Jason Scott, creator of Textfiles.com, has created an archive that is constantly growing and changing. There are always people sending in new files for him to place into the massive collection he started from nothing. Work of this quality is only found in labors of love. Part of the reason the archive is so huge, and continues to grow, is that the people contributing to it were at one time a part of a community much larger than themselves and welcome, very much so, when a person comes along and sets up a place for that community, or the shadow of it, to reside again. It feels a little like home.
I’m a busy girl and there aren’t many sites that I click over to read more than once a day but Jason Kottke’s site is frequently updated with lots of link yummy-ness that I can’t stay away from. If you blog or get on the internet much, chances are, you know who Jason is. He’s well known for so many things that it might take more room/time than I have to list them. The short list: a year of micro-patron supported blogging, an interview with Newsweek’s Brian Braiker on msnbc.com, his live web-cam (which appears to have ended in Dec. 2005), a connoisseur of fonts including Silkscreen, which he created, B-Swing, a Senior Fellowship in the R&D Labs, the Kottke Diary at Valleywag.com which includes The Meg and Jason Courtship and Wedding Story, and the Matrix Revolutions post. A lot of people want to be him or be like him. I was very happy just to get to interview him.
You know that person that writes things that you read and it just gets you because it’s so true for you or someone close to you and so you want to get mad at them because they made you feel something – probably something you didn’t want to feel or think about – but you can’t really because whatever it is that they wrote was true? And then when you think about it for a while you realize that the stuff that person wrote wasn’t aimed at you anyway, but was just an expression of whatever is going on for them? And once you realize that, you think, ‘Wow, Morphing Into Mama is really quite awesome!’ and ‘I’d like to buy her a balloon and send her a greeting call from Elmo!’ and ‘Why can’t my butt look that cute in my capri-length chinos?’
Right off the bat, I have to tell you this to get it out of the way: Sarah Brown flaunts one of the best written entries about the subject that makes me want to fling my body in front of a fast-moving bus or burn my ears off when my kids tease me about it. I can hardly even type the subject let alone say the words out loud but – she despises roaches as much as me. Her writing is featured here and there and here is a full list. If you live in Brooklyn, she’s the host of your favorite reading series, Cringe. Sarah loves the Dark Crystal (who doesn’t?), has fantastic hair and loves table salt. And, she thinks you’re fantastic.
Seriously something different.
Never done before and probably never to be attempted again is a Leahpeah interview with more than one person at a time. But how can one not be compelled to find out more when it comes to the dynamic couple that call themselves Byrneunit? One cannot. And so, compelled, I venture into new territory and Erin and Brian have gamely come along. They live in Tulsa with their son Henry, who is himself uncommonly good looking, where Brian gives great radio voice and interviews people FOR A LIVING (swoon) and Erin spends her days in the stacks, smelling the knowledge right out of those old books where it enters her head and makes her think that all people know what philately means. They both have ‘butt’ on the brain.
Megan may not be Martha but you’d never guess that by looking at her website. She crafts, cooks, bakes and puts up some of the best links. Here is an entire page of great things to make. The projects all include pictures to help you figure out what your craft should end up looking like. (Totally helpful for people like me.) Thanks to her, many people on my Christmas list last year ended up with magnets. Who knows: I may even be brave enough to try bath bombs.
Guess what? I’m not here. I’m driving to my niece, Alison’s, wedding to the awesome Tony which is to be held deep in the bosom of Utah. Or, if it’s Friday, I’m helping to decorate. Or if it’s Saturday, I’m actually at the ceremony, crying and hugging people and shooting photos of the lovely event. Or if it’s Sunday, I’m driving to my parent’s home. And, if it’s Monday, I’m driving back through Death Valley, passing the alien that sells beef jerky and the world’s largest thermometer, and almost home.
In the meantime, should you miss me, you can browse through the new favorites page I created just for you. Yes! You! You’ll find the most hit entries from the past 3 years plus I tossed in a couple of my own favorites that don’t get enough love.
Also, there are the interviews, flickr and the columns. And, on Monday, a new interview will magically appear even though I’m not even here!! I would tell you who it is but that would totally ruin the surprise. But I’ll give you a hint: it’s someone that is crafty.
That should totally cover you until I get back.
