Friday, June 02, 2006

I Blog, Therefore I Am

Have you ever rushed to finish a project so you could post it on your blog? Or maybe you didn’t rush to finish but you may have worked a little longer that day than you normally would have just so you could get that good photo for the blog. I know I have. The blog doesn’t drive every project, and I’d probably get just as much done with out it, but there are days that I will do a little more painting or drive a few more nails just so I will have that picture or be able to post about an accomplishment. I guess it’s a good thing in a way.

I remember the time last summer when I went to a picnic at a remote cabin and I forgot my camera. I wasn’t bummed so much because I didn’t have pictures for myself. I don’t really need them. It was the blog that suffered. I didn’t think to myself, “Damn, I wish I had brought my camera so I could get pictures of this.” It was more, “Damn, I’m not going to have pictures for the blog when I write about this cool, remote cabin.”

The blog really has become a whole other aspect of my life. It’s a new kind of relationship to have with people. Aside from relationships with friends, lovers, family, and coworkers there is now this new dimension of blogging relationships. I have relationships with friends that are different than relationships I have with family. I relate to those two groups differently. The same could be said for coworkers and friends. They are different groups that, while I’m still me, I relate to them on a slightly different level and I react to them in a slightly different way. Now I have this blog and I regularly read other blogs. In a very real way it has become a different aspect of my life.

Whether a blogger is in California, Illinois, Minnesota, Alabama, Washington, Canada, Ohio, Arkansas, or a number of other places they sort of seem like a group of friends no different than friends here in my own town. We share common interests. We can relate to each others experiences, and there is an almost real-time interaction. Just because it lacks the tangible aspect of being able to sit across the table and see the face, shake the hand, or give the hug there is still a very real emotional aspect to the relationship that is very similar to other relationships I have.

The best part of being apart of the Blogging Community is that the other blogs put….well, if not a face, than a person….hmmm… how to express it. I think that the individual blogs humanize individual regions of the country. Chicago used to be one large teeming mass of humanity that I had never been to, and a place where I didn’t know a soul. I could list statistics about the city like the tallest building, the closest lake, and when it burned down, but now I know people there and it feels like I have an on-going relationship with them. I can tell you what they did over the weekend, what pets they have, and most importantly, I know about their houses. And who ever thought that I would ever in my life know anyone from Eutaw, Alabama. Now, it almost feels like I went there on vacation at one time.

I’ve traveled a lot around the country, but I think I’ve learned more about the people from different parts of the country from reading blogs at than I did by staying in a motel some place and seeing the local sights. Not that there is anything wrong with visiting new places, it’s a lot of fun, but blogs bring a new dimension to it. It’s a very different and interesting experience. Who would have thought this cold, sterile little gray box sitting on my table would give me a more intimate look at so many different parts of the world. I’m not isolated in this Blog New World, quite the opposite. New technology has expanded my world on a much more personal level than I would have thought. It hasn’t replaced anything, it has only enriched it.


StuccoHouse said...

Good post. And, yes, my house work is totally driven by my blog. If it weren't for the blog, I'm sure I would never get anything done.

I do this thing where I think about future blog topics while I drive. BB (before blog) I used to just sing to the radio.

It is kind of funny that I have created mental pictures of the people who write the blogs that I read regularily (with the exception of those that post actual photos).

I'm sure w/o my blog & being able to read others', I'd have had a restoration breakdown long ago or at least be in some serious therapy :-)

Kim said...

Aww, Greg! That was so well written and I completely understand what you mean:) And just for you and other fellow Housebloggers...(((Hugs)))!

Sometimes when I get discouraged because of all the mess and frustrations that come with remodeling (and when I worry about what other non-remodelers/non-do-it-yourselfers must think of our house in its current state), I usually always comfort myself by thinking, "Oh well, at least Housebloggers would understand."

Thanks for sharing those thoughts:) Couldn't have said it better myself!

Jocelyn said...

I totally agree with you about blogging NOT being an isolated activity. Now if I was a shut in and my whole world was the blogosphere, that might be different. :)

I just commented at dinner last night how much houseblogs and all you guys help keep me sane. If it wasn't for you guys, I might feel like a weirdo working on my house all the time. So many people just don't seem to get it. Some I know even feel sorry for me for working so hard, which annoys me. These same people do everything they can to avoid ANY kind of hard work I might add.

Some just don't understand the fullfillment of working hard and accomplishing a goal like this and they probably never will- that's why I'm glad I "know" all of you.

Now back to remove more trim upstairs!

jm@houseinprogress said...

Well said! I think that one of the reasons Aaron and I sink so much time into houseblogging is that it has become as important as working on the house. Because it does keep me working on the house LONG after I feel like stopping. And it is so fun to get to know other people through their houseblogging. So many fun people on houseblogs.

Someday, someday, we really gotta have that Woodstick get together. I mean, we've already got the t-shirts designed.

Suzanne said...

Greg, even though I don't blog myself, I live vicariously through the hard efforts of others. I feel as if I've known you and a few other people from OHW for years, and I look forward to seeing what you've come up with all the time, even if you don't hear from me. I'm finally working on my bathrooms, and will be posting on the OHW soon. Good luck to you and your fellow regular bloggers! You are an inspiration!

Greg said...

I'm finally working on my bathrooms, and will be posting on the OHW soon.

I’m on pins and needles.

mindy said...

I agree - the blogging keeps us motivated to finish projects. I feel a sense of obligation to keep things "exciting". It also keeps me doing things the right way; I know I have to report back to everyone, and don't want to admit I took a lazy shortcut.

As Jocelyn said, it's hard to find people who "get it" in our everyday lives. Most people, even close friends and family, think we're pretty loopy for devoting so much time, energy, and money to our house. Watching so many housebloggers put their energy into the same thing makes me feel much less crazy. Always a good thing.w

Monica said...

Blogging (and particularly participating an active blog community like also leads to a very odd feeling of almost entitlement.

Even though I'm one of the faceless horde who reads your blog.. and even though you barely know me from Eve.. I still would feel bad if I went through Eureka and didn't at least stop by to say "Hi!".

Since I'm new to blogging (only since December) I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'll have to consider it for a while.

That said, our housewarming party is open to anyone who wants to show up.. SF isn't -that- far away ;)

Greg said...

Any HouseBloggers that know that will be passing through I would love to hear from. Just give me a weeks notice to make the place less feculent.

Kristin said...

Awesome post! I feel exactly the same way. I'd never get anything done without the blog to keep me accountable. And the people ... I just love internet friends and hearing about the idiosyncrasies of their different cities and neighborhoods. I definitely feel like I know Eureka, California, way better than if I just stopped there for a visit.