1. Do you try to look hot when you go to the grocery store just in case someone recognizes you from your blog?
(“hot…grocery store…recognizes…” You’re from o’er the pond, aren’t you? Oh, I can always tell. It’s a gift. )
I certainly do try to make myself look reasonably attractive and presentable whenever I leave the house, for whatever purpose; in this respect, I am my mother’s son. The only exceptions are hiking and gigging, when I dress for practicality and comfort alone.
(Ironically, the only time that a stranger recognised me from the blog was just after a gig. I dare say that I looked extremely hot by then; just not in the way that the question implied.)
2. Are the photos you post Photoshopped or otherwise altered?
Like so many pieces of functionally rich software (Access, Flash, Movable Type), the thought of Photoshop scares me so much that I don’t even own a copy. This state of denial can last for years. Irfanview serves my needs perfectly adequately, thank you.
I have a copy of Paint Shop Pro at work, but am stuck at the stage where super-imposing text onto an image (see doctored Beatles pic below) feels like the last word in daring creativity. De-gaussing? Raster layers? The mere sight of such terms is enough to bring me out in hives.
I can, however, crop for England. It’s an overlooked skill. I should add it to my CV.
3. Do you like it when creeps or dorks email you?
My pathetic need for self-validation is so great that any unsolicited e-mail from readers is welcome, irrespective of creepiness or dorkitude. Yes, even the one which called me a “vaseline-arsed fairy”. Hey, at least I provoked a reaction.
4. Do you lie in your blog?
Sometimes, I wish I had the nerve (it could be such fun!) – but I am burdened by having a major, major beef with dishonesty in all its forms. The ensuing guilt would simply be too much to bear.
The nearest I have come to lying on the blog was when I invented a fictional guest contributor, for the purpose of telling true stories which I didn’t fancy putting my name to. Despite filtering these stories through a fictional persona, the ensuing results were, paradoxically, amongst the most honest pieces of writing I have produced.
A couple of years ago, I toyed for ages with the concept of blogging a piece of fiction as if it were fact, building up a story over several days, and only ‘fessing up afterwards. I had a cracking good story all lined up, and came very close to writing it. In the final analysis, it felt like too much of a betrayal of trust, and so I shelved the idea.
5. Are you passive-aggressive in your blog?
Passive-aggressive: what a ghastly pop-psychology concept that is. In real life: I suppose that I have my moments. As for the blog: exactly how can one be passive-aggressive on a blog? Does not compute. This question perplexes and annoys me. I shall move on.
6. Do you ever threaten to quit writing so people will tell you not to stop?
Good God, no. As manipulative, attention-seeking strategies go, it is too crass, too obvious, too transparent. I can do much better than that.
7. Are you in therapy? If not, should you be? If so, is it helping?
Not in therapy; never have been. I do sometimes wonder if it might be beneficial, but cynicism and inertia always prevail. I also suffer from the narcissistic delusion that my hang-ups are so uniquely complex that no therapist could possibly know how to deal with me. (Of course, I also acknowledge that this is probably one of the most common syndromes of all.)
8. Do you delete mean comments? Do you fake nice ones?
The only mean comment I have ever deleted was at the subsequent request of the commenter. I have also deleted a comment which threatened to compromise someone else’s privacy. Other than that, I adopt a fairly laissez-faire attitude. So far, I’ve been pretty lucky.
The concept of faking nice comments has never occurred to me before. There have been a couple of occasions where I have been polite through gritted teeth, though.
9. Have you ever rubbed one out while reading a blog? How about after?
I can honestly say that I have never been sexually stimulated by anything I have read on a blog, ever.
Well, maybe the occasional photo, slightly. But the question referred to “reading”, not viewing. Besides, any ensuing stimulation stopped several yards short of, ahem, “rubbing one out”.
(Is that a new expression? Now that I have banished the image of pencil erasers from my mind, I must concede that it has a certain graphic potency.)
