Bloggers are, as a collective group, a funny people. I don’t mean that their funny – odd, or funny – abnormal, although admittedly some of them are. No, when I say that bloggers are funny people, I mean they’re funny. Ha ha humorous. I follow the blogs of a number of people who are, simply put, downright, funny people!
My first introduction to blogs was when I found Dad Gone Mad. Danny Evans is a funny man who finds inspiration from all sorts of places: his children, his friends, his community, even people in traffic on the highway. About a year ago, Danny was laid off from his soul sucking corporate job in advertising and it may be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. He took his time off and he wrote a book which will hit the shelves on August 4th. What Danny very rarely did, was write about his job and if he did, he didn’t write about his work woes, he wrote about humorous events, comic moments or his own fictitious fantasies of what could have been.
Through Dad Gone Mad, I learned about Jennsylvania. I’m late to the party on this one for sure. Jenn Lancaster is a funny, funny woman who makes even the most mundane of blog topics (book tour dates and locations, hectic travel, Plaid, THE 80’S) humorous and entertaining. I’m ashamed to admit that at this point I haven’t read any of her books, but they’re on my list and I hope to remedy that soon.
Amy over at Amalah has a humorous writing style that makes even the most exasperating of her situations read with humor and lightness. Amy has some rough situations taking place in her life and while she shares those with her readers with an honesty that is impressive and inspiring, she also manages to add just enough levity to keep them from being too heavy to handle. Also, she has the cutest baby I’ve ever seen and regularly posts pictures of the munchkin.
Another Jenn, otherwise known as The Bloggess writes posts that have absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever and will have you in tears with the laughter and the Ha Ha’s and the “I can’t—No… No more, no more! I’m dying”s. Her seemingly one long run on sentence posts cover the gamut of topics and never fail to entertain. Her regular references to her husband Victor and his reactions to her supposed verbal commentary are priceless. As if this weren’t enough, she now has an “advice column” Ask the Bloggess from which you are sure to pluck enormous laughs and worthless advice that is at once ludicrous and somehow irrefutable. She also writes a “sex column”. Sexis, surprisingly, this link is safe for work, as The Bloggess says, is about as useful as [Insert your own useless sex analogy here], completely safe for work (as safe as anything is with corporate internet and asset use policies these days) and one more way that The Bloggess will bring you to tears with her humor.
One of the most consistently well rounded blogs I’ve read; Dooce offers humorous family anecdotes (especially if you consider your pets to be family), beautiful photography with delightful narratives, graceful elegance of design and a simple openness that tugs at the heartstrings. Heather Armstrong, also with a newly released book, has shared the day to day life of a woman on the go as she traveled the country on a three week book tour while dealing with the complexities (and sometimes complications) of being in her third trimester of pregnancy, the thrills and spills of preparing her home for the arrival of the new baby, and the day to day life of wife and mother of a five year old. Her stories are almost always uplifting and light-hearted and will brighten any day.
Some of the blogs I follow aren’t all about humor. Some of them are about something more. The A Very Public Experiment series on Cry it Out: Memoirs of a stay-at-home dad is an incredibly written memoir of the author’s story, both of his marriage and the birth of his child, and his own childhood and how he got to where he is now. Part 5 of his story moved me in ways I wouldn’t have expected and I look forward to where this experiment will go.
And then there are the topical and inspirational types of blogs. The following are some of the “little people” blogs, written by people I consider to be friends. Most are just pleasant reads. Some are downright inspirational.
Terri’s blog, Terri Terri Quite Contrary is full of lighthearted, real-life fare; stories from her life, about her children, her bowling league and her friends. Terri blogs about her work from time to time, but these are generally happy stories about her workplace full of friends and pleasant coworkers, people who enjoy their jobs and each other. Recent events have caused the tide to turn for her company as a whole and Terri has written of her fears about her company’s future and what it will mean for her. But while the news is not good and her concerns are real and justified, she manages to write her stories with an air of positivity, knowing that whatever happens, she’s got a strong support system on which she can rely. Terri’s writing is strong, her photography is beautiful and her blog is always a good read.
