Friday, March 11, 2005

Bloggers of Extinction: A Tribute (Part V)

New kids on the blog
Finally, as I end this series of tributes to some folks here in Blogland who have been and who are, very important to me, I’d like to also give a tip ‘o the cap to a few others. These are a few of the newer faces among the readers of this blog whose faithful participation I want to take a moment to recognize here. But first I want to give a shout-out to two who certainly aren’t new, but whom I have never before officially recognized for their longtime participation here.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of our friend Brighton. While we mourn her loss, let us now take this time to remember those precious times we had to spend with her here on this earth…and um…

Wha? Oh…yeah, sorry…I forgot.

The eulogy’s supposed to come after she dies...

(Nyuk nyuk nyuk…inside joke.)

About ten months ago apparently somebody decided that there was just way too much fresh air in the state of Texas, so they decided to start exporting some of it via the Internet.

Well that might not be exactly how Brighton ended up here in Blogland, but it might as well be.

Anyone who knows her — and most of you do — also knows that she’s no newbie. She was among the original group of commentors on Kevin’s Life at TJ’s Place blog like so many of the rest of us. She has been a consistent participant on this and a great many blogs in our community. Her sharp wit and intelligence have graced many a discussion in and around Blogland.

But the primary reason I’m including her in this part of my tribute is that until very recently, she had no blog of her own. This energetic mother of four is a secondary school teacher by day, and those two experiences alone provide her with ample material from which to spin any number of interesting stories.

But did I mention her night job?

After the urging of many, Brighton now has her own blog. It’s based on all the things that make her the interesting person she is. Including her life as a part-time adult entertainer. Yes, that’s what I said.

A Day in the Night of a Stripper may sound like an attention-getter of a blog title (and it is), but don’t be fooled. That association doesn’t even scratch the surface of the depth of character of this wonderfully atypical lady.

Her story is a fascinating one, and after months of merely knowing her through her comments, I invite you to take the time to get to know her through her personal commentary on life.

Brighton is a wonderful communicator, and her insights cast the often-seedy world of strip club existence in a light much different than many people have ever seen it. As I once said in reference to Kevin’s blog, it may not change your opinion about strip clubs in general, but I can almost guarantee that it will change your opinion about the kind of people who work in them.

Well — at least one for sure.

El Sid
Speaking of breaths of fresh air…

El Sid (I call her Sidra ‘cuz she said I could) has been around as long as I have and has been as consistent a longtime participant in this blog as anyone. Yet for some stupid reason I have never taken the time to officially thank her for it. Please allow me to rectify that faux pas.

Thank you Sidra. You always make me smile.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s easy for me to get wrapped up in what I’m doing. I, by nature have always been more of a writer than a reader. The lion’s share of my blog-time is spent creating my own posts, as opposed to reading my neighbor’s. Sidra appears somewhat to be the opposite. Oh she posts all right, but boy does she circulate. Her blogroll is nearly three times that of mine and I am confident that she keeps up with every single one.

Post wise, she’s nothing but fun. She rants, she raves; she quizzes; she polls. There’s absolutely nothing about this lady and her blog that isn’t refreshing, cute and enjoyable. I don’t spend nearly enough time there, but whenever I do, I leave with a smile on my face.

This past Christmastime Sidra did something that I thought was fabulous. She went down her blogroll and crafted an original haiku for each one of her friends.

“Awww…how sweeet,” you say. You think that’s easy? Did I mention that her blogroll has seventy entries?

Thank you once again El Sid, for the playfulness of your nature, but most of all for always being such a support to and a friend of this blog. I think I owe you a burrito someday…

Yikes…that didn’t sound right. How ‘bout a cup of coffee?

Hmmm…Lemme see. I think I need to wax poetic on this one…

Ever get the feeling that someone was watching you? Well I did — for about two months.

I’m not an attention whore, but I play one on the Internet. So in keeping with that role, I simply have to keep an eye on the traffic coming into this web site. I’ve blogged about this before, but I check my SiteMeter daily — usually several times per day. To a large extent I know a lot of my visitors as well by their IP addresses and ISP names as I do by their real names here in Blogland.

With the advent of the header bar that Google added to all sites, and its “Next Blog” button, I constantly get several new visitors each day. Most of them pop in, get a load of all the hot air being spouted by me and move on. Therefore I dismiss a lot of the new IPs I see as those that I’ll probably never see again.

But sometime this past December I started noticing a new ISP name that was popping up with regularity. It was somewhat unusual in that it wasn’t a consumer or commercial ISP, but rather a university, a well-known one at that, Ohio State University. I didn’t think much about it at first but by mid-January this person was rivaling Brighton for regularity of visits here. Who could it be? Had they ever commented? I went back through my HaloScan logs. Nope — no match. Why don’t they say something? Do they have a blog? No way for me to tell since their info never indicated a referring URL. They must be using a browser link to get to me, ergo, no cyber-breadcrumb trail for me to follow.

