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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unexpected Pleasures, or I Came for the Practice But I Stayed for the Chocolate Covered Cherries

When I started this blog, back when I was almost a full year younger (and much better looking – you shoulda seen me), I told myself it was for the practice. I said to myself, “Self, stop being such a wienie, you with the big ideas. Now’s the time: Put up or shut up.”

Normally, I don’t respond to such threats. But I had this one coming.

You see, I’ve got a history of shaky follow-through.

Like the short (and oddly satisfying) foray into boxing. Two weeks of aching muscles. I couldn’t pass a mirror without a couple of feints at myself. What a stud.

There was also my commitment to learning Italian. I rode the bus for a little over four months, listening to CDs, mouthing along to questions regarding the whereabouts of the cathedral and my desire to have liquor sent to my hotel room.

I was actually quite excited about the Italian language and could read at a fast-food-server level; but where to use it? Minnesota is curiously lacking in Italians. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a Swede or a Somali, but Italians? Nada, bambino.

And no, it never occurred to me to actually just go to Italy.

Where was I?

Oh, yes. The blog.

Strange thing about the blog. 280-some posts later, I’ve done what I set out to do – I write every damn day: tired, sick, or drunk; telling the truth or completely making it up, I write.

But that’s not the strange thing. The strange thing is what I’ve learned.

Let’s look at it.

I’ve picked up slang from other countries without having been there. Its bloody well changed how I speak. Good on me, eh?

I’ve learned that once you’ve had a blog for a while, and developed a bit of a following, people will send you things. So far, I’ve received an historic book on Minneapolis, some really awesome lotion I need to mention at some point (but not now), and a box of home-made, hand-dipped chocolates from Dar. (She’d made them for her sister’s wedding.)

I ate them by the grubby handful.

The thing I’ve noticed most, though, is that I’ve come to care deeply for people I’ve never met, may never meet in person. England, India, Australia, Idaho, Ontario, Mississippi, Arkansas, DC, New York, Alaska, California, Utah, Illinois, Sweden, Ireland, Wisconsin, Belgium, New Hampshire, Italy, Colorado, Texas, and a host of places I’ve only dreamed of.

My point? I’m richer, for this experience, and I wasn’t expecting that.

Thank you, my bloggy peeps. The world has become a warmer, happier place because of you.

You have a friend in Minnesota.


Blue Eyes said...

Wow. It was my blog-versary the other day and I wish I was a good enough writer to have written your post. This is exactly how I feel. Although I should point out that I have only been sent a t-shirt so far.

darsden said...

You have enriched this stalker.. Uhmm I mean this blog reader life with belly laughs (actually have seen a reduced waist line...LOL guess it helped sending you all those chocolate covered cherries... but hey yours were fresh...not left over from the wedding...like my moms were ;-) ) Pearl *whispers* so Bob doesn't hear- Ya gonna meet me one day -why you running...come back here. Ya know I'm a linebacker Imma gonna catchya.
I too have become quite attached to my readers, the bloggers I follow, it does bring me such Joy. We will all meet at the Braja convention Vodka Mom is putting together. Happy Happy JOY JOY day!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I actually have two friends in Minnesota, a friend from Minnesota, a friend who lived in Minnesota a long time, and a would-be father-in-law in Minnesota.

Minnesotans: Damned good people.

Oh, and I need to tell my readers to make with the gifts.

darsden said...

*still whispering* looking side to side...see bob already thinks I am a stalker...I think he is having me followed..gotta go

That Baldy Fella said...

Well, the English contingent gives you a double-finger-pistols-with-wink combo accompanied by a "right back atcha" (I'm experimenting with slang. I don't think it's working.)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Very well put. My blog was a similar venture - mostly to see if I could commit to writing something regularly. I had no idea of the community it creates and how enriching that would be.

Sweet Cheeks said...


I love ya sistah!


Visit me today...I posted just for Fingers...


♥ Braja said...

I think you're far more beautiful.

Wait. I wasn't paid, everyone. Really. She IS more beautiful now.

love you precious :) xxxx

Margo said...

A year and more than 280 posts? That is absobloodylootely brilliant. I love the structure blogging gives to my writing, but I'm only in blogging preschool. You should celebrate by going to Italy.

ladyfi said...

Wonderful! And a big cheer and fistful of money (OK - so what if it's Monopoly money?) for a whole year of blogging.

People don't send me stuff! What am I doing wrong? Well, OK - I did get that great hat and that wonderful book... but where are the chocolates?


SparkleFarkle said...

Pearlie, THIS is for you. I think you've found it, and you've helped us find it, too! (You be "Debbie" and I'll be "Kermit"!)