Recently, I had some questions on a matter I suspected Terri would be particularly knowledgeable about, so I took a chance and sent Terri an e-mail, myself a complete stranger. Having never interacted with Terri more than to leave a comment or two here and there on her blog, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought she might ignore me, or toss a couple minimally helpful URLs my way and tell me to leave her alone. Not only did she respond but she responded within 45 minutes of my e-mail and with a page and a half worth of wonderful insight and valuable information.
Stacy at I Eat Snowman Poop writes a whimsical blog that often reads as her side of an ongoing conversation between me and she. There’s humor, there’s anger, there’s adventure. Her blog is real and I appreciate that.
Wendy’s Building or Burning Bridges in the Community is an eclectic mix of personal life stories, current pop cultural events and LGBT activism. Wendy’s recent posts about the uncertainty about her family’s future and ultimately their cross country move to Pennsylvania (the mover’s arrived with all their stuff today) for her wife to take a new job, has mirrored, to some extent, some of my own personal mullings. Wendy has been a kind friend and her blog has been a pleasure to read.
And then there’s Anita. Her Grace Unfolding ministry and accompanying blog, primarily directed toward Christian Lesbian’s, has nonetheless been a valuable resource to me in the recent past as I continue my struggle to reach some form of peace of mind about my life and my place in the world as a Christian and a homosexual. Anita has written some really amazing and inspirational posts and just when I think maybe I’m in the wrong place, she somehow manages to write just the thing I needed to read and reminds me that there’s a place for everyone, in her ministry and blog and in this world.
Why am I telling you all this? Why am I writing about these other blogs and not focusing on my own? Well, I don’t think there’s an easy answer to that. You see, as usual, I’m not quite content – I was going to say I’m not quite content with my blog, but the truth is, it’s so much more than that. I’m not content with my life and it is ultimately, my life from which my stories must come.
I want to write a blog that appeals to people and so I want to be funny, or inspirational, or funny, or helpful in some way… Or funny. Sometimes I think I pull that off. Other times I reach so far into myself trying to find the funny and the ha ha’s to offer and there are none to be had. More often than not, I’m afraid. Mostly, I just want to write a blog that I would enjoy reading if I weren’t the one writing it and I’m not always sure I pull that off.
I have a bad habit of looking at things for their outcome, I want to know when I start, what the end result will be. Since I have not yet developed the ability to fold the fabric of space and time and see how things will turn out, I’m painfully aware that I can’t actually know these things.
When I started blogging a year ago, I went into it with the desire to be the next Danny Evans, Jenn Lancaster, Amalah, or Heather Armstrong. Here is a list of things those people have and I do not. This is by no means a comprehensive list:
2. Books that are, or are just about to be, published
3. Money (to some extent, more than I have)
5. Outgoing personalities
7. Self Confidence (or an innate ability to fake it.)
8. Blogging/Writing as a full time job
I guess what I’m getting at is that I have gone into this blogging (particularly with Riggledo) with the idea that my blog must be light and fluffy, funny and/or insightful and when it isn’t light and fluffy it must then be poignant. I’m not sure people enjoy poignant. Regardless, I find it difficult to write when I’m not feeling light and fluffy and funny—or rather I find it hard to write what I think I should be writing.
This blogging thing is starting to feel like one more example, of which there are many, where I try to fit myself into a community that isn’t really mine. I’m a square peg, trying to fit in a round hole, an apple trying to mix in with a bag of oranges, a fly in a beehive – I can’t make honey. I don’t feel like I’m being rejected, but sometimes, not being welcomed is just as bad.
I’m losing my grasp on this line of thinking…
In recent days, things have been so heavy in my real life that I have felt like, if I wrote anything, it would have to be heavy. And so here we are, at the end of another long-winded post, 1772 words and counting, and I’m not sure what of value I’ve had to say.
Hey, if you’re still reading this, good on ya! And go check out some of those blogs I mentioned above. They’re good. You’ll like them.