Sunday, April 29, 2007

who's your daddy?

My blog daddy is a gay man living in New York City. We are so not alike, it's almost laughable, but I found Joe.My.God. one cold winter weekend when I was (as usual) supposed to be working and was (as usual) fooling around.

Before I found Joe, I had no interest in bloggers and was especially contemptuous of the stupid name for the thing ~ blog. In a grumpy, smug old lady voice, I'd mutter to myself "if it's a web log, can't we call it that? Blog. Sounds so idiotic. Bloooogggggg. Stupid." My nephew, a hacking wizard, kept a blog wherein he attempted to share with others his methods, but as a techno-genius, it made sense for him. For the average ~ ahem ~ Joe, what would be the point?

Despite the fact that I was a chronic journal-keeping failure, it did not occur to me that this thing of a blog could be used to meet the same need. The laborious scratching of pen on paper could never accomplish what I was after, to make note of the days of my life and so make them just a bit richer, with more depth and insight than I get when I don't take the time to write.

And then I found Joe. I think the first story I read was Clouds and Miss America (or maybe it was the one about Terrance) and I was instantly hooked. I made a pot of coffee and got some tissues and returned to my computer to read and laugh and cry and to grieve with Joe and for my own sweet friends from Houston, now all dead of AIDS.

It was an epiphany and I have tears in my eyes just writing this because reading those stories gave me an outlet for experiences and sorrows I've kept inside for years. No one in my current life understands. It's not that they wouldn't care, but it's just not the same to share those experiences and those losses with people who are so removed.

I lost one group of friends; Joe lost a world. I can't compare what I experienced as a straight woman with much loved gay friends to what Joe went through as a gay man when it seemed everyone was dying or was going to. Nevertheless, he speaks to my heart and his words have soothed an ache long buried.

I read him every day and I comment too much, and through my blog daddy Joe, I've met so many others, such kindred spirits, such funny, creative, talented people. I think of it as Joe's version of the Algonquin Round Table, a daily gathering of folks who read and discuss and make funny and moving posts which never fail to inform me, to make me think, to piss me off, make me laugh or make me cry.

All of that to say that I love Joe and he was the inspiration for this web log and the previous one. He's been a daily treat in my life for over 18 months and I am really, really happy to have found him. I used to think blogs were silly but I've come to believe they are a way to connect with others in a society increasingly limited in opportunities for community.

So who's your blog daddy (or mama)? Who ~ or what ~ inspired you to record your thoughts, your rants, your hopes, your dreams?

21 Comments:

Anonymous Kamrin said...

It is so true! I love Joe.M.G and he is such an inspiration! I will have to think about who my blog daddy/mama is. I think each of the ones I read offer some sort of inspiration to me in different areas of my life. I love you for that Southern relation (I can't believe we are just hours apart) and so many of the same life experiences we have endured. You also help me keep on track with my new lifestyle changes! (50 lbs down! 30 more to go!) I loves ya girl!

April 29, 2007 9:33 AM  
Blogger Willym said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 29, 2007 10:07 AM  
Blogger Willym said...

Hey you's my Mommy! And damn don't I just wish Joe was my Daddy!!

I came to read Joe through a friend of mine, a wonderful bright creative man who sadly could not see his own worth and choose to leave us last October (http://willyorwonthe.blogspot.com/2006/11/not-in-memoriam-but-in-my-memories.html). And through reading your comments - and no my dear you do not comment too often - at JMG I started reading you.

And once again you scare the shit out of me. I was just cotemplating an entry around the idea - these are two of my favorite things. You figure out what they were!

I started a blog back in 2000 when I worked for a newspaper in Warsaw, Poland as its web editor. My publisher had heard about blogs and urged me to create one (no blogspot.com then)and let me write about anything I wanted to - opera, the Ghetto Uprising, anti-sematism in Poland, restaurants, my housekeeper, the dogs - no censorship and no interference. It was a relatively successful suppliment to the paper.

Only after I started reading JMG and at the urging of my dear Ryan did I try it again. I'm only hoping once we get to Rome I'll be able to post more and on more interesting topics.

April 29, 2007 10:36 AM  
Blogger Addison said...

I found this blog via JMG. I can't tell you what my own inspiration for blogging was. Maybe that I have a loud mouth that my partner was tired of hearing....whatever the inspiration, I'm glad for it.
Southeast Texas native here who also lived in Houston for a spell. Thanks for sharing with us.

April 29, 2007 11:59 AM  
Anonymous www.mymixedcompany.com said...

OMG! Can I just tell you how freakin' glad I am that you read me? You always seem to figure it out. Can I just be you when I turn the five-oh? Or maybe can I just skip all this and just be you now? Anyway, you shed light and I am thankful. Now, back to catching up. I can see you just wrote about Joe in tis post, so it MUST be good. He is our bond among (I think) many others. XO

April 29, 2007 12:37 PM  
Anonymous www.mymixedcompany.com said...

OK, so I just read this post and I have to say that I think that Stephanie Klein inspired me to write, but only in a bitter jealous dark way, like, I can SO write like that, ONLY BETTER. (Shitty of me, but it got me writing). Now that I have a new job that keeps me super busy, too busy to blog at times, I have to say that YOU would be my blog Momma, and Tater (who is new to me) would be my blog Papa. I read you and your comments on my blog and others and I always learn more about who I want to be. And Tater would be such great guest at dinner and always enlightens me with his post and comments. Both of you are candid with your struggles and this brings me closer. XO to both of you.

April 29, 2007 12:44 PM  
Anonymous don said...

