Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ego dancing

Mushrooms have big heads too. Posted by Hello

Ugh. I hate what I just *wrote. Negative, boring and so un-clever. I made the terrible mistake of reading Em's blog which linked to Yarn Harlot's post from yesterday, and chuckled and grinned at the self effacing nature of her writing and her bitter sarcasm. I want to do that.

I woke up yesterday at 5:30, a beautiful day dawning. Serge, who has had a cold, was coughing incessantly while somehow remaining asleep. A dry unproductive cough, raspy. I went to the computer to face the challenge of writing. Because I'm psychot, er, somewhat rigid about getting things done, I usually try to attack that first thing in the morning. Then it's done and I can do other things without thinking, "What am I going to write about on the blog?" over and over and over and over again. (As I sit here, I can't even remember what I wrote about yesterday, it must have been some kind of boring, that or the shame blocker has kicked in and erased all memory cells of writing it.) I do know that I received one comment, and that my current blog psychosis finds this low number unacceptable. What I do remember about yesterday morning is going and figuring out how to install the site meter that Em mentioned. Another tool to stroke my enormous and fragile ego. I read about how to get people hooked on your site, mostly by visiting theirs and leaving comments and of course actually writing compelling posts. I thought, "Ooh, I'll leave a few comments, they'll check me out, and then I can use the site meter to see how many visits I got, how many minions I've amassed, aahh." How pathetic.

So after writing the post that I can't recall, I read lots of blogs and commented on the few that I deemed worthy of my words. (Pop, won't you, my giant hot air balloon head.) I know Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein at 19, but if I read one more teenage love angst tale, I'm gonna vomit. Meanwhile, the other task of the day loomed, planning next week's lessons and writing student evaluations for the end of the course. At about 11:00am, I wrenched myself from the computer (a device which has replaced TV since I started blogging) and worked on the kitchen table with all my books and papers spread out everywhere. Serge finally got out of bed, came in and compl, I mean remarked on the mess. (I'm not going to get into it here. Just do this. Imagine Serge. Now imagine surly Serge, sick and ill-slept, in pre-coffee temperament.)

After having finished at about 1pm, I went back to the computer. I checked my blog and my friends' again to see if any new activity had taken place. I checked my site meter and realized that it had only counted me so far as visiting. Two whole hours, and no hits. Crestfallen, I went to the next thing on my list. The next thing didn't appeal to me, and I played Literati (Scrabble) on Yahoo instead. Somehow, four hours passed. The game guy had reared his ugly head, after having been squashed down for weeks with my hectic schedule, and um, blogging.

After dinner (honey bbq chicken) Serge and I sat outside drinking wine, talking about the new deck, and the question of God again. It's another blog. The temperature was perfect and we stayed out til dark at 10pm. I came inside and brushed my teeth, and stopped by the computer one last time to check, but I sensed a deep revulsion for myself, and stopped just short of the mouse. "No, I will wait until morning," and that's how I got a grip on myself and went to bed.

*This is in no way an invitation to read the following, it is simply to support my first sentence above. The alarmingly dull and ill written prose speaks for itself.

Yesterday was a big holiday here. So big, that it is the one holiday that must be paid to every person who works in Quebec. Every worker in the province receives an extra day's pay regardless of how much or how many hours worked in a week. The holiday is St Jean Baptiste. It's a funny name for a holiday. Saint John the Baptist. Especially when you consider the ubiquitous activity of plastering oneself on this day. Oh yeah, and honking and screaming out your car window, and hoisting the Quebec flag with you wherever you go. And the drinking, I mentioned that right? There were hundreds of concerts all across the city, in every neighborhood, where people were invited down to drink and dance and ramp up nationalist feelings. It's as if the spirit of Senor Frogs has invaded the city. (And you know how I feel about that.)

What's more is that no one really knows why Saint John the Baptist became the patron saint of Quebec. Some guy in 1834 started a society of french canadians and called it St Jean Baptiste association. (Church influence was wielded expertly in the era, clearly.) Eventually, this day became a day of celebration with Mass as the main attraction. Fast forward to today, and you find a Quebec with the lowest percentage of people in Canada who believe in God. Mass is still given at the churches, but you'll find most people outside with a beer in one hand and a flag in another. It's like an ugly mix of mardi gras, and post 9/11 American nationalist fervor.


Rebekah said...

I too figured out how to put the site meter on my page; I too was depressed to see the only hits yesterday seemed to be mine.

Just as you and Em have said, this blogging thing has got me hooked. It's the first thing I check when I log on, and I check it several times during the day.

The Summer Solstice parade is today, and I'm staying far away. Bunch of American Spirit smoking, Patchouli wearing, crunchy granola types, too young to remember the 60's but acting like they wish it still was...

No thank you. I'm going shopping instead.

pushthebutton,max! said...

Shit. Now you're depressing me. Not only am I several days behind, but the stuff you found the most egocentric and boring sounds a lot like how I've been writing.

Regarding the counter thing - I was the same way about checking my eBay sales and the number of hits I was getting. My obsessive nature leaps out in these stupid ways. Promise me you won't become a marketing whore and let the numbers determine what you're writing about or how you write. I see enough of that corporate mentality everyday, and most of those people have petrified carbon balls where their souls used to reside.

tornwordo said...

Don't worry about your writing. I think that's the problem. Overanalysis from a non-objective position.

It's impossible to be objective about one's own writing, which is why there is such a thing as an editor.

When I was a corporate guy, we had one underlying goal, make money, and always, make more than last time. Since it was my job, I bought into it for a while, but I'll never go back.

We are the landlords who aren't raising rents on our tenants even though they pay hundreds less than market value. Some people say we are stupid. I see the single mom on the third floor and the single dad on the second floor as human beings with real struggles, they need the money more than we do.