Mr. CMonks has written wonderful stories all over the place. He’s married with kids, cares about his complexion and is in a post-school teacher place in his life. He might also be involved with a foreign woman named Trinka and quite possibly with her half-sisters as well. It’s been rumored that he’s actually Val Kilmer. But more likely is that he’s a super talented and very funny writer that is in infatuated with Star Jones. You can find his work at McSweeney’s, The Morning News and here and here and here. You can also buy his reasonably priced schtick here.
Melissa Summers feels like she just might communicate better in writing than speaking. She is married to a robot affectionately named Logan and has a couple of kids who are pretty dang cute. In her blog she talks about the full gamut of subjects including her feelings regarding weight, specifically hers, and raising kids, specifically hers, and is honest enough to admit when she might have made a mistake. She’s been quoted/mocked by the New York Times and writes for Blogging Baby. She was invited to Amsterdam and frequently mixes kids and alcohol. I ask you, what is not to Love?
Schmutzie is married to the Fiery One and they have a cat named Oskar. She writes all about her wonderful life at Milkmoney or Not, Here I Come. Schmutzie speaks candidly about her varied (sometimes wonderfully sordid) past and opens the door for us to peak into her varied (sometimes wonderfully sordid) present. It’s not often that you find someone so willing to share what others would refer to as skeltons in the closet. But to Schmutzie, they are just experiences that have made her into who she is today and she writes about them to get to know herself better. You can see her photos here. Oh, and she also sports individually dextrous second toes.
Angela, better known as Fluid Pudding, has a writing voice like a good wine – it’s mellow and warm with a hint of snark and a finish of wit that cuts straight to your heart. She and I have a few things in common (18,41,50,52,61,62,65,71,72,78,90,99,100). She has a deep appreciation for scrambled eggs. She knits! She plays the French Horn! She comes in the complete Fluid Pudding Family set with husband, two daughters, two cats and requires very little assembly. She has a degree in psychology which she could pull out at any moment if she wanted to, so watch it.
I’ve gone through some growing pains with this blog. It started out as just a way to stay in touch with my kids when we were living about 300 miles away from each other. About the time I realized that they weren’t reading it that much, I figured out that I really loved writing in here and I wanted to keep writing even if they didn’t read it or if no one read it. I loved writing out what I was feeling and it helped me process all the stuff going on in my day. And then I started doing interviews.
The interviews I do with people are really there because I’m selfish and I want to know what drives other people. I’m fascinated by people. What makes them tick? Why do they do what they do? What makes them what they are? When I find someone that I’m interested in, I pester them until they agree to let me poke them in the brain. Usually it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Either way is fine, but of course I prefer the former. And if you enjoy them – Great! But I don’t do them every day or even every week. Sometimes I write about just plain’ol me.
So, I can’t really explain it, but now I find myself in the position of lame email stalkers, wonderful loyal readers, casual drive-bys and various family members. Some of those people want to tell me what I should write about and what I should not write about. Some of them think that because they have been reading me for years, that in some way they own a piece of this online persona and they should get to weigh in their thoughts about what goes on here. Well, I have to say to them: sorry, but no. I respectfully decline your offer to tell me what I can and can’t write about. This online persona is attached to a real person – me. I have feelings and thoughts and emotions all my own and they are ME and REAL and will continue to dominate no matter how you feel.
There is this pressure to keep things light and funny and witty. I can do that some of the time but other times I’m depressed, or sad or something bad happened and I want to talk about it. And I can! Because this is my space! Like the past week or two have been insanely hard. The business is growing and we have clients that want work done and not enough people and time to do it. And Joe is going through some major stuff and regrets getting married to me. And there is a divorce looming. And my kids are sad. And I cut my finger really deep. And my ovaries hurt. And things basically suck. So, where can I talk about that if not here? And the minute I think about writing it all out, I get another email from someone asking why I write about mental illness when I can be so funny at other times. Well, guess what? I’ll write about whatever I want to write about. And there are so many blogs out there in the world that I’m sure you can find something that you might like more. So – go. Or stay. Or do whatever. But if you decide to stick around and hate what I write – don’t tell me. I don’t care. Just wait a few days and I’ll have a new interview up or I’ll write about something cute the kids said or post a new photo. It happens. I swear.