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Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Blog Roundup

Many years ago, in a cabin far far away, a group of thirteen-year-old girls thought it would be clever to all sleep naked on the night when word had gotten back through the long tables of the mess hall that the thirteen-year-old boy campers would be sneaking out that night. After our counselor left for the evening to get drunk up by the flagpole with the other counselors, we all slipped off our pyjamas and left them at the bottom of our sleeping bags, waiting patiently for the boys to arrive. Throughout the cabin, we were trying to imagine the looks on their faces when they entered the cabin and we jumped out of our sleeping bags. Ta-da!

After an hour, we were all getting anxious for the boys to arrive, wondering if they had been caught sneaking out of their cabin. Being anxious makes me have to pee so I slipped out of my sleeping bag and into our cabin's bathroom, right in time for a random male camp counselor to enter because we were speaking so loudly that they could hear us up at the flag pole.

My bed was empty so the counselor immediately started yelling at me to get back in bed. Except that I couldn't walk out of the bathroom in front of him. Every time he yelled, "Mel, get your ass out here!" I would respond, "I can't." Finally, he had the thought to add, "fucking tell me why!" and I admitted, "I am completely naked. We're all completely naked right now."

It was such a good idea in thought. Such a bad idea in execution.

I changed my sign-off name officially to Lollipop Goldstein. And I was still giggling as I did it, though, once I opened my blog again and saw that it had removed any trace of The Town Criers, I wondered if it was still a good idea. Was it like being caught naked? It certainly felt vulnerable to change my name formally. Would people know who was commenting on their blog? Was it something that seemed clever at the time but would bite me in the ass in the future when everyone was left simply confused.

Only time will tell.

This is the research portion of this post: I am collecting this for an upcoming Barren Advice column which will actually be posted probably on Monday this week because the first IComLeavWe list starts on Tuesday.

Barring that it was post that sparked a heated debate and you wanted to return to see what people said after you, do you return to the comment section later on after you comment on a post to see if the author wrote you a response? Do you subscribe to comment sections? And if you want to respond to someone's comment, do you usually do so in an email (if you have their email address) or a comment on their blog OR do you leave a response to them within your own comment section?


Or, er...state preferences.

Speaking of NaComLeavMo, we have some iron commentors in our midst, people who commented as best they could on every blog on the list every week (if the person didn't update or it was impossible to leave a comment on their blog, they were understandably skipped).

I am building a wall of iron commentors and the first two bricks are What Wuz I Saying? and Your Kiss is on My List. Please go over and congratulate them on a job well done.

At midnight tonight, EST, the Roundup Extravaganza list will close. If you want in, respond before midnight tonight. At that point, I'll start sorting and pairing off people. You will receive an email with your pairing--perhaps as early as Saturday or Sunday and hopefully by midweek. When the last email goes out, I will post a note in that sticky post at the top of the blog or in the current post. If you haven't received your email at that point, let me know.

This just made me really happy. We had gotten into bed and it was 12:01 am when Josh suddenly said, "can I show you something?" (see, mum, it is his fault that I get no sleep. Just as it is always his fault when we are late). This is what he showed me:

Didn't that just make you happy? I've watched it so many times by now.

And now for some things that made me happy or sad or made me think this week:

Lori at Weebles Wobblog (who is currently doing a summer rerun of her chakra series!) had a post about the summer solstice, the day where the sun stands still and then reverses. This is the thought that gave me pause in its simplicity and beauty: "When something reaches its zenith, it begins to become its opposite. This, to me, is profound. We reach the peak of summer, and we then head toward winter. Once the darkest part of the night passes, day advances. There is a constant ebb and flow. Happiness and sadness." Isn't that gorgeous?

