Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I told you I was a good flosser!

Another gold star in hygiene at the dentist today. Which used to be a big deal because if you got four gold stars in a row you got a sweet gift certificate for the Bay or someplace, I forget. And a substantial one, like $50 or so.
But they've discontinued that and now we just get a pat on the back, which is better than a kick in the ass with a frozen army boot, I guess.

Did you catch The Hour last night? Did you hear about Evelyne? Her blog was featured along with her tale of the birth of Stroumbo the baby goat. Both Barbara W and Alana had their comments about the blessed event read on air and it was a lovely moment. It was a surreal injection of blog life into my so-called real life (okay television is still just light waves on a screen but more people access it).

Blog reality seems to be a larger part of my existence all the time. I don't know if this should be cause for alarm or not. Is a friendship less valid if you have never touched the person or heard their voice or, in some cases, even seen their face? I don't think so. Oh perhaps in some cases I guess it can be, as we can filter out aspects of our personalities and our lives if we choose to, but in general, we do share a lot of our lives online. And if not our daily grind existence, then at least our philosophies, our random thoughts, our concerns, our humour. I think you can get a pretty good feel for a person from their blog and from their comments on your blog.

It puts me in mind a little of the part in Douglas Coupland's book, Microserfs, where two characters have fallen in love through the internet. They plan to meet, and they have never even exchanged names; in fact, neither of them knows what gender the other is. And yet they are both prepared to love whomever the other turns out to be.

Oh relax, I'm not saying I'm in love with any of you! I'm just speculating on the nature of this thing we participate in and how it shapes our lives.

I do like you, though.


Allison said...

I had the same conversation with my roommate last night, after hearing about the blogs being read on 'The Hour.' It was slightly hard to explain, as I was like "Hey, I know those people...well, kinda...through proxy." But I agree with you, in the sense that I think its easier to share more online, because its so 'fast' you type without thinking, therefore more truth comes through. I don't know if I'm making again sense, but the fact that I look forward to reading everyone's comments (on the various blogs) speaks enough :)

Evelyne said...

I think that in a blog it's way easier to say what you think... you type it and post it. You can talk about whatever you want, someone might read it and give you their comments... or not. You can write about whatever pass through your mind, and you're not feeling that you're bugging someone because you're talking about something that matters to you, because people have the choice to read or not your blog.
Having a blog is pretty cool, for example, my friends don't understand why I like The Hour, but you guys do. When I told them that George talked about my blog and Barbara and Alana they were like: what? Who are they, and by the way, who is George and you have a blog? (yes, i told you guys)... I tried to explain but after 5 minutes I gave up.
And you're right, it's not because you never met someone that you don't know that person.

kelly said...

sighhhhhhhhhhhhhh....Barbara looooooooves me...haaa haa haa

kelly said...

ok maybe not

John Mutford said...

Not to mention- it's addictive.

And it's wierd how easily accessible people are with similar tastes and interests, and that you seem to stumble upon such people almost without trying- yet in real life the majority seems to be into everything I'm not. From a small town, the blogging world is like a city. Only without Thai restaurants- could someone work on that?

Barbara said...

Evelyne, and Allison and Barbara B, We love Barbara B. don't we? And dang Barbara that was well said!
Sometimes I have a hard time telling people my stories in person because I already explained it all on my blog... But my verbal skills are not completely broken.
I am going to have the same kind of conversation at work tomorrow explaining what happened on the Hour. My co-workers will just kinda smile and nod. Some even know who George S. is so I don't have to explain it all. My best friend Tobey (who made the sets for the play I am going to) was over this morning and the first thing I showed her was the Tape of The Hour. Then we had coffee with 'the mugs'. She loves The Hour Mugs and she thinks George is hot too. lol Too bad her three kids make it hard for her to get a moment to watch TV.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There is that anomymity factor, Allison, that can make you more free to express yourself in some instances. And yes, sometimes it can feel like you are just writing in a journal or something, forgetting that your words are going online around the world, and then holy shit, it's too late, you posted it. And then you say to yourself, oh well, if they don't like what I say, fuck em.
I really look forward to reading everyone's comments on everyones's blogs too.

Evelyne, I think that you're in a bit of a unique situation, in that you blog in almost a different culture than the one you live in real life. You blog almost exclusively in English (and very well too!) and in the blogs you can discuss interests that you don't share with your real-life friends.
I know that I am richer because of the people I have met blogging.

Kelly, how could I not looooooove you? I saw you in your bathing suit, for Christ's sake. What sane woman could resist you?

John, I nominate you in charge of getting some good Thai restaurants going on the blogs.
I agree, it's the sense of community that is so addictive. Even when you live in a big city, you don't necessarily find that many like-minded people. Our circles are still fairly small in our real-lives, I think. Having that ease of kinship is very addictive, as you say.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Awww, Barbara W, you're making me blush and scuff my toes in the dirt.
I know what you're saying, though; I think I express myself better in writing as well -sometimes - other times I just suck at that.
Like John was saying, on the blogs you find a community with similar tastes and interests, while at work, you're stuck with who you work with. (Which can be great, if you are reading this, Jas!)
I'm glad you could share your exciting news with Tobey.

kelly said...

