The Wrap

It’s been 5 years, and I’ve culled some of what I consider my best entries from that time to share with you all.

But just because I consider them my finest does not make them the most popular.

BY FAR, my most popular entry is this one. It’s a recipe for homemade microwave popcorn.

haven’t all of you wondered why you should spend ridiculous amounts of cash on a bag designed to pop popcorn in, only to throw it away at the end? Well, even if you haven’t, enough of the internet has to lead them to a search, which leads them inevitably to my site.

A strange glitch in the internet makes me the only source of information on this most basic of tasks. Just about every day someone comes to the wonderblog to find out how to make popcorn themselves with common household materials.

I am the dispenser of popcorn wisdom. Do not be tricked into losing your hard-earned money to that suspicious Redenbacher character with his beady little eyes.

The next three most popular are probably tied. I declare them tied because I can’t be bothered to actually figure out which is more clicked…

This one is about the camia flower. I was given this pretty flower as a present, and blogged about it. Camia is a pretty name, isn’t it? It’s such a pretty name that a lot of daughters were named this name. Said daughters do searches on that name. So do the friends, admirers and desperate rejected suitors of these daughters.

Due to another black hole in the fabric of the internet, I am one of the very few sources of information about the camia flower, and the only source that is actually interesting.

This entry is a riff on a Dilbert cartoon. He is meeting his new boss, who introduces himself curtly as “Niel.” Dilbert bows on one knee. Get is? KNEEL. I did an entry on all the names I could think of that were action verbs. A silly little execise which resulted in a very popular entry.

This one, a highly popular entry, I am actually proud of. It’s a full on personal essay about curly hair. I like it. If I ever get off my butt I may submit it Oprah magazine or something.

This was found by the site naturallycurly.com. They came to me wanting to post in on their site. I negotiated a tank top for my writing. You can find it here.

Yes, I was giddily proud of that at the time. Now, I want more.

My Moose Kill story is still a popular one. People find it searching for moose anatomy.

And I like some of the fictional stories the blog inspire me…This sexy little number was fun…and then my Nadia story.

Miriam wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my blog, so I am well rewarded for the last 5 years.

I don’t want to stop. But I do want to get better. But this is virgin territory, folks. I am a veteran blogger, even if I am not as well-known as the other people who’ve been blogging for the same amount of time.

Truth is, I know why those four entries are so popular. It’s not rocket science…Someone links to them, pretty much. That’s the deal with the curly story and the popcorn. Okay, the powerful names one just stands on it’s own, as does the Camia flower. It’s an accident of the internet.

I could make like a shark and really go for the hits…Hit me baby! Again! HARDER!

But I can’t muster up enthusiasm for it.

Right, that’s the other thing I forgot to mention. For a year or two, I was a major poster on Blogcritics…They were a start-up site, and are now something of a force on the internet.

But that was when I was a baby blogger. I reviewed (not very expertly) CDs and movies and such things. But as I got better, I didn’t feel like doing that anymore.

We parted ways. I just don’t get excited about popular subjects. And so I stopped posting, and they eventually redesigned their site. I wasn’t linked to as much and my hits dropped by more than half. That hurt. I guess the internet is a lot like a mall, where traffic matters…I had relagated my wonderblog to an obscure untravelled corner of the internet. And it was not enough to keep the readers.

I don’t want to be like the other guys…I want to be me, but better.

And a little rich-and-famous wouldn’t be bad…

But thanks so much for those of you who are reading this. it’s a journey…I’ll try to keep entertaining…at least I know I can entertain myself along the way.

january 23, 2007

It is a constantly running train of thought, but here lately it’s been on my mind—the difference between men and women.

I love men. And I love being a woman. It seems to me that these two, when done right, are very complementary.

I know Chris and I work together very well. We have great love and respect for one another, and we manage to do really well on the various projects and entertainments we take up.

There are other men I have known on the job, who I can really click with, who give me respect and collegial affection. I’ve love working with them and miss them terribly when I’ve had to move on.

What is it that men and women give each other? It’s so much more than just procreation. We are broader than that. What, really, do we need each other for?

Of course, need is relative. Do I NEED to go to the gym and work out in the morning? Not really. NEED is for survival. Food, shelter, air.

But perhaps I am too stoic. Perhaps, for the time being, I can count the survival as a given, and set the bottom standard a little above DEATH.

About 8 years ago, I came to the conclusion that it is best not to need anyone for anything. That I am responsible for myself and myself alone. I wanted to be independent and able to get whatever I needed. I didn’t want to have to wait for someone else to get me what I needed.

It turns out I was very able. I pushed my abilities and pruned my wants appropriate to my circumstances. I learned how to be independent and not need things.

But that opened up other questions.

During our first year, while trying to figure all that out, I asked Chris, “If we don’t need each other, what will keep us together?”

He really didn’t understand the question, but he answered: “We will love each other.”

At the time, it was hard for me to understand how he would stay—how could I be sure?—if he wasn’t dependent on me in some way. He should need me.

I’ve learned a lot from trusting his love.

It turns out that instead of being dependent on someone, you can value them highly. In the same way that you would be unwilling to part with an object of value and beauty, you would be unwilling to part with a person of high value and beauty.
And knowing what I value in him, I can try to foster those same things in myself. When I look at myself honestly, I can see that I am of high value. And I can feel confident that he would want to be with this good stuff that is me.

Okay, that’s the micro. What’s the macro? What do men and women need from each other? What desirable thing is it that we are particularly suited to give to each other?

Earlier this summer, I had that highly annoying conversation with a co-worker. You know the one.

“Men and women cannot be friends, because men only want to sleep with the woman.”

