Blogging Like Rihanna’s “Umbrella” Is the Fresh New Tune

Back in the mid-aughts, when blogging was fresh and new, it seemed like everyone had a blog. Those of us writing recipes, rants, and random raves could toss out a post–and within 24 hours, there might be 40 comments. The blogosphere was jumping.

During the heyday of personal blogs, it was common practice for bloggers to pass out awards to each other and to tag fellow bloggers with memes and challenges. For me, whenever these things happened, I smiled at the compliment of it and then generally ignored the challenge. Every now and then, in search of material or a friend, I would respond to the meme and do a post where I typed out the endings to fifteen sentence starters. Generally, I adopted a long-suffering attitude as I completed each meme.

I’ve never been much of a joiner.

Then, you know. Time passed. Many folks’ enthusiasm for blogging waned. One by one, the formerly brightly lit blog spaces went dark. I would visit favorite blogs, hoping to catch up and leave a comment…only to be greeted with a post from three months earlier. If I visit those blogs now, that same final post still hangs there, sad and alone, now four years old, wishing for a tricycle.

On the other hand, even as parts of Bloglandia have been shuttered, other, new blogs have lit up. I do love the dynamism of this new kind of writing space; participants come and go–and sometimes come back again–depending on their needs, life circumstances, and reasons for blogging. Thus, even though most of the bloggers I connected with eight years ago have dropped out of sight, fresh friends have come along and reshaped the blogging experience by adding their voices to the mix.

One such friend is Alexandra from Good Day Regular People. This blogging phenom has taught me much in recent months about new possibilities for bloggers and our stories. She also decided, a few weeks back, to toss out an old-school style meme challenge to a few of us. The task is easy: write a post that explains “Five Random Things About Me.”

After letting the challenge sit for, um, a month, as was my way back in The Old Days, I am now ready to address it. Never let it be said I failed at Random.

1. I have a queer passion for books about arctic exploration. If there’s an image of a half-broken ship frozen in jags of ice featured on the cover, I will grab that book and stay up until 3 a.m., riveted by those poor sailors’ dire circumstances. Listen, it’s only a matter of time before the hard tack runs out, and then the crazed boatswain is going to roast the cabin boy for January’s rations. That’s just good readin’.

I guess this item on my list is actually aimed at letting you all know that if we all ever go on an arctic adventure together, and then our ship gets frozen in the ice for two years, and I die of the scurvy, I would like you to start with my tender ear lobes when you eat me. They’ll be like hors d’oeuvres, and, as your humanity falls away from you with each increasingly dark day, your sanity will need the faint memory of civilization that comes from a tasty hors d’oeuvre. So eat me, chums, but start with the best bits.

Caveat: if I died because you found some vials of arsenic in the ship doctor’s quarters and slowly poisoned me, then you not only may NOT have my ear lobes, you may NOT benefit from my tasty belly fat, either. Step away from the belly, You Soulless Murderer.

2. I also have a queer passion for drum lines. Not only does my jaw drop in the face of such coordination and synchronization, the inside of my brain often sounds like this:

If I ever was lucky enough to attend a drum line competition, I would buy the t-shirt.

Even if it’s, like, $20.

3. So long as we’re entertaining ideas of “random” and “ear lobes,” this is as good a place as any to announce that when I put my head down on my pillow at night, I take a quick second to be sure my downward-facing ear lobe is lying flat. There will be no furling on my watch.

4. Because the hours during weekends sometimes are sludge-like in their passage for our 11-year-old (“What should I do?”), we tend to make a lot of crafts. Projects. Experiments. Recently, he wanted to melt some beeswax so he could dip in his hands and make casts of them. As one does.

Then he wanted to dip other stuff. He nixed my suggestions of “your toothbrush” and “your butt.” He even vetoed my legitimate idea of making mini-acorns out of balls of wax and then topping them with real acorn caps. The kid is not an easy sell.

However, he was willing to help me gather leaves from the yard and give them a good dipping. Turns out beeswaxed leaves make a lovely fall centerpiece last lasts for weeks. We’ve got some serious Life By Pinterest going on over here.

5. I like to go to DSW–a huge shoe warehouse kind of store–and make my 14-year-old try on insane stilettos and boots that she would never wear in real life. The girl knows fun when she hears her mom request it; she is game. Thus, if you ever see a serious-looking teenager in a hoodie and sweatpants tottering around in six-inch leopard-print heels, come say hi. That’s just me, helping my careful, cautious, organized kid loosen up.

6. My last random fact is that I hate following rules and chafe when someone tells me what to do, so I’m not going to do a list of Five Random Things. I’m doing a list of Six Random Things. ‘Cause I want to.

So here: even though many people like to roll their eyes at comedian/commentator Russell Brand, saying he’s obnoxious, crazy, off-base, I quite like him. I am made glad when his quicksilver intelligence and verbal abilities unleash. I am extremely happy that his voice is in the mix. He may be a sex addict, he may be wild-eyed, he may have broken Katy Perry’s heart, he may not always hit the mark, but GAD am I ready for people with intelligence to have a platform.