Merseydotes at Elevated Umbrella had a post about her daughter's questions. Beyond wanting to know how the world started or the reasons for slavery, she is processing the death of a friend's parent and it is affecting her each time Merseydotes needs to leave her at school. She wrote: "Last night, I tried to talk to her about my leaving her at school and how it was okay because I always come back, and she got teary-eyed and said, 'But I just love you so much, and I don't want you to go.'" And as I read it, I wondered what stage of development I haven't resolved because I am still that way when someone goes--and it is because I love them so and I just want to keep them close as I consider the vastness of the world. It was a sweet post.

Beth from The Idle Mind of Beth had a gorgeous post about babysitting. She wrote: "Of course, this isn't the easiest way for me to spend a Saturday night. The kids are fun, and I always enjoy my time with them. Yet, anytime I head home after a visit with them, our house seems a little more empty, our family a little less complete." It is such a bittersweet post; one that will make you sigh and sniff.

Lastly, Emily from Emily the Hopeless had a terrific vent this week. "I'm an infertile worthless broken woman.. I’m feeling like the world is throwing it’s collective feces at me.. while the guilt and selfishness rub large chunks of sea salt into my invisible wounds. and I feel like a jerk for giving in to all these torments." Head over to read the whole thing--it will make you want to vent your own spleen as you nod at hers.

The roundup for the Roundup: Lollipop Goldstein is just me. Lots of questions about responding to comments. NaComLeavMo is over; IComLeavWe is about to begin (though, by "begin" I mean adding you name to the list. The actual commenting orgy is over 3 weeks away). Where the hell is Matt? And come see my bathroom floor for Show and Tell on Sunday (if I can capture the picture I want)--all I can say is that Star Wars fanatics will be making a pilgrimage.


Murgdan said...

Thank you for including "Where the hell is Matt"...that just totally made my day. :-)Thanks for the smile.

K @ ourboxofrain said...

I also love Where the Hell is Matt. I posted it on my Facebook page and forced P to watch it last night, which inspired him to watch all the other related videos, including the outtakes and the original 03/04 video.

As for comments, I rarely subscribe to them or come back to read other comments or look for author comments, though I have done both on occasion. When people leave me comments, I will sometimes respond via email (though it isn't always an option), or sometimes in a follow-up post. I don't think I've ever responded in my own comments, and only if I'm already commenting on their blog do I respond there (just so the comment doesn't seem weird to other commenters who see it).

Jess said...

Oh no, I don't think anyone will forget and be confused. Mel...WHO ELSE would be "Lolipop Goldstein?" And who can forget your explanation that you're a "candy loving Jew at heart"!! You almost made my husband squirt Mt. Dew out his nose when I told him you said that, btw.

As for your question...I sort of know the authors that DO leave responses in their comment section, and those I will go back to to check (if I have time) to see if there's a response to my response. However, some I know will email if they want to respond, and others I simply know NEVER respond those ways (they do so in another post if at all) and so I don't find myself going back to EVERY comment section, but there are those I do check.

As for responding on my own blog, it sort of depends. If it's really important, like a question that someone has that I know they want to KNOW, I either email or leave them a comment on their blog. But if it's just a little titbit that isn't too important to get out there, I just respond in my comment section.

That video is fab. I LOVE IT.

Sunny said...

I used to go back and read the comments to see if anyone responded. Then I began reading way too many blogs to keep up with it all. When I reply to a comment I do so through email. If you don't have email you don't get a response.

Your new name still makes me laugh!

SarahSews said...

Sometimes I go back and read comments, sometimes I don't.

Your little bit of Beth's post made me cry in my coffee. I went and read the rest and cried even more. That silence is so hard.

luna said...

great video, what fun!

as for comments, it depends. I don't usually go back and read others' comments, unless it's a post that poses a particularly intriguing question and I want to see the responses from others.

when someone comments on my blog, I'll often check out their blog and leave a comment there. but sometimes I will send a quick email response instead (especially if I want to share something I don't necessarily want to share in public).

I've responded in my own comments just a few times, but not because I think someone will return to read them. it's usually been to respond to or address something in the comments left or the post in general (i.e., a statement of broad applicability), though I have written follow-up posts where there was more to say...

