Friday, January 12, 2007

it's getting cold in California

I guess I'll be leaving soon. But seriously, dudes, I do not know what is going on over here. It's as if California has decided to school me in preparation of possible moves to colder climes. Supposedly Canada is to blame, but you know how we Americans are- we like to blame Canada.

I think I can honestly say I have been too cold to write a post. And I realize this is ridiculous, especially when you consider that I've spent the majority of my life in places much colder than this. But what can I say, California has turned me into a wuss. Well, also, I seem to be fighting some moral battle against outerwear. Even though I know it's jacket weather, I'm still running around acting like a San Franciscan, thinking a warm sweater, a scarf, and (the newest addition) a pair of gloves will do the trick. Um, no. Time to go find that parka.

Usually, I make fun of blogging, and think of blogging as pure indulgence. But I am not going there today. In fact, I am going in the opposite direction. Here is what I would like to point out:
  • It is hard to clearly articulate this, but I have been following Maitri's blog for some time now. Every blog I follow regularly is special to me in a specific way. In Maitri's case, there are so many facets that I do not know where to begin. But I'll just start with the one that is compelling me to write today. Knowing Maitri, in the way that you get to know a blogger through their words, has made all the news about Hurricane Katrina, the levees, and the aftermath more real than any Anderson Cooper special ever could (no offense to Anderson Cooper, he's one foine metrosexual). As I watched When The Levees Broke, I wasn't seeing all of it for the first time. I was watching visuals and background to go along with the stage that Maitri had already tirelessly set on her blog. And this week, when I heard about the violent crime sprees in New Orlean on NPR, the story felt more immediate. The victim described in the story bore too uncanny a resemblance to Maitri- "a radiant bundle of energy, creativity and good cheer." I worried, I wondered: why isn't more being done? Haven't residents suffered enough? And while I would like to claim that I had that reaction simply out of normal empathy, I know that, in fact, the reaction is due more to Maitri than anything else. So, if I was going to point out a blog that has done real good, I think Maitri's would be one of the first that would come to my mind- by her consistently astute observations about her city, she keeps New Orleans in the consciousness of every reader.

  • Were it not for blogging, and my incessant kvetching about going to Peru, I would have never got the recommendation from Abhi on a good hiking company for the Inca Trail. That hike was probably the best adventure of my life, and a part of that is owed to his tips.

  • Thanks to blogging, I got a great suggestion from Thalassa on flying Southwest in Texas- which was great, and not just because the Ukrainian flight attendant announced during the safety speech, "Please fasten your seat belts securely around your waist, like we wear Speedos in Eastern Europe."

  • Thanks to blogging, I met Anna. And had I never met her, I would certainly never have worked up the nerve to meet all of the other fantastic people (and then some) I have met through this blog.

  • Thanks to blogging, arem put me in touch with some of her friends, who have been giving me mountains of information that I will need to make an informed decision about my future.

  • Thanks to blogging, both Roonie and Pied Piper have offered themselves up as sources of information on Cleveland. I have not met either of them, and yet I trust their insights on Cleveland more than some people I know in real life. That last part always amazes me- how is it that I can take recommendations and suggestions from people who have never met me in person so seriously? Yet I do, and I value them immensely.

  • Thanks to blogging, and reading blogs, you learn two things: you learn that you are lucky in some ways, and not alone in other ways. When things go well, you are aware that not everyone has it so easy, that life is filled with long struggles and small victories, that you should be grateful. And when all is not going well, you realize that others are in the same boat in some capacity, and they are making their way to shore- so, too, will you.

So, even if I am running out of interesting things to say, even if I am trying to figure out where I want my words to go, even if I am struggling with fears of revealing too much, I am hesitant to say goodbye to something that has been, by and large, such a positive force. Even I am not that stupid.

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