Golden Equine Showers and Other Dubious Events I Can Anticipate In My Future: An Update On Where I’m Going To Live

Remember when I swore that I would update everyone on where Tex and I were going to live in my post Man Eating Fish, Bakery Theft and KKK Heaven: Let’s Introduce the Contestants? And then I didn’t? Well I have an excuse. It’s because I was showering off all the horse pee that was dumped on me. Figuratively thankfully.

Not so secretly, I had thought that Tex and I were staying. That our family would get to enjoy our happy home with its sun room and live in peaceful northern harmony for a couple more years. Or at the very worst, that we would be placed in the town that is a smaller version of where we live. After all, Tex is well liked at work, I mean who can live without a man who uses the word “eutectic” in a sentence? I know I can’t. Anyways with that confounding term and all Tex’s other shining qualities, I thought we were good, no better, I thought we were golden.

And we were. Covered in golden horsey showers that is, as the universe, or karma, or the gods, or whoever it was smited the both of us for being so cocky as to believe that we were going to stay.

When Tex told me where we were going to be placed, I quickly mass texted my family and close friends the name of the town and the words “I can’t even speak.” Then I dropped my phone and went to go curl up, lick my wounded ego and contemplate where I was going to live.

Frantically Sula tried texting, then calling all the while scrolling through my words to determine what place it was on my posted list we had been placed at. “Charm City?” her voicemail asked. “I don’t think it’s Charm City.” Then, when she Googled the place name, she realized the terrible truth. That we weren’t staying where we live, that we hadn’t been placed at my second choice, or my third choice or even my fourth choice with that fabulous indoor playground.

No dear readers, I’m heading to my seventh choice. The town that considers indoor plumbing and eeelecktricity, as they call it, to be “new fangled technology”. It was karma’s way of dumping a trough full of horse urine onto my head for being so smug as to only compose one version of my “updated” post revealing where my family was going to live. I was like those actors at the award ceremony who are nominated and still stand up when their name isn’t called on the stage.

I was going to invite you all to a bonfire at my house. We were going to light up all the boxes that I had saved just in case. Instead I started frantically packing said boxes, while my cowboy brother in-law who was visiting for the day said “Well $*@^, that sucks, I’m sorry.” while wrapping my equally shocked husband and I enormous, warm, bear hugs that only a rancher can give. My brother in-law then encouraged me to “scream, cry or break things- do whatever I need to do” while he watched Mini-Tex. I didn’t need to scream or break things, but I did cry while I started to box up our life.

So now that the moving van has been booked and housing with indoor plumbing has been secured (“Golly gee- you’re going to love this marvel!”), I can write an addendum to my Introduce the Contestants post.

Goodbye cruel world. I had wanted to invite you to a bonfire, but instead I’m moving six hours away, which doesn’t sound, far but it might as well be the moon in terms of distance to everything which resembles civilization. I hope everyone enjoys their grande coffees, automatic washers and dental floss. I will miss all of those things and you, my Unwashed public.

It is with a sad heart that I will pack up our covered wagon (we had to trade in our car to move to this place which is in the middle of nowhere) and bid you all adieu. The Great Unwashed will continue for ten or so posts because I have them banked but there’s no telling how long it will take me to teach a carrier pigeon to type my thoughts so wish me luck.

Soon to be very remotely yours,

The Great Unwashed

If A Tree Falls In The Forest, Are You Still A Writer?

“No one reads your blog” my sister said sharply. Her words cut me, mostly because they were true. I had been reflecting on the sad state of my blog’s readership well before my sister stated the truth so bluntly. The situation made me think of the philosophical question – “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Only as the question pertained to me – If a person publishes their work and no one reads it, are they still a writer?

Four years ago, when I started this blog, I had grand plans; I was going to be a celebrated writer. Like Kurt Vonnegut but less beardy. Like Jenny Lawson, only with fewer taxidermy bobcats. All I had to do was practice my craft, and wait for the world to recognize the brilliance of my prose. So I wrote and waited. Then I wrote some more and waited but still neither WordPress, nor the Huffington Post chose my work. And Oprah wasn’t declaring my blog to be one of her favourite things either. But through all those posts and those couple of years, I held to my dream of being a professional writer, of making it big, of being paid to tell stories and do what I love.