MrsSpock said...

I don't subscribe to comments but try to check back to see if there was a response. If someone asks me a question in my comments section I generally reply in my comments or in the next post, more because I haven't figured out how to email a reply from the comments than anything. Yes, i am a tool.

Lori said...

That's so funny. You posted me and I posted you. Must be the "L" connection we have :-).

LOVE the video. Makes my heart swell.

I sometimes do return to comments, but I don't subscribe to them.

My son will totally be into your bathroom floor.


Kathy V said...

I do go back to a comment page on other people's blog if I want to see what other people have said or if I know that person responds to the comments within the comment section. Not all people do as some respond to comments in a new post or it was just comment that doesn't necessarily need replied to.

midlife mommy said...

I never go back and read comments. I always leave an e-mail address, and often, someone will e-mail me about a comment. At least I'm consistent -- I will never comment about someone else's comment on my blog; I will always e-mail.

dmarie said...

I love Matt's videos and I like reading his travel blog. So glad he finally got the 2008 vid out!

I do sometimes return to read other comments after mine. I don't subscribe. If I want to respond to a comment--I'll usually do it there. I've also responded to questions/comments on my own blog within the comments section.

emilythehopeless said...

hehe.. thanks for noticing my ridiculous rant. i appreciate that you were "listening".. i really do. i'm a bit better today.. i posted about some clarity ..

so thank you for reading :)

kate said...

Ah, I totally LOVE the "Where The Hell Is Matt?" video. I forwarded it to all my friends earlier this week, and then made my husband forward it to all his friends. I posted it on my blog, too, but no one seems as enchanted with it as I am (or else the stinkers haven't watched it yet!).

But at any rate, I can't stop watching it! So cool! I totally want his job. Seriously.

As far as comments go, unless it's a particularly heated discussion, I rarely click back through to see if there's been any response (unless I'm bored and my Google Reader is empty. Then I might). If I ask someone a question, then the next time I read their blog, I might look for an answer in their post, or if they didn't respond there, I'll check the comments section.

I kind of think that your question raises what I've thought for a long time is sort of a weakness of the blogginess, which is that it's difficult to have true discussions in the comments, unless you are using a discussion-formatted blog (a la the way LiveJournal does it's comments section, where a commenter can reply to another commenter). But that comes with it's own set of issues, so who knows what the best solution is!

And by the way- I've needed a good laugh today, and your camp story really did the trick. Hilarious! It's so weird what we all thought was such a good idea when we were 13 and at camp! We never did anything like what you described, which just proves that you had much more fun campmates than I did. I was always the one suggesting stuff like that while my cabinmates turned up their noses at all the fun.

I saw this thing a while ago that was a camp but for adults- all the same activities, cabins, camp meals, etc., but just grown ups! I wish I could find it 'cos I'd SO sign up! I've actually seriously thought about hosting an IF summer campout on our land- tents and fires, but still with a house close-by for when we get sick of the bugs- hmm. I'll have to look in to this...

Tigger said...

Now you've done it. I've been on the verge of tears for DAYS and you pushed me over with the video of Matt. I've seen his others, but there was something powerful about this one - I think it's because there were SO MANY people from all over, who were dancing with a random man who was dancing like an idiot in their space. He also got into some incredible places - it's awesome. This just proves once again that the world DOES have a common

On comments - I never think to respond to the people who comment on mine. I have it sent to my email and I save them, so I can read them again later when I'm having a down day.

loribeth said...

ROFL on the camp story!! And the video was cute.

Re the name change, it is likely to cause some confusion... but it's memorable enough that once people connect it to you, they won't forget!

Comments: I don't often subscribe to comments, unless it's a subject I'm hugely interested in & a blog I don't often visit. If it's one of my blog reader regulars, I will often go back to the previous post when there's a new one & check in to see if there were any further comments that I missed. On my own blog, I will sometimes respond to comments in the comments section.

Lee said...

Love the camp story!

