Thursday, July 23, 2009

I write trash

Someone left a comment quite late last night (South African time) asking me whether I knew that I wrote trash. Actually the person left two comments.

This person seemed quite happy about my writing trash, and didn't seem at all to imply that I should take this term applied to my writing as an insult.

So I didn't.

I took it as a compliment.

I cannot help but take it to mean that without anything substantial happening in my life I can still put words on paper the screen. And dang it, I can tell you that this is one thought that just fills me with hope for actually finishing something that I wrote. Some day.

But I was also left wondering about this whole blog-writing-thing and all that it really entails, as well as what it means to comment. And the wondering went sort of like this:

Me: Oh this one here that she wrote is a really good post. I should comment something witty and different.

Me too: You already did. Only it's not witty, nor is it different. Actually, if I'm completely honest, it doesn't make that much sense. How much did we drink last night?

Me: What are you saying? We didn't drink at all. Remember? We went to bed early, read some Umberto Eco without really paying much attention to the words or their meanings, and finally just kind of nodded off. The light was still on in the morning, and Umberto was comfortably tucked under the covers against our breast.

Me too: We didn't drink any wine? Really? What are we trying to do? Sober up?

Me: Hmph. You know what. We were really discussing some more pressing issues than our wine consumption.

Me too: ???

Me: We were talking about commenting on that there post and how we'd already done it without having any recollection of it, and how that might mean that we actually could have dementia or amnesia or some such thing, in which case it is really awesome that we have this here blog we ourselves write so that we can always go back and read about that suspicious goo in our hair or how much we love Mexico City.

Me too: No we weren't. Were we?

Me: Yes. See? You've already forgotten. Next thing I know I'm gonna find your car keys in your shoe and then you're not going to be able to recognize me when you look in the mirror in the morning.

Me too: So what you're saying is that we already have dementia or amnesia or some such thing?

Me: No. I'm saying you do.

And that, my good people, is how a brain is not supposed to function. This is what is supposed to come out:

I'm left wondering whether people really realize what they are projecting out into the world when they click on that orange publish button, or whether I myself understand how someone might interpret a post I've written or a comment I've made. Is it just a little too easy to 'put it out there' without realizing what  your words might do once you release them into the blogosphere?

Why am I getting a weird voice over feeling here, reminiscent of the ending of an episode of Sex and the City? Disconcerting. I'm not at all that type. It might be that I'm developing some such new and until- now-kept-at-bay-by-Toni-Morrison personality as 'Chick-lit Extranjera', or 'Treat-me-like-shit-Mr-Big Extranjera'. Very disconcerting.

Never mind that.

I would like to think I wear my values on my sleeve, even on this blog, and that people who have actually taken the time to get to know me and read some of my posts know what I stand for. But is it really that apparent, and am I reading much too much into other people's posts regarding their values and personality. Or are they really as funny, as intelligent, as open, as tolerant, as compassionate, and as delightfully off the hook as they seem? As for the people I met at Blog Camp, I think they turned out to be even more so in person, but as for the rest of you...

I'll just have to keep on wondering, unless anyone is interested in Blog Camp - South Africa? Yes, you are allowed to be weird, but only good weird. I'm not putting up anyone who wants to bring a) parts of anyone else or b) their mother.

Here is some actual trash, from my trash can, to spice things up a little bit. You're welcome!


Avery K. said...

i think that i like "me too" she says what is what

Eidothia said...

Whatever has made the witty Extranjera go introspective?(I mean just a comment...?) Although I am surely left wondering, why is it that my thoughts coincide with yours around the same time... Weird!
But keep going

Anonymous said...

How do you write a comment when you know the reader is analysing the comment ... hmmm ... One half of me woke up this morning, the other is still lying in my bed. I will wait for both parts to say something relevant

Lyn Hernandez said...

Voice over yes but I for some reason had the Barnyard crew in my head. That was interesting.

Lyn Hernandez said...

I just realized that may seem like an insult. It's not. Awesome blog.

julochka said...

howse this for witty commentary: what the hell is that picture?

no go. be among people. or look at pretty animals.

we'll wait here.

omchelsea said...

I love it. Can I steal your Leave a comment text?

Anonymous said...

Like Julochka said, what on earth is that in the picture?!?

And as for the Blog Camp in SA - Can I come, even though I don't blog? I can be the anthropologist observing all you bloggers... ;-)

Andi Marie Smith said...

Your blog makes my heart explode with happiness.

Violet Dear said...

I aspire to write meaty trash. I always get so serious. Vive La Trash!

Esmerelda said...

What do you mean, that's not how a normal brain works? Of course that's how a normal brain works! Isn't that why we all have interesting voices on the outside as well as in?

[I'm in trouble, I have 3 voices competing].

All 3 of my voices love your blogs...

Chef E said...

Interesting, or I would not be here all the time, but I have someone that leaves comments that seem mean. Though now you have me thinking that there is more to what they say...Interesting...