...actually....any sane woman....haaa haa...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

okay maybe sanity isn't a prerequisite then, Kelly. But the nutty ones are really fun on a date, I'm told.

Alana said...

I luuuuuuuuvs you Barbara. :P

But seriously, I don't think the physical/geographic aspect has to be a priority for friendship or buddyhood at all. I guess some blogless/proxyless people would think otherwise, but I don't think the "lives down the street" thing is neccessary to grow attatchment to anyone, whether it be with friendship or romance or even familial.

Besides, you guys are the only ones who understand my love for The Hour, everyone else thinks I'm nuts!! :P

Ben Heller said...

And I like you too Barbara....cause you send me good music in the mail.

Oddly enough, my blog is unusual in the fact that I deliberately try not to offer personal insights into my life. I'm just trying to get people interested in music and all that it has to offer.

My comments on other people's blogs are the real me, and I often like to tell little anecdotes and stories.

Comments on peoples blogs tell a lot about the person, I feel sure.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It true, Alana. I know you guys way better than the family across the street and down three houses. I've only ever seen them when I'm out canvassing for the Kidney Foundation (and they never make a donation).
It's like John said, on the blogs you can easily find people who share sensibilities. (We think you are nuts too, but we love you that way)

Your blog is indeed very specific to music, Ben, but I have noticed on other people's blogs that you are very forthcoming about your life. And you've got some great stories!
I'm thinking I'm going to need to put another mix together for you soon, as I've discovered some more Canadian musicians you just have to hear!

Maureen said...

*blushing* I like you too Barbara :) Blogging is my sanity, it's that whole small place thing where very few people understand even part of where I'm coming from. Thank god they don't know I blog, haha. Oh, and Thai would be nice.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Nobody there knows you blog, Maureen? Wow, how did you manage that? But, yeah I understand. How would you be able to talk about them? I imagine Summerside in particular will never be informed of your blog address.

Maureen said...

I can keep a secret :) and you're right, I hope Summerside NEVER finds out, lol.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well, your secret is safe here, Maureen, as we are all the epitome of discretion around here.

Will said...

I should say that my blog has taken up such a great deal of my life... that it has certainly become a defining part of my life. I feel like I keep in touch more with my blog "friends" than with my "real friends."

Barbara Bruederlin said...

a defining part of your life, Will ... that's a great way to put it and, yes, the same has happened to me. I do stay in touch with my blog friends more frequently than with my family now it seems (the family who don't live with me, that is).

michelle said...

Blogging drives me crazy because I end up having dreams about people I don't know based on written sick jokes and anecdotes... hey, I made a rhyme...

I think I've had more honest + real conversations with people I've met via blogging than in real life recently. You, Barbara, are a perfect example of that kind of friendship. I don't have to know what you look like, hear your voice, or meet you to know that you're the real deal.

In a way, it makes the inevitable face-time that much more valuable. To me at least.

michelle said...

And yay on the pearly whites! I'm scared, I have to do that dentist thing too... whimper...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's true what you say, Michelle. Often my real-life conversations can be auto-remote (but that's entirely my fault for spacing out when discussing the same thing that was discussed yesterday).
I feel the same kinship with you, Michelle, and with GOB as well. If you guys make it up here or we make it down there, it'll be scary great. It will happen.

debz said...

I would've never even known about "The Hour" if it wasn't for you guys. And the "blog" thing has been a fantastic outlet for me. As a single, working mom with NO friends (time constraints see to that), this has been a God send for me. Between working and caring for the kids, I care for my mom who's paralyzed by stroke and my dad who's battling serious health issues also. This leaves me "zero" time and I've had to give up any kind of friendships, other than this. At a very lonely, busy, worrying time of my life this is a wonderful "escape"....I thank each and every one of you for listening to my (usually long) ramblings. Thank God for blogs (and when I get beyond using this new computer as an overpriced WP, I will start one also. For now, I really just love visiting all of yours!). Thanks, thanks and THANKS!!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh that's so nice to hear debz! Not that your life is so harried of course, but that you can find companionship in blog friends. I really hope you DO start your own blog when you get a chance, as we would love to come visit you there as well.

I feel for you and your mom. My dad was also incapacitated with a stroke for about 7 years, and I work in stroke research as well, so I am all too familiar with how very difficult it can be for families. Bless you for caring for your mom - that must be very hard at times.

phlegmfatale said...

Only I think we are more essentially ourselves in our unvarnished glory here than anywhere else in existence. I don't obsess about my blog, but it is a very important part of my day. I think unlike any other forum on earth, we have here the ability to connect with our true tribe of folks who we can respect if not agree with - people who share common interests and enjoy exploring new pathways. Blog is a social outlet to have a more sustained conversation about a topic than in chat, for example, and it can be carried out with people around the world. It isn't that physicality is of no importance, but I think this is a way of inviting others' involvement in one's inner dialog which is impossible to achieve with someone you see daily. I really like the people whose blogs I comment on, and I like the people who come to mine. Furthermore, my blessing to anyone who feels they have met their soulmate through blog. Good on them!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well said, Phlegmfatale. It comes back to finding community regardless of your geography, and emphasizes that our minds are indeed the true indicator of ourselves. We bloggers are rather the opposite of the super-model in that regard.

