Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan & this blog
A reader from Brazil — hello Roberto McCarthy — called today as is his custom to wish my blog a happy birthday. I’d nearly forgotten. So here’s what I posted in 2013 when the blog turned 5.
You’re probably unaware of the vanity, but for the past two years this blog has been lying about its age.
It says it’s younger than it really is.
By one day.
See, my very first blog was posted on May 23, 2008. But two years ago, the blog started declaring its birthday was May 24, 2008.
Really, I shouldn’t blame the blog. It was all my idea. I was scratching around for a topic when I noticed Bob Dylan’s birthday was the day after the blog’s. I thought it would be fun to co-opt the coincidence. It resulted, I thought, in a good birthday blog in 2011 (all links listed below).
So I’ve been blogging for five years. This is my 956th post and I’ll likely hit a milestone 1,000 sometime in August.
Let’s say each post takes about two hours to write, polish and present. That’s about 2,000 hours or 83 days.
I enjoy blogging so much I figure I could probably blog for 83 days straight without taking a break to eat or sleep. But by the fifth day keyboard-clogging drool puddles would probably render the experiment moot.
I once compared blogging to having a goofy imaginary friend with multiple dependency issues. You can’t abandon it for too long or it might die from lack of attention. But like having a needy friend, you spend a lot of time wondering if the damn thing’s holding you back from more productive pursuits and wondering if, geez, would anyone really care if the SOB just up and died?
I now understand that’s untrue.
Many people I know would be very upset if this SOB just up and died. They love reading the blog, which is now getting about 5,000 unique page views a month and is enjoyed all over the world in more than 146 countries.
Those are healthy numbers for an enigmatically titled blog that flits from topic-to-topic with whimsical indiscretion.
Cruel experience and natural disposition lead me to come at every self-analysis from self-deprecatory grounds. The blog and my book, “Use All The Crayons!” are changing all that.
There’ve been many, many times over the past five years when I’ve wondered if this is all worth it. I now conclude that, yes, it is. I say this even though the blog remains a perennial deadbeat in earnings.
Cornerstone advice we give to all our children is that they should spend their lives finding something to do that makes them happy and then dedicate themselves to getting good at it.
I believe I’ve reached that point with my otherwise pointless blog musings.
I cherish every compliment, but one from an influential British writer was the kind I’d craft about myself for purely promotional purposes. Out of the blue and unbeknownst to me, she wrote on her Twitter account:
“Very few undiscovered gems left, but the writer Mr. Rodell (@8Days2Amish) is one of them. He’s odd, but he’s hilarious. And he can really write.”
It’s the kind of thing that leads me to believe I’ll someday evolve into a discovered gem and I hear there’s real money in that kind of thing.
Either way, we’re not going anywhere. If anything, the blog might become even more robust with plans progressing for a podcast and -- who knows? -- perhaps a best-of book down the road after the appearance of post no. 1,000, as good a time as any for a compendium.
I promise I’ll try and keep the blog fresh and lively and deserving of your scrutiny. I ask in return you refer it to friends whenever you find it worthy. That kind of word-of-mouth promotion is priceless.
And because I understand no one comes here for mawkish sentiments, here is an entirely random sampling of 10 of my favorites from the past five years.
Related . . .
Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan & my blog! -- From May 2011.
Miss America & me -- In May 2011, I was getting regular calls from Miss America Teresa Scanlan. Was I going to keep that to myself? Hell, no.
Cigar store ambiance enhanced by breasts -- I went for a friendly Saturday cigar smoke and lo and behold breasts appeared. From April 2009.
Now they’ve ruined jukeboxes -- Includes my ten favorite jukebox songs. From August 2011, I’m still sad over what’s happening to old tavern jukeboxes.
It’s a bobblehead world -- I hear from so many people who say they love it when I write about the bar. The Pond’s great, but I’ll bet there are bars just like it in every town in America. Go see for yourself. This is from April 2012.
Arrivederci, Ann Curry -- People have been writing about Matt Lauer’s sinking popularity all year. I stopped writing about it since this one from June of last year when I think I nailed it.
A galling story on useless body parts -- Stories about anatomical oddities always fascinate me. This one’s about my friend Joe coming back from his Oct. 2012 vacation without his gallbladder.
Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful -- Still gets a bunch of hits and a lovely picture of Ines Sainz. From Sept. 2010.
Mime, all mime -- I liked this one from Feb. 2012 if for no other reason than it includes the line, “Careful mimes can be safe, but never sound.”
My gay friend John -- Google “My gay friend John” and this is the first thing you see. It didn’t have much of a readership when it first ran in Oct. 2011, but is now on track to be one of my most popular. Just about every hours, someone somewhere is reading this all over the world.