Yet more traction for the OPML blogroll widget in the Italian blogging community.
A lesson I’m still learning: be yourself.
The other day I read with astonished interest from The Assimilated Negro (who also likes Nietzsche, BTW):
At that very moment, Erin bangs on the door and barges in. I instinctively and simultaneously sit up, while reaching for things that need to be concealed. It’s a muscle reflex I’ve had since I was a child, but there’s nothing in front of me. So that’s slightly annoying. Admittedly I’m a little more jumpy and secretive with Erin. She has a powerful brain, and if she knew everything there is to know about me I’m sure that -
Wow, I do the very same thing when my wife walks unexpectedly into the office. That’s been about the only bright side to her recent injury: now I can hear her walker coming down the hall minutes ahead of time. But the odd thing is that just like TAN I really have nothing to hide. I’m a grown man, fercrisesakes. And even if I do play around a little online, I’m responsible enough to get my work done, so why do I instinctively close whatever I was doing when she walks in (even when it’s work)? My wife has asked me that very question several times, and my best answer so far has been to sort of mumble unintelligibly. I’m sure she suspects that my screen was adorned with something far worse than blogs or backgammon.
Am I the only one who often has the nagging feeling that I’m a fake who’s about to be found out? Maybe it started back when I got into the software industry with no formal training. Every step in my career seems like one more time I pulled the wool over their eyes. But actually I’ve put in a lot of time over the last 28 years learning this stuff, so I really shouldn’t doubt the efficacy of my experience.
Maybe it’s because I spent a lot of time when I was younger hiding some mild OCD tendencies. Call them superstitions, if you will. I knew they were meaningless behaviors so I hid them, but I felt relieved when I could secretly do them. Sometimes I still do. That’s a part of myself that I never fully embraced, nor do I think I really want to.
Psychologists might say that secretiveness and uneasiness with oneself are all part of being a child of an alcoholic. But that really isn’t helpful, now is it? Can’t change that.
When I first started blogging, the biggest attraction for me was finding an outlet for myself: a place where I could say whatever was on my mind and let myself out of my shell for a while. Granted, at first I was kinda like the newbie at the open mic (though thankfully nobody was listening), but after a while I started to open up and let fly.
Then came the audience. Not a huge one, mind you, but enough to flatter my vanity. I found myself thinking more and more about my readers, and writing for them. I began to develop a sort of stage personality, once more pushing the real me under the covers.
Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just that my rate of increased self-revelation has slowed. Looking back over the old posts, I was pretty reserved in some of them, though at the time I felt quite liberated.
In any case, I intend to pursue greater authenticity from here on. Sure, it’s fine and good to use reader feedback and search data to give you ideas for posts, but you have to make sure that what you write about each topic represents exactly what you think, instead of what you think your readers want to see.
Some seeds for these thoughts were planted by Yvonne, Kent, and a lot about Shelley. Randy might call this post gay, but personally I wouldn’t want to insult homosexuals by equating their preferences with my self-absorbed neuroses.
Let me rephrase that lesson at the top:
My wife and I often joke that the popular belief that it rains all the time in Seattle is a lie concocted to stem the flow of immigrants from California. But the last few days have begun to erode that view.
“Did I mention that I’m tired of the rain?” I said to my wife in passing.
“You want to move?”
This morning I even skipped the morning run with Halley. It was just raining too hard, and I took the opportunity for an extra hour of sleep. Then, when I went out to the garage to let Halley outside, she didn’t even get up. She was lying by the heater I had put there for her, and she raised one eye towards me as if to say, “you’re not really going to make me go out in that mess, are you?”
My wife noticed the 100-foot-plus cedars and hemlocks around our house swaying in the wind, and worried that the soggy ground might not hold onto their roots. That could result in one very difficult game of pick up sticks.
Well, always look on the bright side. Word of this should keep the sun worshippers away for a few more years at least.
The other day I wondered out loud which is worse: voting in ignorance or not voting at all.
Two ideas came to mind:
Even if you’re uncertain. Especially then.
Because those who are certain will be very happy to make these decisions for you if you don’t.
My son wanted to watch Tarzan II (disclaimer: Amazon associate). I was very busy doing something else, but he kept on and on and on until I finally dropped everything and went to the den to put it on for him. I impatiently popped the DVD into the player and grabbed the remote.
This DVD is equipped with Disney FastPlay…
I sighed in relief. Instead of wading through all of the previews and ads to get to the place where you have to press ‘Play’ to start the movie, I could just leave. The movie would start itself. I blessed Disney and their thoughtfulness.
Then as I went back to what I was doing before, a different thought occurred to me.
How shrewd. Normally, as each preview/ad came up, I would have pressed the ‘Skip’ button to get to the next one until I finally got to the menu where I could press ‘Play’. By making their DVD more convenient — hands free, if you will — Disney insured that my son would see all of the previews and all of the ads. Kids don’t mind watching these ads, in fact it gives them ideas for future parent-pestering. It’s the parents who get impatient.
Lesson: how do you get people to watch your ads? By making it easier than skipping them.
In appreciation of those of my readers who prefer languages other than English, I have added a translation bar to the footer of this blog, using the Global Translator WordPress plugin by Davide Pozza. This handy plugin uses Google translation services to do the job. I’ve noticed a number of my readers use Google translation, so this may save them a step or two.