Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The sound of one blog blogging

BlogDay by DJtoon
Originally uploaded by Niro.
Late in April, in the throes of a hypomanic high, I wrote my first blog post.

It was cold and lonely out there in cyberspace at first. For various reasons, I had decided to post under a pseudonym--not because I was ashamed of anything I wrote, but for other practical reasons. Plus, I wanted to be able to say what I wanted without the risk of offending those I knew, though I don't think I've posted anything cruel or unfair.

As a result, I told no one I knew about my new venture--no family members, friends, or colleagues--except for my boyfriend BG. Since then, one person who reads and comments is from my "outside" world, but that's it. Everyone else I've met via Herman, my trusty Apple PowerBook G4.

My very first comment was witty, wise, and wonderful. In other words, it was from me.

To: Elvira
From: Elvira
RE: The sound of one blog blogging.

Hey, shithouse Rat. I'm adding comments to my own posts in a pathetic atttempt to make it look like someone is commenting (and thus reading) this blog.

I thought about contacting an AA website or board and welcoming them to comment on this topic. I'm sure many of them would love to since they can be a spirited and verbose bunch. But do I really want a bunch of hate mail? Something to consider...the only bad publicity is no publicity, right?

Well, take care of yourself, you crazy (and breathtakingly beautiful) chick, you.

Rather than continue to comment to myself, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Since my post was controversial and involved negative experiences with AA, I proceeded to troll around the internet and try to incite some comments and maybe stir up some trouble. I contacted some anti-AA sites, and a few people visited. One of them, a certain Dr. Bomb, got a little ornery on my ass, but I put him in his place. I'm not afraid of criticism, and have never censored any comments on my blog, except for a few spambots. I welcome lively--even heated-- debate, and I'm perfectly ready and willing to defend myself to all comers.

I put up a site meter right away, and was instantly obsessed with it. I confided to one of my very first blogpals, revealing my shameful secret--yes, I did care about visitors, dammit! If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, has it really fallen?

In any case, what all this is leading up to are some issues I've touched on recently, but wanted to really get into now.

The other day, I was surfing around and discovered a blog that looked interesting. Although the guy seemed to have a healthy number of posts, and had been blogging for about 5 months, I saw nary a comment.

The blog looked interesting--it was kinda one of those Boing Boing type things where you find provocative, noteworthy media clips and post links to them--but I should have known something was weird when I looked at the profile-ette on the home page:

United States
5'9" 150 lbs

Never before have I seen someone's height and weight posted on their blog before. It gave me pause.

In any case, I also wanted to see if people read and commented to more than their most recent posts, because it seemed that a lot of people didn't. I think some folks just didn't choose the template option of receiving copies of comments to their e-mail box. This in and of itself seemed puzzling to me.

In any case, I decided to leave a few.

First I went to an older post--but not very old.

Here's the post:

Monday, August 29, 2005

Well Deserved
Chris Farley gets a star on the walk of fame. Link.
posted by Aaron at 8/29/2005 10:36:00 AM

Here's my comment:


elvira black said...
Helloooo, Aaron? Can you read me?

I just wandered by and was browsing, and decided to be lazy and just post to this for the time being 'cause it was short and I'm a bit smashed.

Also, I don't know if you read comments from old posts. If you do, and you see this, let me know, maybe. It's kind of part of a survey. Sort of.

Anyway, here's my comment:

F*uckin' A.

Then I went back to, I think, the second most recent comment and left another few lines there--trying my best to be amusiing and clever, the better to evoke some sort of response.


Now, this brings up one of several nagging issues I have, after blogging for several months. As far as Aaron and his ilk goes, I am mystified at to why someone who has recieved none or very few comments (as far as I could see) wouldn't want to respond to one when he finally received it. If he didn't want comments, why not turn the comment option off? (OK, maybe he couldn't figure it out, but I doubt it).

I finally told myself that since he was fashioning himself after BoingBoing--about the most popular blog in the universe--he might consider commenting irrelevant. However, if you want to get somewhere between zero readers and a zillion, wouldn't it behoove you to respond with at least a "thanks for the comment"--sort of to encourage a reader to return? Boing Boing has a reasonable excuse for non-response--and for all I know they do respond to comments sometime. Shit, they're busy staying at the top of the heap, so I can understand if they lack the time to give every reader personal feedback. And granted, that kind of site is not a "personal" blog, so comments may seem less relevant--but not necessarily so.

