Wednesday, August 1, 2012


A funny thing happened on the way to my summer holiday. Pseudo summer holiday. Aborted pseudo summer holiday.
I was prepared to take the month of August off. I would unplug with the the purpose of reclaiming my evenings for whatever I wanted as long as it didn't involve a laptop scorching my legs.

I planned to read books, listen to music, watch classic films with Sophie. I would sit on the and sweat and listen to the cicadas as Saturdays faded into Sundays.

I would do something artistic like turn this huge pimple on my forehead into a Mandala.

I wrote a post to let you know so you wouldn't waste your time coming here.

When it comes to summer, I'd love to be European.

Alas, I'm a Midwesterner transplanted not to the wilds of suburban Pair-ee, but the foothills of the Appalachian foothills of Northwest Georgia.

Despite this problem of location, I'm going to give it a try. I'm taking an August sabbatical. Unplugging. Deactivating my Facebook account and forgetting how to log on to Twitter. I've pinned my last interest for awhile and offer apologies to friends with whom I'm in the middle of games of Words with Friends. I forfeit. You win. And you know how it kills me to say so.

I can't take time off work, of course, because no matter how many times I email him my bank account information, Dr. Julius Smythe of The Republic of Congo will not deposit that five million dollars of European lottery winnings into my account.

Therefore, I shall travel via the written word and music. I'll hike the Pacific Northwest with Cheryl Strayed, learn the Rules of Civility in New York City and jet off to Italy where I will continue to explore the duets of Enrico Caruso and Geraldine Farrar and the Italian Alps. (Residual obsession from The Shoemaker's Wife.)

If it ever cools off, I'm going to sit on the deck and listen to Saturday fade into Sunday.

Most importantly, I'm going to pull in my antenna, scale back my level of electronic stimulation. Close one window and open another. And I don't mean Window. I mean window. My eyes and imagination need a break from the screen. I need sensory deprivation, but not the kind that will let little swimming gross things into my ears.


And then I checked my blog stats.

What the? What's this outbrain thing from whence came all these hits?

The number of hits kept climbing.

A friend solved the mystery. She saw That's Why linked under an article on Reuters. It was included as one of those "you might also like" aggregators.

What this means in the long run, I haven't a clue, but how can I have over five thousand people click on this page and not feel that I'm missing an opportunity?

And then I thought what an asshole idea that was because the people who come back post after post, the loyal readers are the people for whom I show up. Of course I welcome new readers and I'd love for them to become part of this motley group, but it's youse guys who complete me. It's for you that I edit until my fingers cramp and my butt spreads further.

When the hubbub dies down, I'll still be here. Me and this monstrous zit. I'm thinking of naming it Harold. It's so large, it could have voted in yesterday's Georgia primary if it had a current, state-issued ID. I'm a little worried that it might grow into a horn. Or worse - antlers!

Instead of wishing you a great August and going away for the month, I'm taking the more realistic approach. I may or may not be here. If I'm gone, it means I'm doing one of those things I wrote about or I've taken a sledge hammer to my forehead. And if I'm here, please don't stare. I'm hoping if we all just ignore Harold, he'll go away.

What's on your August agenda?


  1. well it is good to see you when we see you...and interesting on the link as well...hey if it works let me know how you did that...smiles...tell harold hello for me...

  2. Oh, I have a grant proposal to write, programs to run, as well as stats and reports to report. Plus I gotta read as well :) But then at the end of August I'm going on vacation. I am going to do a 3 day fast to start and then I'm going to lay around and do a lot of nothing.

    I had a meditation retreat that I was going to attend this month but a possible UTI/kidney infection put a stop to that. I went to the doctor office instead of walking meditations. I am still in mourning over that. I ended up eating a lot, watching youtube music videos, hanging out, and in general doing nothing. Oh, I drank a lot of cranberry juice too! :)

    Good luck on your cyber get-a-way.

    1. the retreat was at the end of July, not the beginning of August :D

  3. Wait a minute, you haven't trounced me in WWF, yet! Don't go!

  4. Yeah, I knew Lisa from the innert00bz before she got famous...

    1. and I had ice cream with her at DQ:)

  5. This is fantastic! I hope all 5000 people come back and bring their friends. I love love the blog, and you and Mathman et al. and they should too!

  6. How cool! I have catch up with everyone in August.

  7. Nice of you to let us down gently before you sell out to The Man. Harrumph. Agenda sounds too much like planning.

  8. I plan to spend my August seeing the big dog's name all over the place and reminding myself that August is also a month.

    I'm glad you'll be posting!

  9. Either way, you're Golden.


    Oh god, sorry. That's really bad.

  10. now's the time to charge! (of course, pre-reuters readers get a discount, right?)

  11. Just remember us little people you knew on the way up.

  12. So cool about the reason for the rise in stats! Now you can join Jenny Lawson as blogger/author and go on that book tour! No one deserves it more.

    Just don't forget about us chickens.


  13. Even though I'm old enough to have spent the greater part of my adulthood in a non-tech world I can understand the addictive quality of cell phones, emails, and chronic browsing. It's nice to be connected. The problem is learning how to deal with the distractive nature of our devices without allowing them to be an obsession. Goodness knows, I don't FB, twitter, or text but I do check my email regularly and can waste hours visiting odd places on the internet when I ought to be drawing. Of course, I can also spend hours reading, talking, or just walking around on my own too.

    I wish you a good holiday away from electronics at least enough so that you may enjoy the passage of time rather than feeling as if you must constantly be available. I'd love to spend some quiet time chatting with you f2f - perhaps one day that may happen. Internet friends are as real as can be and the only visitors you're likely to lose for a while are the bots.

  14. We used to give names to my son's more outstanding pimples, such as Kosciusko, the highest mountain in Australia. It can be educational. Though I think mother-pimples-in-da-wrinkles are unfair. Good on you for attracting all those hits and I do hope you happily detach from electronica. Come to Italy anytime! xcat

  15. Oh dear lord, I so want to be like you and completely unplug. And why don't I? Why in the HELL don't I? I swear if I see one more person whom I thought I respected "Like" a Mitt Romney page on FB, I'm going to fall into a puddle and on the floor and give up. Who are these idiots, these supposed "friends?"


    Enjoy the unplugging, Lisa. I hope you do it. And I hope that bad boy Harold gets out of your way.

  16. Personally I think antlers are much more useful and attractive than a horn.

    Thrilled to see you getting out into the blogosphere!

    Have a great pseudo vacay.

  17. Well, actually, I AM on vacation. And my reading glasses just broke. So I'm just squinying by until Wednesday.

  18. Haha! I love that your "what not to shave" article made it in the big leagues. Well-deserved. :)

  19. Wow, Reuters!! Way to go (and well deserved).
    Toe Shaver Anonymous member

  20. Somebody said he saw Harold enter the room before you did! Heh. Can't be that big, now, can it?

    Enjoy August!


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