In that time, a funny thing happened; two of my friends became professional writers. One chased down and caught her dream of being paid to travel and write. The other, an accomplished scientist who happened to have an exquisite way with words, landed a position creating a magazine. From the sidelines I watched them, their success but also how their relationship with words changed – both ceased to write for fun. That seemed like a small tragedy to me because recording my stories and antics brings me endless joy, I would mourn losing that.

As my interest in the publishing and literary world grew, so did my knowledge of it. I learned how book talks are given, and the rigors of traveling to promote one’s work. Jenny Lawson, creator of “The Bloggess”, frequently recounts the horror and exhaustion which comes with being forced to overcome one’s introverted qualities and tout her work to the world. I also read how John Grogan’s meteoric rise to fame from a weekly column writer to celebrated author of “Marley and Me” affected his family; how deeply his children missed him while he traveled around enjoying the fruits of his success.

Through that time, my blog continued along, I continued to do ridiculous things like create absurd letters to my upstairs neighbours about what I’d do to them if I was a mermaid or a robot and then I would write about it. After watching my friends give up writing for leisure and learning more about the associated work of being a paid writer, I came to a surprising and slightly sad conclusion – I didn’t want to do this as a job.

This decision coincided with the worst month for my page views that I had ever had. Quite literally no one was reading my work. I had mistakenly thought that after nearly four years, I would have built a dedicated readership. Instead, even the people who had once routinely read and celebrated my blog, no longer would mention posts to me. My three hundredth post was met with little fanfare; to me this was an incredible achievement but the world didn’t bat an eye. It was then that I asked myself who I was writing for. The answer was and always will be- me. Suddenly my page stats and number of readers weren’t as important.

In deciding to let go of both my dreams of being a professional writer, and also my need for an audience, it makes me question myself. Along the lines of “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”, if a person publishes their work and no one reads it, are they still a writer?

A writer is someone who enjoys stories and communicating, someone who feels compelled to record their thoughts. A writer is anyone who takes the time to sit down and assemble words into sentences. At three thirty in the morning, I pulled myself out of bed to type this post because the words refused to remain in my head any longer. I can’t answer the question about the tree, but I do know regardless of who, or how many people read this, I am still a writer.

Dear Interwebs, Be My Valentine

It’s Love Month here at the Great Unwashed. Well if we’re getting technical, it’s Love Half Month; every single day leading up to the fourteenth, I am releasing a love letter written to an important person in my life. Today’s Love Letter is brought to you by The Adventures of Beka, who nominated me for a Liebster Award, thus reminding me that I really and truly love my readers, so today my Unwashed public, it’s all about you.

Dear Readers,

I love you; I loved you from the beginning when you were little bars representing five people on the graph of my daily stats. I loved you from your first “Like”, your first follow and I will always remember your comments. They bring warmth to my heart along with an unparalleled satisfaction that my work is being enjoyed (and not just by my Mom).

Though I write for myself but also because my Mom doesn’t want to hear about when I accidentally show up at church partially naked anymore, on occasion, I write for you. And I always am happy when you obviously enjoy my work too. This here website is a community and together we’re making it great. So I just wanted to say thank you and express my continued gratitude and admiration that you take the time to read my words.

Though I won’t nominate any bloggers because I’ve given out the Liebster Award before, I will answer some questions.

  1. What food means “home” to you?

I don’t have a food that means home, but weirdly enough watching these women is my comfort food.

Jude me, please judge me. I ave watched this series no less than eight times. (Photo Credit sodahead.com)

Judge me, please judge me. I have watched this series no less than eight times. And that’s a conservative estimate. (Photo Credit sodahead.com)

  1. What is your life motto?

“Eat all the cheese”. I stand for cheese, consistently eat all of it, and rarely share with others. If that isn’t a motto to live by, I don’t know what is. No one ever says “Eat all the turnip” mostly because the replacement motto would soon be, “Run from all the flatulence”.

  1. If you discovered a magic ring that made you invisible, what would you do with it?

I would take the small person “I can fit in that” game to new levels and scare the living daylights out of every person I live and work with.

