On the couch

20090422

I am constantly having thoughts that I want to exist outside of a vacuum. I want to share my thoughts with some other members of the human race. I think this is a fairly natural tendency. Lacking social outlets, my instinct is to blog or use one of those other icky modern methods like Twitter or Facebook. I don’t want to delve into why I think Twitter and Facebook are icky. And I don’t mean to offend 92% of those reading this. Frankly, I wish the other 8% of you were on those sites. But I don’t want to contemplate the merits and maddening annoyances of Twitter and Facebook anymore than I just did. I’m trying to get to the part of this entry where I contemplate the purpose of my blog.

Damn…I had really hoped to just write thoughts down as I had them, but I’ve actually been stuck for the past fifteen minutes. I don’t know where I’m going with this. 

I feel like if someone is going to have a blog in April 2009, it better be pretty interesting, because the whole world is Twittering and Facebooking. (Ok, so I can’t avoid those icky entities in this post after all). Most people don’t give a whole lot of thought to the interestingness quotient of their musings. I am not suggested that they need to. If you have true friends, they should be interested in hearing about what’s on your mind and what you’re up to, regardless of how profound or amusing your life might be at any given moment. I think what many of us could probably agree on is that, even for the well-liked and extroverted among us (not counting myself here), a large percentage of those on our “friends/followers” lists don’t particularly care about our every whim and discovery.

I haven’t yet arrived at my point…which is…well, there’s really not anything that presumptous about posting a few tweets and lists of your breakfast cereals and action movies on Facebook. It’s easy to do, and the beaming of this information to dozens or hundreds of people who might not care is a negligible price for reaching the dozens or hundreds (if you are disgustingly genuinely popular) who truly do care.  But blogging…collating multiple, cohesive, related thoughts into a blog post, just seems to scream. “I have something important to say”. And this is far more true today, I think, than it was two or three or five years ago, when the notion of sharing your thoughts with the world online probably meant that you had to go through the trouble of maintaining a blog. 

That thread has no conclusion…I’ve just had a tangential thought that I think I’ll take a chance and share…

I think that the reason that I blog is because I am desperate to find someone on the planet who shares some obscure belief or observation with me. I am desperate to find commonalities with others because I live with the belief that I am alone in how I interact with this world. 

I am not looking to spawn discussion or debate. I am looking of the comment that says, “Me, too”. I realize that this is, on many levels, both juvenile and pathetic. 

Quite often, I am scared that something I post (this entry might be a good example) is going to prompt someone to just flat-out tear me up. I’m scared that someone I know might say something hurtful. But, I’ll confess, something that someone I don’t know could hurt me, too. I’ve gotten an occasional harsh comment, but 1850 posts in, no one has yet to say, “Why are you writing, you sad, pathetic fuck? No one gives a shit what you have to say. It’s pretty obvious why you’re alone.”

Anyway…that was harsh…

So, as I alluded to the other day, I’m watching television again for the first time in about two years. I’ve got a new TV and DirecTV complete with free-trial-HBO. I’m not one of those people who got rid of TV because I didn’t need it, and I have other productive things to occupy myself with like going to the gym, reading, and quilting. No, I just happened to have had a Dish Network satellite dish on a six-foot pole sticking out of my roof. They couldn’t find a good place to move it. TimeWarner Cable’s installation gave me headaches. And I bided my time to try out DirecTV, under the false pretense that I was somehow a better person for forgoing television. 

In the meantime, my health kinda sucks, so I do sit around tired at home a lot. TV with good programming options is a worthwhile thing to have. So I have it now.

And I have observations about the things I see on TV that I feel like sharing. But so do 948,000,000 other people on Planet Earth, so I’m a bit hesitant to share mine and imply that they’re worthy of intake. Again, I’m just hoping someone might see something I’ve written and say, “Yes, Toastie. That is my cup of tea, as well.”.