De Campo said...

I love how you get chocolate and books while all I receive are death threats scribed in Australian.

Jodie Kash said...

I'm much better looking than my drivers’ license photo. Any photo, really.

You know, even though my "followers" (feel like Jim Jones typing that) stay in the single digits and even though I have huge hits from the BYU community which is a head scratcher bar none and even though I've never been gifted with a gift (send to Jodie Kash, P.O. Box...) writing every day reminds me that I can.

Simple as that.

And yeah, I feel friends here.

Love this post, doll.

Sticky (not too) said...

I love ya, Sweetie! I don't tell you enough...but you make me smile every day.

Thank you

Eskimo Bob said...

Hey Pearl -

Posting a blog on a regular basis is difficult. And congrats to you for doing it - although I think we all wish more of it were while you were sloshingly drunk (No Dars, not for THAT - don't take advantage). There haven't been typos or unintelligible sentences.

Example: I chust thotht ittwas a reeealy speshull (wide eyed closed mouth burp). . .I love you all! I love the air. . . without air - we would die. Did you know that? If we didn't have air then when the aliens attacked they couldn't sick from the microbes and Tom Cruise wouldn't have become more impossibler.(End)

I think it's so great that you get stuff. I actually have to pay people or do favors to get them over to my blog. Then it's just a complimentary visit - they actually don't read anything. But I'm not bitter - no ... no. . . I'm not. Really. It's okay.

When did this comment become about me?

Elaine at Lipstickdaily said...

Well done . . . the is my first time to your blog and I'll be back.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

I likes reading ya Pearl (even though you flaunt eating chocolate as I read this post). Perhaps I've never mentioned it but I loves me some chocolate too!


Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

I really salute you, Pearl! To be able to write every day.. and not just mundane stuff of having brushed your teeth and fed the cat... is something I have not been able to do, and I just started!
You really are an inspiration to us all!

Vic said...

Congratulations on your anniversary, Pearl!

A year of daily posts is a big accomplishment.
Your writing made me your friend, whether you like it or not. :)

darsden said...

Hey Bob... I read... and have to ask Have you fed the children today? seeeee I doooo reeeeaaddd

Michelle said...

Hi Pearly-Q since we are officially friends now, I would like to come visit you!!! Can you pick me up from the airport and cook for me please???

LOVE YA AND CONGRATS ON Your beautiful blog and beautiful you!!!!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

That was a sweet post. It is a whole new world when you blog. So many new people and things to learn. I love the bloggy world. I start each day with my friends in cyberspace and my coffee. I miss it on the days when I simply don't have time to check in or time doesn't allow me to visit everyone. I think about all my bloggy friends most everyday. There are often conversations about all of you over my dinner table.

Bloggy Friends are the best kind. They love you even in your pjs.

Not The Rockefellers said...

Aww...you're pretty much kin at this point! :)

Dreaming of New Hampshire? That makes me chuckle a little!

Peace - Rene

Susan said...

Your Arkansas peeps love you!!

To write every day can be a chore. To drink every day...well, I may have found my strength.

powdergirl said...

Sitting at my P.C, reading blogs,surfing the net, drinking wine.
I look over at my best friend and tell her not to let me die in an undignified manner. I don't wanna be reliant on a machine, bottle fed, braindead...
She reaches over and unplugs my P.C and throws out my wine.

What a bitch!

I know you wouldn't have done that.

And thats why you have so many friends. ; >

(joke was plagiarized from an e-mail)

lizspin said...

No one has ever sent me anything. . . and - by the way - you have a friend in Jersey!

Beth said...

I couldn't have said it better!

I love your outlook on life. Thanks for being brave enough to share it with others.

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Started Fibbing in your first sentence-- you were never any better-looking than today!

Which almost BEGS the next : LOTION?
Gets-warm-when-exhaled-on variety?
No matter; just don't get the chocolate in the lotion...

And this topic has come up myriad times of late-- how "real" the internet acquaintance versus the "real" world.

I work with more than 240 folks. I bet I TALK to MAYBE 15...

I know PEARL better than I know the lady who prints (ok, e-xfers) my check.

I gotta lotta more to say, but you've given me my next (very one!) blogpost... I'll drivel there!

Great material, Lady!

Good to know I have a friend in Minn...


fingers said...

As you can see, all I get is crazed potato-farmer from Idaho creating shrines to me on their blog.
Still, it could be worse.
I could be DeCampo...

Kavi said...

You are just a year old here..!?! Hmm !! thats something to think of !

