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!