This is the first installment of Mongoliangirl's interview of me. She really did her homework and asked me some fantastic questions and, me being me, I answered them at great length because I find myself so damn fascinating. I'm breaking it up for you though, because it's far too much to post at one time and actually expect people to read it. I may actually get three days out of it. So thanks again to A Free Man for organizing this and to Mongoliangirl for making me feel interesting. Take it away Mongoliangirl!
I am composing your interview questions while at the tail end of being infested with a flu that has caused me to shove a Q-tip into my right nostril and give advice that may have resulted in the death of another human being. Are you sure you are up for this?
Darn tootin’, lady. And here's hoping your flu isn't a strain that has mutated to spread via electronic message. Asian Blog Flu, we'd call it, and you'd be patient zero.
In the very first post of your blog you write this about what you hope to do as a blogger: "...make it as hugely hilarious and enlightening as will be expected of me." You don't seem like one of those blogging whores who simply wants page loads and lots of readers, so I'm guessing that quote was about the expectations you had of yourself at the time. How's that going? Have you made yourself laugh? Have you found yourself enlightened?
So you’re looking for a State of the Blog Address here? At least I won’t have to preempt According to Jim to deliver it. Oh, come on - somebody must watch that show. Don’t pretend it’s not you. I think when I first thought about starting this blog I was angry about a lot of things (as I generally am at all times) and felt like it would be a good place to get my frustrations down in writing and maybe start a revolution, one reader at a time. I realized pretty quickly however that a) I feel like a dick when I’m just whining about stuff all the time and b) Nobody likes to read the ramblings of a whiny dick.
This blog is about 16 months old now (it finally sleeps through the night, usually), but I still feel like I haven’t found my voice. Or maybe I just haven’t found the voice I want to have. Either way, I settled on the fact long ago that people, myself included, like to laugh. If I write a post and it hasn’t made me laugh out loud, it feels like a waste of time. I’ll still post it, but I’m not happy about it. Somewhat less important is the sense that a commenter has at least chuckled quietly into their coffee; I know the only reason anyone will come back to my blog time after time is if they are entertained. What is incredibly important is that people comment at all. In that regard I am absolutely a whore. In fact, things in this corner of communist Blogustan seem to be in decline of late, with many of the writers in my blogroll mysteriously going on permanent or semi-permanent hiatus. My comments have taken a hit. I think I need to draft my own gazillion dollar stimulus plan and get things rolling again.
You may not be a blogging whore, but I'm guessing there are a few things you would stand on the corner for. I think you should enlighten me about just one thing you would completely whore yourself out for.
Literally? Like stand outside in hot pants and heels and offer strangers access to my bodily orifices in exchange for something I want or need? If I was starving, maybe, but then I like to think that I could employ violence in order to feed myself or my family long before I’d have to resort to prostitution. Why earn a living on your knees when you can just smack somebody with a 2x4 and take what you need? I’m not saying I like the idea, but it’s better than the alternative.
But if we’re being a little more loose with the term “whore,” I think most of us whore ourselves out on a daily basis just to earn a living. I actually have a record of voluntary unemployment that proves I’m less willing to do this than the average person (and dumber and more stubborn than the average person.) In just about six weeks, however, I should be taking up a new job whoring myself out to the National Park Service in order to be where I want to be: Somewhere with a backyard thousands of square miles big with tall, pointy mountains and things that can eat you. That’s what I’m willing to whore for.
A.A. Milne's character Winnie the Pooh says, "If people were superior to animals, they'd take better care of the world." Since you're a forest ranger and everything, I'm thinking you should come up offa some good websites for me and my readers about small ways we can add to the big picture of taking better care of the world. Give me your top three.
First I have to take issue with one thing: It’s a common mistake and completely understandable and excusable, but I’m not a “forest ranger.” I have been, and will be again soon, a Park Ranger. “Forest rangers” work for the US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for managing our woodlands for commercial harvest. There is a protection factor to what they do, for sure, but the Forest Service bows far too much, at taxpayer expense, to the logging industry for me to want to be associated with it.
The US National Park Service, Department of the Interior, is primarily concerned with the protection of natural resources to ensure their enjoyment by future generations. I like to tell people, “We protect the trees, they sell the trees.” Now you know.
But you wanted some websites. There must be a thousand websites out there that would suit your requirements, but these are the ones I use to keep me honest:
1. Allie’s Answers- Of course I have to give Allie credit since she’s on my blogroll and everything. Her site is one I check daily and it reminds me of the ways we can all, on a personal level, make a difference. She also constantly links to other sites and blogs that focus on environmental issues, making it a great jumping-off point for anyone curious about the latest ways we are trying to destroy ourselves and what we can do to fix it.
2. Salon- I know it’s not an environmentalist website, but as my primary source of information with a liberal slant, it puts everything in the perspective I prefer. In other words, it’s the opposite of Fox News. If Fox isn’t going to pretend to be objective, then neither am I, and neither does Salon. They do cover environmental issues in depth when other sources might just give them a passing mention, though, so that’s why I include it here.
3. SummitPost.org- Not an environmental site at all. Okay, maybe there are occasionally articles about environmental issues, but this site is one way I remind myself of what it is that I’m interested in saving, which is wilderness. Its focus is on mountains around the world and the people who like to climb them, but it’s not strictly a “climbing” site. Really, I just like the pictures. I’ve posted a few myself, along with one article so far (one that was originally posted here), and I hope to contribute more.
To be continued...