Friday, September 23, 2011

The personal blogs I love and adore

What makes you listen to any blog above all the noise? For me, it's the voice. Whether it's a personal or professional blog, if the writing sounds like a real person talking, I'm in. And if that person sounds snarky-funny, all the better. In fact, if they're uh, funnarky, if you will, the post doesn't have to HAVE a point. Sometimes it's the stuff beside the point that's the best part (and compels me to comment).

I like picture blogs, too, but unless captioned with some insight, they leave me feeling like I just viewed an impersonal slideshow. I start thinking that the operator behind the scenes is just clicking on the Next button. Painless posting, I call it. So if you publish picture posts, please scrape off some of your sweet tortured soul and sprinkle it like chocolate shavings on a divine dessert. Thanks for the yummy.

In the blog world there's this phenomenon of passing awards. A bit more pleasant than passing out, and certainly more socially acceptable than passing gas. Early in my blogging year I received the Irresistibly Sweet Blog award from my My Niece the Novelist. (Thanks, Bubs!) Now those of you who know how this works know that you would then write a post mentioning the blogger who gave you the award, reveal a handful of things about yourself, then pass the award to five or so other blogs, with links so your readers can enjoy them, too. Except at the time, I was underexposed to the funnarkiness of the blog universe, and did not have a respectable list of irreverent blogs to share with you.

That has changed. Perfect timing, too, as the Liebster Award has been passed on to me by Michael Ann of Thinking In My Head (a preschool teacher who recently confessed to having a potty mouth). AND, the Versatile Blogger award came my way from Joy Page Manuel of Catharsis (a self-described astrophysicist, gazillionaire philanthropist and goddess). Thank you so much, Michael Ann and Joy!

Tadah! My scarcity days are over. Here's my list of funnarchists, chosen for having The Voice. I've taken the liberty of selecting a post from each that snagged my attention. This is how they do it at the Oscars, after all, which winners snag for a particular role.

Unmapped Country by Hope Perlman, who also goes by Ms.Hap
Great post about people who believe in us (known as loving mirrors and safe havens) and the role they play in our success. Even better, the accompanying black and white photo of a monkey in front of a mirror, grooming a unibrow and exhibiting other behavior to be expected of monkeys. This is characteristic of Hope's style: thought-provoking but never pedantic, thanks to lighthearted quips. Hope likes to refer to her readers as "my tens of readers." It's just a matter of time before tens turn into thousands.

We Find Ourselves Hilarious by Chris, nicknamed by a boss The Butcher
Chris holds an art degree and knits sock monkeys. "Quickly I realized that this monkey...had become a full-fledged obsession and a much more satisfying creative outlet than I’d had in years. I knew I was out of control when I was pouring over my daughter’s anatomy books to get the embroidery on the muscles just right." In Is it a Hobby or is it Art? she takes us through the thought process on inspiration, pricing, and legitimacy as an artist that many of us who make things with our hands experience.

Flailing Idiots by Aubrey Bemis
The 24-year-old (unless she's had a birthday and hasn't updated her profile) New Yorker describes her blog as "an inconsistent, unpredictable act of total online self indulgence." She isn't sure what to do with her master's degree in humanities and social thought. In Funeral: A Farce, she captures the delicate treatment of her sibling's transition from Nate to Elle, and her aunt's deadpan remark when the one of the pallbearers causes Grandma's coffin to tilt alarmingly to one side.

Filling in the Gaps by Myblik
I remember being 19, because that's when I gelled into who I am. So Myblik's posts as she "figures out how to be an adult" ring true for me. In How I loathe social networking sites (not the title, as there isn't one, but the opening line), she writes about the excruciating news she finds out on Facebook, which does nothing to diminish the already substantial contempt she has for it.

"Now I have to endure mind-numbingly dull status updates and photos of people trying to reassure the rest of the world they’re great and happy by offering us a forged window into their lives with their shameless self-propaganda."

Square Peg Nation by Clarity Collins
This metalsmith from North Carolina creates lusciously fluid jewelry and writes piercing, honest observations on life as the mother of a child with special needs. Special Needs Amnesty Day and If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em are two excellent examples. I reserve a special place in my heart for Clarity, as she was my first commenter who is not related to me, and we both have etsy shops with the word "Scrollwork" in the name. Plus, she and I both adore the wisteria in our yards, as we found out on Flickr.

Scratch and Peck by Lauren Scheuer
You know what I said about picture blogs? This one is storytelling at its most excellent. Lauren is an illustrator by trade and a chicken whisperer by avocation. Her blog instantly charms. You know how I found Scratch and Peck? I was doing research for my post, Do chickens deserve diapers? and other deep thoughts. By research, I mean I googled "Chicken couture" and randomly followed the links, one of which led me to Lauren's Chicken socks post. And thus I fell in love. Lauren is never snarky, so technically she's not a funnarchist, but hey, it's my list, and I say she stays on it!

There's a statistic out there that one of every six people blogs now. And only one of every three reads blogs. Not the ideal ratio of supply and demand. This is your assigned reading for the week, peeps, these blogs I recommend with full-on ardor. Which one struck a chord in you the most?

I know I'm supposed to list several things you don't yet know about me, per the rules when you receive a blog award. I'm breaking that rule right now. Let the focus be on the bloggers on the list! Besides, Mr. Scrollwork has come home, and our Friday night celebration begins with dinner out. Happy weekend, quirkistadors! I must remember to notify the awardees so they can pass on the awards, too. First, food.