Friday, January 23, 2009

The Point

As in, the point of my blog.
I just want to say that I love getting feedback from people. I really do. I am always interested to see what people think of my writing, my thinking, and hear the opinions of others. I'm not easily bothered by differences in opinion (unless they occur with my husband, in which case, I am automatically right), so I usually welcome them. And when I think someone has been a bit obnoxious stating their opinion, I usually just ignore it.
In this case, I plan to make an exception, but for good reason.

I received a comment on the blog yesterday that got me thinking a little bit...
Here's the comment from an ANONYMOUS poster:
"Hmmm...came across this blog and read most the posts (I guess I must love torture). This post is actually the only one that doesn't consist primarily of complaining and whining. Kudos for that, I suppose.On another note, you may want to talk about more than just you and your fam....unless it's just a blog to stay "distantly connected" to your far-away friends and family."

Hey, "Anonymous"... thanks for reading. Torturous or not, you actually managed to waste some of your day reading my blog. So I can't complain about that. It means I caught your attention out there in the great big Internet universe, right? Kudos for THAT, I suppose.
Sorry to hear you find my writing torturous. I feel the same way about J.R. Tolkien, personally... but lots of other people (including my 12th grade English teacher and a really dorky guy I dated in high school) really like his writing.
I finally found an awesome way to stop torturing myself. Stop trying to read The Hobbit, or any of his other books for that matter.
I really won't be offended if you stop torturing yourself, but I thought I WOULD let you (and all my readers know) the purpose of my blog before you go.

I said I had a good reason for commenting on this. And it really wasn't to single out an opinion, but to expand on that opinion.
I just want to put it out there that this blog IS about me and my family. That's the "point" of "following this southern family's journey into Alaska". And while it's sole purpose isn't to stay connected with family and friends back home, that is a really nifty benefit of the blog.

Seriously folks. As much as I really do love talking to people back home, between the time change, an active toddler, LIFE, and plenty of other factors, I just don't have time or desire in my life to call everyone once a week and chat.
The blog keeps those people who are semi-interested in our lives somewhat current on what's going on for us, without having to commit to a couple hours on the phone, listening to me babble. The rest of the family and friends who REALLY want more detail and don't mind listening to me chatter all afternoon, call or email for more details.
In all honesty, this blog has probably saved a handful of relationships that would have otherwise fizzled out once we moved 5000 miles away from everyone, as well as forged some new cyber-friendships with people I would have otherwise never "met". Hooray for Technology!
(And for those who are bored with my prattling on about life, Hooray for the "close window" button, right?)

The blog occasionally serves as a glimpse into Alaskan living, but that's going to be through the eyes of a true "cheechako"... or new resident. I will not be claiming to be an Alaskan Expert, by any means. My biggest goal in sharing "Alaskana" on my blog is to make friends and family realize that we are not daily living the lives of the guys on Deadliest Catch (although I still say that if I ever get a chance to go to Dutch Harbor, I am TOTALLY stalking that bar until I meet Phil's very cute sons), or being eaten by bears, or all those other things Discovery Channel fills your mind with about Alaska.
The glimpses of Alaska are going to come from my experiences here, which I should mention, are reported by a "city girl" who has spent most of life in a relatively temperate climate (i.e. South Of The Mason-Dixon Line).
*And when I say "city girl", I mean that until a few years ago, I did not know that a "Wild Turkey" was an actual animal, not just a smooth Kentucky bourbon.*
I have spent nearly all of my life in decently sized cities and suburbs. Most of my formative years were in the Suburbs of Washington, DC. Up until moving to Alaska, we probably had 2500 people in my neighborhood. Now, that's what I have in my TOWN.
And I totally wish I was able to report on a lot of really cool things, like snowmobiling, dog sledding, hiking glaciers, and various other things, but pregnancy kind of has a lot of those activities on hold this year. Maybe next year. Or the next. All kinds of cool things are on our "Things To Do While Living in Alaska" list, but Rome wasn't built in a day... and all the cool things Alaska has to offer won't be done in our first year here, especially since I'm "in a family sort of way".
Don't worry, readers. I plan on telling my husband to find better things to do next year than getting me knocked up. (But honestly, when it's 40 below outside, the car won't start, and the cable is out, what else are ya gonna do?)