I too used to read JMG daily. I really enjoyed his perspective and insight into the lives of gay men living in American cities. However I have now unsubscribed after getting viciously attacked by JMG and others after leaving comments on JMG's blog. Not that what I had to say was controversial (or confrontational). I guess I just confused a personal blog with a democratic forum. DOH!

April 29, 2007 3:07 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

I too am a big fan of JMG, but I think my "blog daddy" would have to be my friend Alan, who I knew offline before I started blogging. He had a blog called "Swede & Czech," and now operates a blog called "Recovery Beach" -- he doesn't post nearly as often as he should, but I try to keep tabs on him through the blog ... and hold him completely responsible for getting me on the "blogosphere" (another stupid word that I nonetheless use ... go figyah).

April 29, 2007 8:19 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Funny how a man who has never reproduced in his life can be the Daddy to so many. I totally share your Joe Love!

April 30, 2007 8:35 AM  
Anonymous tater said...

Belle,
You are my blog mamadiva, and Joe was my first blog to read as well, making him my blog daddy. Reading you both has allowed me to venture forth into the world wide web, and not be so self conscious that it blocks my writing. I am totally my own worst judge, and it holds me back creatively BIGTIME. The frank and open dialogue of both of your sites, has allowed me to say "fuck it" let go and just do it. Being a notorious foot in mouth blunt person, has lead me into some interesting flame wars online as well, but I am doing my best at being honest without being rude. I need to free up more time to enjoy this new pursuit, and write more often. I am so going home tonight to post. Thank you for your sincerety, and words of wisdom, you have been an inspiration to me!

April 30, 2007 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

Personally I think JMG is a great writer and has a fab blog - because he brings it.

I feel the same way about your voice Ms. Lynette - both in your comments and your writing here. I may not always agree with you - but I respect you. Don - I know it can be tough to be the chase rabbit - but don't let the pack dissuade you.

I also enjoy Ham and Cheese on Wry.
Cheers

April 30, 2007 9:51 AM  
Blogger evilganome said...

My first regular blog read was my pal Mike. A friend got me reading JMG, which is how I started reading your blog. My real inspiration though was probably my friend Monkey of Monkey Clubhouse. He helped me set up my blog and really introduced me to the blogosphere. So far, it's been great and I've got to "meet" great people like you, Tater and the ever wonderful Helendamnation.

April 30, 2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Joe / Kusala said...

I love your entry, and I'm really happy that I discovered your wit and humor via JMG. I think your comment comparing the JMG comments section to the Algonquin Round Table is great, and I have often had similar thoughts... I find those comments to be a sort of "salon" in the grand historical sense of people trading ideas and opinions in ways that are sometimes loving, sometimes bitchy, but always entertaining. Belle, I think YOU are totally the Dorothy Parker of the JMG crew! Here's to continuing the lively and exciting discussion...!

April 30, 2007 10:14 AM  
Blogger p.alan said...

I got pulled into this blogging vacuum after reading many, Joe included, but my regular reads have expanded greatly and are quite diverse. Joe is where I found you, Lynette...in one of those clever comments you left. I followed your link and I've been a regular ever since (thanks for the link back, by the way:-)

What's fun is to find a new blog, get hooked into it, and then find that all your regulars are also readers.

April 30, 2007 10:47 AM  
Blogger p.alan said...

It's too bad I can't participate in the fun at JMG during the day now (which is when most of the action happens) as my employer has set-up a sonic wall, and his site is blocked b/c of 'adult material'. LMAO! Oh well...

April 30, 2007 10:49 AM  
Blogger rodger said...

My Blog Mama is my dear friend Emily who started a blog when she moved to France. She actually 'gave' me a blog for Christmas 2003.

That blog still exists under the tutelage of my partner Mark at http://nwcircles.com/scuff/

Since the old blog mostly informs our family and friends about what's happening in our lives we keep it pretty simple. I started the current blog to have more fun and mouth off if I want.

I was very fortunate about a year ago when a comment I left at JMG sent you to my page. I have been a fan of yours ever since.

April 30, 2007 4:37 PM  
Blogger eric3000 said...

I wish I had a wonderful, inspiring story but the truth is I signed up for Blogger so I could comment on Blogging Project Runway and then, after watching the terrible television show Fashion House, I finally wrote my first post about how disappointing that show was. After that I was hooked. Fashion House inspired me to start my blog?! That is so sad!

April 30, 2007 4:37 PM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

Jane Austen is my blog daddy. I had done so much research on her that I felt compelled to share some of it with the world, and so I created a blog. And then I found the rest of you on the blogosphere, like Gorgeous Thing and you and E3K, and I began leaving comments.

Then I discovered that my inner sarcastic child also demanded a forum (because Jane was too serious), so I created Dishin' Dat. The rest, as they say, is history.

May 01, 2007 6:54 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

this is great reading, people. i love this ~ so many great stories here. isn't it amazing that even with the enormity of the online world, there are so many little interconnections?

May 01, 2007 9:53 AM  
Blogger Helen the Felon said...

I definitely feel indebted to Joe Almighty for unleashing the force of nature that is you upon the blogosphere.

May 01, 2007 10:00 AM  
Blogger TankMontreal said...

Many of my friends scoff when they see me hunched over the keyboard, reading blogs or trying to write my own. They don't realize MySpace isn't an accurate representation of the blogasphere.
Hell, my life's been enriched by the daily musings of so many of you. J.M.G. was the first blog I can remember checking regularly, and through it I've discovered countless others - including you, B.A.B.
Scoffing frends or not, I'm grateful to each and every one of you for teaching, enlightening and entertaining me. Ad infinitum.

May 01, 2007 1:30 PM  

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