Anonymous said...

Many people know the importance of self confidence and try to boost their own by using many different personal development models. Self confidence to most people is the ability to feel at ease in most situations but low self confidence in many areas may be due to a lack of self esteem. Low self esteem takes a more subtle form that low self confidence. So if you are tired of feeling not good enough, afraid of moving towards your desires and goals, feel that no matter what you do it is just never good enough, then your self esteem could do with a boost.
Every day we make decisions based on our level of self-esteem. We also exhibit that level of self esteem to those around us through our behaviour. 90% of all communication is non-verbal - it is not what you say but ho you say it that matters! Your body language, tonality and facial gestures can all tell a completely different story to your words. It is our behaviour which influences others and people react to us by reading our non-verbal communications. Have you ever met someone you just didn't like although on the surface they seemed polite and courteous, or you met someone who seemed to speak confidently yet you knew they were really frightened underneath and just displaying bravado?
Parental and peer influences play a major part in moulding our level of self-esteem when we are children and in our early years of adolescence. The opinions of the people closest to us and how they reacted to us as individuals or part of the group was a dominant factor in the processes involved in forming our self esteem.
As adults we tend to perpetuate these beliefs about ourselves and in the vast majority of cases they are ridiculously erroneous. It is time to re-evaluate our opinion of ourselves and come to some new conclusions about these old belief patterns.
Ask yourself some serious question:
Is your long-held view about yourself accurate? Do we respect the sources from which we derived these beliefs? Most of the negative feedback we bought into as we were growing up actually came from people we have little or no respect for and as adults we would probably laugh their comments away! Yet the damage to your self esteem was done when you were very young and you still carry it with you to this day.
Is it possible that even those people you respected, who influenced your self-worth, were wrong? Perhaps they had low self esteem also.
As adults we have the opportunity to reshape our self-esteem. Try to judge accurately the feedback you receive from people you respect. This process will allow you to deepen your understanding of yourself and expand your self-image. It will also show you were you actually need to change things about yourself and were you don't. Many people are striving to better themselves in areas where they are just fine or actually excelling and it is only because they have an inaccurate picture of themselves in their minds due to low self esteem!
Setting small goals and achieving them will greatly boost your self-esteem. Identify your real weakness and strengths and begin a training program to better your inter-personal or professional skills. This will support you in your future big life goals and boost your self-esteem and self confidence to high levels you didn't existed!
Learn to recognise what makes you feel good about yourself and do more of it. Everyone has certain things that they do which makes them feel worthwhile but people with low self esteem tend to belittle these feelings or ignore them.
Take inventory of all the things that you have already accomplished in your life no matter how small they may seem. Recognise that you have made achievements in your life and remember all the positive things that you have done for yourself and others. Take a note of your failures and don't make excuses like "I'm just not good enough" or "I just knew that would happen to me", analyse the situation and prepare yourself better for the next time. If someone else created success, regardless of the obstacles, then you are capable of doing the same! Remember everyone has different strengths and weakness so do not judge your own performance against that of another just use them as inspiration and know that what one human being has achieved so can another!
Surround yourself with people who respect you and want what is best for you - people who are honest about your strengths and will help you work through your weakness. Give the same level of support to them!
Avoid people who continually undermine you or make you feel small. These people are just displaying very low self esteem. As your own self esteem grows you will find that you are no longer intimidated by another's self confidence or success and you can actually be joyful for them! Do things you love to do and that make you happy. A truly happy person never has low self esteem they are too busy enjoying life! By getting busy living your life with passion and joy you will not be able to be self-consciousness.
If you find yourself feeling self-conscious in any situation focus on the fact that others can tell and many of them will be feeling the same. Be honest. People respond to someone better if they openly say "To tell you the truth I'm a bit nervous" rather than displaying bravo or fake confidence that they can see right through. Their reactions to you, will show your mind at a deep level, that there was actually nothing to be frightened of and everything is great. If someone reacts to this negatively they are just displaying low self esteem and very quickly you will find others noticing this! Really listen to people when they talk to you instead of running through all the negative things that could happen in your head or focusing on your lack of confidence. People respond to someone who is truly with them in the moment..
Breath deeply and slow down. Don't rush to do things.
Stop the negative talk! 'I'm no good at that' or "I couldn't possibly do that" are affirmations that support your lack of self esteem. Instead say "I have never done that before but I am willing to try" or "how best can I do that?". Which leads us to the last point - the quality of the questions you ask yourself s very important.
When you ask a question it almost always has a preposition in it. For example, "How did I mess that up?" presumes that something was messed up, a better way of phrasing the question would be "what way can I fix this quickly?", as this presumes you can and will fix it. Or "How am I ever going to reach my goal?" could be rephrased as "what way will lead me to my goal quicker" presumes that you are going to reach your goal! Get the picture? Change the quality of your questions and your results will change!
Practise these techniques and watch your self esteem rise day by day. lucid dreaming

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