Friday, March 23, 2007


Having just written about blogs, I want to add that I hate the word “blog”. “Blogging” is no better, and “blogger” is even worse. “Blog” is an ugly word, bringing to mind “blob” and “blot”. “The Blog”: A horror movie. “Blogger”: Something nasty in a swamp.

I’m not the only one who feels that way. In fact this modest post was prompted by an American swimmer in Australia for the championships who said: "I just don't like that word – blog. It was a year before I even knew what it meant."

I could have said the same thing six months ago. I really was so put off by the word that I didn’t want to learn more about it. Finding out that it meant “Web log” or “Weblog” didn’t help. “Log” sounds boring unless it refers to something written by an Portuguese maritime explorer or a pirate captain. Ship’s logs contain more statistics than excitement. Individuals write diaries, but who writes a “log”? What misty-eyed teenager ever wrote, “Dear Log. . .”

Where can the romance possibly be in a “log”? Maybe that’s why every blog I’ve seen has been devoid of sex appeal. They might as well have been written by Carmelite monks. And I can’t claim to be an exception, even though like most males I think about females and sex at least once every two minutes. (It used to be once a minute, but now I’m a lot older.) Why is it that people who are willing to offer their personalities and thoughts to the entire world like a Christmas turkey would be reluctant to mention the sensual aspects of human relationships?

But, as usual, I’ve strayed: I hate the word “blog”. Is it too late to do anything about it? And can you think of a better word?

In terms of time, this has been a nice week with some substance to it – not one of those weeks when the days skipped by like pebbles skimmed on a pond. Some weeks I realize that it’s Friday and think, “but wasn’t yesterday Monday?” This morning I happily realized, to the contrary, “It’s only Friday! There's more of this week to enjoy.”

Psychological time is involved, and the depth of the impression of ordinary experiences. Sometimes actual time moves faster or slower – but because everything slows or speeds up simultaneously you can’t detect the change except by an instant of intuitive sensing, in the way that your body senses that a train is slowing down a little even though everything looks and sounds the same. And of course psychological time – as contrasted with the “real time” I was just talking about -- also moves faster or slower, depending on whether one is waiting for a late train or rushing to finish a job before a lunch meeting.

This week I am valuing the perception that real time has moved slower, allowing me to savour the days. Not that anything special happened this week. In fact one of the nice things about it was the absence of things hanging over me, the absence of appointments with dentists or doctors or veterinarians, the lack of mechanical and electrical breakdowns, the dearth of domestic crises.

The things I count on the good side were mild things: The vernal equinox and the contagious enthusiasm of Iranian Web essayists about Norooz. A visiting fleet of UFOs – tiny flying insects, reflective bodies mere specks of morning sunlight, hovering motionless in small groups, an individual occasionally darting out and back or away with incredible speed. What are they? What are they doing?

The weather has gradually grown warmer, so that I was able to go swimming yesterday and will be even more comfortable today. The sky is sunny, the breezes are frisky, and flower buds are appearing everywhere. When I saw that the two orange trees are covered with white buds I set up a sprinkler. One year the citrus blossoms failed to develop because of drought, and so this year I’m supplying the rain. The lemon tree is already in full lavender bloom, and so I gave it a drenching too. Only the grapefruit lags. Will it blossom? It was the most fruitful tree of all last year, and now it sits bloomless. Maybe, as I am finally learning, it needs to accept gladly Nature's cycles of indolence and productivity.

So, that’s how this nice week has gone – good health, good food, good energy, good sensual pleasures, good swimming, a moment of equilibrium in the solar system, and a sense of personal creativity replacing a period of dormancy.


  1. Me thinks the real Fleming Lee personality coming through in this post. Were you associating a "Bog" with the word "Blog?" perhaps? I did and yes, it is more like Blob, now that you mention it. Thanks for a week of really cool thoughts.

  2. Hi Fleming!
    I was little bit late for last post.
    Few words about "bad" word blogging and comment. Readers play a very important role in blogging- sphere. I really appreciate those who take time to read and leave a comment and those who leave comment time to time. Comments sometimes are better than post. And that is excellent. Blogger not must be good writer.
    I met some wonderful people from all the world commenting my blogs.
    Somethimes I had oddly feeling when I was reading that bloger had lost his lovely friend or family's member and in comment I read: " Beautiful! Great post!" etc..
    It is important to read and consider other's feelings when commenting. Comments are important, but sometimes is better say nothing. I know that was not intentionally...
    Generally I like blogging and I hope that step by step, soon my English be more communicative.

    May your weekend be as nice as this week or even nicer!

  3. Very interesting, Krystyna. I agree that the comments are often more interesting than the blog posts themselves. I hope that newcomers realize that and read the comments. I also hope that people look back at older posts because sometimes comments are added long after a post is published.

    I also share your feeling about the pleasure of meeting people all over the world. I think that is the most enjoyable part of my Web-journal experience. It really is important that readers communicate in comments or emails.

  4. Thanks for the compliment, Zoey.

    What is it about words starting with "bl"? Blob, blot, blubber, blather, bleak, blithering. . . But then, of course, there's "bliss".

  5. Great comment from your reader, Rob. Blogs, in spite of their unappealing name, are our diaries, our journals and yes, the "blogs" put us out there and create a sense of BeLOnGing beyond our own small corner of the world. It is satisfying to know someone is listening. As for that name again: methinks of "the swamp thing", "creature from the black lagoon", or get that d*** slug off me. YUK!

  6. Dear Ann, a very cute comment, thank you.

    Yes, Rob is one of the great brains of blogging (or, as I prefer, one of the great Webessay wits), and I feel especially lucky to have received his word this morning.

    I am glad that you share my revulsion at slimy swamp things as well as my appreciation of old horror movies.


    "The Blogger from the Black Lagoon"

  7. I thought blog sounded a bit off at first but soon got over it. I have a dear literary friend who so much hates the word I am not sure she has ever looked at a blog, certainly not mine and ever since I told her it is my main literary activity at present, there has been a coolness between us!

    My blog, or rather its predecessor, was briefly called "Joe Bloggs' Diary". "Joe Bloggs" translated from English to American is probably "Joe Blow".

  8. Thanks, Yves. I always enjoy your input. (That's another word I don't particularly like, so let me say I always enjoy your visits and commentaries.)

  9. Just noted a remark by Bill Maher in this months PLAYBOY interview (yeah, I like it for the articles!) and he compared blogs (at least as best I recall and my short term memory isn't so good these days)... anyway, I thought rather cleverly, he likened them to the "writings on the bathroom walls... sometimes full of wisdom, other times full of "c...", and so it goes. Of course, yours and ours, fall into the former not the latter.

  10. Ann, thanks for the catchy comment.

  11. Hi Fleming, how are you lately?

    In my opinion, when something has already fixed into someone's mind, people are usually resistance to change. e.g. coca-cola to Coke but at the end, still back to coca-cola.
    be it 'blog' or 'bog', it really doesn't matter to me, as long as the blog contents were good, just like 'flights of pegasus'.

    Glad to know that you had a good summer weekend.

  12. PInk Ginger, I think you're right. We're stuck with that word I don't like to write.

    Thanks for the comment and the kind words.

  13. In 1994, when PCs were Intel 80486s and 8 megs of RAM ought to be enough for everybody, we did not have blogs. We have homepages, which is the grandpa of blogs. Of course to edit a homepage in those days requires a doctorate in neurosurgery and nerves of steel, and the ultimate is to edit the HTML using NotePad.

    I agree, blog is not the word for what we have today, but I do not think it is ever going to change.