My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blogs vs Vlogs

I've always had a story to tell. I had the little diaries with a key when I was young. I kept it up for a couple of days and then... nothing. I even have a diary that I started when I was a newly pregnant teen mom. I'll leave it to Ryan in my will, if I ever have a will. If you think I share too much information now, you should have known Unfiltered Heather. The world could not have handled it.

When I discovered the world of "weblogs" I made a few attempts but tended to tell stories of the people around me more than my own story. It's a perfect way to alienate friends and hurt feelings. Even though I thought the lives of my friends were more amusing and interesting than my own life, I found that I tell my own story much better than I tell anyone else's story.

When I started my first serious weight loss attempt beginning in January 2005, I had what I felt would be blog-worthy to share. I used AOL's Journal format, known affectionately as "J-land". I was successful not only with weight loss but also with connecting with people simply by telling my story. It was extremely empowering to learn that random people could be impacted by my words and my life. There was something magical about being pioneers in that format. I made friends who are still friends today via Facebook and other social media platforms.

Those early AOL blogs are lost. AOL got out of the blogging business right around the time I was rebuilding my life after leaving Florida. At the time I wanted to forget the past few years. Some of it was worth forgetting but there are a few things I would love to have - like the blogs of the trips I took to New York, Boston and San Francisco. I'm a better blogger now, though and don't cringe quite as much when I go back to the beginning of this blog - in October 2008.

As I've gotten older I've learned more about what to share and what not to share. I've learned to put some time between writing and publishing my most passionate work. A lot of times once I've slept or cooled off or prayed over a situation I can see it and share it in a different light. Sometimes I still go back and take out particularly sharply worded paragraphs. Sometimes I write blog entries that I don't publish at all. Just pounding out the words and seeing them briefly in print makes me realize the error of my attitude. People want to know what's going on in your life but don't want a constant diet of drama and pessimism. I find myself pulling away from blogs that are particularly negative. I care but I can't always take on the weight of someone else's problems. I don't ever want to be the blog that people don't want to read.

Lately I've been watching Vlogs on You Tube. For the uninitiated, a "vlog" is a video blog. It's not a format that I could enjoy using. More days than not I have fourth or fifth day hair in a bun and no makeup. If I'm not leaving the Whine Cellar and if the Whine Cellar isn't having visitors then it makes no sense to waste the mascara. Also, Vlogs require a level of creativity and skills that I don't possess. You may enjoy seeing snapshots of the cats but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to watch fifteen minutes of my cats sleeping. That's what normally goes on here.

I'm discovering, though, that there are Vlogs that are quite entertaining and enjoyable to watch on a daily basis. Since TV has been really blah lately it's a great way to pass a Winter evening. As is true with my blog reading interests, I tend to drift towards families with young children. Instead of "Mommy Bloggers" there are all these "Daddy Vloggers" who make daily YouTube Vlogging their primary employment and source of income. It is unfathomable to me how the money flow starts and continues (because if I could figure that out I'd be a lot less broke) but it appears to work for some folks.

At any rate... I know a lot of you share my interests so I thought I would introduce you to the world of Vlogging. Here are three Vlogs that I watch with some regularity that you may enjoy:

Ellie and Jared. They are young Mormons living in Utah with their one year old *most adorable kid ever* Jackson. They are the most humble and positive folks I've seen on YouTube, in blogs or in real life. I mean, they are seriously Donny and Marie without the cheesy music. Well, ok, with a little of the cheesy music... but you'll love them and you'll love their equally toothy families!  Ellie is pregnant with baby #2, also a boy, right in between when Cosette and Peanut are due. They have friends who Vlog at Daily Bumps. The Daily Bumps have a lot, uh LOT of subscribers but I don't enjoy their videos as much as Ellie and Jared. Something about how the dad says, "you guuuuuyszzzz" all the time and spins with the camera - gives me vertigo. You might like them so, bonus link.

Then there's Cullen and Katie. They live in Alabama and are huge Bama football fans but I don't hold that against them. Katie has her doctorate in clinical child psychology and Cullen is a stay at home dad to their little baby Macey Gaines. Cullen's mom is called Grandberry and seriously, I want her to be my best friend because she's just so durn funny! I think half the time I watch Cullen and Katie for a glimpse of Grandberry. Cullen is responsible for the phenomenon known as "Target Balling" where he uses the big red balls in front of Target to be part of a staged photo every day. Google Target Balling for lots of examples. They also have a little spin-off Vlog with baby tips that have been enormously helpful in introducing me to "modern day" baby stuff. It all looks different, y'all. Bonus Baby League link.

My daughter-in-law Marquee introduced me to the Saccone-Joly family. He's Irish and she's British, I think... and they have two little adorable kids and six adorable dogs. I have to focus a bit more when watching them because of the strong "always after me Lucky Charms" accent that the dad has but... they are definitely worth watching.

I jokingly commented on another blog this week that the internet makes us all feel like we can do anything as long as we can find a video of it on YouTube. The truth is that knowledge IS power and there is a lot of knowledge - and therefore potentially power - to be had on the internet. I use that power, without doubt in keeping up with current events, self-diagnosing learning more about medical conditions that plague myself of my loved ones and just expanding my general knowledge of infinite random subjects that catch my attention. Sometimes, though, all I really want to know is if Jackson is saying "mama" yet and what Grandberry is up to.

Now back to the wall to wall news coverage on "Deflate-Gate". Happy Thursday!