September wrap-up

Other bloggers do monthly digest posts; I thought I’d try something similar here. Gather round!


The aquatic invertebrate pool at Penn State’s Great Insect Fair

First, let’s look back to September 2006. What were some of the stand-out posts last year at this time?

  • Coats
  • By the end of the night, a dozen foxes, several hundred ermines, and well over three thousand minks have passed through the arms of the coat-check man. His hands glow like a swimmer’s, fresh from navigating a cold river of furs. All over his body, the small hairs stand up from the static charge.

  • How the anthropologist learned to tell stories
  • The natives are getting restless at the poor quality of the anthropologist’s stories. In all his years of schooling, he never stopped to consider how difficult the informant’s job might be: anthropologist and informant were two very different things, he’d thought. But in Imbonggu society, one listens in order to learn how to embroider. And if he wants to hear their stories, he has to tell some of his own. That’s how it works.

  • Out back at the all-night diner
  • Chilly out.
    I’m getting goose pimples,
    says the baker. The rolls harden
    in their metal beds. Dawn settles
    over everything like fine flour.

  • If I were you
  • What if the soft cubicle walls reminded you of albumen, and the clicking of keyboards sounded like the tapping of beaks against shells, under the florescent lights of an enormous incubator?

  • The Sycamore
  • The young veteran — a double
    amputee — is still learning how
    to pilot a wheelchair. He stops
    a few feet from the concrete lip
    of the pond, gazing across at
    a sycamore shining in the sun.

I’ll leave it to you to repeat the exercise with 2005 and 2004, if you feel so inclined.

The past month at Via Negativa began with the International Rock-Flipping Day reports, which I managed to get four posts out of. I was surprised and gratified by the response to this impromptu event, which was sparked by a comment at a VN post in late August. I linked to all the other IRFD participants I could find at the end of my second post. I was also pleased to see some dissenting voices — bloggers who preferred to leave under-rock denizens undisturbed.

In a sign of growing senility, I had two posts with the same title less than ten days apart, Making Sense and Making Sense, both pimping for the new qarrtsiluni theme, Making Sense (for which submissions remain open until October 15, by the way). I also had two different posts whose titles ripped off Rambo: First Blood, which is especially strange since I’ve never actually seen the movie.

So it’s safe to say I plumbed the depths of uninspiration this month. I published probably the fewest total posts of any month since I started blogging. On the other hand, I did manage to find five new posts to add to the Best of 2007 page, so I guess the month wasn’t a total wash-up:

Via Negativa posts were graced with some fun comments this month. Blog virgin Simon described the path that brought him here and his reactions to the site. Printmakers Marja-Leena Rathje and Linda Dubin Garfield both responded positively to my post on Richard Serra. Butuki shared a more realistic interpretation of “going to ground,” while Rebecca Clayton put a new spin on the phrase “confusing fall warblers.” The Rockin’ post prompted several amusing responses, including a poem from Joan, “Petrophilia.” And comments and pingbacks continued to trickle in to my inexplicably popular August 29 post, Should poetry be open source?

I wrote two short posts for the Plummer’s Hollow blog this month, Barred owl and Monarchs on the move.

Smorgasblog had a pretty good month, though I fell an entire week behind at one point. I added six more blogs to the folder in my feed reader from which I draw the digest: Walking the Berkshires, G. Willow Wilson’s blog, molly arden says so, and the brand-new blogs Talisman, Clouded Drab and Eye in a Bell. This may sound like a lot, but an equal number of blogs folded or went quiet in the last couple of months, so the overall number of blog posts I read every day hasn’t changed much.

Posted in

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

6 Comments


  1. Not a bad haul, as my father says every Christmas morning. And well punctuated by Diogenes. (Welcome back, dude!)

    Reply

  2. Nice summary and it seems like a LOT of posts to me! Quality not quantity counts, Dave. (And thanks for the plug!)

    Reply


  3. And well punctuated by Diogenes.
    Yeah, if I keep doing this from now on (no guarantees), Diogenes re-runs will probably be a regular feature. I’d like to make new Word on the Street cartoons, too, but it’s tough, because the program I use — Adobe Illustrator — discontinued support for the Blackboards font.

    Reply

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