Now imagine she’s invisible- my whole life would be spent crouching in tiny spaces waiting for my next victim (Photo Credit: usmagazine.com)

Now imagine she’s invisible- my whole life would be spent crouching in tiny spaces waiting for my next victim (Photo Credit: usmagazine.com)

  1. Cold or hot weather?

Why are we talking about the weather? I thought these were intended to be hard hitting questions, aren’t you supposed to ask whether my mother loved the dog better than me? (She didn’t, you’re thinking of the cats, she loved the cats more than me. In her defense the cats were far more agreeable and would never use invisibility and their small stature to kill others with fright.)

  1. Why do you blog?

To write, to share my stories, to have an outlet for my creativity, to amuse myself, and others.

  1. What keeps your blog fresh?

A twice weekly scrubbing. I jest, that would be awful. No, I sprinkle lemon zest on my computer just before clicking “Publish”.

Happy Valentine’s Day Readers,

I can’t wait to celebrate with you next year too.

The Great Unwashed

Why Keep Writing?

Welcome to the sophomore slump. A year ago, or maybe two, three or four, you started your blog because you loved writing and wanted to share your work with the world. You were proud of what you did and had grand aspirations, however a couple of years in, it is becoming obvious that you’re not rapidly transforming into the next J.D. Salinger. With tens or even hundreds of posts under your belt and maybe even having dabbled a bit with National Novel Writing Month, you can recognize quality but are struggling to produce it. Life is encroaching upon your precious free time and it seems easy to cast your once beloved hobby aside in favor of cleaning the house, finishing that project at work or just hanging out with friends. The question which pops up is “Why keep writing?”

  1. This is what you love

You started this blog because writing was your passion. Sure you aren’t going to be the next Hemingway, but in the end, the person you should write for is you. Keep writing.

 

  1. Your words are yours and you are the only person who can share them

Everyone’s perspective is unique, no one else is able to tell your story, whatever your method of storytelling, it’s valid and yours alone to share. Keep writing.

 

  1. This is your outlet

That feeling of creativity needs to go somewhere; pen a short story, a poem, a fictional piece, a limerick, a paragraph about the Boer War, anything as long as it lets your express who you truly are. Keep writing.

 

  1. Real work, house work and even friends can wait

Jobs are important, but so are hobbies, take a break from that project. Use that fifteen minutes set aside for housework to write- you can sleep in dirty sheets for one more night. Remember the dirt hypothesis; you’re actually protecting yourself against developing allergies. No doubt your friends are among your readers so they’ll understand if you need a half an hour to create. Sometimes life can wait however that perfect paragraph will only dance on the edge of your consciousness for so long. Keep writing.

 

 

  1. Practice makes perfect, or at the very least makes better

No piece is ever perfect, but through persistence and hard work, taking the perfectly formed words from your head and putting them on the page or screen becomes easier.

 

 

  1. Even if you don’t enjoy what you wrote, someone will

My most surprising discovery over the past year and a half has been that the posts which I’ve hated, that felt forced or boring, received as many “likes” as those that I’ve loved. Even if you don’t like it the words you’ve penned, someone else will. Share all your words with the world and be surprised by the reactions you receive. And above all else keep writing, this is your passion so it deserves your time and care.

 

This post is dedicated to my friend and reader Natalie*, who patiently waited for me to get ready yesterday morning because I chose to write rather than get dressed for our outing together.

 

 

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of understanding people who make a point of telling me they like my work.

Reeling

I’m still feeling lost. Although that’s not unexpected when you lose a part of yourself. My netbook held my work but it was also my connection to the world. The place where I could show my reality to everyone else, explain my point of view and talk about my thoughts.

Rarely in my life do I feel that I am being perceived for who I am, but through my writing, I could be myself. Like most writers, I live in my head, the same rules and laws do not apply in my mind and the expectations are different. Through blogging and typing on my little writing machine, I could build bridges between the two places; the world and my head. Even if I didn’t publish a piece, often I would share it with family members or friends, reading my work aloud when we were together.

