A funny thing happened to me last year.
Not the divorce. That wasn’t that funny. Well, even that’s not totally true — there’s some gallows humor to be had in trying to stick each other with the DVDs you secretly hate. But that’s a topic for another day.
No, in this case, I refer to the writing bug biting again in an unexpected way. (For those who don’t know, I wrote for my college paper back in school 20 years ago, but never really found a good direction to channel it.) I’d been playing around with Quora.com (think of it as Yahoo! Answers with 30% less dick jokes). Somewhere along the line I wrote enough answers about the Pittsburgh Steelers, Game of Thrones, and various other topics that I had written over 1000 answers and gotten named to the Top Writers of 2012 program. At something like 500 people, it’s not a hugely exclusive club, but compared to the 7 billion people who aren’t in it, it’s kinda cool. And there’s a T-shirt involved.
And that was a revelation for me. There wasn’t any special recipe, no Grand Unifying Theme, just a bunch of stuff I felt like writing about… and yet people were reading it and it felt good to write it. But Quora is ultimately limiting because it’s a Q&A site — if no one writes a question about it, it’s kinda hard to write about it. So despite my trepidation about blogging — sometimes it seems like everybody’s writing, and nobody’s reading — I decided to give it another go, channel some of that Quora energy down my own personal pathway. Maybe just another voice howling into the great wind of the Internet, but to paraphrase Neil Gaiman, anyone can create but no one else in the world can be me.
Most of what I write about will be the “reindeer games”. Sports, entertainment, gaming, homebrewing, other things that amuse me from time to time. And Grumpy Cat photos out the wazoo. That’s where the concept of “conversational parkour” comes from — most of the time I’ll just bounce from A to B to C and you’re welcome to come along for the ride.
Other things I’ll touch on more reluctantly. Politics and religion are dangerous areas because people get entrenched and it’s unlikely to change anyone’s mind. I may touch on it but I won’t dwell. I won’t write much about work because this is meant to be a diversion from what I do the rest of the time — as Bob Dylan says “It’s my work he’d say and I do it for pay And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way”. And family stuff is a bit of a mixed bag — on one hand, my kids pretty much make my world go round and they do some funny stuff, but it’s easy to misjudge the entertainment factor of some of that and verge on “LOOK AT MY SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE, DAMNIT!” territory.
To some degree it’s still a work in progress, but feel free to stick around and watch me try to figure it out.