Health…just biding my time until d-day, which isn’t set yet. Saw a link to a news story about a woman getting a kidney on Craigslist. I don’t want to see such stories. It’s a self-esteem issue, again, I think. How the hell is it that I am worthy of your kidney? I don’t know a thing about that woman, but she probably has a family and volunteers for her church and loves to travel and has probably somehow communicated that she has some full life she’d like to get back to instead of the limbo she’s in presently. There’s an episode of Scrubs in which Elliot tries to get the hospital board to approve a heart valve operation for her patient, a thirtysomething admitted former heroin addict. Colleagues try to convince her that he’s not worth the risk. I don’t have a compelling case that I’d be worth the risk.

So have I waded my way back in regular blogging? I guess I should address one of the other reasons I’ve scaled back. Back to Facebook. I was/am (forgot how it’s configurd now) having my blog posts automatically ported to Facebook, by way of both Notes and Twitter hyperlinks. People I know were seeing my blog entries when they wouldn’t have otherwise seen them. Even though this had been my intent, it was an odd feeling when I knew someone had read my blog because of Facebook. I feel like people go to Facebook for happy bullshit, not to be hit over the head with gloom and doom. At least when someone chooses to go to my blog or read my RSS feed, they probably know what they might be in for. With me, it’s:

Susie Q my son loves Fruity Pebbles!

Francie F thinks the Phillies are gonna win it again!

David doesn’t much care if he stops breathing in his sleep tonight.

I’m exaggerating. Kidding. You get my point, right? (And Susie and Francie are not based on anyone I know).

So I feel awkward, because I am not wanting to make people feel awkward. This applies to both expressions of inner turmoil and vehement political and cultural opinions. I really don’t want to make people uncomfortable. But I don’t know if my true self has much to say that is comfortable to hear. So it’s all or nothing. I either lay it all out there, or I fade out of the picture.

Some random thoughts I’ve wanted to share over the past few weeks…

The tea-baggers were mostly racist idiots.

I will not eat at Chick-Fil-A again because they supported the tea-baggers.

HBO is worth $15 a month.

I’ve been wanting a living room ottoman for six months. I got it today. 

Mostly due to the help of HG, there are actually four rooms in my house that are presentable (a new record) despite my having mostly sat on my ass for the last few months.  The other rooms still look like they belong in a Chernobyl video.

My writings have years ago that no one has read are much better than anything I’ve ever put on this blog

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5 thoughts on “On the couch

  1. One of the reasons I liked having referrer logs was it gave me a sense of knowing that someone was reading the crap I was churning out. The down side now is seeing my hits drop to a third of what they were when I was writing more, or better, or something.

  2. I think that your wish to find “someone on the planet who shares some obscure belief or observation with me.” is an awesome reason to have a blog.

    On reading this, my marketing reflex asked, “I wonder if there’s an SEO approach that would improve Toastie’s odds of having the right people read here.”

    Then I thought, “Or would it be even easier to pick keywords then search the web for other kindred spirits?”

    Toastie — I’m guessing you’re already doing that, but I thought I’d mention anyway.

    Once a marketer, always a marketer…

  3. I share your joy in the long-awaited ottoman. I wanted one for years, and was so thrilled to finally have one. Here’s to comfy feet.

    When do you expect to be inpatient?

  4. toastie,

    me too

    please don’t stop blogging/tweeting. even though we haven’t met, i love keeping up with you. the good, the bad, everything in-between. i am rooting for you.

    -crystal

  5. @Joe – For me it’s disconcerting when I find that most of my hits are due to an image I’ve embedded in post. I get a lot of hits from a dog-fighting image on a Michael Vick post; I know no one looking for that is reading my stuff.

    @Phil – Thanks. For better or worse, I’ve not been especially interested in SEO techniques. I suppose simply writing more puts more out there to potentially result in hits. I do occasionally title a post specifically to draw lots of hits, like “DISH Network Sucks” but that was more for amusement and vengeance, not so much to bond with other DISH-complainers.

    I’ve actually tried the searching the blogosphere for keywords, but I don’t really have the confidence to write people out-of-the-blue. I’d rather be passive and be the one who gets found.

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