In that quick moment, when a stranger sped away from my car with my computer in his hands, the link between myself and the world was severed. Effectively a flamethrower had been taken to the bridges I had carefully built. All of those thoughts that were so jumbled in my head but clear on the page were gone. I’m still trying to make sense of it.

*I wrote this a couple of days ago. After publishing my last post I was so touched by the outpouring of support from friends, family and readers. Between the many kind words and the passage of time, I am feeling a little better than when I penned the above words. Thank you so much to everyone who “Liked” my last post, left a comment, called or emailed to offer comfort. It was sincerely appreciated.

Loss and Lost

Normally I do my best to create paragraphs that fit together and have a bit of humour added in. They’re written a safe distance from my true self, never venturing towards the rambling, disjointed, personal words which I put in my journal. I know bloggers can be that personal but I’ve never been comfortable with it. However, occasionally events happen that leave you so confused and hurt that only disjointed, personal sentence fragments are left.

My netbook was stolen this week. On Monday an anonymous man on a bicycle swiped my little writing machine from my car. I know this because I was shown the footage form the security cameras. On that computer was my nearly edited book and every piece of writing I had produced for the last three and a half years.

I mourned. I’m still mourning, every word that I didn’t put out to the world, all of the ideas that I kept in there for myself, the book that I had almost finished editing. All of it gone.

These past couple of days I tried to put words together, to push myself through the pain of my loss and be a clown but I couldn’t. There weren’t any words, I couldn’t find a place to start.

I’m sad and disappointed and angry at myself for leaving the possession I love most because it has so much of me in it, in a place where it could be taken. I’m frustrated that I never actually followed through with backing up my words on Google Drive or a separate device.

Part of me is glad though, that I thought to release my work to the greater world, that I put so much of what I loved and was proud of, up for the internet to see. That all of those words are still there.Eventually, when the initial pain of my loss has worn off, I know I will be more grateful for this and recognize how much content was saved in my one hundred and fifty posts. But for now, all I can see are the files I had yet to edit, the words I sweated over but hadn’t published, and all of the pieces I wrote just to write them. Those are the only paragraphs in my head at this moment.

 

Showing Some Electronic Love

Dear WordPress,

I love you. Be my Valentine. I’d bring you electronic roses and candy hearts but I don’t know how to do that. I’m sure you do but in showing me how to bring your wonderful self said e-items, it would defeat the purpose of my thoughtfulness. In lieu of that I will just say thank you and profess my undying feelings of gratitude and warmth to you.

You see WordPress, my blog turned one years old on December 31st, it was terribly exciting. We didn’t have cake, real or electronic, so don’t worry you didn’t miss out. After a little over a month of blogging, last year, on this day I bought the rights to my webname. Or at least I think I did. Actually I have no idea what happened the gist of it is- twenty-six dollars was charged to my credit card and the “.wordpress” was dropped from the site when people came to visit. Although I didn’t understand the whole process, it was thrilling for me.

However at the back of my head was a niggling worry “What happens next year? Will WordPress save the domain name for me? How will I renew this?” It was all very concerning, but then this morning I received an email saying that I would keep my website and that my credit card would be charged without my having to move a muscle. It was fabulous; if I was a crier I would have shed tears of joy from relief. As it was I just danced around my kitchen like a Muppet on speed.

So thank you WordPress, you’re wonderful, I adore you. If I was in school I’d write your name and surround it with hearts on my notebooks.

As it is all I can do is draw you something in paint. I know how to use this program because my eight year old cousin showed me how.

The tutorial wasn't very long and didn't include things like body proportions.

The tutorial wasn’t very long and didn’t include things like body proportions.

The Great Unwashed

The South Americans Were Going To Have To Bunk In The Bathroom

Bad news. My Dad put the kibosh on “The Great Unwashed Anniversary” party. Sometime around when I asked him if the spare guest room could fit all my Armenian readers for the week, he shut the whole idea down. Also there’s a new rule at my parent’s house now; my Dad must be consulted before I invite the internet for a party at his home.

cakes

I called to cancel my order at the bakery. It was just as well, they were having difficulty with my instructions “Make it look Unwashed”. (Photo credit: bunchofpants)

Sorry to cancel on everyone. I know all my international readers had flights booked and were looking forward to tasting our country’s sweet, sweet maple syrup over pancakes the morning after the fete.

