Link to Live, or, why BLOGLINES IS RUINING MY LIFE

Posted by Lizzie on 03/17/05

We’re in the process of transitioning (we quit) from one job (no windows) to another (great chairs), which means that, instead of spending a goodly amount of time on this blog, we will, once again, be doing work. What this also means is that we have, for whatever, subconscious, despicable reason, been spending our last days in a terrifying round robin of blog-checking, blog-posting, email-checking, email-sending, message-checking, and guilt. We have also been thinking — which is so, so, dangerous, especially when you really need to clean the bathroom — some nakedly philosophical thoughts. We have placed them where philosophy should ALWAYS go: after the jump. Jump! No, seriously. Jump!

Writing, like any other, um, un-job job, is about the production of content. Lovely blogs like Lifehacker and 43folders explicate, nay, CELEBRATE, the efficient production, organization, and dessemination of such content. We’re in support of the wiki lifestyle, but it has become increasingly clear to us that we have, of late, been reading about wikis — and we know what wikis are now , we think — rather than living the blessedly wikified life, as such. Today, for example, we got stuck in a ever-branching path that went from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Quicksilver to whoisEmily Coates to 49 things we DEFINITELY HAD TO POST, all before checking our smoothly revamped 1-Gig webmail on AOL, our blog email, our old work email, and the state of donations to The Book Thing. We’re writing this, and it’s been four hours since we sat in front of the computer.

Maud has written about the terrifying effect of blogs on people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (TTEOBOPWOCD). Whatever and whenever it occurs to you, you must say it, spray it, link it, google it, buy it, SYNC IT. Our problem may be that we have just enough OCD to feel the burn, but not enough not to throw that rowing machine in the basement two weeks later. We’ve held out against the iPod, iCal, iMac and iNextthingwe’regoingtomakeyoubuy life because we are really more of an iSore kind of person, but also because we don’t have the skills to sync life in its entirety — and not only because it reminds us of this.

Maybe blogging is different for writers without geekly powers, which, for Christ’s sake, we wish we had, because we certainly would have made some money during the dot-com boom. We’re blogging, but we’re supposed to be finishing our next book of poetry, getting past the outline on that short story, writing in our journal, paying the bills. We have at least three books that need to be integrated into our side content, something like eighty more on the shelf to read, and those FUCKERS at HP are claiming they don’t owe us the rebate because we didn’t send the UPC code, and, by God, WE DID. We won the battle for $79 from Verizon and the open-container ticket from NYC’s finest, but we GAVE AWAY THAT GOOGLE T-SHIRT FROM 1999 and HP MUST DIE. We rented all those Sex and the Cities DVDs from the video store and forgot we could use Netflix, possibly to the tune of six million dollars. And where is that T-shirt? It is worth at least three.

Did prehistoric man torture himself about the Elk hunt he just didn’t have time to etch in red clay onto the cave wall that month? Were nineteenth century gentlewomen all, How could I have chosen the calling card with the lily, it will take me eight months to use them up, perhaps nine, and then FLOWERS WILL BE OUT WHAT WAS I THINKING???. In Little House in the Big Woods, Laura, following the seasonal acts of house-cleaning (spring, they cleaned in spring then, too), pig-slaughtering (summer), and maple-sugaring (fall), expresses delight at receiving, for Christmas, a tin cup and two pennies. We had to go through six steps to get the associate code on that Amazon title so that, if you buy it, we get two pennies. Where’s the Wiki to let us one-click our associate status on the title’s page, motherfuckers?

But in another sense, we have become Laura, albeit a Laura who needs her tin cup and two pennies every six seconds. Did Gawker update? Did you write back to me? Did you leave a comment on my site? Did someone buy a blogad? Did someone send me a book? WE GET THOSE THINGS EVERY MINUTE, AND STILL WE ARE NOT SATISFIED. We have moved to Little House in the Big Words.

It doesn’t end here. After this, we’re going to check our email(s), Technorati status, fucking bloglines. If there is one last thing, and we’ll find it. The paper mail! The phone messages! And we’ve got laundry to sort, bills to pay, dishes to wash, a roast to brown! Ah….that sweet, sweet relief.

We’re STILL sick with something (bad fish? Dairy? Minor flu? We have no idea), and we’ll chalk this screed up to the fact that we really can’t make our appointed rounds in the “world,” as we seem to recall it was termed. We know it’s “out there,” and that often, something called “sunlight” hit our face and we liked it. Can you link to sunlight?

