Looking back on a year and a half of blogging.
By Hannah Wallace
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my 100th entry! Here’s a breakdown of my relatively brief blogging career.
The challenge? Trying to strike a balance between Sarasota Magazine’s intended readership (cultured, stylish and mature), my personal readership (rowdy, wiseass and subversive) and my personal activities (weekends on the couch watching Deadliest Catch).
Likewise, trying to balance requests from friends (“I want a nickname! I want a nickname!”) and bosses (“You should try not to mention beer for a little while.”).
But the blog’s turned out pretty well, I think. It serves as a scrapbook for a lot of good times. I can look back on activities I’ve added, like indoor soccer and going to the gym, and activities I’ve stopped, like punching my card at Shakespeare’s and moping about being single. New hangouts, like Flying Dog and, hey, my very own backyard, have replaced old hangouts like Metro and Tavern on Main. I’ve paid tribute to some fantastic days playing tennis and hockey and eating out and staying in, and written them down the way I want to remember them.
And to my never-ending delight, other people seem to be reading, too. I’ve gotten comments from Cliff Roles, Gayle Williams, Judi Gallagher and the Cheetah Club manager emeritus. And Wayne, who always has something nice to say. Thanks, Wayne!
And of course I love love love going to events and having prominent members of the Sarasota scene turn to my ever-patient companion all, “Oh! Is this Cheetah Club Boyfriend?”
What I’ve heard more than once, though, is, “I know I’m not really your intended audience…” Beyond my sisters and my hockey teammates, who is my intended audience? As far as I’m concerned, I’m just talking to myself in a Word document. Heck, I’m surprised anyone’s reading at all, regardless of age and activities.
…not that you shouldn’t be reading, you understand. Please, keep reading. Seriously.
So even though I have a few favorite entries (Nov. 30, 2006; Feb. 22, 2007; May 22 and 27, 2008), the real standouts are the entries other people reacted to. The Cheetah Club story—and it was just one to begin with; only my second entry ever—garnered such an assortment of interpretations: People “cleverly” teased that stripping was my second job or that I was chilling with the naked chicks every other night. The response was so strong that I’m still conditioned to think that throwing the word “stripper” into an entry exponentially boosts my readership. Which makes it that much harder to write about mainstream Sarasota happenings, when “boobies” gets so much attention. (I am absolutely four years old.) Here are some other unforeseen responses:
July 31, 2007 I wrote about the UnGala press ticket fiasco, which I maintain was meant to emphasize my own embarrassment, not to indict the museum. So I was incredibly surprised (and flattered) when Mattison’s subsequently offered me an invitation to the UnParty. I can’t decide if that was too big a perk for little ol’ me, or an indication that this blog had gotten a tad bit bigger than I’d estimated.
Sept. 11, 2007 I wrote about the less-than-designer outfit I wore to the UnParty and received, I swear to God, clothing donations.
Oct. 11, 2007 I raved about my first experience at Flying Dog and, I’m told, caught the attention of owner Bruce Famiglio, who was reportedly amused by the amount of attention Mark the Bartender had attracted. (Also, the chef was none too pleased I called him “emo-esque.”)
Jan. 9, 2008 I tried to deconstruct Bradenton’s negative reputation, and the response was, “You’re right, Bradenton is trashy!” But that’s…not what I said…is it?
June 20, 2008 I wrote about Leetzow artifacts in our attic and heard from a Leetzow family member less than 48 hours later.
Which pretty much brings us up to date, I guess. If I’m still here and you’re still reading for entry 200, I’ll throw a party.
(For now, I’d be incredibly grateful if people could throw five or 10 bucks my way for the MDA lockup fund raiser. Mrs. Harrible sent out one e-mail and went to the bank; my sad little donation meter hasn’t so much as twitched. C’mon, folks, help a kid go to camp!)