Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why I love blogging

So it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted anything (aside from comments) and that’s because I’ve been really busy working. (I know, I know—you’re thinking excuses, excuses, but it’s true.) However, whenever I haven’t been thinking about work, I swear to you, my blog readers, I’ve thinking about the fact that it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted anything on this here blog. True story.

Now, when I started this blog, Colleen warned me about “becoming one of us,” or something along those lines. I am obsessive compulsive about keeping old emails and I just looked for the email in question for the exact quote—unfortunately, I cannot find it, so Colleen, my apologies if I’m quoting you wrong. But I remember that the implication was that there is a whole subspecies of people who go about their daily lives doing the things they do but underneath these facades—these farces—what they’re really thinking about, what they’re really consumed by—all the time—is the fact that they haven’t posted anything on their blog in the last 24 hours and they’d damn well better post something soon.

Seriously, my blog is threatening to take over my life. It’s an obsession.

I’ll be talking to someone and I’ll hear myself say, “well in my blog this—,” and then a few minutes later I’ll be like, “well in my blog that—,” and then that little voice in my head will be like, “Erik, shut up.” And then another little voice in my head will be like, “remember that for the blog.”

Anyway, I haven’t really done anything New for the last couple of days, which sounds like I’ve already failed at my goal for this year, the whole “I’m going to do one new thing every day for 365 days” thing, but about a week ago I silently amended the goal ever so slightly (don’t hate me) and now I think it’s time to fess up:

Instead of being so rigid and doing one new thing every single day, I am going to allow for an occasional lapse. I am also going to allow for an occasional day where I do more than one New Thing. Therefore, my goal has been amended to: “I will do 365 new things this year,” as in, by the time we’re all singing Auld Lang Syne to rock in 2007, I will have done a whole year’s worth of new things and the specific days I do ‘em on is of no import.

It’s essentially the same thing, I’m just not gonna get all Gestapo on my ass if I miss a day. I’m going to allow for flexibility. And I’m not going to feel guilty about it. I was, however, starting to feel guilty about trying to sneak this amendment by you, my blog readers, so here I am ‘splaining the whole thing.

Speaking of people ‘splaining things, doesn’t it make you sad that Desi Arnaz wasn’t exactly like Ricky Ricardo in real life? Not that Ricky was perfect, but at least he wasn’t ever a complete and total asshole to Lucy on the show, as opposed to in real life. (I suppose this is debatable, but you could always tell that Ricky loved Lucy.)

I love television. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m never going to be one of those people who says things like “I don’t own a television.” (Unless I’m homeless—that’s the only situation I can see myself in where I don’t have a TV.) Anyway, the point is, I love television, and I love my television characters, and I feel like some of them are part of my family. Lucy Ricardo is totally, like, a cousin of mine. Like, she’s that real to me. And it makes me sad that in real real life, Lucy and Desi weren’t as perfect as Lucy and Ricky.

I remember when Lucy died, there was a weekend-long marathon of I Love Lucy episodes on Fox 11 and I watched the entire marathon. I think it started on Friday while I was at school, but I had my mom tape all of what I missed so I could watch it later. I also used to have this “Definitive Guide to I Love Lucy” and when I bought the book I realized that there were a few episodes I hadn’t seen, so I highlighted all of the episodes that I had seen, and then I kept the book and the highlighter by the TV so that I could update the book with my highlighter whenever I saw those episodes. I wanted to see every single episode because, like I said, Lucy was like my cousin and I wanted to know everything about her.

Because family is important to me. Even more important than my TV family, obviously, is my real family. Which leads me to my dad. I want to spend a moment giving him props.

A couple of days ago I got a letter in the mail. A real, live, handwritten, snail-mail letter. From my dad. He had read been reading my blog and had taken note when I mentioned that I think real, live, handwritten, snail-mail letters are infinitely more satisfying than emails—

Now don’t get me wrong, I love emails. But don’t you love that feeling of going to your mailbox and discovering that you have something in there besides bills and junk mail? Don’t you love it when you open the box and there’s a letter from someone you love? When you realize that someone has taken the time to put something in an envelope and stamp it and take it to the post office and drop it in the slot, and…and…and…they’ve done all of this just for you? Real, live, handwritten, snail-mail letters…they just don’t happen as much as they used to, and so when I get one nowadays it’s that much more exciting.