To say I was intrigued by my mystery guest is an understatement. But then she slipped up — she linked me.

Back in late-February, I was in a bit of a funk emotionally about the story that wouldn’t die, It’s Still Ticking. The series took me just three days shy of three months to complete. Prior to my posting the final two parts of the series, there was a gap of more than two weeks in which I barely even looked at my blog. When I finally resumed posting, my mystery guest celebrated the fact by adding a note next to my name in her links: “AJ — Awake at last!” When she used that link to visit my blog, I now had my trail to follow back to discover her identify.

Nicole has actually been an avid reader of a number of the blogs in our community for quite some time. She is a third-year grad student at Ohio State, and after I was finally able to get her to speak up, I learned that she’s a delight to communicate with.

Thank you for being here Nicole, and thanks for joining in. I forgive you for hiding out…honest. I love a good mystery.

I swear — me and my friggin’ rotten timing. You can choose to believe me or not, but I had planned to talk about this lady the moment I decided to do a “new bloggers” section in this tribute series, and that was weeks ago. Now at the very time I get ready to write about her and plug her excellent web site, I learn that she has just gone through a very difficult personal circumstance. I guess I really need to say by way of preface that this is in no way a “sympathy post,” and the tenor of her current blog posts are by no means that of her usual work.

I want to celebrate EJ for whom I’ve come to know her to be: a witty, sharp, funny lady who lives in the Midwest with her preschool-age daughter, just working her way through life. Her observations are brief, stimulating and brilliantly, honestly thought provoking. She’s a great read, and a great reader, with a long, long list of blogs that she involves herself with.

I’m proud to say that this is now one of them.

EJ began following things here a few months ago primarily out of interest in the stories of my family and Alzheimer’s disease. Her comments have been generous and supportive. I hope she sticks around.

Thanks, EJ. I’m sorry this attention on you comes at perhaps a bad time, but I do hope it makes you smile. I believe I owe you a few of those.

Restless Angel
This delightful blogger has been just what her name suggests here since early January. Angel is a constant support and encouragement to all of her friends here in Blogland, and her presence, always appreciated. Thanks Angel for your friendly and wonderful spirit. It is an honor to have you here!

In addition to being a new reader and commentor here, Melinama has gone so far as to take subject matter from my entries and expand upon them in her own blog. That’s quite a compliment, but much more than that, she always seems to spin something very interesting out of all sorts of topical material. Obscure news items, flights of fancy, and other very thought provoking, bite-sized, morsels of tasty brain-food.

Another lurker/reader I discovered late last year is wonderful Catie, whose blog is currently on hiatus due to the fact that she is now serving our country in the United States Navy. She rarely commented but visited often. I never got the chance to really thank her for her service to our country before she shipped out, but Catie, if you’re reading this, godspeed and come home soon.

Veronica is an amazing lady who recently began commenting here and has become a pillar of what I like to call the “Southwest Contingent” of Blogland. She is a phenomenally gifted professional artist whose paintings adorn her very personal and interesting blog.

Even more amazing are her strength and grace in the face of her current battle with full-blown breast cancer, which her doctors are now aggressively treating. If you haven’t recently, I would encourage everyone to visit Veronica both to enjoy her wonderful art and to send her all the positive vibes you can.

Lastly but not leastly
In closing this tribute to my neighbors here in Blogland, new and old, I wanted to recognize two folks who I consider important friends of this blog who still as yet, have no home of their own.

The first is a gentleman who was my very first commentor way back in May of 2004. I really have no idea whether or not he visits, although I have a suspicion he does from time-to-time. His involvement here was brief but well appreciated. So Mr. Fec, here’s to ya sir! Thank you for being here. I hope to see you again.

Finally, this lady needs little introduction if you ever read Lovisa’s blog, as they have been best friends for over 25 years. Why she doesn’t have her own blog I still can’t figure out, but I suppose she has her reasons. She is a gifted writer, is extremely funny and intelligent, and is just about the nicest person one could hope to meet. She’s the one we lovingly call Snick.

Snicky, I haven’t seen you around a whole lot in the past few weeks, but I hope all is well. I want to thank you for your constant support and genuine warmth. You still need to start your own blog, darn it!

Well I hope I didn’t bore too many of you with this little non-stop love-fest, but this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. If I’ve left anyone out, sorry, but do you really want this post to get any longer? Didn't think so.

As far as my friends who are already in my blogroll who I didn’t talk about, I've already told you how special you are, so don’t feel slighted now. But to be completely fair, let me once again say thanks to Aimee, Brian, CCC, Whirligirl, Esther, Regan, Fleece, Gooch, Inanna, Jake, Jamie, Jennifer, Johnny5, Kim, Kat, Kimber, Leese, Queenie, Todd, Vadergrrl, and Victoria.

You would not be in my blogroll if you all weren’t great writers and wonderful folks. Thank you all for being my friends.

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