Basically, this argument means that men have no use for any part of a woman except…well, you know what I mean.

He brought it up, because I’d met someone who I thought was interesting but who obviously was attracted to me. I’d hoped that he might get over it and be a friend.

“OH no,” co-worker said. “Let me tell you something about men: they never want to be your friend.”

I brought up examples and hypothetical situations. It was a slow day, and we were getting into it. But he was adamant. Friendship was impossible.

I threw this back at him, “So what you’re saying is, while I want to be friends with a guy, he has no interest in my conversation or friendship. Since I am nothing to him, the only thing I’m going to get out of interactions is whatever entertainment I can create….So I should be the biggest possible bitch so that I can get maximum entertainment value.”

The rest of the guys were laughing, but he wouldn’t back down. “I’m telling you, guys do not want to be friends. Ever.”

Well, that made me depressed for a few days afterwards. Upon reflection, I took away two things:

Guys who have that conversation with females are hoping for something. Note to self: avoid that sort of discussion. It’s just an excuse for guys to talk about sex. I thought I had learned that lesson my first year in college, but I guess I forgot. Or hoped that maturity was more widespread than it is.

Also:
Guys who hold that belief have no clue what to do with the huge amorphous feelings they have about women.
Women are highly desirable, but barely understood. The desire they feel is so scary, they try to cover they metaphorical nakedness with this little insufficient scrap called “sex.”

If they have an answer, they can stop asking the question. It matters little that the answer is wrong (or at the least, insufficient). They can put to rest the discomfort of their ignorance with it.

So that leads to another question. What is it that women give men?

I once knew this guy. He was a friend of my ex. He was the most misogynistic young man (~26) I have ever met. He literally had no interest in anything I had to say. I was a woman, and did not count.

It was kind of stunning to realize this. He was never rude, but he treated me as if I were his friend’s cat–simply not a source of intelligence.

He had been dating a 16 year-old (get this, ASIAN). Typical stereo-type. How much more controlling can you be? It was a half-step removed from a mail-order bride. He got married her when she told him he’d gotten her pregnant.

I’d never met her, even though we knew this guy for years while they were dating.

Long story short, after baby boy was almost 2, turned out that wifey had had a boyfriend they whole time and the child was his. She left Mr. Misogynist. He was devastated.

During this bad time, after his wife and erst-while son had left him, he called to talk to my (then) husband. When I told him I was the only one home, he wanted to talk.

I thought he had brought this disaster on himself somewhat, but I felt bad for him. I knew he was hurting.

But the amazing thing is, he wanted to talk to ME.
ME.
The woman he had no use for. The female who might as well have stayed in the kitchen and walked three steps behind for all he cared.

He really wanted to talk to me. He really really wanted to hear words from a kind female. That was all. We talked about small things for maybe 45 minutes.

He needed what I had. He needed womanhood.

I don’t know the boundaries of what masculinity and femininity are. I suspect they are not hard and fast.

But we need each other. And we need each other to be strong and independent in order to receive the good stuff from each other. I think that if we could learn to work together like that, the whole world would change and be beautiful.

January 17, 2007

Hmmm…thoughts are floating around in my head today.

On the way in to work, I listened to Instapundit’s podcast on Marriage and Caste. Ms. Hymowitz has a lot to say, and talks about how marriage is a very valued institution in America.

She also mentions that in the 50s, people got married even younger than ever before. Younger than now, that’s for sure. My best research says ladies got married at age 20, on average.

Now…about the 50s…I spent this week sick at home in my cute house.

That house that I love so much and am renovating to look modern, just like the time period it was built, in 1950.

It is staggering, how much was changing in the 50s. They talk about the 60s being a time of revolution, but that was just the people catching up with…well…everything!

okay, the teens and 20s were wild and crazy and full of ideas and wealth. Yes, the wealth and ideas were churned by the Great War, what we now call world war one. Hopelessness, the Flu that killed almost anyone that was left standing after the trenches were abandoned.

Meaning? God? What did that mean to anyone at those times? Wild and free to be…wild and free.

But then the depression knocked the wind out of everyone. Resources? Invention? Everyone was too busy making sure they could eat.

Well, Hitler came along and saved us all by being as evil as anyone could be. Hooray! Let’s fight him. Let’s everybody fight him.

And in doing so, the economy got back on it feet. There was fighting to be done. And work to be done at home, Rosie. There are ships to put together, and enough work for even the ladies to have paying jobs.

They worked, and they worked together. Everyone sacrificed for a reason. We won the war, evil was smashed and the world was once again as it should be.

But all the pressure that the century had put on people up to that point exploded into the 50s.

It’s hard for me to understand how modern the Modern age of 1950 was. How very very much had changed as how fast.

I was researching paint. They said that there were colors that were invented for the first time, because they had the chemical know-how then. That the pinks and pastels and bright colors finally got to be used.

The war had rationed even colors.

And the depression…well, that was entirely in Black and White. Like Fred and Ginger.

Refrigerators and washing machines. And those incredible cars! Modern and sleek and dreamy.

And what did people want to do with this beautiful new world of promise?

they wanted to get married. and live in little houses with a yard and a garage.

IMG_6535

and as soon as possible, thank you very much.

We look back at these stories. Ozzie and Harriet. Leave it to Beaver.

I’ve always thought of them as traditional. But they were not. They were very very modern.

which is kinda blowing my mind right now.

On the other hand, why not have a cute little family in a safe little house that has every comfort in it? In so many ways, isn’t that the pinnacle of what we could wish for?

Not the 60s kids, though. They had to tear it down. They wished for anything but.

maybe because they already had it.

Hmmm……