28 September 2018

A Blog about Nothing

Today's the time of the month where I supposedly blog about my life, drawing from the New York Times's "650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing." Usually I set RANDOM.ORG to 1 to 650, take the output, and go. Sometimes I respin when I don't get one I liked right away. I'm not sure how many times I've already respun here tonight, but I think I've been sitting here for thirty minutes, jumping from #414: How Have You Handled Being the ‘New Kid’? to #23: Does Your Life Leave You Enough Time to Relax? to #389: What’s the Most Challenging Assignment You’ve Ever Had? to #154: What Objects Tell the Story of Your Life?

Some of what I hit makes me think, "No way!", some makes me think, "That could be interesting, but not now," some makes me think, "Too heavy for me to handle briefly in an evening before I begin to catch up on grading." (So far, I'm further behind than I was yesterday.) The point of spinning the randomizer on those NYT prompts was as a way of eliciting stories about my childhood, but very few of them seem to be causing that to happen, and when I try to think of things that happened in my childhood without them, my mind goes blank, or I start to wonder if anyone wants to hear stories of campouts I went on in the Boy Scouts. (One time it was really cold!)

Or I wonder if I'll just end up giving my opinion about something, and I'm skeptical anyone wants to know my opinion about most things.

It's almost my son's two-month birthday. (Should I use his name on this blog? Does he have a right to be unchronicled by Google? I have a friend who keeps the very existence of his children a secret from facebook. Not even a picture. Should I be doing that? Should I just call him DS or LO?) I don't know how old your child has to be for your parent blog to be viable, but it seems to me that two months isn't it.

Mostly what he does now is eat, sleep, and cry. He used to poop a lot, but these days that seems to happen every three or four days! There's not a whole of times he's doing none of these things, and when he does, I'm at work. 6pm to 10pm are reserved for crying and sometimes eating. I have gotten reasonably good at calming a baby, but every now and again he just goes for it and is completely inconsolable. You can't reason with a baby. I mean, often you can't reason with people, but you certainly can't reason with an entity that I am pretty sure doesn't really understand the concept of other people yet. (Am I right about this?)

(Hayley just asked me what I was writing about; I told her "nothing." Hence, a title.)

A lot of the time he will only sleep on a person's chest, which isn't very efficient. His lack of enthusiasm for efficiency makes me suspicious as to how many Mollmann genes he ended up with.

It's funny, though, the things you rate as an accomplishment when a baby does them. Two times in the middle of the night he's managed to go from sleeping on his back to his front. One time during "tummy time" we watched him flip himself onto his back. He garnered a lot of praise for this, though I'm not sure he really understood what he was doing or how, even if he did like the results.

Work is working. I lucked out this semester. Because of the baby, I asked for my lighter semester to be in the fall, so I only have three classes, but across all three sections, I just have 42 students, which could easily fit into two! I think they're going reasonably well, but I still pore over random people on Rate My Professor and wonder how you end up one of those teachers who has dozens upon dozens five-star ratings.

It's raining now. It rains a lot in Tampa. People ask me if I like it in Tampa. I think I do, but I don't think I could ever love it here. But man do I not look forward to my eventual return to the job market.

These are the thoughts I have on a Thursday night. You know, sometime I look at my old LiveJournal, and I think to myself, Jesus Christ, how mundane, how boring, how trivial, how insensitive. I don't know when I acquired emotional intelligence, but I don't think I had it yet at age 22. (THE READER: You still don't!) Blogging is, like all long-form things on the web, basically dead, but it strikes me how most of the blogs that linger on are so... polished. Here I am, I review books on a schedule. Every academic I know seems to start up a blog to ensure they have two avenues for publishing research no one will read. Most of the other blogs I read are about comic books. Back in the early days of blogging, it was personal and weird. That's what surprised me the most about my old LiveJournal, the things I'd sometimes say to a bunch of strangers in the middle of the night! Now if I express my feelings, they have to be carefully packaged into a piece of creative nonfiction, a little miniature essay to post an attractive link to on facebook, part of a carefully thematized sequence. I don't miss the quiz results, and I don't miss me chronicling the minutia of going to class every day, but there was something about the old Internet that we lost along the way, and it wasn't just the capital "I."

No comments:

Post a Comment