In place of a giant bash celebrating a year of writing, I’ve decided to put up the top five posts from the year, each day counting down to the anniversary. After that I’ll start a new Unwashed year with five days of new content.

I realize that informing everyone before I started this process, rather than midway through would have been ideal however occasionally life is not idyllic. Like this morning when I let the neighbour’s dog into my parent’s house and allowed it to create a muddy paw print trail through every room on their beige carpet.

Without further adieu, the third of five greatest Great Unwashed posts.

Mid-Day Stabbings

My fear of needles is making me pungent and gooey. I have a long standing history of trypanophobia- I even have a scar from it. When I was five, I was involved in a horrible playground accident that left both my mother and I covered in blood. While crawling across a set of monkey bars my elbows buckled and my teeth went through my lower lip. Then my face bled like I was dying in the way that facial wounds do. Unless of course you’ve cut a dead person in which case your biggest problem is your choice of hobbies rather than the amount of blood coming from the wound. I digress. So my mother rushed me to our family doctor who declared that I would need two stitches or it would scar.

At that point in my life the only way I would endure a needle was to have my mother lay across my legs and pin my arms to my sides to prevent the kindly medical professional from battling my five year old self mixed martial arts style while administering a vaccination.

“I don’t think I can hold her down for that long.” My mother replied. Hence it was decided that my mother liked our doctor too much to have her attempt to sew my face back together. So my mother and I went home. I have the scar to prove it.

Further cropped version of Image:Chuck Norris ...

It doesn’t matter how widely you smile now Chuck, you’re still getting those stitches.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother then started working out and developed biceps the size of my headso that the next time either my sister or I fell off playground equipment she could pin both me and Chuck Norris down to receive stitches. My Mom’s very committed to being a good parent. Or at least that’s what I tell people when they ask why my mother is lifting the neighbour’s sedan by herself.

Back to the malodorous, sticky present. Last week I had my yearly physical and because my doctor is colluding with the devil, I was sent to get blood work done. This is the only possible conclusion one can come to after being sent for bloodwork, it is never that one has an excellent GP who is concerned about anemia and blood iron levels.

This would have been fine had my doctor not recently moved offices. Previously when sent for blood work, I would have both time and space to prepare myself appropriately. First I would purchase an orange juice to ensure that I wouldn’t become “The Floor Unwashed”. Next I would drink the juice in the elevator while doing muscle poses in the mirror to pretend that I was brave and look for resemblances to my mother. For whatever reason no passengers ever joined me in this exercise, even though oftentimes they were also headed to the lab.

Lastly I would wait awkwardly outside the lab door for a small child to go in ahead of me. This was the most important step of all. No matter how terrified I was of needles, it was vital for me not to be out-couraged by a child. A favourite diversionary activity of mine is to make up words while being stabbed by total strangers.  While watching a three year old next to me stoically receive their MMR vaccine I would then pretend to be equally brave while a phlebotomist took vial after vial of my blood.

That was before the medical practice moved buildings. “The lab is just across the waiting room now!” my doctor cheerfully exclaimed while steering me out the door of her office and handing off lab request forms. As she waved to my back I trudged across the waiting area and into a tiny room.

“Where do I take a number?” I asked the woman there.

“No numbers or waiting, you just sit right down.” She patted the seat next to her. On the other side of the lab tech’s chair were a series of packaged, pointy instruments and vials.

“But. Um. I?” There was no time for juice, I hadn’t even gotten a cursory bicep curl in. And worst of all, there wasn’t another soul around as she closed the door to the room, let alone a small person who I ought to be a good model for.

It was terrifying. It was painful. I may have almost passed out. Twice. But the phlebotomist kept going.

And now I have a band-aid on my crook of my elbow that I can’t take off. Having watched the woman enthusiastically descend upon my arm I can’t help but think that if I remove the bandage, the phlebotomist will somehow know my arm is free for poking again and appear on my doorstep sharps in hand.

