Following up on my earlier post about Morocco, I am still going, and in fact, am leaving within the week.
Turned out the cheapest, easiest option was to fly through London, so my friend R and I are flying out this Saturday night, then flying to Fes Sunday evening, then flying back to London on the 3rd, then home on Saturday the 5th. This trip marks a number of travel firsts for me: it’s the first time I’ve ever traveled anywhere (out of the country) for so short a time (previously, I was in Italy for 2 months and in Asia for 3½); it’s the first time I’ve traveled in winter; and it’s the first time I’ve traveled with anyone. For the first thing, I’m really trying not to be such an American about traveling – I haven’t been out of the country since I got back from Asia in 2006, because I’ve been waiting until the next time I move cities, but now I have decided that I should really try to take a short trip every year, even if I don’t have any money.
I’m mostly worried about the middle of those three concerns – I have no idea at all what to bring. I’m carrying my old pack (which my Dad very sweetly washed for me), but it’s pretty small and can’t hold two weeks worth of clothes, much less two weeks worth of winter clothes. Every other time I’ve traveled, I’ve brought a giant wad of tissue-weight sundresses and a pair of flip-flops.
As to traveling with someone, I think that R and I will travel well together, as we both have the same general philosophy, which is to just buy plane tickets and figure out everything else when we get there. Both of us like to wander around alone, and neither of us are particularly pressured about cramming things in (this weekend, some friends were saying that we have to ride a camel through the desert because it will be our only chance to do that, and both R and I were like, ‘Why would this be our only chance to do that?’). R has expressed some concern about the fact that I am constitutionally unable to speak up if I disagree with something or don’t want to do something, so she’s worried that I’ll tag along with her politely doing things I’m not really interested in. Which, you know, I probably will, but I’ve been doing that since birth, so I don’t see the issue.
I’m mostly just worried about leaving Thomasina for two weeks by herself – she’s going to be so lonely! What if she turns feral? She’s always just on the brink, as it is. My wonderful roommate has agreed to feed her, but I doubt she will spend 30 minutes a night petting Thomasina’s face, like I do. Partly because she actually has a life, and partly because if she gets anywhere near Thomasina, Thomasina will surely bite her. Our impending separation particularly concerns me just now, as we haven’t spent much time together over the past few weeks – I have, very uncharacteristically, been a right social butterfly lately, as it’s January and I’m attempting to combat my seasonal depression the natural way, by faking a manic episode, and meanwhile, Thomasina has been absolutely consumed by her latest project. She has tasked herself with entirely chewing through a 5’x7’ jute rug, which is quite the undertaking for a 2 pound rabbit, and she is pursuing her goal with a dedication and single-mindedness that any of us might envy (above is a photo of Thomasina under my bed, surrounded by the many, many things with which I have provided her for chewing, other than the rug; still, she prefers the rug and I have to respect that). So, we’ve both been busy and a little distant, and I worry she won’t even remember me when I get back.
Naturally, I will blog about my trip here and post photos and everything, so those of you who followed my travel blog but don’t read this one, this is where it will be. But here’s the thing, y’all – I’m not going to post in real-time, because I’m only going for two weeks and I’m not going to spend several hours every other night sitting in an internet cafe, so I’ll post it all when I get back. Sorry, I know that’s not as much fun, but it will be nice to have ready-made content for this blog for awhile. Check back on the 7th or 8th (or, well, 9th).
Speaking of content and the blog, I’ve never done any sort of metapost about this blog, and this seems like as good a time as any. Remember when this blog was consistently funny? Good times. That was back when I started this here thing, in March 2007, which was about a month after I first moved to NYC. So, it’s been up almost four years, but that also includes the several months during which I took the whole blog down entirely because someone I really admire said something mean to me and it made me sad. To date, the blog has nearly 47,000 views, which isn’t that many, and it consistently gets around 30-40 views a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.
At first, I posted something funny about once a week; then, for a long time, I posted something funny twice a week and something topical three times a week; then, I posted nothing for months; then, I posted a lot of very boring short posts about nonsense because I felt like it; and now I post anywhere from weekly to daily about whatever happens to occur to me.
On July 3, 2007, I posted this about the igoogle teahouse fox theme page. The igoogle team found it and emailed it around, which bumped me up in the google rankings, and to date, this is my most viewed post and most of my traffic comes from searches related to the teahouse fox theme.
On August 18, 2010, I posted this poem, and I made WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page, resulting in my highest viewed day (2,408 views) and my most commented post (96 comments). This is my second most-viewed post on the blog.
My third top post is this one, which is not one of my funnier posts by a long shot, but which is the source of a lot of my traffic, because people overwhelmingly come to this blog after searching for various iterations of “how to meet my dream man,” which is a constant source of amusement to me every time I look at my stats. In fact, the very top search that brings people to my blog, ahead of even ‘accismus’ or anything to do with teahouse fox, is “how to meet the man of your dreams.” Which, all I can say about that is, I am so sorry. I have no expertise on this subject at all, and never claimed to. The only thing I might say? Very gently, here in your ear, just us girls together? Is that if this dream man is so very elusive…perhaps he does not really want to be found. Just saying.