Incidentally, the blog also serves as a great place for me to Mind Vomit, which my Type-A Personality needs to do frequently. I'm sort of a Mind-Vomit junkie. (Mind Vomit Bulimic, perhaps?) I find that it helps me figure out who I am, who I want to be, and how I plan to get there. So you'll probably find a lot of that on this blog as well.

Oh. And as far as complaining and whining goes... 90% of what I "complain" about is actually my general use of sarcasm. If I REALLY mean to complain about something, you'll know I'm really complaining. There won't be any doubt. If you don't believe me, ask my husband. True complaining is generally done matter of fact, involves expletives, and is done very loudly in our house... without the sarcasm or tempered with humor. So if it sounds like "complaining" but has a funny undertone, yeah... it's just my lame attempt at humor.
I know. My older kids don't think I'm funny either.
But I can't help it. I was raised by two people whose sense of humor is a little like white wine. Dry.
My dad has been (good naturedly) compared to Captain Spock on more than one occasion. And my mom... well, where do you think I got my skills of sarcasm as humor? My parents were both big Monty Python fans, if that gives a clue to their sense of humor.
My dad still grins (he never giggles, and I think I've heard him laugh ONCE in my life) at "I'm going to fart in your general direction!"
(*Mom, Dad- I hope you know I say that with love and affection. Though I still don't get most of your jokes. *grin*)


For my readers (friends and family) who were already interested in our lives... I'm gonna keep right on mind-vomiting and updating about the family.
And those of you really nifty people who have developed an interest in my little family, I hope you'll keep reading! I'm so glad you found our little blog and I truly am flattered by those of you who like my writing enough to keep reading.
And for those of you who have told me I should get published and get paid to write, you totally make my day. I wouldn't argue one bit if you wanted to send me $19.95 for a book full of my useless babbling! Maybe one day. When I have something"interesting" to say...
And everyone... keep commenting! I love hearing how you found our little blog. I love hearing the opinions on things we think, do, and how we live.
People who agree make me feel less "weird" People who disagree inspire me to rethink my standing on some things... sometimes changing my opinions, and sometimes strengthening them. At a minimum, it opens dialogue and inspires thought, which is one of the purposes of life, after all.
Iron Sharpens Iron, ya know...

On that note... thank you "Anonymous" for opening dialogue, and making me think out my goals for my blog. Yup... it's mostly to stay connected, have a place to mind-vomit, and it's a great bonus that I attract people who find us somewhat interesting enough to read about.

Next week: Our travels to Fairbanks. Good grief, I hope the wind lets up before we have to head up there!

The weather report today:
Windy and cold. Oh. Same as yesterday?
I wish I could report the temps, but it seems the wind managed to rip our thermometer from the porch and blow it away. Either that, or a moose really wanted to know what the temperature was in his or her little den.
Beans and I took J to work this morning. The temps didn't feel so bad, but the wind is something else! I had to walk directly into the wind to get back in the house, and it literally does "take your breath away"! Poor Beans wasn't thrilled about that, and I buried her face into my jacket to keep the wind from knocking the "wind" out of her!
Back in the South, we were trained to get in the cellar or basement when it started sounding like a freight train outside. I've had to consciously remind myself that I am not likely to see a funnel cloud here, even if it sounds like one is barrelling down on the house.

So.. off to do more crochet work, then a nice hot shower, a cup of tea, and a good book before heading to bed.

Until Next Time...
Happy Moose Trails!


Susan Stevenson said...

Well, I hope your anonymous commenter didn't come from my journal. If s/he did, I apologize. I doubt it though, as those I communicate with via my blog are genuine, caring, and certainly not rude enough to attempt to insult someone for expressing their personal thoughts and opinions. I mean, isn't this what blogging is all about? Modern day diaries without the keys, so to speak.