To avoid this problem of freeing up the desired fleshy real estate I have worn long sleeved shirts all week. However three days ago the band aid looked like it was close to falling off, having lost all of its glue, which was smeared around my elbow in a grey sticky mess. In order not to agitate it further I decided not to change shirts again. However after the heat of three September afternoons, I must admit I’m becoming a little ripe. It’s not my fault though- blasted trypanophobia.

I really should start eating more red meat. I don’t think I can do this again next year.

WordPress Won’t Return My Calls

On Saturday I published my hundredth blog post. It would seem that WordPress no longer loves me. Or maybe somewhere along the way I disappointed the website and WordPress doesn’t feel like cheering me on anymore. Once upon a time though, from January to March of this past year, WordPress and I were besties.

Every time I published a post on WordPress, it would send me emails “You’ve got two more followers! Hurray!” or “Can you even believe ten people looked at your work today? That’s terrific, we’re super proud of you” and I was all “Thanks WordPress, I really need the encouragement and you make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.”

But like all relationships, at some point WordPress’ interest in me started to wane. It didn’t feel like lighting up anymore when one hundred and fifty people looked at my post “Lighting Fires in Public Places”. However like many people in unrequited love I held on to hope.

Sometime in October I realized that my hundredth post would fall in this month. For awhile I debated throwing a party to celebrate my achievement. However that would involve people. And as a self confessed hermit this would not do. Instead I figured that my old friend WordPress would come through and do something special to mark the occasion for me.

While composing the hundredth post I thought of all the things WordPress might do. Maybe it would jump out from behind my computer with a cake. Perhaps it might make balloons fall from the screen. Or even best of all, put up a quote saying how proud of me the site was and that I was no longer bad at grammar.

On Saturday night, with a heart full of anticipation, I clicked the “Publish” button. Holding my breath I waited for surprises and joy to fill the screen celebrating my commitment to writing and the WordPress community. Instead my post appeared as usual on the right hand side of the screen ready for me to edit next to a perfectly ordinary message on the left saying that I had published one hundred posts.

English: Toy balloons Русский: Воздушные шарики

WordPress didn’t bother with balloons.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No parade. No band. No balloons. If I hadn’t been so shocked, I might have shed a tear. Sure I had seen that WordPress was increasingly disinterested in what I was doing and yes it had been awhile since it brought me emails of congratulations but I hadn’t realized our relationship was that bad.

Hence I’m writing to tell you, my Unwashed public, that in a little over a month my blog turns a year old. Everyone is invited to come celebrate with me as I push the “Publish” button. Except for you WordPress, you can stay on the internet all by your lonesome while all of my true friends ring in a new year of The Great Unwashed with me.

English: A bouquet of flowers.

WordPress didn’t bring me flowers either. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neil Patrick Harris Turned Me Down Again Then Asked Me To Stop Calling Him. But This Is Still An Awards Show.

In my estimation of when I would put up this post, I allotted for the time change and for travel however what I neglected to consider was after arriving at my vacation destination at one am Sunday morning, Ontario time was that when I awoke I wouldn’t be able to piece together a sentence much less be able to edit. So I apologize sincerely for the lateness of this post.

Air travel. Many lines, lots of sitting and you feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck afterwards. For whatever reason no one from the travel industry has approached me to advertise on my site.

“Travel like The Great Unwashed; Walk around the corner and then call it a day!”

Normally that is my version of traveling, however it’s been a year since I stepped foot onto an airplane and much like child birth, I forgot the pains associated with it.

Moving on.

So ages and ages ago Erica Funi of Finding The Funi nominated me for the Liebster award. I posted the first of the four steps two posts ago but the next steps in the award are choosing ten bloggers, posing ten questions to ten bloggers and then finally putting up the Liebster award logo.

Without further adieu, my questions.

The Great Unwashed’s questions to ten talented bloggers.