But this guy?

So without further ado, here is my list of things that personally irritate me about some blogs. Note that this is just my opinion. In fact, some of these things don't irritate me as much as merely lead me to ponder the curious nature of mankind at large. Plus, I'm just a blog baby, and I know I have a lot to learn. So cut me a break, ok?

1. Blogs that bite the dust.
They just give up the ghost after a few posts. As with anything else, it pays to be proactive and persistent. When I first started, I trolled the internet to try to entice people to visit. I visited message boards and mentioned my site on the writer's and mental health e-groups I belonged to. I visited the NY Times message board once or twice as well--which is where I first encountered the incomparably cantankerous Mani DaLi. This was before blog fever had smitten me, and I followed his website link and e-mailed him. This developed into a quite a contentious e-mail exchange about modern art that eventually became too much for even me to handle. But like a bad penny, Mani did show up on my blog months later and started some fireworks of his own. The backlash from other bloggers was so excellent that I posted one of my occasional SIZZLING HOT comments of the week! posts about it. These are my personal tributes to contoversial commenters who like to stir things up. Excellent return on my investment.

2. Blogs that don't allow comments.
What's up with that? I always thought the internet was, as they say, one great big worldwide conversation--an exchange of ideas; a dialogue rather than a monologue. When I wrote for publication, most of the time I had no idea of what most readers thought about what I wrote; any sense of reader demographics; or any of the other neat goodies you can find out just by taking 5 minutes to install a site meter. Stats, together with comments, make me feel like I'm not just writing to hear myself write.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--I am a craven comment whore. I am happy to see that people feel free to rant as much as they like--there is no length limit imposed here. When people apologize for going on and on, I always try to reassure them that this is just what I hope they will do. I really do believe that comments can be as integral to my blog as the posts themselves. Sometimes it's a way of delving even deeper into an issue than I've done in the original rant. Plus, it's a chance for me to blab even more.

3. Blogs that don't respond to comments.
I can't help but think of these folks as just plain blog snobs who think they are too good to respond to someone who was thoughtful enough to drop by and respond to their post. To me, it seems like a slap in the face and an implication that they think their shit don't stink. Well, it does--and so do you.

4. Bloggers who delete comments and/or let everyone know they can and will do so.
I fervently believe in the sanctity of free speech. Why, then, would a blogger choose to censor a post merely because it takes him to task or offends him? Do you simply want a bunch of yes-men, telling you only what you want to hear? There's a word for that--B-O-R-I-N-G. No, no, not that positive comments aren't cool, but the whole idea of blotting out any dissent is really distasteful to me. Yes, of course, it's your blog and you'll delete if you want would delete too if it happened to you--blah de blah bullshit.

5. The late comment conundrum.
I've been dismayed to discover the unwritten rule that on some blogs, comments to old posts are much more likely to be ignored. Again, it makes me wonder if these bloggers don't have the e-mail option turned on, or if they just don't want to revisit the past. I like to browse an interesting blog and drop the odd comment to old posts too. And I am more than thrilled when someone comments to an oldie but goodie(?) here as well.

6. Lurkers.
This is a bigger beef for others, but it does mystify me, for example, that there are a few people hailing from California who spend a lot of time reading but never chime in. It's kind of creepy, but I'm not complaining. I'll take what I can get.

7. Spam-ette comments.
These look like spam, sound like spam, and taste like spam--except that they're from real people (I think) who just post 3 words like "check out my cool blog"--(oh, I guess that's five words) with a link back to their site. Self serving, lazy, rude, and cheap.

8. Old blog pals who run away.
Most of the time it's my own self-centered paranoia, but there's at least one person I'm thinking of in particular who used to comment often and is now nowhere to be seen here-though I catch him on other pals' blogs. We've had no rift, so it's mystifying.