Oh, and I always find reading the comments as entertaining. Your followers are very witty!

C. E. said...

Trash is a wealthy venture. People read romance novels like it's going out of style, right? (No offense meant.) Trash can be a lifeline.

No one should take themselves too seriously.

Also, and maybe this is the Lord of the Rings fan in me, as I was reading the conversation between yourself and yourself - I couldn't help thinking of Smeagol/Gollum. Which isn't to say, of course, that you were once a nice little Hobbit who killed your sibling for a nice shiny ring and then became a rather nasty looking... thing.

Then again, if you were, I would still like you just the same.

_shambhavi_ said...

:) funny again hw a litle word made such a disturbance... anyways, atleast you got another goodie good post!
what you forget is... i follow you... and i love the way you write..

"I cannot help but take it to mean that without anything substantial happening in my life I can still put words on paper the screen."... sum of ur words... n its exactly what i meant..

you are sum1 who can write about all the tiny things that hppen to you and make it substantial..

not every1 can do the same...never 4gt that li'l criticism makes you nothing but better.

be it trash or not, if seen from the right perspective, as the picture you took, can become beautiful and thought provoking.

wish you much much more trash cuz every1 likes it tht way :)
-li'l kid who seems to hav upset you while not meanin to du so

ellen abbott said...

One person's trash is another person's treasure.

kristine said...

'Chick-lit extranjera' - there it is! the pseudonym! wicked.

In all seriousness. I think I can tell a lot about you by reading your blog. You do seem a lot like someone I'd like very much in real life, I think we'd have much to discuss. You DO wear your heart on your sleeve a lot in how you write and I think thats why people love reading your blog so much! (obviusly you are also very funny but funny without personality isnt that great).
Re blog camp south africa, i am kind of researching options right now and am half peering in your direction. wont be until a years time and is very tentative still, but on the whole, do you recommend joburg? I am quite keen on a big city next....

Cyndy said...

Then, of course, there is people like me who hesitate to click that button while struggling to decide whether the comment is worthy. And then I put it off until I think I can get it right (read procrastination ~ I told you I was good at this). Then I forget to come back (somewhere in my mind I think that I did comment).

Or worse, as is the case this morning, I think I have something to say but am totally distracted.

Perhaps I should just say what I really wanted to say all along: Good morning, Extranjera! Glad to share my morning cup of coffee with you, as always...

My name is Erin. said...

Once again, the first favorite part of the this post is the tag about the Garden Gnome. My second favorite part is the entire posting. I love it when you show another part of what makes you, YOU!

As for your question about our blogger personalities vs. our real, true selves. Here's what I think of me and what I present to the world.

MyCamera: I'm not a great photographer. I barely know how to use my camera. I'm more of a digital artist who's medium of choice is a digital camera and an editing program. I enjoy the challenge of taking a decent picture and through the magic of the editing process, make it really, really cool. Some may say that makes me a fake, but it's me and I like me.

The Gentle Giant: I can get really bogged down with the reality of parenting... especially kid with Autism. When I sit down and start a posting... I'm often ready to complain and by the end, I get it out of my system and am ready to be a better parent. So I'd say that my postings are sweeter than I actually am, but they help me refocus and set out to be the parent I really want to be and am fully capable of being.

I know you were missing my mini-blogs. XO

P.S. I wouldn't call your writing trash. And WHEN you publish your novel, I'll camp all night outside the bookstore to buy it. Well maybe not, but I'll show up really early. And then I'll buy 5 copies and send them to friends as gifts.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Your trash is definitely another girl's treasure (I esp treasure you and your "trash")

Judearoo said...

Kinda think thats the charm of the whole blogging/commenting combo. Some throw away line you wrote can be snapped up and suddenly becomes the focus of the whole piece. Interesting and a little bewildering to see the interpretation of your thoughts by strangers. Not to get too heavy but isnt that how all literature works? All down to interpretation.
Now stop, Im not accusing you of literature, put down the wine bottle and back away slooooowly....


josh said...

Is the point of writing a blog to simply mind-puke a bunch of trash onto the internet?

Not So Glamorous Housewife said...

Trash, nonsense. Useful I say. Inspiring I say. As for the voice over problem, I was getting it a little. I suggest a good way to defeat it would be to refer to yourself in third person for the next 24 hours. Example (my name is Robin in case this gets confusing and you think I think your name is Robin):

"Robin will now be referring to herself in the third person. Robin puts on the old crooners and sings along. Sometimes Robin gets the feeling the neighbors are listening. Robin only gets this feeling when she hangs out the window and faces their homes while singing. Robin thinks her neighbors are jerks for listening. Robin is VERY hip."

Crossing my fingers for you....let me know how it goes.

lacherie_17 said...

You do NOT write trash, and besides, who is to judge what is considered good writing? It's not like there's a universal panel of judges who sit there and critique every blog!

You know what's funny? I had a dream last night that people were putting comments on my page saying my blog had gone to shit...Whatever!

