Usually I have my most profound blog ideas late at night. I think "Wow, I'm really passionate about that, or that's really funny, going to have to do one on that!" and then I fall asleep. Often times it's a dream I just woke from that will send me down the road into Word World and lead me to some topic or another. Some mornings, like this one, I stare at a blinking cursor and wonder who the hell I think I am that several paragraphs (with illustrations, I love to add the pictures) would be of interest to anyone.
Just yesterday I was having a conversation with one of my body-piercers about blogs. This is a man who swears he doesn't even know how to turn on a computer, and was proud to tell me that he actually figured out how to turn on the shop music yesterday. It's very complicated: You click the P for pandora icon, and then choose a station. He loves how much he just doesn't get "these damn things" as much as Mia loves to say "I don't know anything about that, I'm just a hairdresser." That was not a blanket insult to the intelligence or capabilities of all hairdressers, it's just her particular excuse for why she can't or won't do something.
"Now don't laugh at me, but just what exactly IS a blog anyway?" is how it started, after I mentioned blogging about one thing or another. Ok, you're reading a blog yourself right now, you obviously understand what they are. Now try to explain it to someone who just doesn't get it.
"It's something you write, it could be about anything at all, you just write it and publish it." That seemed a simple beginning to the answer. "But why the hell do you put it on the internet?" "Well, so you can share it and people can read it." "But why would you do that? You want the whole internet reading the stuff you write?" We went on in this fashion for a while. I explained that some blogs are like journals, and talk about what the person's life is like, or share an opinion about a current issue. I told him that some are specifically about certain things, like news or technology, or kids or anteaters. The idea that someone would write a journal about anything personal and then offer it to the eyes of complete strangers just baffles him.
This is a guy who loves to go to the nude beach, and is worried for me that I'd leave words laying around for strangers to see.
Trying to explain why I write, why I do it here, "who the hell" reads it and how does anyone find it in the first place was one of the first things in a long time I couldn't do an adequate job explaining.
I can explain many things, even things I know little about. I fill in with bullshit here and there if there's a grade involved, but I consider myself a person who does well at choosing a topic and giving at least a cursory explanation. I got an A on someone's final paper for a class I didn't take once, just by skimming the textbook. Blogging? I just couldn't do it justice.
I found one from just the other day and printed it out so he could read it, thinking that this could be an example and at least explain what a blog is, if not why. He read two paragraphs and said "I still don't get it."
So the answer to the question what is a blog, why do people read them and "why the hell would you put your personal business on the internet?" is a topic I just couldn't do justice.
On a completely side note: Last night I dreamed that every part of my body that's pierced started shredding and turning into jelly. That was super creepy and I still shudder thinking about it.
Also, a Latino man claiming no english just rammed his work truck into a parked pick-up across the street (after clipping a wall and possibly another car up the street from here.) and totaled both vehicles. He hit the little parked truck hard enough to send it into the intersection about 30 feet away from where it was parked. If it had not happened on a Saturday morning there would have been dozens of kids walking on all sides of the street, heading to the school up the hill.
I often park my car right where that truck was parked, but I'll take the footprints from the kitty-cat dance party (Fattica, my gray cat eagerly awaits the shiny black cat-warming device I put there every evening. Sometimes she likes to have a little party on the hood and roof) even right after a car wash from now on rather than risk parking there again.
I've lived in this house for 14 years, and have seen way too many accidents and buried far too many cats to trust my street. There are two kinds of cats: Flat cats and fluffy cats. What all fluffy cats have in common is that they do not wonder what is on the other side.
So, this is a blog. That is the answer to "What?" As to the question about why I write one, the best I can answer is "A jackknife, because a vest has no sleeves." and leave it at that.