Anyway, here's my final take on the matter:

1. I figure if I'm gonna blog, I want some feedback. Otherwise I may as well just talk to myself in a rubber room.

If someone comments, I will comment back. There was a period where I was falling behind, partly due to an e-mail friendship that got outta control as far as time management issues went. I spent so much time on my e-mail that I didn't have sufficient time to respond promptly, post as often as I wanted to, check out and comment to other blogs, and discover new technologies and innovations relevant to blogging. But I've learned my lesson well.

2. If you want repeat visitors, I think it helps to respond to comments.

People like to see comments to their comments, and it can be an extra added incentive for them to visit again. Why turn your nose up at your "audience?" Are you too good to come down from your lofty perch and respond?

If you're super popular, and can't possibly respond to all, at least put a general note saying thanks for all the comments. Walker, for instance, gets tons of comments on every single post--and posts virtually every day. He also takes the time to respond to all visitors. If he can do it, why then oh why can't I? Am I right or am I right?

3. If you have your comments option on, I think it helps to have your "receive your comments via e-mail" option on as well.
I've heard people say "I didnt' know you commented until my friend told me" or "sorry--I hadn't checked my blog in awhile." What's up with that? When it comes to your own blog, who wants to be the last to know?

Well, that's all I can think of right now. I hope people will feel free to comment about my comments about comments--if so, I promise I will comment back.


At 2:15 PM, Blogger ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

Oh dear, I have been SOOO bad about keeping up with your blog; I admit this guilt!!! Will you absolve me of this transgression?

love from Dallas,

At 2:33 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Wow, that "Scream" illustration/icon really fits well with your comment--lol.

Shit, that's just what I was afraid of. Now I feel like a schmuck on wheels.

I didn't mean wonderful, cool people like you, A. I was mainly talking in general terms about blogs I've visited where the "hosts" never respond to their "guest's" offerings--kind of like having someone over your house and neglecting to thank them for coming and for bringing that nice danish.

For heaven's sake, not only do you comment, but you took one of my comments and made it into a separate post! Now that's what I call a blog mitzvah! You go, girl! Love ya! Don't ever change!

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Yzabel said...

I'm a comment/feedback junie as well, i admit! Or, in other words, I don't see the purpose of a blog if it's not to leave way to communication--if it's to not allow comments, might as well call it a website with dated entries, rather than a blog. Of course, I know of more than one person who'd disagree with my "definition" of a blog, but I'll go on thinking that communication is an important part of it.

I've been guilty of not always answering to comments, though. I do my best to, but sometimes it just slips my mind, like when I read comments in my e-mail client in the morning and think "great, new comments, I'll answer everything after work"... Then days pass before I remember to do it (stupid memory of mine!). As a general rule, though, I try to answer, if only to say "thank you". If someone took a minute to write a comment, I can sure take a minute to say thanks.

As for comments on old posts, here it depends on the case. The case where I'd decide to close them is if a horse has been beaten to death and there's really no need to add anything. I've seen this happen on other blogs, for instance about touchy matters such as abortion, so when someone decides to fuel the fire again three months after everything has finally died down, it's tiresome. These aren't everyday situations, though (at least not on the blogs I regularly visit).

Oh yes, and the spam comments: recently I found one on a blog, worded as follows: "very interesting post, I like your ideas. However I'm here to talk about poker, so [blah-blah-insert-lame-link]. How insulting is that for the blogger, huh!

At 4:01 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


So good to hear from you! And I really am grateful to get some feedback about these issues from fellow bloggers.

Yes, I've been guilty in the past of not keeping up with the comments too--though I'm trying hard to pin the blame on a former e-mail/blog pal (lol). Sometimes a month would go by before I responded to some of the posts, so I definitely shouldn't be pointing too many fingers.

But what does puzzle me are instances like the blog I visited that seemed to have no comments, and thus nothing much to catch up on. Plus I kind of asked him to please respond just to let me know that he got my comment. True, it can be hard to keep up if you get multiple comments constantly, but in his case...

That's an interesting point about closing comments after a post has seen its "day in court." Some of what I write about is a little "controversial" but rarely incites much discord. However, in a few cases a latecomer will post something outrageous and will set off a whole new chain of comments, which I love.