Dude, you rock and your blog is hilarious, and just F whatever anyone wants to say otherwise!


Josefine said...

What is that foamy bit of trash in the picture? It is intriguing me and I don't want to stop looking at it.

Carol in Texas said...

I read somewhere and was recently reminded of some great wisdom which comes to mind right about now. YOU DO NOT have to justify your experience!
I understand the disconcertment you felt when you discovered that rude comment left on your blog. You're probably a senstive person. It caused you to objectify to the extent of writing in third person. No need to be embarrassed or apologetic for what you write.
I've probably never commented on your blog, or maybe even ever read it, but I was somehow drawn to the title "I write trash!" Who says that kind of thing, anyway??!!

Molly said...

Clearly no dedicated pill-poppers amongst your readers/commenters :)
I recognised the picture instantly.
Glad the braai made you happy - I'm so craving lamp chops right now - at 09.27!

Tatiana Lensky said...

One day you will finish something. And I commend you for keeping up the regularity of your blog. I know how difficult that is.

Blog camp in SA sounds nice.....too bad I can´t attend as I live a bit, not around the corner away, but a 12 hour flight away. One never knows though....


kristina said...

When I see the title of your post, I keep reading "I'm white trash". and I think, "how odd - why would she say that?". and I see that it's not what it says. and then I do the same routine all over again.
you don't write trash!

histreasure said...

I saw the "trash' comment too but i took it like u did, as a compliment..cos its awesome how u take completely inane things and by the time u click that publish button, i have me this post that puts a smile on my face.

Jude said...

That discussion between "Me" and "Me too" reminded me of the interaction between the two main characters in "Waiting for Godot" a little bit...very entertaining. :)

Extranjera said...

Avery - Thanks. I think she is pretty cool too, albeit a little blunt.

Eidothia - Yup. Not much going on. Have time to mull over comments.

ED - You make it a nice one that tells the writer how absolutely awesome she is. Those are at least my favorites.

Lyn - Thanks for the perspective. Intriguing...

julochka - Trash from my trashcan. Do you not read the captions that I put so much thought into? Feel hurt.

Omchelsea - Not unless you credit me with huge honking letters and link to me at every turn. Not asking too much?

Kirsi - Does no one read the captions? It's trash! And you my dear, are always welcome. Blog Camp, or no Blog Camp. You know that!

Andi - Thanks! I could not ask for more.

Violet - (was going to go with VD, but that has an unfortunate ring to it.) Thanks so much. Meaty trash - I like that!

Esmeralda - Sure about that? I know that's how my brain works most days, but is it normal. I doubt it.

Chef E - Ignore the mean ones!!! This trash one wasn't mean at all. It was just funny.

C.E. - Now there's a nice roundabout way of calling me a hobbit. If only I wasn't built like a, East german shot putter I might get peeved... Instead you have given me quite a compliment. I like thinking myself as a bloodthirsty hobbit. I also like Gollum's hair. He has more than me...

Shambhavi - No harm done. Your comment just inspired me. Thanks!

Ellen - Too right! Thanks.

Kristine - I know we would totally get on! And You are now signed up from Blog Camp SA. And there's no taking back your words. However, if you're looking at a longer stay and you can choose the city, go for Cape Town. And email me so I can give you a more point to point break down as to why.

Cyndy - Thanks so much! Glad to have you as a reader.

Erin - Thanks so much, and I know I've said this before, but go ahead mini-blog all you want. No one else does it quite like you do. And I promise not to call the police on you iof you ever camp outside a book store, independent of whether they actually have my book or not. If it ever comes out... well, if I ever write it...

VEG - Thanks for taking the picture of trash at face value. Love ya!

judearoo - I was just going to say, are you really accusing me of THAT, of all things...

josh - I dunno. Is it? Let me check the guidelines.

Robin - Extranjera does that quite a lot already. She also talks to herself and sings to herself, sometimes she also dances in the backyard, so she thinks that the neighbors have a pretty good idea as to how weird she is. However, she is also very HIP. Is too!

Is too!

Lashawn - I really like your attitude there!

Josefine - The foamy bit of trash is from a bottle of vitamins. I giess the vitamin people don't want their vitamins to be all mixed up with other exactly alike vitamins when you open the bottle. makes sense.

Carol - The comment wasn't actually rude, but I am a very sensitive person. however, that third person thing might have been going on before the 'incident' already. I think. Me too.

Molly - You are correct! Maybe the foamy bits are an SA thing?

Tatiana - Thanks! I hope to finish something too. I do...

Kristina - Yup. I would never say that. About myself.

Histreasure - Thanks so much. I totally think it's a compliment too. I just thouight it was great how it inspired me.

jude - Love Beckett, but was totally not channeling him. But now I'm congratulating myself for having made such a high brow reference.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

wow it would actually take me 32 hours and 40 minutes to get to SA blog camp, but only 23 hours and 30minutes on the return trip. Sounds like fun. When shall i arrive?

Extranjera said...

Opie - When would be good for you? You are always welcome!