Friday, September 16, 2005

It's like a toilet for the shit in my head

I’ve been blogging for a whole year now. To celebrate, I thought I’d compile a list of frequently asked questions about this blog. But then I realized the only question I ever get is "What’s a blog?"

So I’m just going to look back at the past year instead, starting with why I decided to create a blog in the first place.

It's not an exciting story. I had been enjoying reading other people’s blogs for a while and began to think, "Hey, I could do this."

Plus, I’ve always liked writing. A blog of my own seemed like a good idea.

This leap from private writing to public blogging is where a lot of people get stuck: "Okay, you like writing but why put it up on the Internet?"

For me, there are lots of reasons. Posting stuff on the Internet helps make writing a habit. If I get lazy or busy and don’t write something for a week, people get on my ass about it. It’s good motivation.

It can be theraputic. This blog is like a toilet for the shit in my head.

Besides, I’ve been doing it for years. I didn’t have any friends when I first moved to Vancouver five years ago. I spent my Friday nights holed up in an Internet cafĂ© writing weekly emails that I called "The Hollywood North Report" to people back east.

Then I joined a gay swim team, was elected social coordinator, made lots of friends and the dispatches back to Ontario and New Brunswick eventually fizzled out.

This blog is a sort of resurrection of the original Hollywood North Report.

At first, the only people who read my blog were my friends and family. Then, complete strangers started reading it and leaving comments. A few of them mailed me chocolate and Tim Hortons gift certificates. Some of them asked for large pictures of my butt.

I even met some of these former strangers face-to-face. Kathryn stumbled across my blog while googling George Stroumboulopoulos. Then I started reading her blog. We became friends on-line and now hang out in the real world too.

The last time I was in Toronto, I met Bill and Kelly, who have two of the finest blogs on the Internet. I doubt I would have ever crossed paths with these guys if it weren’t for the blogosphere.

It hasn't been a completely positive experience, though. I almost shut the whole thing down when I was stalked by a crazy blog stalker.

This person left all kinds of nasty, hateful, abusive and sexually explicit comments on all of my posts. Every time I deleted one of their comments, another one would pop up.

I eventually switched to a different commenting system, which let me weed out the wacko.

Other than that, it’s been awesome and I plan on blogging until I run out of things to say. And just for fun, here are my favourite posts from the past year:

1. Four hours with George Stroumboulopoulos: I meet George and make a fool of myself on national television.

2. Does this mean I have to start censoring myself: I make a glib comment about liking Tim Hortons gift certificates and dark chocolate and suddenly people are mailing me Tim Hortons gift certificates and dark chocolate.

3. The end of an era: The sad yet wonderful experience that was my grandfather’s funeral.

4. A date with Doogie Howser, MD: You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. Who knew a trip to the podiatrist’s office could be so dramatic?

5. The axis of stupidity: The Cardinal, Stephen Harper and Sponge Bob: Right-wing politicians and religious fanatics. A running theme.

6. Vancouver men: I am always complaining about how lame the guys in Vancouver are. This pretty much explains why.

7. Tired of the "boring urban white girl" look: The day I stopped straightening my hair.

8. And I thought you read it for the articles: I have the third biggest butt on the Internet.

9. All I got for my five-year anniversary were these lousy stamps on my sandwich card: The Vancouver Sun quoted part of this post in an article about blogging about work. My boss saw the story and called me into his office. Luckily, he thought it was funny.

10. My first post: This wasn’t even a post at all but an email I sent out to some friends and family after I finished the Ironman last year. For fun, I threw it up on the Internet. It kick-started this whole thing so I feel obligated to mention it.

Thanks for stopping by :)

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