The spambots were out in full force a few weeks ago, so Blogger added this word verification feature which seems to have them at bay at least until; they figure out another way to get under the wire.

Yes, quite a disappointment for a comment junkie to see that several coveted responses are just craven, freeloading ads for another site. Q'elle d'hommage! (Hope I got that right, but probably not--I am amazed at your impeccable command of English). It's probably more common in Europe though--we Americans often can't even master our own language, let alone another--lol).

Merci Yzabel--a bientot!

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

I definitely agree with most of this...EXCEPT the "receive your comments via e-mail" thing.

some days I've gotten 50-60 comments. I can't handle that many emails BESIDES my legitimate, regular emails AND spam. I'd be clicking on check boxes and hitting Delete all day long!

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Danny said...

I too am a comment junkie! I like to see that people have read my posts, and have taken the time to comment, whether I am in agreement with what they say or not. Just the interaction alone is a great thing.

I guess I associate to that so well because of being a performer. When you get no feedback, it hurts! I've felt starved for attention so many times in my life.

When someone took the time to show that they are interested in what I have to say, or have been touched by it, that says alot. It opens a new door for both of us, and it feels great! Somebody cares, and nothing can replace that feeling. :)

Thanks again, Elvira - I enjoy reading your posts, and I enjoy AriK's too. I've been a little closed-minded with reading others, and I'm getting to read a new one - one a time.

Sometimes it's just so hard to reach out and make new friends - sometimes they have to initiate the first step. :(

At 8:06 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Point well taken! I never thought about that. I guess that falls under the category of "be careful what you wish for"--lol. Of course, your site is exceedingly comment worthy! That's the reason you're known as the Webmiztris, after all!

What does still puzzle me, however, is the fact that super-popular bloggers like you still find time to respond to comments, yet the guy I mentioned who apparently gets no comments won't answer the one he gets. In his case, I don't think he's blog-swamped (did I just make up a new word?) So from my little shitrat persepctive, that just seems like a deliberate snub. I guess I'm just a sensitive sort (sob)...

At 8:32 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thanks--I'm enjoying your comments! I agree--it seems natural to want to get some feedback so you don't feel like you've fallen into a black hole in cyberspace.

Until recently, I didn't visit many new sites either. But now that I have more time, I'm really glad I've expanded my "horizons." That's another great thing about commenting--then fellow commenters can go check out your site, and sure enough, that's how I discovered you--through a commment you left at Arik's blog. So it's all good!

At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Yzabel said...

Close enough; it's written "quel dommage", in fact ;) Many French people also can't master their own language at all, though. It's not only an American thing. *weeps*

At 1:34 AM, Blogger Davo said...

I can really empathise with this- I have had sporadic comments, at best, and it's good to know there are some semi-constant readers, but I just wish I could get a bit of frequency! Once I even went to the extremity of joining BlogExplosion, but the comments I got were superficial, and left a taste of a uninterest coming from them. It didn't take me long to leave BE, and what do you know? The new commenters went.
So I accepted it, and decided I would be happier with people who actually want to read my blog.

At 5:55 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thanks for not taking me to task for mangling your language (lol). As an avid reader (and writer) I've often wished I knew another language inside and out as you do. I know a smattering of French, but even that paltry bit has helped me look at the perception of language and ideas differently. What also intrigues me are how different translations of works can subtly but sometimes (perhaps) significantly alter or otherwise color the original text.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Hey Davo:

Funny you should mention that...I was pondering the pros and cons of joining something like BlogExplosion. It's like, basically, you visit 3 sites and 2 people visit yours, or something like that? I toyed with the idea of giving it a whirl, but right now I'm having more fun discovering sites on my own and bugging them with my comments. As you said, that seems like a more "organic" way to proceed.

I've just bookmarked you, and will visit again (you don't believe in fairies, hm? Bad boy!)

At 10:07 AM, Blogger surly girl said...

i like when people comment on my older posts, and i try always to respond to commenters.

the thing that bugs me (since we're talking about things that annoy us) is when you drop in a comment, get no response, but it seems that the rest of the comment clique are having a rare old time all around you....kind of like secondary school (where i was fat and unpopular)....

