Thursday, December 7, 2006

To Blog or Not to Blog?

I'm wondering if it's a good idea to blog every day. I mean, if there's always something up from Laurie, who will crave me?

It seems to me that I crave posts from those of you who are more -- reflective? meditative? canny? -- than I am. For instance, I would love to read daily posts by

And yesterday, I was reading recent comments on my stuff, and (I have to admit, I'm at sea here. How do I decide who to read? There are so many choices!) found raginglunatic,
Great stuff there. But not a daily poster, either.

Then I want to be friends with people who I find commenting regularly on a friend's page, so I add them to my list, and that sometimes creates a weird dynamic, as with bark2themoon, who I thought I might know from SNC but who I didn't, so added to my friend list, which he found flattering, and returned the favor, but admitted was kind of awkward.

What's the ettiquette on this stuff? Can you friend someone whose comments you find funny, insightful, and trace to their page, which you find funny, insightful, (as is the case with p_j_cleary, sorry if that freaked you out, man), but who you don't know from Adam and will probably never meet?

Post daily? Post every other day? Post only when the spirit moves one to post? Or when one has something of substance (ha) to convey?

Or just give up and fall into the TV vortex for good?


Today is the last meeting for two of my courses. What do I have planned? Essentially, nothing. First, the students must evaluate me. That's always a laugh riot. At the University of Arizona, where I was a TA forever, the eval forms had this lovely question: "Does the instructor display any regrettable irregularities? If so, please comment:" Ugh. In most of my Comp 101 and 102 courses, required for every one of the 10,000 freshman students entering the U in any given year, it was probably a regrettable irregularity that I'd chosen to devote my life to the study and writing of literature. After the evaluation process, I'll check over a few notebooks -- count pages. After that, I have nothing on the docket.

Well, my Intro to Lit students do have to take a reading quiz. That seems substantial.

Maybe we'll have a meaningful conversation about the American psyche, such as we had today in my Fiction Writing class. We are appalled, as a class, at the strange mixture of prudery and sexual overload that characterizes our culture. We're in agreement that America, as a group (not as individuals), is adolescent in the worst way. We're ignorant, loud, obnoxious, obsessed with sex and violence, and immature.

Of course, none of us belongs to this group. We're bystanders with licenses to bitch.

During our conversation, as is my wont, I brought out yet another story about my favorite character (me): though my stepfather thought I was getting it on in backseats with a whole host of boys during those halcyon high school years, in fact I couldn't give it away. While middle and high schoolers today give each other blow jobs on school buses and provide live sex shows at parent-chaperoned house parties, back in the thrilling early 80s I watched the clock tick toward midnight on the night when I was supposed to "give myself completely" to my one and only high school boyfriend. "If you don't break up with this guy," said my stepfather, totally oblivious to the real goal of the evening, "you have absolutely no self respect." Yeah, Dad, and that's not the half of it. The moral of that story is that I was stood up for losing my virginity. Later, in college, when my first "for-real" boyfriend asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said, "To get laid." He fell off the bed, chastised me, and made me wait until January. The moral of that story? Real love means never having to say you're sorry, or something like that.

(At the YWCA last night, as Lizzie poked her way past the shower phase and into her pajamas, I managed to observe that not all stories have morals. She looked at me as if I'd sprayed shit mist on her.)

I felt a little guilty, just a bit, that we didn't devote the class meeting to what was on the syllabus--a last workshop, in groups, of the short story each student wrote. What about that workshop, kids? How will our festival of cultural repudiation help you to turn in a winning portfolio on Monday? I tell myself that these conversations are important because they stir us up, bring things from the bottom of the barrel to the top, show us what we care about. And that's what we should be writing about.

I have to admit, though, that my final comment about Blow Job Barbie, with the bendable knees and the school bus (sold separately), was totally inappropriate.

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