The other part of this challenge is that I’m supposed to tag others and have them respond to the task on their blogs.

I’m not going to.

Do what you want.

Just don’t eat my ear lobes if you poisoned me with arsenic.








13 responses to “Blogging Like Rihanna’s “Umbrella” Is the Fresh New Tune”

  1. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    I’m with you on the earlobes lying flat.
    Beeswax? Fascinating kid you have. Mine are too sluggardly to attempt such craftiness.
    Yeah, there has been a tidal shift in the blogosphere. Like glaciers melting, really (I’m trying to stay on point here).

  2. Pearl Avatar

    Outside of the weekend crafts bit, I agree wholeheartedly on every single one of your points. Ear furling? Arctic expeditions? Can we talk about Shackleton?!


  3. Lil Avatar

    I’m one of those who let my blog ignominiously wither away. And I so loved to blog. I have no idea why I stopped, but you’ve inspired me to try and start it up again…

    Anyway, I so totally get you about the earlobe thing. Not the earlobe as an hors d’oeuvre thing because I will never ever be stuck in a boat in the arctic. The furling thing. Earlobes are not meant to furl.

  4. kmkat Avatar

    I am not so much on arctic exploration-al books, but I do love books about living in and subsisting on and exploring the northern wilderness. Hatchet, Winterdance (both by Gary Paulsen), Never Cry Wolf (Farley Mowat) were favorites.

    And I always check the downward facing earlobe, too. It is painful to wake up with the earring in the ear canal and the lobe stretched to allow that to happen.

  5. Ms. D Avatar

    I second you on #5 and #6. #s 1-4 not so much!

  6. Maria Avatar

    Tell me about it. I almost quit blogging three years ago because I would get up to 40 comments per post and felt obliged to go visit back at every one of them. Since I had a strange posse of very religious bloggers (I have no idea how that happened), I was often bored to tears and began to feel like blogging was a chore as I had to remind myself not to let my agnostic musings take over on my comments. So, I decided to only visit the blogs that I liked and my core group dropped like lead. And I began to love blogging again and it became what it was when I started: a memoir for my child. She has no idea that I have a blog and I want to keep it that way until I die. I’m so impressed that you do crafts with your kid! I have one very scary memory of trying to make a covered wagon out of a cigar box at midnight when Liv was in 3rd grade. That was my stopping point. And this was for SCHOOL. And yes, you have gorgeous ear lobes…probably because you are so careful not to let them get squiggled. Can I just say that I would infuriate people by refusing to note their “prizes” on my blog? I think they thought I was haughty. I think they were right. And I detested those freaking memes. But, sometimes…when I was stuck…they would unclog the writing pipes. I admit it. Arctic exploration? Well, I’ll TRY. Drum lines? I have sat through a lot of them because Bing used to teach marching band. Now…no. I won’t try. I truly adore your blog. As you can probably tell, I free wrote this off the top of my head as the thoughts came. Yes, the inside of my head is THAT messy.

  7. alexandra Avatar

    It’s so fun, isn’t it? SO FUN to discover the quirks.


    I share your love of the arctic. Please remind me to send you a link to an incredible story my friend told about it one night. I also love drum lines and have paid $40 to sit and FEEL IT. I relaxed at how my left earlobe must be flat and now someone else understands.

    Then, you lost me at shoes
    I panicked at the beeswax.
    BUT YOU reeled me back in with no rules for me! and Russell Brand.

    We’re good, friend, we’re good. xo
    (thanks for sharing your post on FB that day, it’s how I found your tremendous writing)

  8. Claudia Schmidt Avatar

    I can relate to the obsession of the arctic, my weird predilection is for reading books about Africa and China. I’ve got quite the book collection and am obsessed w/the history of these 2 huge land masses. And, I’m right there w/you on the whole flat earlobe thing. 🙂

  9. Secret Agent Woman Avatar

    Boy, I went through so many of those memes and awards back in my early blogging days. Back when I somehow managed to find the time to post daily.

    I have a queer passion for reading about medical issues. Especially virology. And even more especially about hemorrhagic viruses, which just fascinate me.

  10. Bijoux Avatar

    Drum lines are da bomb! Seriously! Our kids’ high school has a fabulous one and they play at NBA games here.

  11. Friko Avatar

    Joining is for people who need to organise others. I have trouble organising myself.
    That’s why you would never find me on an Arctic Exploration, so your ear lobe is totally safe from me.

    This meme seems fun, particularly as you can invent lots of things about yourself, not necessarily true. But maybe disturbing would be good?

    I have no youngsters around to play with. Sadly. And Russell Brand always seems to be a bit grubby to me. But he can’t be, can he? He wouldn’t have so many women wanting to go to bed with him.

    But my ear lobes definitely have to lie flat, I give you that.

  12. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar

    I liked some memes and not others and I like having a take it or leave it attitude about stuff like that. I am 100% sure I would notice a furled earlobe immediately!

  13. jess Avatar

    I had no idea so many other people despised furled earlobes at night. I always readjust to make sure mine are flat.

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