At 12:01 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Surly girl:

I thought seeing as you were surly it might mean you are starved for comments, but I was certainly wrong there!

I feel your pain, although I can understand when you've received tons of comments how difficult it might be to respond to each and every one. I just haven't reached that enviable point yet (though from what Webmiztris says, it may be a blessing and a curse).

However, there's probably a fortune to be made by someone studying the "sociology of bloggers"--all the in-group intrigues, the flamers, the lurkers, and all the rest.

I've just taken a visit over to your site, and I love it already. Thanks for stopping by--hope to see you again!

At 1:23 PM, Blogger surly girl said...

see, the trick is to prioritise blogging over work - hey presto - eight uninterrupted (lunch is for wimps) hours to post, comment, obsessively check stats....

At 1:34 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Surly girl:

Oh, excuse me a sec--have to catch my breath--heart is racing--anxiety attack--

OK. I can calm down now. Site Meter is back online!

Couldn't access....overloaded....check back it broken for will they count my new hits...anarchy!

Yeah, screw work. This is what is referred to as on the job training/work-related skill building. You are developing more communications skills, people skills, internet skills, ability to stick to the task at hand and follow through, and much more. F*uck 'em if they can't take a joke!

On a related note--there have been bloggers who have gained renown for being fired for their blogging--but some of them seem to have recovered very nicely thanks to their notoriety and blogskills.

There are also an elite few(?) who actually make a decent living from blogging alone! Sounds like a dream come true, but from what I hear, they have at least a 12 hour workday, so it's a toss-up.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger Walker said...

When I first started,I rarely got comments. Well thats not true. I got no comments.
I slowly started being a lurker of sorts.
I wandered around and read a multitude of blogs. To see what I liked.
Sara was blogging here before me but even though I liked her readers they were her style of reading.
Some of our readers have crossed back and forth sort of sharing what we say as a couple but I still like to read some different stuff.
I like a good fight or beef or rant about something so I look for some blogs that can get me fired up like you do here.
Sometimes I want to laugh and I have some blogs on my blogroll that just make me almost bust a gut.
Then there are the ones that make me happy which I visit.
You have to go comment to get people to come back.
Now I never used to answer my comments I just posted another post and did my blog rounds, but I started thinking that if a person left a comment it deserved a reply to show that you appreciate the attention be it good or bad and sometimes their comment left a question. So I make it a rule now to answer to everyones comment before I got to bed. Sometimes I get comment to older posts and I go back and respond to those too.

I to don't censor comments either.
If I'm a dick head for what I wrote, I want to be told. But you better be ready to back it up, because I do like to bite. :D
Great post Elvira.
Have a nice weekend.

At 4:48 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thanks! For me (and many others) your blog is addictive because your stories are so riveting. Your style makes me feel like we're having a few pops at a bar while you regale me with your exploits. And then if I comment, you always take the time to respond.

Now I'm starting to check out more and more blogs too. The whole dynamic grows exponentially as soon as you expand your horizons.

It's a win-win situation, which is why commenting seem so essential, at least for "personal" blogs. Who doesn't want more readers and commenters? But like so many other things, it's a two way street.

It's hard to imagine anyone sending you a neg comment, but I do appreciate those who realize that if you put anything out there for the world to see, someone at some time will disagree or provoke you. Why not face it head on rather than censor them?

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Swifty said...

I have to agree with you regarding comments. When I started I had all sorts of "sensitivities" about postitively encouraging comments, either by responding to comments or visiting other sites. I was too principled, to aloof and superior to engage in such vulgar touting. Relatively speaking, this idealistic bollocks lasted about 5 minutes. I installed Sitemeter and cruised the blogosphere and I've never looked back. I've since found I've got a bad case of the blog-worlds most common ailment - Sitemeteritis. I can't leave it alone. And I LOVE comments; but I do get annoyed when they're not relevant to what I've written. Unlike yours, my posts aren't rich in content, instead they tend to be short and (hopefully) pithy, so I get pissed off if the commenter prattles on about irrelevancies. Apart from that, I'm relaxed and cool about the whole thing.

I have to agree with you regarding the freedom to "flame" via comments. I don't always like it when my (always correct) opinions are criticised, but I wouldn't dream of deleting them. I much prefer to destroy them with brilliant repostes.

