Monday, December 06, 2010

Not Catching the Reverb

Are you curious to know why Roxie's World is not participating in #reverb10, the super-groovy end-of-year online initiative to get folks to reflect on what's happened in the current year and "send out reverberations for the year ahead"? I mean, gosh, we love nothing better than a bit of navel-gazing, especially when it's combined with the blogging equivalent of a group hug. Plus, you know, we've been known to go a little yogic on y'all from time to time, and some of our bestest blog buds have hopped on board the reverb train. (Love you, girls. Mean it. You are doing some great work in connection with this project, and we look forward to reading every single word.)

Here's the thing, kids. We thought about giving #reverb10 a shot, because we get all goose-bumpy over any opportunity to make our blogging part of a communal, collective adventure. I mean, hell, we're a dog blog, dudes -- We wanna be part of a pack! Shoot, we were even willing to consider committing to posting every fricking day for a month -- on prompts designed by total strangers who seem to have consumed quite a bit more herbal tea than we have! -- in an effort to be a part of this endeavor.

And then my typist sat down and looked at the prompts and realized we couldn't attend this party, because if we did we'd end up misbehaving. We'd either be the wiseacre standing in the corner, dumping a poisonous barrel of snarkitude into a babbling brook of earnestness and sincerity, or we'd be the Debbie Downer, killing everybody's buzz by yammering on relentlessly "about a new disease, a car accident or killer bees." Don't believe a dead dog? Well, take a look at the notes my typist made on the first few prompts:

December 1 -- One Word: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. That's easy: D E A T H.  Because that's what happened every time we turned around this year in Roxie's World. We started the year grieving the end of the embodied life of the beloved critter who inspired this quirky little corner of the blogosphere. Halfway through, we mourned the loss of the equally beloved Mother of the Goosians. And we haven't even bothered to acknowledge in this space the recent death of a dear friend whom many of you may know as the director of the best film the Star Wars franchise, The Empire Strikes Back. We're big into Bonus Moms around here, but we only had one Bonus Dad, and that was Kersh. He's gone. That sucks. Our hope is that the grim reaper will leave us the hell alone in 2011. Enough already, 'k?

December 2 -- Writing. What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing -- and can you eliminate it? Apparently, you're not supposed to count blogging as part of writing, so it would appear that pretty much every thing I do every waking hour of nearly every day of my life does not contribute to my writing. Which is, in its way, like, really impressive!

December 3 -- Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). Piece of cake: That would be the moment when I felt myself falling forward on a set of concrete stairs, knowing that when I landed something was going to break. That moment is vividly described here.

December 4 -- Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? By being continually overwhelmed and befuddled, leading me to wonder things like, Who the frack is going to die next? Will Obama and the Dems ever manage to get anything right? Why do I not feel grateful that I broke my left wrist rather than my right one?

December 5 -- Let Go.  What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? A whole lot of dead people and critters, dammit, because that's what the universe seems to have decided I will do.

December 6 -- Make.  What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? A delicious Thanksgiving dinner that was kinda sorta very nearly interrupted by -- Oh, never mind. See prompt for December 1. Yes, the pies helped.

See what I mean, kids? I really don't think you want the surly girls of Roxie's World messing with the happy vibe of #reverb10. Don't worry. They'll recover their equanimity soon. We've ordered a fresh supply of half-full glasses to arrive in time to ring in the New Year. In the meantime, click on over to our forward-looking pals Clio Bluestocking and Dr. Crazy and see what they are planning to (wo)manifest in 2011. You go, girls, while we curl up here by the fire, cover our heads with our paws, and quietly hope we'll get through next year with fewer casualties.

Peace out, darlings, and for dog's sake, stay alive!


  1. Oh, Roxie's World, is it wrong that I chuckled sardonically to myself in reading this? I'm so sorry for your supremely crappy year. This is for you:

  2. So glad to see this, since I have been gritting my teeth while some of my favorite bloggers completed this inane exercise as if it were a homework assignment. So I will large my snarkiness here and wait until the calendar page turns.

    BTW, I think our JWH issue is going up soon.....


  3. Just to be clear, the sardonic is toward the Reverb10 (despite me being one of the goody-two-shoes-finishing-my-homework-early-types whom TR mentions), not toward your crappy year.