So my dad sent me this real, live snail mail letter to tell me how much he liked my blog, and to say a few nice things about me, his son, too.

Now, one thing that I’ve noticed since joining this here blogosphere is how happy people get when they receive comments in their blog. (When I say “people,” I mean me.) It’s instant validation. These people think, “Yes, I have written something that someone deems worthy of commenting on.” And it’s a nice feeling. (I know this sounds like I’m fishing for comments, but I promise you, I’m not--I’m getting to a point.)

But receiving this letter from my dad in the mail, it was like the best comment ever because he took this little bit of information, this new bit of knowledge he had learned about his son, and he put it into action. He went to the store and bought some stationary and wrote me this incredibly thoughtful comment and then put it in the mail, knowing full well that I would not receive this comment until at least the next day, but that it would be worth the wait.

And it was. We had dinner last night, and don’t take this the wrong way, but it was like I was on a first date with my dad. Like, throughout the years, my dad and I haven’t always been as close as I think both of us would like to be, and now we’ve both reached this point in our lives where we’re both at the same place and we’re both trying with the same amount of effort to forge a relationship, and at this dinner last night, I felt like we were getting to know each other in a new way. I don’t know how else to describe it. But it was very good.

And I think that this blog opened some of those doors of communication, so, even though this blog might be considered an obsession, I think it’s at least a healthy obsession (unlike, say, my obsession with The Real World/Road Rules: Gauntlet II). This is an obsession I can be okay with.

So, Colleen, I did hear your warning, but I’m afraid I didn’t heed it. I think I have become one of you, and I think I like it.


Joe Chandler said...

is that the first letter you've received from your Dad? If so, does that count as a new thing? Just trying to help you out.

Erik said...

Joe, it isn't the first letter I've ever received from my dad, so it can't count, but don't worry. You WILL help me out with this project...when you let me throw a drink in your face and dump a plate of pasta in your lap. We need to do both of those things soon.

Joe Chandler said...

Name the time and place.

the shorter story... said...

you're awesome...i love this! thanks for giving me something to look forward to while i'm at work and want to take a break :) love u!

oh, have you checked out that NY taxi driver's blog that's all over the news right now...fricken hilarious! newyorkhack.blogspot.com

the shorter story... said...

oh, by the way, this is jess (i changed my username)...just so you're not thinking some random stranger loves you. although...that might excite you...in which case, ignore this comment :)

Erik said...

Jess, it kinda WAS exciting to think that some stranger loved me. (Don't get me wrong, I love that you love me too.) (And ditto, by the way.)

I will check out the new york taxi driver's blog and get back to you about it (I haven't read it).

jenny said...

One of us! One of us!

(okay - so what movie is that from? It couldn't be more appropriate for this post.)

Erik said...

That's totally from "Freaks."

Erik said...

(and thank you for accepting me as One of You!)

Ralph Colby said...

Although it was a lot quicker than snail mail... I went to three stores trying to find stationary... I appreciate the words in your blog. And the past year we seem to be forging a new path of “relationship.” As we both grow wiser.
Bloggingly yours, DAD (Is Bloggingly a new “made-up” word? How buttfluttery of me :)

soleclaw said...

if you love receiving things in the mail i suggest www.postcardx.net. you can add your name to the postcarders and send postcards to others and also receive. I did this a couple years ago and have about 30 post cards. i loved it and think i might get back into it maybe.

Gina said...

Is that really your Dad's comment above? If so, I love your Dad. He's awesome and I am standing on my chair right now doing the slow clap for you both xo

Erik said...

Dad, you coined a new word! Bloggingly. I like it. I'm gonna use it.
Bloggingly yours,

Erik said...

yes, Gina, that comment is from my dad.

Erik said...

and Soleclaw, that sounds fun! I am going to do it. You should do it too. We should become postcard penpals.

communicatrix said...

Sadly, since that's the one area I've succeeded in releasing my obsession over, I can't help you on that quote.

Still, it's a pleasure to have you in the cult—er...cohort.

Anonymous said...

Funny how this medium that involves sitting at a computer alone ends up bringing people together. Wonderful, too.
Love you,