As for comments, I will subscribe to / return to the comments of interesting posts. A chunk of the blogs I read the authors reply in the comments.

I try to respond to all of the comments made on my blog, on my blog in the comment section.

jenn said...

That video made me tear up! I love it!
I will check back on comments I leave if I have asked a question I really want an answer to, but I do not subscribe. I usually respond back to comments on my own blog on my own blog. but I occassionly stary- I will leave information that I feel is slightly more personal or involved on the askers blog- always at the end of a comment I am making in return.

PaleMother said...

Thanks for the video. That was great!

** Mel aksed: do you return to the comment section later on after you comment on a post to see if the author wrote you a response?

D says: Many times I do return to the comments section if I leave a remark (at least if I remember). If I am inspired enough to get past my general feeling of always being too pressed for time and I actually get up off my lazy touchpad and *type* a (more than token) comment ... then I'm very interested in the topic or debate enough to want to check on the discussion to see what others had to say and to see if the blogger bounced back.

On the blogs where I have gotten to know the authors through email, I will leave frequent "D was here" comments for support and those comments don't always invite reply or call for checking back in.

**Mel asked: Do you subscribe to comment sections?

D says: I haven't caved and signed up for rss yet, though my dh is kicking and screaming for me to let him show me how.

**Mel asked: And if you want to respond to someone's comment, do you usually do so in an email (if you have their email address) or a comment on their blog OR do you leave a response to them within your own comment section?

D says: I generally avoid emailing people I don't know because I feel like I might be intruding. But that's probably silly/overly self-conscious, because I love it when people email *me*. And of course bloggers have a choice about whether to enable email.

I *will* make an exception/take a chance and email a blogger if:

1. There might be privacy sensitive stuff in my reply -- like discussing/revealing locations or stuff I'd be uncomfortable blogging publicly about ... or

2. If my remark seems like it might be pointlessly controversial or insensitive to other commenters (but not the blogger herself) ... or

3. If I think that what I have to say/share/ask might invite a level of back-and-forth conversation that would be too windy or personal or boring for the comments venue.

People do open up a lot more and are less stiff when the conversation isn't 'on stage' ... and so far I've always been very glad when I've taken a chance and emailed someone.

If someone leaves *me* a thoughtful comment that is more than a token (nothing wrong with tokens -- beats silence) ... I usually try to post at least a quick thanks on *their* blog (so they don't miss my acknowledgement) in the comment section of their most current post ... and then if I have additional, topic-specific stuff to say in reply, I will put *that* part back in *my own* comment section under their remarks to keep the discussion flowing in one place and to put it where people will actually know what I am talking about -- rather than 'float' a discussion onto another blog, out of context, where it will annoy people.


Bea said...

This is the best roundup ever. Or maybe I'm just buzzing cos of Matt. I love your camp story, though. And the posts, of course.


Io said...

I rarely check back on somebody else's comments unless I wrote something that has a question in it. I like when people write in my comments or email me, which is what I do.

nancy said...

I need to join the word I can never think of.


And I don't think anyone will be confused.

Well, maybe.

Just not about Lollipop.

sara said...

Your camp story has me cracking up! Thanks for the laugh :-) As far as the commenting, sometimes I communicate via email back and forth if possible. Other times I do comment, but have trouble getting back to check their blog for a response. Hopefully they comment back on mine because I'm more likely to see it.

Joanna said...

The "Matt" video was amazing. I am not kidding when I say I got goosebumps and my eyes started tearing up (especially the bigger the groups got and the more dramatic the music was). It is such a wonderful way to show how all people, no matter what language they speak or what part of the earth they live on, ARE ALL THE SAME.

Than you for sharing that!

Anonymous said...

I've been a little MIA...thanks for the gallons of info, the thoughts, the ideas and the great video!!
oh, and i have never subscribed to comments and i occassionally go back to see if there's a posted response...i generally go back to the same blogs anyway, so i might check when I'm popping in...