10. If your readers knew you in person, would they like you more or like you less?
That’s hardly for me to say, is it? To dwell on such matters is fatal.
11. Do you have a job?
“Job” is certainly the mot juste in my case. As opposed to the spurious dignity inherent in the word “career”. Let’s not fool ourselves.
12. If someone offered you a decent salary to blog full-time without restrictions, would you do it?
In the blink of an eye. (It sort of happened for a while, didn’t it?)
13. Which blogger do you want to meet in real life?
There are so many. However, the first person that springs to mind is Anna.
14. Which bloggers have you made out with?
One. However, this was several years before blogs were invented. We didn’t need no fancy computers to cop off with in them days! We made our own entertainment!
15. Do you usually act like you have more money or less money than you really have?
I think I give a fairly accurate representation of this, wouldn’t you say? Occasionally, I worry about how this might be perceived. But I have to say that it is only a minor, tangential worry.
16. Does your family read your blog?
My sister keeps up with it on a regular basis, particularly on the brief occasions when she is back in the country. As she is now. (Hiya, sis! See you on Sunday!)
I believe that my cousin dips into it from time to time.
My mother doesn’t own a computer, and has no desire to do so.
After many years of prolonged nagging from the rest of us, my aunt and uncle have finally gone online, and are probably going through their Honeymoon Period as I speak. My archives have been duly checked for Googlability.
17. How old is your blog?
It blends the noisy attention-seeking of a seven year-old, the self-questioning angst of a sixteen year-old, and the cocky swagger of a nineteen year-old.
Let’s see, then. 7 + 16 + 19 = 42. Ooh, coincidence!
18. Do you get more than 1000 page views per day? Do you care?
This has happened six times in the past month, although my usual figure hovers somewhere between 600 and 900.
Although it would be disingenuous of me to pretend that it wasn’t a source of some satisfaction, I have also been knocking around long enough to take this sort of thing with a hefty pinch of salt. All those pop-culture references get me a lot of Googlers; my traffic spikes always occur for bizarre and unpredictable reasons; my above-average number of references to other blogs generates a certain level of interest; and I’m a frequent updater, so people come back and check more often. Oh, and I’ve got all sorts of sub-pages beneath the main page, including two and a half years of weekly archives and separate pages for everything in the 40 In 40 Days Project. Plus there are all the Google image searches, which count for a hefty slice of traffic, and…
19. Do you have another secret blog in which you write about being depressed, slutty, or a liar?
I’ve often thought about doing this, but know full well that it would only end in tears. I’m absolutely crap at keeping secrets.
20. Have you ever given another blogger money for his/her writing?
No, but I rewarded my first set of guest bloggers with home-made mix CDs. So much more civilised!
21. Do you report the money you earn from your blog on your taxes?
I don’t think that the Inland Revenue would be overly troubled by the meagre income generated by my merchandising boutique. Meanwhile, my Amazon referrals have not yet been sufficient to convert into real earnings.
22. Is blogging narcissistic?
Yes, of course. But at its best, it’s also much more than that.
23. Do you feel guilty when you don’t post for a long time?
Tragically, I do. And then I feel guilty for feeling guilty.
24. Do you like John Mayer?
Now, you see, this is why I rarely bother with questionnaires like these. Because there’s always at least one supremely irrelevant question near the end, isn’t there?
Being only dimly aware of the fellow, it would be presumptious of me to venture an opinion. However, based on what little I know of him, I strongly suspect that he is Not My Sort Of Thing At All.
Sorry, John. Nothing personal. Keep on keeping on, and all that.
25. Do you have enemies?
None that I am aware of. I’ve had the odd fractious ding-dong along the way, but have always managed to reach a suitable resolution in due course. Long may this continue.
26. Are you lonely?
Hardly. My voices are all the company I need.
(It’s the penultimate question. I feel I’ve earnt the right to some measure of bleak flippancy.)
27. Why bother?
Because the benefits outweigh the botherations, many times over.