Well, we’ll certainly try. And then ask Dr. P to tweak those meds.

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Commentary

  1. darling! let’s go on a logging or fur trapping vacation. one thing you could do: schedule just FOUR times a day that you do blogtype stuff, and limit the time to, say, a half hour for each of the four, for a total of…what? I mean, channel your OCD to setting nice, neat limits. I remember Laura getting one thick peppermint stick and a rag doll. And one Christmas, an orange. I wonder how many Christmases are described in those wonderful books. I love that illustrator. See, I’m typing, I’m typing, and voila, a response to your post! xoxo

    Comment by lily — 3/17/2005 @ 8:35 pm

  2. Oh, dear Haggis! After being cold turkey off coffee for more than a month, tonight I cracked open a Red Bull because I have the scariest deadline in the world to meet tomorrow. With the sweet sweet caffeine tangoing with my brain’s pleasure receptors, then I read your post [and that I'm reading your post and not facing down that deadline speaks to my own OCD] and now my teeth are buzzing. Which is to say I hear you and I understand you. [When the Fesser gets this way, he announces "I've got the ADD."]

    Comment by cinetrix — 3/17/2005 @ 9:41 pm

  3. But Lizzie– this was a MOST frabjous post! And so, in some kind of meta way blogging about how blogging keeps you from writing you have written something so great and “can you link to sunlight?” is nothing short of poetic. (I think you should try to patent the idea cause it would make you a rock star in Sweden for sure).

    Comment by bluepoppy — 3/18/2005 @ 6:28 am

  4. But Lizzie– this was a MOST frabjous post! And so, in some kind of meta way blogging about how blogging keeps you from writing you have written something so great and “can you link to sunlight?” is nothing short of poetic. (I think you should try to patent the idea cause it would make you a rock star in Sweden for sure).

    Comment by bluepoppy — 3/18/2005 @ 6:28 am

  5. F–ing A. If I’m not blocked from blogger it’s f–ing double posting me. Sorry. Grrr.

    Comment by bluepoppy — 3/18/2005 @ 6:30 am

  6. F–ing A. If I’m not blocked from blogger it’s f–ing double posting me. Sorry. Grrr.

    Comment by bluepoppy — 3/18/2005 @ 6:31 am

  7. So this is why crystal meth is a menace, I guess…

    Comment by Jimmy Beck — 3/18/2005 @ 8:38 am

  8. Maybe we can’t link to sunlight, but we owe it to someone, somewhere to try.

    I feel your pain. Bloglines is a fucking ball and chain. News? Who reads that? I can just watch the Daily Show and skip the commercials.

    Comment by gwenda — 3/18/2005 @ 9:40 am

  9. I hear you. I hear you so, so much — to which I say, go outside, get some fresh air (is it nice in B’more? It is here in crappy Ottawa so I’m projecting) and step away from meta-land.

    Advice I should take myself, but will I? Nooooo.

    Comment by Sarah — 3/18/2005 @ 11:38 am

  10. I understand your thoughts completely… I think the key could be found in slowing everything down a little by focusing on the moment and the moment only. I am not a spiritual person by any means, but when the flood of my own interests in the wider world get me to the point of consumptive insanity, I always remind myself to slow down. Think of following your ideas like a walk in the park– you chase whimsy around, follow paths, and ultimately, you end up at home, reading a good book, making a nice meal, or in my case, watching a film. Of course, there is the need for real walks in real parks. Forgive yourself for not knowing things, but embrace what you do know, follow your true interests with passion and let THEM lead you.

    cryptic maybe, But I totally know how you feel. there’s too much out there.

    Comment by Tom — 3/18/2005 @ 1:41 pm

  11. Lizzie: Get the fuck away from the computer. Right now. In fact, force the BOOG away. I don’t care how.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I fucking loved every word of this truthful post. But it’s clear to me that you’re allowing this thing called life to be more difficult than it needs to be. Please get outside, breathe and all that, talk to your fellow humans, and take a break from this high-pressure rat race called the Internet, which is a vastly overrated (though fascinating) tinkertoy of on-demand nonsense.

    Comment by ed — 3/18/2005 @ 6:56 pm

  12. Yay, new job!

    Comment by Maud — 3/22/2005 @ 1:15 am

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