I like your style of writing, and many times you've made me laugh out loud. I also know your style of sarcasm/humor and recognize when you are being funny as opposed to really PO'd.

Sorry someone felt they were important enough to inject negativity into your little place in cyberspace. It couldn't have irritated them too much, if they read most of your entries! Perhaps THEY are going to steal your words and write that book!

I'll be around next week until Wednesday, if you come into town early in the week and have some downtime. I'd love to see both you and Beans if you have an open window (figuratively, of course.. wouldn't want you to freeze to death). Email me if you you think it might be possible. If it's not, I'll catch you in February maybe.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster, I say use your powers for good, not evil.
ArmyWife, still stuck in FL

Jenni Deiderich said...

Ahh, the "Anonymous" posts... gotta love them, huh? I mean, important enough to leave a nasty comment, but not ballsy (can I say that?) enough to attach a name. You know we all LOVE reading your blog. Otherwise, we wouldn't. End of story.

Simon said...

I for one have enjoyed your blog. I really can't remember how I came across your blog maybe it was one of the many blog I read or the Arctic cam if you've ever posted there, however it happened I was hooked from the first page I read.

I've been toying with the idea of starting one of own. I'm not sure that it would be something that I would put out for the cyber world to read or not. I'm not a good writer and it would be more for my children anyway. I would like to jot down memories, stories or just plain old ramblings of my family growing up in Northern Minnesota, of grandparent that they never met or knew. Things I did as a child growing up. They may or may not be interested in what I have to say. I have to admit that when I was a young person in my early twenties I'm not sure I would have had real interest in the writing of my father or mother. There's things I would to love to tell them about when I was there age. Things I went through, places I've been, things from a simpler time.
You see I was a single dad raising 3 kids by myself and my youngest (son) just turned 21 today and my oldest just had her golden birthday yesterday and my middle (daughter) will be 23 in three weeks. I'm not old but today it hit me for the first time how much has changed since that first day they got on that bus for kindergarten and I watched them pull away. I was there when each where born. I've been there every step of the way. I know they have there perspective of there life I'm wondering if they would like to hear or read my perspective. All three of my children are now young adults and in college, the oldest is applying to grad school and there all doing ok, maybe this would be for me... gift to my kids some day.

I guess what I'm saying is I don't even know you and your family except by your posts, nor have I posted on anyone's blog but I enjoy what you have to say. It maybe years from now when Beans and the little nugget reads your blog but I'm sure they will truly enjoy hearing about the time when they where just that... Little nuggets. Just like Laura here in MN many many years ago. Keep up the good work.


Karla said...

You win some, you lose some. :) I'm new here too, and I find your view/opinion very interesting. I love reading and will continue to do so. Have a happy, and warm, day!

Anonymous said...

@ Susan: No, not one of your readers. I found this blog by clicking the "Alaska" interest link.
@ Jenni: I am remaining anonymous for reasons I care not to say, but your statement of not being "ballsy" enough to not attach a name would include your dear author-"Moose Nugget" as well, seing as she only refers to herself and family by code. I have no problem with this, just saying, people have their reasons for being anonymous.
@ Simon: Wow, just WOW. Laura Ingalls actually enjoyed her pioneer life. She was a go-getter and not a whiner in any respect.

and finally@ Mrs. Nugget herself: You handled criticism very well: I was impressed. I must say that blogging as an attempt to keep in touch is slightly rude though....aren't you a little more personal than that? It's kind of like those long Christmas letters w/o a personal hand-written note. While reading, you just "hear," "Me,me-blah-blah-life-me-me..." There is no care taken about the person who is reading it. THAT'S how I felt reading your blogs.
Also, you say you want people to follow along in your adjustment to life in Alaska after growing up in the South. In reading your entries, however, it seems that you want to make Alaska your precious South....From bears to politics, to landlords, you can't accept the way they are in Alaska-you want them to change for you.
Just my thoughts...good luck.