And its good to know that there are other pleasures that come by way of blogging. Someday, i too shall recieve that box of chocolatees. In hope, life progresses ! :)

BTW, congratulations !! And its great to have a friend who has a world wide standing and fan following!

And let me not talk to you about what a difference you have made. That will be like stating the obvious. Or will it be ?!

Pearl said...

Blue Eyes, I go to your blog but can’t find it – is it invitation only?
A T-shirt?

Darsden, you silly woman!! And I hope Vodka Mom DOES have a get-together! *whispers* and I’m not too worried about you, dar – I heard ya got square knees!

iNDefatigable, the weird thing is that outside of the FRESH chocolate-covered cherries from Dar, the other gifts were unsolicited and done in exchange for a review. I have no idea who these people are or how they got my name…

dar, you take care of yourself. Eskimo Bob is a shady character.

Baldy Fella, no, I think you got the smarmy American gesticular slang down pretty well!
Hmmm. What would be the British equivalent?

Pseudonymous, if nothing else, I’ve gotten good at spelling “indefatigable” and “Pseudonymous”. :-D

Sweet Cheeks, you just rock, you know that?

Braja, such a sweet comment. Thank you. You are in my heart as well.
I do have to get a new pic up – I’ve dyed my hair dark!

Margo, it will be a year at the end of June. I’m like some sort of word addict over here… And honestly, the plan is to go to India in January. :-D

Ladyfi, a hat and a book? That’s not bad.
We’ll have to see what we can do to get you some chocolates.

Sparkle, Oh! Who doesn’t love a duet between Kermit and Debbie Harry?! Thank you!

De Campo, I haz a way wit de wimmen. :-D

Jodie, your time is coming, I can see that. BYU, huh? Would you believe I get hits from the CDC?!

Sticky, glad to see you! And thank you!

EB, that was so funny. (Nice that noted the “End” of it, lest we confuse it with you usual post…
Seriously, it’s about time for a drunken blogging…

Elaine, glad to meet you!

U, I think your time is coming. And why did I get the impression that you are a slender man? I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for you losing your figure!

Roshni, such kind words. Thank you, Roshni. This has all been so rewarding for me, and I’m not talking about Dar’s chocolates!

Vic, yes. :-D We are now friends.

Dar, I read that one, too. With Amber out of the house, how can we be sure that Bob’s feeding the kids?!

Michelle, yes, it’s official. We are friends!
Come on to Minneapolis!! I’ll pick you up and, uh, watch you run!

Blogging Mama Andrea, I agree with you. I talk about my blog friends with my “real” friends, I worry if derfina is safe, wonder if Sweet Cheeks is feeling better, wonder if Eskimo Bob is snorting volcano ash… It’s a different world – a bigger one and a smaller one – and I’m just so happy that I’m here and that I’ve met so many wonderful people.

Rene, are you saying NH isn’t dream material?! Hoping to meet some day!

Susan, we go with our strengths. :-D

Powedergirl :-D Silly girl! Nope, wouldn’t do that to you.

Lizspin, you are the only person I know in NJ. Man, I really need to take a road trip…

Cygnus, awww, you sweet talker. Do go on!
Glad to know I’ve inspired you, and I look forward to reading it.
As for “real”, what’s real? While it’s true that we can’t touch, physically… um, wait a minute. Um, whew! Lost my train of thought there… OK. Where was I? Oh, yes. While it’s true that we can’t touch, physically… I’m sorry, what?
And yes. You have a friend in Minnesota.

Fingers, now by crazed Idahoan, you wouldn’t be referring to Sweet Cheeks, would you? That woman thinks the world of you! :-D

Pearl said...

Kavi, I've not known you to state the obvious without bringing new light to it.
Yes, it will be one year at the end of June. It's fun to go back and read the early ones. I can almost hear myself trying harder...

darsden said...

Rotflmao ... weebles womble but they don't fall down..! ;-)

The Jules said...

Ohh, somewhere to stay in Minnesota.


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I notice you don't seem to care for anyone in Maine. I plan to fix that!! (I'm nothing if not a problem solver) I have read a bunch of your blog. And think I love it (or like it a lot so far - don't want to give you the impression I'm easy!) So now I think you must love mine. And if you don't, I think I will be ok if you fake it. Cuz Maine (although I hate living here and ca't wait to move my ass to a warmer climate) needs to be represented!!!

Hallie :)

Ankit said...

Wow 280 posts..I just came to the blogging world and still finding my ways.. I don't know how I landed on your's and Kavi's blog.

But its pretty good. Its nice to read so many different posts and comments.

I think I am getting hooked.