I used to believe this. I guess I still do–from a certain point of view. After all, if I’m wasting my time blogging, I could be working on my next novel or (joy of joys) writing free curriculum for the high school or playing Don’t Break the Ice with my kids.
Ki: (hands me the mallet) Here you go, Daddy! It’s your turn to sink the polar bear and be the scapegoat for global warming!
Me: (gulps) Okay, Ki-bi. Listen, I haven’t cleaned out the garage in awhile. You don’t happen to have a secret lab hidden under the garage or anything, do you?
Aurie: If you do, Kiera, Santa knows about it. And Easter Bunny won’t come. And Thor will punish you with all the might of Asgard!
Me: (tries to hand Aurie the mallet) Hey, do you want to demonstrate what Thor’s hammer–
Me: Right. What Mjolnir could do to a hollow block of plastic ice?
Ki: (throws up her hands) Quit stalling, Daddy!
Yeah. I could be doing that. Or, I could be ranting about the kinds of stuff I can’t talk about in front of my kids, who are five and eight respectively, on a public website.
I had considered starting a blog a few times in the past. There was the time when I was fed up with my teaching gig and thought it might be entertaining to post some of the antics that occur within these hallowed halls of higher learning I so devoutly serve.
Student: (flailing her hand spasmodically) Pike, Pike! (I hold a master’s degree, but somehow I don’t warrant a ‘mister’.) I know a better way them dog thieves coulda handled Buck!
Me: Enlighten me, ye child of Florence who dost doubtless fathom more than did Jack London.
Student: Daddy had a problem with our dog gettin’ inta the neighbor’s property and chasin’ ‘is chickens cause there was kinda this hole in our fence…
(At this point, I already know that said rustic parental unit did not do the sensible thing and just patch the fence, but I’m expecting to hear that he chained the dog to a post or paid more for one of those choker collars than he would for a bundle of chicken wire.)
Student: …so Daddy jes’ beat the dog with a chicken to learn him not to chase chickens no more!
Me: He beat the dog…?
Student: (nodding eagerly) With a chicken!
Me: Was this chicken alive or dead?
Me: Before or after he beat the dog with it?
Student: I’m not sure…
Too much more of this, and I risk offending one of the most venerable families in Florence, AZ…
There was also the time I tried to be a Vegan. I watched a documentary wherein stressed, overweight men quit their jobs and drank their meals out of a juicer until they were healthy again. My conversion went well at first. I lost 25 pounds in less than three weeks. I was going to adopt the title “The Green Knight” and blog about my life changing experience so that others could benefit from my newfound wisdom.
Then I started having these vivid dreams about being a caveman and slaying a mastodon with a crudely wrought spear. In later versions, I devoured the sucker raw and on the spot, hair and bones and all. Needless to say, my primal urges got the better of me in the end.
Emily and I also conspired to start a blog for parents regarding the dearth of quality children’s programming on cable and Netflix, but we never got around to it. We’re both curious as to why our kids’ favorite shows feature a cool babysitter/sibling figure who replaces the pivotal role that parents should play in the main characters’ lives. Where the hell are Ruby and Max’s parents? Why did Carli’s parents leave her in the care of her mentally challenged brother and under the influence of a best friend who is a con in the making? Do Dora’s parents allow her to go exploring in the jungle because her head looks like a caricature of Vader’s helmet in silhouette and they secretly hope she’ll be devoured by a curmudgeony leopard before those awkward teenage years set in? And what the hell is up with Hey Jes-SAY!?
You can see where something like that would have gone.
So why the blog now? Well…
Emily: Did you see the new stuff Patrick Rothfuss posted to his blog?
Me: Another stocky, big-bearded man is more interesting to Emily than I? Sacrilege!
Amazon.com: You’re a fledgling author without a blog? Are you powering your computer by banging two stones together? Do you shave with a broken sliver of shale? Have you considered the shipping costs of the stone tablets on which you probably write?
Me: You mean a book doesn’t market itself? Madness!
Crow: (http://domesticrow.wordpress.com) Dude, you should have a blog. It would be EXTREME.
Me: But I was just messing around… You thought that was writing? (pauses to consider)
Professor of Great Renown: Dan, some of these comments in Manifesto sound like they belong in a blog as opposed to a novel. You’re already at 120,000 words. Cut some of the fat and save it for something else.
Me: Yeah, I’ll just stick these in a .doc file somewhere… We’ll call them “the lost pages”.
–3 Months Later–
Me: Emily? Emily! What the hell did I do with the lost pages?
Em: (smirking) Well, Dan, the lost pages by definition…
Me: (lying) Never mind. Found ’em.
…but I did find them. They were stashed in my Yahoo! Mail account that I’ve had since 1997, and now some poor bastard is going to have to read them.
That poor bastard might be you.