  1. If you had to choose between Anna Karenina, War and Peace and Steve Martin’s acclaimed novella “Shopgirl” which book would be the best weapon in a bar fight?
  2. What is the longest period you’ve ever gone without bathing? Please note, stays in Turkish prisons do not count.
  3. You’ve decided to take on three additional husbands and or wives, who are they? Both living and dead people may be included, although admittedly an attraction to the deceased is a little beyond me.
  4. What is your most unfortunate public transportation story?
  5. Go back in time, you’re attempting to sell your five year old sibling, what is your asking price?
  6. In a bid to secure the Guinness World Record for “Longest and Highest Transport of Tom Cruise” you’ve decided to piggyback this superstar across the Andes. What phrase do you repeat to yourself during the tough parts of the trek to spur yourself onwards when Tom’s pointy hip bones are digging into your spine?
  7. What do you consider to be a valid reason for a hunger strike?
  8. Name three items you hide from your spouse or significant other or even better, yourself.
  9. Where are the hiding places for these items? Wait! Don’t tell me, I’m a terrible secret keeper.
  10. How do you feel about my interviewing skills? Will they make Oprah love me?
Isn't it the most swanky pants logo you've ever seen? It doesn't even matter that it's writing's version of a participation ribbon.

Isn’t it the most swanky pants logo you’ve ever seen? It doesn’t even matter that it’s writing’s version of a participation ribbon.

The ten bloggers that I nominated are as follows;

1. The Byronic Man– Sometimes I send The Byronic Man fan mail in the middle of the night. Even though it’s completely incoherent, he makes a point of answering me.  He tells stories using a combination of the written word and stick figure drawings. His stick figures are the most expressive that I’ve seen.
2. Hold The Condiments– Hannah writes a fantastic blog but even better than that when a complete stranger (me) asked for her home address to send fan mail, she gave it out! Mind you she moved directly after that, however I’m certain that the two events are unrelated.
3. Listful Thinking– This is what Hyperbole And  A Half would look like is Ally Brosh made lists rather than Microsoft Paint inspired cartoons. Sometimes I pretend that I’m Stephanie just so that I can claim to be funny, interesting and photogenic.
4. The Good Greatsby– Paul Johnson of The Good Greatsby is my ideal imaginary third husband. He’s suave, debonair, extremely good looking and is excellent at turning a joke. He’ll get along splendidly with my imaginary second wife Martha Stewart. He’s also a blogger for the Huffington Post.

5. Carrie Blueberry– For a period of time Ms. Blueberry represented 66% of my Twitter following. She was gunning to usurp my father of The Great Unwashed’s Superfan title. On occasion she takes self portraits which ooze emotion. I’ve had to wipe joy from my keyboard after gazing at her online photos before. That sounds vaguely dity but it shouldn’t I’ve also dabbed despair from my screen after looking at her work as well. She has a large range of expression.

6. Ways Of Wanderers– I knew Jess before she was a wanderer. No that isn’t true, I knew Jess before she was an international wanderer. There’s a quiet pensiveness to her writing which is impossible to replicate. She’s quite popular and writes about her travels across the world with her boyfriend Brent*.

Side note -Brent is a very nice guy who gives excellent hugs which are longer than the acceptable average embrace length of 7.6 seconds, even if one accounts for a standard error of 1.2 seconds. I figured the world needed to know that. If you see Brent on the street and ask for a hug, you’ll get a good one. Although one probably shouldn’t follow my advice seeing as I’ve now said that i ask for stranger’s addresses and then advise you to hug them.

7. Rant And Roll– Vanessa is the daughter that my Mom meant to have. She runs an hour and thirty minute half marathon without training. This blogger also possesses terrific fashion sense that she displays by wearing really loud pants. Not loud as in pants that shout at you, although I’m sure Vanessa would be a fan of those too, but more in terms of prints.

8. Anna Gay Anna is also a photographer friend of mine. I say friend but really it’s a one sided relationship where I tell her she’s talented and issue complaints about how there are too many pictures of cats in hats on the internet and a dearth of her work.

9. Drinking Tips For Teens– This blog is just as hilarious as it’s title. Ross specializes in satire. Ross is also Canadian which makes him twenty funnier to me. I especially recommend reading him if you are from Quebec.

10. Olivethepeople– This blog is fantastic, Olive wrote a piece that reminded me of Shane Koyczan’s work. Also I like her site because it makes me think of the Olive Garden, even though to my knowledge Olive does not serve mediocre Italian food. She also used to work for Oprah, and as we all know Oprah is synonymous with greatness and I want her to love me. Adoring Olive’s blog is clearly the first step in the Oprah-loving-me process.