Two irrelevant details 1. On my walk this morning I noticed a new piece of grafitti. Thick black marker pen. Neat writing, all in capitals. Quite small.
It was written on the window-sill of a corner store:
This window is having an affair.
2. Last Sunday, when walking to meet Shell, I saw a lost cat poster stuck to a tree. What intrigued me was that a small correction had been made to the name of the pet, after the notice had been photocopied. The original gave the cat's name as "Ratsus" and the correction had taken the "s" out and made it "Ratus." It seemed like such a minor thing to correct- why bother? Cats don't come when you call and even if it did, it seems unlikely that the slight difference between the sound of Ratsus and Ratus would mean the animal was no longer able to recognise its name.
So of course, I started to picture the scene- the person who made the sign showing it to the other, more distraught cat owner ( a partner? A child?) who, through floods of tears, points out that they haven't even got the name right, that they never really loved Ratus as much as they, the weeping person, did. And so the 50 photocopied signs were corrected by hand, as an act of appeasement.
That's my theory.
That old chestnut Interesting (if it weren't so depressing) discussions about women-to-men blog ratios. (Why do I always feel like I'm back in the schoolyard when these topics come up, disputing the relevant merits of one gender over the other?) This article in The NY Times Telling All Online: It's a Man's World (Isn't It?) kicked things off. (Jill has kindly suggested logging in as readanonymously with the password anonymous.)
Both Jill and Elizabeth have added some commentary on their own blogs. Elizabeth makes a good point when she says that numbers on a blogroll don't really mean all that much- you might only have a couple of women on your list, but the those blogs may be ones you really love and read everyday.
The other thing that Elizabeth said that caught my attention was that it becomes about voice and what interests you as a reader. I am not interested in reading politcal faux journalistic blogs- I'll read a newspaper for that. What I like are the blogs where I get to see a development of ideas. I like it that I can read about Jill's daughter only wanting to play Gameboy if she could be a princess on one day and then follow a link to an interactive narrative about Magic trees on the next. I'm happy that Allan Karl posts a story about the hotrod he owned in high school but also reminds me to go and read an article that is useful to my research.
It's this work-in-progress voice that I like, regardless of gender. It's the blending of the ordinary day-to-day events with the discoveries and breakthroughs of research (or work or surfing the net, whatever) that keeps me reading the blogs that I do. I see no harm in discussing your plans for a holiday or problems with a leaky roof in amongst other things (politics, technology news), and if this is the "inward focus" of female bloggers, well, bring it on, I say. Maybe women feel more comfortable about doing this, I'm not sure. But the bloke blogs I do read tend to do this too.
Spiders (more) The Frontier Librarian is convinced that the spider in my bed was a white tail. I don't think it was as it didn't have the white dot at its rear, but I have subsequently been looking at Victorian spider identification charts and giving myself the creeps. I think I'm developing a phobia. There should not be such a thing as a Sac Spider (two very very bad words) or a Jumping Spider. And as for a wolf spider...
I do feel very put upon. It annoys me greatly that the white tail is said to like linen. That's ridiculous! It's a spider. What did its ancestors do in pre-linen days?
At least there was no threat with Vaughan that he was going to bite me.
Masters- link- comic
Nowhere Girl An online comic called Nowhere Girl. I've only looked at half of chapter one but I like it. The drawings are great and I like the sparseness of the text. The transitions between the pages works well too. There is also an index of other online comics that the artist (Justine (?)) likes.
Noisy Neighbours and presumptuous spiders When I moved into our block of flats I thought that the pool was a wonderful, if slightly Melrose Place bonus. I think I have swum in it once in the year and a half we've lived here. And I didn't think about the ramifications of such a feature.
The drunken parties by the pool season has started again- last night it was someone's birthday and I couldn't believe the rudeness. Anyone who has every doubted my grumpiness would have revised their opinion had they seen me stomping around the flat last night, railing against the selfishness of people who think it's ok to sing "Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes" at the tops of their drunken voices at midnight on a weekday. The buggers.
It ended when they started chucking each other into the pool (and it was not a warm night last night.) This is what I was thinking:I hope they sink to the bottom.
Then this morning as I made my bed (which is what I call the act of shaking out the doona and propping up the pillows) I discovered another spider. In my bed. And it wasn't the Huntsman. It was a scary looking black thing with white speckledy legs. I scooped it up in a jar and chucked it out the window (fear of knowing the spider was in my bed outweighing, on this occasion, fear of scooping spider.)
Between the frames: half thoughts, an unresolved think-ette. I'm almost finished the Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics) and have found it very useful. Last night I was reading his thoughts on what happens "between" the comic frames- enormous or tiny jumps in both space and time can happen in that thin ribbon of white. This made me think about the spaces between blog posts. Time is dealt with differently in blogs to time in comics, of course- the date/time stamps fixes the words to a particular moment. But things happen between entries- again, large or small movements in thinking and it is interesting to chart the jumps that happen between several posts on a page- particularly when the topics are related. You are often able to watch an idea develop or unfold, or a story being resolved or fleshed out. Often what has happened between posts is that a reader has offered some insight- either in the comments page or via email. Feedback from readership can have a very direct and very immediate impact on the content of a blog.
Magic Tree Of course, by the time I actually clicked on the Magic Tree link in Jill's post the other day all the magic trees were gone.
However, it's all very intriguing.
I am interested also in what Jill says about narratives that directly address the reader (and as such involve them as a character.) It's in my head that Calvino does this in If on a Winter's Night a Traveller but I'm not entirely sure.
It's got me thinking.
At last week's Meetup Marcus mentioned the book Things my girlfriend and I have argued about which started as a blog. I went home at lunchtime yesterday, feeling not so good and decided to drop by a book shop on the way home to see if they had this novel. I try to buy books from small stores rather than the multi-nationals, (for much the same reasons as Jill was discussing last week in relation to linking to Amazon) but it can lead to some embarrassing moments, too.
I was the only person in the little shop, and the two women behind the counter were deep in conversation.
"So I still can't quite believe it's over. I haven't even started to think about what I should do next."
"Good on you. You did the right thing. I can't stand infidelity. It's unforgivable."
"You know what the worse thing is? Now he keeps looking at me, all sad-eyed and he makes these little whimpering noises. I'm not sure what he thinking- it's not as if he's said he wants to try again."
"No, you shouldn't let him talk you into that. If he's done it once, he'll do it again."
"Well, he's not exactly trying to talk me into that. I think he's enjoying seeing me sad, though."
I am standing near the new releases thinking "I can't go over there and ask for a book called "Things my girlfriend and I argue about." So I wait and wait for the conversation to end, but of course, it doesn't end. Those kind of conversations can last for days.
So eventually I do go over.
And they don't have it.
And it's not even listed on their computer.
And the two of them are looking at me, ever so slightly suspiciously, as if I may just be pulling a prank.
"Oh. I must have the title slightly wrong" I say and scuttle out the door.
But I checked with Marcus. And the title is right.
But I think I'll go to Borders next time.