte’s answer: I observe myself thinking, so I must exist: “I think, therefore I am.” For some reason, this made Descartes famous!”

  54. Jana C.H. says:

    Re the new/old Cutty Sark: The paradox is usually expressed thus–

    This is my grandfather’s axe. My father replaced the handle, and I have replaced the blade.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    P.S. I LOVE LARRY GONICK!!!!

  55. geogeek says:

    Actually, spam sushi has a long history – any sushi joint in Hawai’i serves spam nigiri, from shorty after WWII, when spam was the major (only?) non-fish meat (if you want to call it meat) on the islands. It’s infiltrated a few places in Japan, too, according to an aquiantace who had some in Kobe.

    Blech.

  56. Red Genie says:

    I don’t often add my 2 pence, but I do read this blog’s postings whenever I can. This Bloga Obscura is one of the few Blogs I enjoy. I am not a blogaskite. It took me years to update my own website now I have people telling me I need a blog added to my site no thank you… I understand the feeling of responsibility that goes with each posting. Trying to control a blog is like watching my collie herding ducks, she knows where she wants them to go, but since they can also fly, sometimes all she can do is bark and bit at loose feathers.

  57. Red Genie says:

    Bite at feathers

  58. bre says:

    Are you allowed to tell us what your next book is about?
    Unless you have already, then I totally missed it.
    🙂

  59. DeLandDeLakes says:

    I heart Larry Gonick too, Deena- a few weeks ago, when I was supposed to be craming for my MA exams, I was actually re-reading The Cartoon History of the Modern World to make sure I had my chronology right. He really has taught me more history than school ever did.

    By the by geogeek, I am aware of Spam sushi’s existance on Hawaii- my stepbrother and his wife both lived there while they were in the Army. Of course it makes total sense- Americans bring in canned meat, and there are lots of Japanese people there- but I think it is trully too horrible a piece of cross-cultural ephemera to import to the mainland. 😛 I don’t think it’s much of a bestseller at Midori’s Floating World Cafe here in Mpls.

  60. Josiah says:

    bre, Alison has said that her next book is about her love life and relationships.

    I don’t like spam.

  61. The Deb in Minnesota says:

    On Sunday, I walked in the Minnesota Aids Walk with three of my buddies. And one topic along the 6.2 mile route was how much we liked Fun Home and DTWOF.

    Just wanted to let you know, AB.

  62. tricia says:

    So way off the subject but today I celebrated my ten year anniversary with the woman who stoled my heart the first time I met her when she handed me a tickle me elmo because she loved to hear me laugh.

  63. Aunt Soozie says:

    That is the scariest wedding nerd story I have ever heard.

  64. B says:

    Cheers on your anniversary, Tricia!

    In the interests of keeping the odd trivia going, I would like to share that certain tribes in the South Pacific have begun to use spam in place of human flesh in rites involving cannibalism. The difference in taste, apparently, is negligible.

  65. Josiah says:

    We’ve got spam, spam, long pig and spam…

  66. Jaibe says:

    Having watched you & this blog, I think there are two possible things about keeping the conversations “under control”.

    1) rather than hoping you get less famous (or have less strips!) I think actually just when you post less frequently there seems to be less mayhem. When you were touring and there were multiple posts a day I think that attracted more obsessively conversational counterposts.

    2) if it’s anything like lecturing undergraduates, things will just get out of control once in a while, but if you rattle the cage again everyone will be good for quite a while afterwards again. It’s no reason to worry so long as the things that bother you don’t start emerging more frequently; rather they just stay sort of steady state and you know how to handle them when they do.

  67. Fräulein says:

    Hello all,

    Completely off-topic here. In one of the sultry flower-porn films, AB caught some great up-close shots of what she suspected were wild leeks. Someone back then responded that it was wild garlic. That tasty herb is called Bärlauch in german and can make a divine pesto. Get the leaved before the white flowers appear. Quite fantastic. Here’s the receipe auf Deutsch for all you polyglots.

    125 gr Bärlauch
    30 gr Parmesankäse (fein gerieben)
    50 gr Pinienkerne (leicht geröstet)
    125 ml Olivenöl
    Salz, Pfeffer

    Chop and mix it all up and yum!

  68. Pam I. says:

    Cross-cultural culinary nightmares 2 – Chicken Tikka Pizza. Yes it exists. NB I was the anonymous who brought up the Cutty Sark. I’m having a few computer nightmares, a week before degree hand-in….

  69. Alex K says:

    “Bear leek” pesto auf Englisch — sorry, I can’t translate weights / volumes —

    125 gr wild garlic
    30 gr finely grated Parmesan cheese
    50 gr gently toasted pine nuts
    125 ml olive oil
    salt, pepper

    “Chop and mix it all up and yum!” bleibt aus Prinzip im O-Ton.

  70. Fräulein says:

    Sehr gute Arbeit, Alex K.

    I can’t translate the weights and volumes either, but yer basic Bear-Leek pesto needs approx:
    -4 parts bear-leeks (can’t resist calling them that)
    -1 part finely gr. parm. cheese
    -slightly more than that of the gently toasted pine nuts
    -half a cup of olive oil or until the whole mess looks pesto-y.
    Wohl bekommt’s!

  71. ksbel6 says:

    I absolutely love all the nerdiness on this blog. I always shout proudly that I will not be a closet nerd…I’m out and proud 🙂

  72. anonymous says:

    want to see the true cross cultural pizzas of your dreams/nightmares? Google “pizza hut japan” and click on the one in Japanese, then ‘menu’.

  73. mlk says:

    one more translation, and I think we’ll have the recipe down.

    unfortunately, I can’t provide that translation . . .

  74. mlk says:

    I just got the “slow down, cowboy” message and I think it was because of anonymous’ posting above.

    guess the blog is indiscriminate — we’re all the same person, so far as it’s concerned.

  75. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Hey Deb in Minnesota-

    I was at the MN AIDS Walk, too! Do you have a team? I’m team captain for Trinity’s Angels! Maybe we should look each other up next year, eh?

  76. Ginjoint says:

    Yaaaaaaay Tricia! Do you also own Tickle Me Extreme Elmo, a.k.a. Grand Mal Seizure Elmo?

  77. Abel says:

    a bad job

  78. Erin says:

    Deena in OR:

    Beats me–I’m an expat, too, in CA. It was the joke that came from the Uff Da belt, when I was in college there, not my comment… sorry for the ambiguity. –Erin

  79. Abraham says:

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

  80. Ada says:

    A bird may be known by its flight

  81. Natkat says:

    A place where we can celebrate nerdness? I have found my people.

    Since it’s okay to talk off topic here, I want to tell a story about Spam.

    My GF is filipino. In her country Spam is a delicacy. When a family has guests over, a can of Spam is ceremoniously procurred from the pantry, its contents placed on a platter and the the alarmingly pink mass is sliced as thinly as possible so that everyone might have a taste.

    I was aghast when I heard this. But they go ga-ga over the stuff. To them it’s Beluga caviar.

    Being to true to my nerdish nature I had to find out why this is so. It turns out that when U.S. troops were stationed in The Philippines after WWII, they were sent canned rations, including Spam, and some of it started appearing on grocery store shelves. Filipinos so wanted to emulate Americans that they began eating Spam sort of as a tribute. And to this day anything that comes out of a can is considered a delicacy. Even though it is possible to buy a dizzying array of fresh vegetables at numerous markets around the country, a can of Green Giant niblets shows that the hostess has gone out of her way to serve the very best to her guests.

  82. Abapopaxy says:

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting! Look for some my links:

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