Several years ago, while I was going though an unusual confluence of broke (career change), unemployed (cataclysmically idiotic SAG commercial strike) and dork (freshly discovered love of computers), I stumbled upon a little time-suckage device called "Epinions." Much like the blogosphere, Epinions was a virtual community where like-minded souls could: (a) "meet"; (b) exchange ideas; and (c) engage in conversation or debate, lively or otherwise (depending on the mindset of aforementioned souls). Nominally, we were all there to provide consumer information in the form of product and service reviews, but for many of us, especially those of us who reviewed less popular and hence, less profitable items, the real draw was (O, Hubris, thy Name is communicatrix) intellectual stimulation.
Of course, Change, merry prankster that he is, swooped in soon enough and decimated our virtual village. Egregious mismanagement and the incessant, petty shitcanning of reviews as "off-topic", off-color, or just plain smart-alecky by the newly established Asshole Majority drove most of the people I liked to go home and take their balls (ha!) with them. Sad, sad, sad. I left my old reviews on the site (ten bucks a year is ten bucks a year) but the joy had gone out of posting and my involvement with Epinions dwindled to the occasional stray email commenting on my most popular review and my subsequent reply.
I suppose there was a blogosphere back then, too, but as a carbuncle firmly planted on the butt-end of the Early Adopter demographic, it was not yet my time to explore it. Plus, the UIs were ugly. (Sorry, but they were.) Besides, the strike ended, I started booking like a maniac and I had a little cashola with which to shop again. (Also, because the Universe is nothing if not generous, my live-in relationship helpfully went on Orange Alert, thereby providing me with a seemlingly limitless source of time-suckage with no lengthy dial-up waits. But that is another story for another day.)
But the demise of Epinions left a void in my life and me and nature, we abhor a vacuum. I threw myself into my theater company (and, as a guest, anyone else's who'd have me); later, post-Crohn's, I became similarly obsessive about my involvement with the SCD Listserv, starting with rapacious reading at the front end of my illness curve, progressing to righteous diatribes on the necessity of "fanatical adherence" and the breathless posting of SCD "convenience food" discoveries (when you have to cook everything yourself, individually wrapped Baby Bel cheeses are indeed, a revelation).
In the end, though, it was no use. These groups I joined were...well, groups. And try as I might to fit in, I'm a freak, I'm a loner, I'm a lover, I'm a fighter, I'm everything but a joiner. Granted, when forced to attend large, festive gatherings I've gotten much, much better at imitating a person enjoying herself, but inside, my heart is gripped by fear and my brain is ticking off the minutes until I can safely escape to the blessed solitude of my car, my cave, or both. Whatever the reason, I just do better one-on-one, if not just plain one.
So here I am, several years later, blogging away. And while I've blogged about why I blog and blogged about my need for a safe space to explore my truth, I don't think it's even occurred to me until this very day how much I blog because it's become my artistic home, a safe house to play in conveniently located in a community full of like-minded souls whom I can visit for inspiration or companionship and from whom I can retreat into solitude as my spirit requires. Evelyn Rodriquez is there with sound advice or food for thought when I need her and cool when I need me some "me" time. (And vice-versa, of course.) Half-Mad Spinster went away on sabbatical for goodly chunk of time (and came back Half-Mad Married Lady!), but good neighbors that we are, we dropped by occasionally to make sure her house was still standing, and then, upon her return, welcomed her with much rejoicing if not a real-live shindig. Blogging is a two-way street (albeit a really long, twisty one that goes on and on and curls back on itself in unexpected ways). And my blog is a little live/work studio on that street.
So I (ahem) bang away here in my little bloggy space, making what I will of it. I thank you all (or, more appropriately, you both) for stopping by every once in awhile, mainly because it's fun but also because it forces me to keep things relatively clean and tidy.
And for those of you who dropped in accidentally, say, on your way to "'WOMEN SLAPPING' AND DOMINATION" or "black camel toe xxx", well, the door's to your left.