On Blog Reading

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with my Uncle Steve, whom I would classify as the most easy-going, crunchy person on my father's side of the family. This is a man, while joining me on a 13-mile hike, answered a cell phone call by whispering, "I can't talk right now - I'm in nature's cathedral." This is a man whose house I drove to every night after work to watch the entire coverage of the 2006 Tour de France. I remember those nights, particularly the moment when we stared at each other across the room, mouths agape and eyes bewildered, as Floyd Landis came back in Stage 17 with a victorious ride. I remember the sadness in our faces after discussing his subsequent doping charges.

So back to the discussion. I was explaining a friend's recent blog post focused on buying and getting fitted for a proper road bike. I was saying how the post made me laugh, as I basically did many of the actions the post advised against (i.e. buying a super expensive bike, not testing out saddles, buying clip-less pedals before I was ready, not getting back on my bike after a nasty fall). Of the numerous reactions I anticipated from my Uncle Steve ("Oh, you need to get back out there and ride." or "I was out on my road bike the other day..."), this was not one of them: "You read a lot of blogs, huh?"

I don't find Uncle Steve to be a critical person, but I do find myself to be a hypersensitive person, so this comment gave me pause. Do I read a lot of blogs? Has living in New York taken me away from nature and left me to dwell inside of a tiny apartment behind a computer screen? And if I do read a lot of blogs, is there something wrong with that?

I'll admit, the comment did bring me a tad bit of shame. I slightly felt like reading blog after blog classified me as having no life; as some voyeuristic sad Sally. His question evoked an equivalent reaction to being told you play too many video games or watch too much television.

But the fact is, I do read a lot of blogs. For me, blogs are the equivalent of reading an amazing article in The New York Times or staring at an incredible painting at the MOMA. They are, quite simply, a vortex of inspiration. Without blogs, I wouldn't have learned about Trisha Martin's passion for Eating is Art and created a mashup based on her work. Without blogs, I wouldn't have been inspired by Cindy Ferguson's papercuts. Without blogs, I wouldn't have learned what a nanibird is!

And then there's cooking. Blogs have helped me plan my dinner - from this recipe to that recipe to this recipe. Pat was just diagnosed as gluten intolerant, and without the help from this blog, I wouldn't know where to start.

Blogs also help me keep up on my friends - from those who are in the process of moving far away to those whom I have been countries apart for years.

So yeah, I guess I do read a lot of blogs and I am so thankful for it. Besides providing me with endless inspiration and fascination, they also manage to give me a much needed laugh after a long day at work. I'll leave you with a blog I just discovered, Better Book Titles, by Dan Wilbur. I've shown a few of my favorites below - see if you can figure out the original titles. [Uncle Steve, I think you will like them. I also think we should come up with two of our own and submit!]

And my personal favorite...

Also, you may not hear from me for a few weeks. I'm FINALLY in the process of packing my stuff for the big move to Massachusetts next Saturday. This means my art supplies have officially gone on vacation and my computer will soon follow. I have a few ideas percolating and always welcome a Copycat Mashup Challenge (like this one and this one), should the mood strike you!



  1. The internet is a crazy vortex of goodness and badness that I swear has been created for the sole purpose for all of us to figure out how to balance our lives better! Thanks for the shout out my dear, you're blog idea is seriously amazing ;). And the Better Book Titles is a great find. Best of luck in Mass.! New places always incite new ideas, I can't wait to see how you and your blog transform post-move :). ~Tricia

  2. I am an unapologetic blog reader! It's how I learned to eat healthy vegan diet; it's how I became inspired to find my inner-chef. And it's how I've been able to learn more about the alter-ego of friends like you! :)

  3. Good luck with the packing (I don't envy you) and with the move. I always enjoy reading your blog!

  4. I have only one work of art in my office. It is a work by Red Grooms entitled Chance Encounter at 3:00AM. In addition to it being exciting merely to look upon, I also love the story it depicts. Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, Greenwich Village residents and fellow insomniacs, knowing of the other but having never met, found themselves on the same park bench at 3:00AM. Grooms shows them in the suspicious phase of their meeting. No doubt they were out searching for inspiration. If they lived today instead of the 30's they would probably include the reading of blogs in that search (especially at 3:00AM!).
    And if they were lucky, they would find yours.
    As for my comment that you read a lot of blogs, be assured it was not criticism. You are an interesting person, and as such, your habits as well. My comment was born of curiosity and nothing more.

  5. @ Trisha - Thank you for the compliments and best wishes!

    @ JL - I'm glad we BOTH have alter-egos from our day jobs. :)

    @ Kathryn - I'm thrilled that you're reading my blog and am so humbled by your comments!

    @ Uncle Steve - Quite possibly the most poetic comment I've ever received on my blog! I know you weren't criticizing me - I'd just like you to always view me as super cool. :)

  6. I can't stop laughing at this entire post! And my dad's ridiculus comment!