  4. Yeah, I've been noticing the death thing myself. I've even tried to go yoga on it, with mixed results. An FB post pointed out to me that I have no house, no partner, no kids and no earthly pleasures. Hmmm. working on the earthly pleasures I think. Mulling over "work" in the Freudian sense of a full life has love, work, and... (what's the third thing?) and the Marxist sense of alienated labor.... I'm willing to have work that is less alienated: just a very small bit of more time, and just a slightly more generous notion of scholarly practice would do me fine!

  5. Ah, nothin' like a little disco in the morning to fortify an old broad's determination to stay alive. Thanks for the inspiration, Clio B, and of course we understood the aim of your sardonic-ness. Meanwhile, looking forward to following YOUR #reverb10 contribs and to seeing OUR (and TR's and Historiann's) contribs to the JWH roundtable on blogging super-soon. (Thanks for that happy heads-up, TR!)

    And AMEN to a little less alienated labor in the new year, Katie. Wouldn't THAT be nice???

  6. We're not doing it either, but I suspect that's just because we're not the cool kids. I'm willing to bet Maggie had heard of it and decided it was a bad time of the semester to even contemplate contemplation, but it was a surprise to me.

    My condolences, also.

  7. Thanks, Nicole. I don't think #reverb10 is a cool kids thing. I think it's a how-high-is-your-tolerance-for-writing-happiness-on-demand thing. After all, everyone's a cool kid in Roxie's World, and we're just not into it, at least not this year. But, hey, paws up to those who are.

  8. Anonymous9:31 AM EST

    Thanks for the shout-out, Roxie! And yes, it is a tolerance thing, and the only reason I'm in any sort of a head-space to do it is because I'm in the home stretch of my sabbatical (and because it's not 2009, which was my Year of Death). Well, and I keep constantly bitching about the project every day, which makes my teeth hurt a tiny bit less. And I'm trying actually to take the prompts seriously and not just to write saccharine crap. We'll see if I can succeed with that, though!

    Here's hoping that you have a much less crummy 2011!

  9. Gosh, I was waiting for you to wonder how you were supposed to achieve "excellence without money" in all sorts of professional ways for number whatever.

    Or maybe we could let that go?

    I think I stew over things quite enough on a day to day basis, and thus don't want to do it again.

  10. I cheer for the wrong team AND I am doing #reverb10. I expect a stern talking-to at MLA, it's true.

    2010 has been a really sucky year in a lot of ways (and for a lot of people). In no way am I doing reverb to bring the happy. AT ALL. In fact, a few of us were commenting on the annoying gooshiness of the whole thing.

    I was just talking to one of my friends about it, specially in the inane exercise/homework assignment aspect of the whole thing, and THAT is exactly why I'm doing it. I'm barely holding my life together right now, and this one little stupid thing is the only shred of consistency that I have for the next month. Doesn't even matter what I say or how I feel (I'm not a big feelings person) or if anyone reads it. So, no matter how ridiculous it is, I'm doing it so as not to lose my mind.

  11. Go for it, JM. We are absolutely 100% in favor of doing whatever one has to do in order not to lose one's mind, which, in our case, means not doing #reverb10. That line about curling up by the fire and covering our paws with our heads is really not far from the truth of life in Roxie's World these days. Here's to some friendly commiseration under the sunny skies of southern CA when we all get to MLA. We even promise to avoid the subject of your dubious judgment when it comes to sports teams. ;-)

    However you do it, keep writing!

  12. If "friendly commiseration" means "drinking," I'm in. And thanks for overlooking my dubious judgment. :)

  13. Well Hey, they didn't even invite me. So I'm rawther skeptical. And since I ricochet constantly between optimism and cynicism, I'd most likely go all vinegar and salt when it was sugar and treacle that was requested. Oh well.

    You, on the other hand, keep me laughing.

  14. head-space


  15. Anonymous1:38 AM EST

    When I saw the "what did you make" prompt I went into an outright rage.

    I was eating lettuce I'd grown from a plate I'd made. I was all: what more do I have to prove? Stop interrogating me! If I must make more things, send me to art school and pay for it! Otherwise I am not obligated to create a crafts resume for you!


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