My fourth most-viewed post is this one, which people find by googling the Columbia J-school application test. I wrote this post because Columbia used to have this very multiple-choice test up on their site as a sample of what you would have to take as part of your application, but they removed it not long after I posted this and from what I can tell, they no longer require such a thing, probably because they realized how moronic it was.
My fifth top post is this one, because, YOU GUYS, I cannot even TELL you how many people out there are searching for “Kaley Cuoco diet and exercise routine.” Seriously, people, what is the deal? Get yourselves a hobby!
The sixth is this MySpace Quiz bit, which I only mention because, ha, MySpace, what? People still google that?
So, there you have it. When I first started this blog, I would never have believed that I would one day be the top source on the web for finding the man of your dreams, and for information on Kaley Cuoco’s diet and exercise routine, but life takes you places you don’t expect.
I don’t have any grand insights into blogging or anything. To have a successful blog, you need a topic, and obviously, this blog has no topic at all. I didn’t start it to have a successful blog, though – I just wanted to be entertaining on a small scale, and to have something to do with bits I thought up that didn’t really work in a play or a sketch. When I used to blog really regularly and I had a regular following, I used to freak out when I’d post something and get no positive feedback on it. That made me feel really lonely, and was a constant source of stress. But now that I don’t necessarily have a regular following, the occasional random post that gets a lot of compliments is just a happy accident, but I don’t sit around being all, “Oh, God, why can’t I think of anything funny? What if I can’t ever think of anything funny again?” Which is what I used to do when I was actually pursuing comedy out in the real world, and that’s understandable, but that type of stress for a tiny little blog I write for free is just not worth it, and that’s the answer to why this blog doesn’t feature as many humor pieces as it used to: because there’s nothing in it for ME, you ungrateful little shits!
Finally, looking back over my entries, here are some of my favorites over the years that don’t get that many views, and a few I’d forgotten about, but still made me laugh:
- Community Rules for Separate Commons, Communal Living Experiment for Introverts
- Further Excerpts from Susan Sontag’s Journals and Notebooks
- Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams
- At Home with the Woolfs, Part One (If you think you’re missing something on this post, you’re not. I have no idea why the hell I wrote it, or what it’s about, or why it’s “part one,” but for whatever reason, I still think it’s funny.)
- Elizabeth Bennett’s Missed Connections
- All My Friends Are Turtles: The Unpublished Journals of April O’Neil
- While I’m At Work, and You Are Home Alone This Summer
- The Inexplicably Furious Mannequins of Macy’s (This actually does get a number of views – strangely, a lot of people Google Macy’s mannequins.)
- I’m a Sucker for Arts
- Norton Recommends Some Updates
- Spring Wardrobe Purge (This post gets some hits, too, mostly from people searching for “how to pee in wrap pants.” Also, wow, how thin am I in these pictures? My face looks huge! This was when I was eating nothing but Clif bars because I was trying to finish a play and the only way I could make myself finish it was by quitting eating altogether, because otherwise, I would spend all the time I was supposed to be writing thinking about what I might have for lunch, so finally, I was like, ‘Well, you’re never having lunch AGAIN, how about that? Now finish your damn work!’ That play turned out to be really awesome, and everyone loved it, but it was never produced because I suddenly decided that I hated the theater and abruptly quit everything and stopped speaking to everyone. It’s possible that I sometimes self-sabotage just the teensiest bit.)
- Am I a Poor Listener, or Should You Just Shut Up: A Primer for Party Conversation
- Proposed Renovations
- I’b Sig
Anyway, it’s been a great four years, everyone! Thanks for reading!
Well, I seem to recall that I stuck your blog in my Google Reader after, yes, Googling the teahouse theme. (I was writing my own blog entry on the teahouse theme at the time.) But hey, I stayed and enjoyed! I, too, have been blogging for four years on no discernible topic. I prefer to refer to this as “creative license.”
Thanks, Anne! Good to know you’re here. Yes, a lot of my favorite blogs don’t really have topics.
I have been reading you ever since the travel blog — I remember printing that out at McG—eW–ds and reading it all at once in a coffee house and thinking dammit, this is amazing writing! I feel that way about most things you write, and I so enjoy finding a new post in my Accismus feed. Yay Elizabeth!
Aw, thanks, Duncan! You are always my biggest supporter. I love your writing just as much – wish you would do more of it, but you insist on spending your time being gainfully employed.
Have you read Thomasina 🙂 But it seems you read… I remembered this amazing book. When I was a little girl I watched th film of this book and then I read the book… How impressive still for me. I am so glad to meet you. You seem so nice and so busy one. Day by day I will try to read you. Thank you dear Elizabeth, Blessing and Happiness, love, nia