And now for something completely different. . .
I have been chosen by my good friend Suldog to participate in a nifty little exercise of vanity called a Re-Blog Something-or-Other (and honestly? I'm flattered, and honored, and all that, to be chosen by as talented a blogger as Suldog as someone he regards as worthy of your attention) (But - Suldog? Really? The same guy who responds to awards proferred upon him by reaching up the awarder's a**hole and disemboweling them from the inside? Okay; if you say so). Which means I'm supposed to give you all links to seven of my old posts that meet certain, uh, Standards of Excellence. As determined by me, so you can take those standards with the appropriate Grain of Salt. (So, okay, re-posting old stuff isn't exactly 'unusual' around these parts; and heck, in recent months, a large proportion of my posts come, if not as a result of a direct request from Suldog, at least as provoked from something I read at his blog, so that's not so unusual, either; but work with me here. . .)
Anyway, the challenge (and, honestly, it's not exactly all that 'challenging', either, but that's what they're calling it) is to come up with seven posts that fit into the following categories:
1) My Most Beautiful Post
2) My Most Popular Post
3) My Most Controversial Post
4) My Most Helpful Post
5) A Post Whose Success Surprised Me
6) A Post I Feel Didn't Get the Attention It Deserved
7) The Post of Which I'm Most Proud
So then, I'm supposed to provide you links to the erstwhile posts-of-excellence, and then impose upon five of you to do likewise (although, I'm not sure I even have five regular readers anymore; especially if I'm not supposed to nominate Suldog, or any of my fellow-Suldog-nominees). Anyway, between this current incarnation of my blog, and the previous one (when I was blogging under the pseudonym Desmond Jones - you know, the fellow who had the barrow in the marketplace, wife Molly, and 'a couple of kids running in the yard' in the Beatles' song, Ob-la-di Ob-la-da), I've written something like 250-300 posts over the past five-plus years (and I know that some of you do that many in a year), through which I'll now sift with a fine-tooth comb, for your edification and enjoyment (cue the whiny teenager-voice, directed at Suldog - "You always make me WORK!!")
Anyway, without further ado. . .
My Most Beautiful Post
I'm not often accused of being 'beautiful', but I can think of a couple posts that could qualify. Here is a post I wrote to honor my father, which, in light of his recent passing, is all the more poignant for me. . .
The Best Man I've Ever Known
Now, those of you who have known me for a while know that I often find it difficult to be ruthless in trimming these lists down to the specified number of items (for example, I once compiled a list of 15 favorite books that ended up being something closer to 50, spread over two posts). But this next one is pretty darned beautiful, too, if I may say so myself (and it has its own relevance to recent events in my life) . . .
In Dying We Are Born to Eternal Life
My Most Popular Post
I'm not real sure how to 'quantify' the popularity of my posts. I'm inclined to just count the number of comments they've received, although sometimes that just means that one commenter and I have gone back-and-forth on some tangent for a few turns. I could count views, but (shameful confession of bloggerly ineptitude) I don't know how to do that. Anyway, I went through my list and checked which posts generated the most comments, with a minimum of tangents, and a loose pattern emerged. Several of the posts of mine that have generated the most comments have been 'retrospectives', of the sort that 50-something guys like me often enjoy, such as
Where Were You. . . ?
I could also note that, in my old blog, there were a few posts of a more, um, risque nature that were quite, uh, popular, but I took 'em down (possibly at my wife's urging), and they're not coming back. Sorry. . .
My Most Controversial Post
I am not typically much of a controversialist in my blog. I'm not much into politics at all (I have some definite political opinions, to be sure, but I also believe that politics is vastly over-rated as to what it can actually accomplish, and at any rate, the portion of our life that is more-or-less directly affected by politics is, mercifully, pretty small) (wait - is that a controversial statement?). But I am passionate about a few things that might be counted 'controversial'; and a couple of them have made their way into my blog, like
my take on abortion, which, I think, is a little bit different than a lot of what gets put out for general public consumption; definitely colored by my own status as an adoptee, and thus a one-time 'unwanted pregnancy' my own self.
And again, since I'm so numerically-challenged on things like this, I'll give you one that comes out of the fact that my wife and I are the parents of eight children, which can be controversial in some eyes, all by itself -
Methinks Some Folks Doth Protest Too Much. . .
My Most Helpful Post
Again, 'helpful' isn't really a direction that I take very often with my blog. I mostly fancy myself as a story-teller, with stories drawn from my life (and I'll leave aside the question of how vain a person must be to think that his life is so freakin' interesting that he'll post it on the Internet, because, you know, it's just that good). But the rules say I have to give you something in the category of 'Helpful'. And, in the sprit of self-help testimonials, a few of my life experiences have provided me/us with wisdom that might actually prove helpful to someone else (and yeah, I'm just that freakin' wise. . .)
A Post Whose Success Surprised Me
Again taking the measure of 'Success' as roughly equivalent to 'popularity', as measured by the number of comments, I think the post whose popularity most surprised me was
All My Grandchildren
Which was also a high comment-generator and, depending on who you are, and what tugs at your own personal heart-strings, might also be counted as Beautiful. . .
A Post I Feel Didn't Get the Attention It Deserved
You mean, besides the sports-related ones?
Of course, this could easily become the sort-of grumpy, effete, 'we-artists-are-so-misunderstood' category. But honestly, the posts which come to mind here mostly suffered from bad timing - being posted when my readers were otherwise occupied; holidays, or summer vacation. I once posted a Christmas poem that I think is really excellent, and then re-posted it a few years later, and it never generated much commentary either time; apparently, not many folks are blogging on Christmas morning (or it may be that not many of you are much into poetry; but thank you, Lime - I can always count on you) (and, by not actually separating it out and citing its title, the Christmas poem thus doesn't actually count against my tally) (as if it matters). . .
I thought my Mother's Day post earlier this year was pretty good, but evidently my readers were all out to the Sunday Brunch Buffet with their mothers (or their kids)
Random Thoughts On Mother's Day
And I wrote a post about growing up on the Great Lakes that I thought was pretty good, but seemed to coincide with all my readers' summer vacations -
The Post of Which I'm Most Proud
This could also be the 'abortion' post I mentioned above, but since I already mentioned that, and have other candidates, let's not cheat the system by trying to double-dip, shall we? A couple years back, I wrote a piece on my experiences with black folks, inspired by Suldog's and Michelle Hickman's tandem posts on their own growing-up experiences.
Ebony and Ivory
I also wrote a post on the Theology of the Body that I'm kinda proud of (which, again, depending on who you are, might even be counted as Helpful) (or, you know, not) -
With My Body, I Thee Worship
OK, so I gave you eleven posts for the price of seven (somewhere in there, there's a 'crap' joke waiting to be made); no extra charge. I hope you enjoyed the tour.
I'm supposed to pick five of you to carry on the Tradition (tags are the chain-letters of blog-space; but one doesn't want to be a jerk about it); but Suldog has done it already (and besides, the rules stipulate 'no tag-backs', or something like that), and he picked Lime; if my seconding his nomination will provide extra impetus toward her actually doing it, then well and good.
Michelle Hickman's The Surly Writer is a worthy blog; I'm a little surprised she didn't score one of Suldog's nominations instead of me. Michelle, if this strikes your fancy, go for it.
I'd nominate Bijoux, but she just announced that she's going on hiatus. And I'd nominate FADKOG, too, if she wants to; but her blogger-momentum isn't what it once was (neither is mine, for what it's worth).
Anyway, thanks, Suldog. If I was as clever as you, I'd call down some really creative curses on you. But I'm not; so, just thanks. . . ;)