the question of the day, however, is why has my inspiration been thwarted so much as of late. and not just my inspiration, i mean everyone's inspiration. i thought long and hard about this: why has blogging been so crappy recently? i'm not just talking about me, i'm talking about e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. well, i really am not creative enough for e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. to be an acronym--so i do not know why i wrote it like that, other than to be silly, but i will not go back an edit, as i like to write by the seat of pants. but, regardless, i have a few culprits:
i first blame facebook. sure, facebook is good for a few things. for instance, getting wished "happy birthday" by someone you haven't spoken to since you were seventeen. that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. but in no way can it be a substitute for the great care and thoughtfulness that goes into a blog post. this deserves some more attention, however, i will get back to it in a moment. let me first name my other culprits.
next, i blame norcalcyclingnews sucking. sorry, hernando, you know i love you. but there is directly correlation of your blog sucking and everyone elses' blogs sucking. i cannot blame you entirely, of course. everyone is to blame for being so lame in the absence of a charismatic leader. (i am sure i could get a little sociology on all y'all, but i'll spare it) let's just say that the suckage of cycling blogs has an uncanny resemblance to the rise and fall of fascism in the 20th century.
third, i blame twitter. i think it is stupid. why? well, this goes hand-in-hand with the facebook complaint, so you can refer both to text above and below.
fourth, i blame the influx of iphones and blackberries. this, is two fold: first, when people are using their iphones all the time, they do not have patience to read a very long and clever blog post like mine. similarly, when people are using their iphones and blackberries as their main source of internet connection, they have little time to write a nice, cohesive blog post, because people only write crappy one line emails with an absurd amount of spelling errors with those devices.
fifth, i blame everyone for not writing comments. when people don't comment, i feel like no one is reading, so i stop writing posts. i lose my momentum. i think this is pretty universal.
okay, back to numero uno: facebook. updating your "status" on facebook through either a witty -- or completely unwitty -- sentence produces instant satisfaction. because likely one of your 600-odd friends will say something in response to it, even if it is something as stupid, such as: "beth is brushing her teeth with tarter control toothpaste." first of all, we must note that most of these are lies, because not many are actually doing their status. sure, i may have been brushing my teeth 5 minutes ago, but no one ever writes a status message, such as: "beth is updating her status message" which would be most accurate. but, i realize, that is a bit nitpicky. my point is- there is definitely a sense of instant gratification, but it is quite soulless and never leaves me feeling proud of my work. the next day, i never think: "awesome status update beth! you got that one right!"
in contrast, sometimes i work very hard writing a nice blog post and craft it while i am sitting home at night all alone feeling sorry for myself. i read it through, change some things around (but never anything grammatical... obviously). then i publish and feel a nice sense of accomplishment for having completed something cohesive. and for a good hour while i am writing and re-writing, i forget to feel sorry for myself. (yet, when i am looking on facebook, i pretty much always feel sorry for myself.)
and i think i just answered my own question on why people have stopped blogging in turn for stupid status message updates on facebook: lots of people's blogs were merely just long status messages with no point at all, and so now they have found a much more appropriate medium. but then there are people who wrote quite wonderful blog posts, and have since stopped almost completely.
perhaps i should shake my cane on the rocking chair outside on the front porch, decreeing: "remember 2007...."
well, times change. who can keep up with social media? but i just ask those reading this to get a little nostalgic about 2007. maybe try it again. it could be like trying on your old jeans that are stuck in the back of the closet and realizing you still like them.
okay, that is the end of my lecture. the reason this post started was because i got inspired.
i got inspired from some fan mail. this was the most amazing fan mail i have ever received. (also included was a photograph, but i will not include for anonymity sake.)
Hi Beth,My name is Lionel, I'm a 32 years old french guy. As a personal trainer and journalist for an european fitness and bodybuilding magazine, I've always been interested in sport... and muscle. I've been lifting weights for 15 years. I discovered your blog and loved the way you talk about your quads. It's so rare for a girl to enjoy her muscular thighs! I really appreciated your way of thinking. So I wanted to congratulate you both for that and for the motivation you show in improving. I had written an article, a few years ago, about the french national speed cycling team, including famous names like Florian Rousseau. I had asked them about their thighs size ;)Do you still train on the bike? Do you also lift weights? What is your quads size now? If you want, I can help you increasing your quads size with some weight programs, as I've always been obsessed with my thighs and learnt a lot about how to effectively train them. I'm also famous in my gym for being a sadistic trainer specialized in legs workout :)I hope you'll get this message and I hope to have a reply from you because I really founf you unique.Lionel
wow lionel- i greatly appreciate the email. so many people are above writing emails these days-- so i always greatly appreciate it when people have the care to take five minutes to actually write a couple of paragraphs in a cohesive fashion. so, i will write you back, i just want to take some time to formulate the correct response. expect something, lionel, in the next couple of days.
and everyone else, thanks very much for getting to the end. i am sure i could have said it all a lot faster, like: "beth just got some crazy fan mail" - but that wouldn't have quite said it.