Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Compare and Contrast

Some of the joys of having an 86 year old mother? Astute commentary like, "I think the internet is a silly, dangerous place and I hope it never catches on..." and "What the hell is a plog? Do you get paid for it?" (Um, no.) Mom grew up during the Depression and WWII and even then, because of the lack of information, the world didn't seem to be such a scary place. It was though, for sure. Any time that birthed Hitler was indeed a freakish era. But who knew? You could indulge in the blissful ignorance of wooly eyed pragmatism.

Cut to today, and there are obviously a trillion ways to get bombarded with news and bullshit from all angles. I try to stay away from "news" outlets but living where I live (boonies) and doing what I do (freelance farmy and writey things) you are very reliant on the internet. Hell, most of us are, who am I kidding. But how do I escape and fall into something if not for the Sunday NYTimes? Facebook is about as boring as it gets. I'd rather watch Golf. So for me? Blog Hopping. And Mom was right. The internet is a silly dangerous place.

The Lifestyle Blogs. The Life Hackers. The Four Hour Work Weekers who are really just Tony Robbins with merch endorsements. The Homesteaders. The Thrifty Designers. The Localvores. The Mead Crafters and the Garden Nerds.

First we have the frugal hemp homesteaders with their fermented radish pickle pantry and cumin spiked deer jerky drying in hand knitted wool baggies from their own fleece spinning, and here we have the vintage furniture builders who kiln dry their wood with eco friendly hand harvested responsible firewood who then make their own linseed oil that is good for both furniture and as an eco friendly personal lubricant.

And of course, Etsy. Where artisans repurpose and outgreen each other with jewelry and carpentry that will make you wish you had paid more attention in Shop Class. They sell lots of these things and make a respectable living just sitting at home in their bamboo blend socks drinking green tea taking macro pics of their latest creation and then zipping it off to the post office. J. Peterman for people who hate reading. Ebay for hipsters.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cutting the Fat (Again)

Thank you to all who have written emails and called to ask if I'm doing okay since going "off grid", "underground" and one interesting text which asked if I had died or 'what'. To which I answered 'or what'.  I cut the cord to Facebook. Roll out the eulogy.

Like most things in my life (men, real estate, exit strategies) it was impulsive. Bloated and fatigued from all the weird underbellies shown from the Election and general assholery of people I not only didn't know, but had found (online at least)---I didn't WANT to know, I just deactivated my account sometime mid November and went about my life. Wedding season, vacation, loathe for winter, chicken surplus, flood management. The usual. Somehow FB just didn't fit into it and when it did, it was a bummer. It was like eating a Hot Pocket when you really wanted a Beef Wellington. I found I left the table unsatisfied, so I stopped bellying up to the trough.

At its best though, there were glimpses into the human experience that were really swell. People who post about cancer survivorship, updates on regional weather that posts before the weather channel even gets out of bed, and interweaving with really interesting people that I may have missed living in rural Georgia and hitting the Feed n' Seed on Thursdays. A cool lady named Becky in Kentucky whom I've never met but feel a kindred spirit...a mutual admiration society for an editor named Bobbi, an always on my mind but rarely seen in person poet Jennifer, a chef owner or two who I empathize with and of course my globetrotting bon vivant mensch Scott. Oh and wordsmith Allison and her husband who kick ass in martial arts and lovely Ashley in LA the art darling with the cutest baby...and the women I met in Guatemala on a writer's retreat. And uber positive Juli and...Okay, so I miss a lot of folks.

I don't miss the format though, but I kind of feel a twinge of baby and bathwater remorse. I wish there was another alternative. I want us all to talk, I just don't want to post it on I-95. It's part of my missive to inform, enlighten and amuse. And yes, challenge.  Facebook is just too wide open for me. Freaks me out. Modern McCarthyism. I've become an odd incongruence of memoir tell all writer and private hermit chicken lady. The Unknown Comic 2.0.

I admit to enjoying feedback from my audience, patient lot that you are, and I trust that each and every one of you will download my book when I launch it or have the good sense to lie about it. And to those who didn't notice I was gone, I never liked you anyway. So you can find me here, in our secret society. Subscribing is a good idea, or send me an email and I'll forward it to you old school when I have writing. Or maybe I'll print a good old fashioned paper newsletter. Aww, remember Zines? Stay tuned.