By the way, I love the way you write. I'm guessing you're a natural. A headful of thoughts, churning around, all of them fighting to get out and on to the page. I bet you'd die if you couldn't write.

At 3:25 AM, Blogger JC said...

I am glad you mentioned the via email option as I don't have mine turned on. Thanks sweetie....I shall do so post haste. I too am normally a comment whore, I comment I shall return.

At 4:35 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Sitemeter--don't even get me started! I was so hot on the blog thing that a few e-mail pals started their own sites too, and I raved to them about site meter. But a lot of them didn't want to install it. I couldn't understand that logic. It's like our beloved former NYC mayor Ed Koch always used to say--how'm I doin'? I'd rather know.

Hmm...funny...I haven't delved into your archives, but from what I saw your content seemed rich to me. I'm trying to steer away from the uber-long posts I did in the beginning. On some blogs, I see very short posts that get tons of comments, so size doesn't necessarily matter.

I've never regretted not censoring negative comments. Like you, I just decimate them verbally with liberal doses of sarcasm and humor, which is so effective that they usually never return. And if someone brings up a differing viewpoint, to me that's more than welcome, because it encourages more dialogue.

As for writing--when I was churning out advertising/publicity propaganda, sometimes I felt like I was gonna yes, I wrote for a living. But even when I freelanced for fun and wrote honestly about what I loved, it was very stressful, what with the deadlines etc.

I never thought writing could be this easy and fun til I started this blog. Until now, I was one of those writers, like Flaubert, who spent agonizing hours trying to conjure up "the mot juste." (not that I'm like Flaubert, but maybe I just think like him).

In any case, thanks very much for the compliment. I like your style too.

At 4:40 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Yes, I find the e-mail notification option to be essential. I thought everyone had it switched on, but I was mistaken.

As a good comment whore, I feel compelled to put out and be as promiscuous as possible on other blogs. But some people actually have this thing they call a life. I guess at some point I should try getting one too, but 'til then...

At 5:41 PM, Blogger JC said...

Well, I have to admit that aside from walking the dog I have very little "life" either. :( Ah well, I am at the point where the internet is my life. I live in my brain so very much of the time that it really works for me-or it makes matters even worse. I can't really decide which it is.....anyway, I say that we should just whore along.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

totally agree about the comment snub. I know blogs who get anywhere from 0-2 comments per day and they still don't respond to them!! so what's the point of having comments, ya know?

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

Hi E--
man I feel guilty of about 999 out of the 100 transgressions described here. Oh sh*t forgive me my trespasses!!
Even now, Im too busy to post a comment that says much of anything--I gotta run! But I love your blog, as always--
Im probabaly not fit for the blogger world-I'm a bigtime slacker for sure.- I think its just hard sometimes for someone to understand how another cant feel as passionate and serious as they do about something they love--Its like sometimes I think, "Man you poor ignorant souls, how could you not be totally consumed and obsessed with the visual arts as I am! Whats wrong with you?!" LOL...Maybe thats a bit like what you expereince? Im not trying to making any assumptions about how you think or feel, just trying to relate to what you may be expereincing...
take care blogger queen!

At 4:17 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


LOL--I vaguely remember fresh air and sunshine, but I haven't had much of it since last Feb, when I purchased my pal Herman the Mac. Oh well, I sometimes think that eventually extreme blogger junkies will evolve into those creatures I saw on an old Star Trek--just a glowing brain in a jar that communicated telepathically, its body having long withered away from disuse.

At 4:22 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Exactly! I predict that when the new branch of psychiatry develops specializing in blogger-related ailments, there will be a specific syndrome this falls under. Something like, say, narcissistic social anxiety blogger disorder.

At 4:32 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


I love having you as an e-mail pal--this way I get you all to myself (lol). I'm so glad you're pursuing something in the "outside world" which gives you joy. You hit it right on the head--although we e-mail about many things, from the highly spiritual to the deeply profane, my blog obsession always keeps insinuating its way into the conversation.

In any case, some of the things we mull over do filter through to the blog, like the wonderful Buddhist prayer you passed along to me. You go, girl!


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