FYI – I Hate You All

If you’re going to hate someone (because “dislike” is too politically correct) it’s only fair to make sure they know exactly why you hate them.  People of WordPress – consider this a fair warning.  You messed up my vacation.  Also, this post took a lot longer to write than I expected.

Every summer for the past 74 years I’ve been fortunate enough to spend at least one glorious week in “the happiest place on earth,” Walt Disney World, Florida.  The Magic Kingdom in all its childish wonders, the international and technological nerdiliciousness of EPCOT, the movie-going magic of Hollywood Studios, and the primal spirit of the Animal Kingdom – and you WP people shot it to hell.  Should “hell” be capitalized?  Nevermind.

This year was different in two ways.  First, I did not bring my laptop, as in previous years.  Second, I actually had people with whom to keep in touch.  People like you.  Yeah, you.  And you.  Well, not so much him, but let’s not tell him just yet.  And her?  Damn yeah, her too.  Did you see that one picture of her when – Oh, the laptop, right.  I didn’t bring it because the plan was to really spend all possible time doing what the kids wanted, and my sister and her family too.  We were all there together for a week.  It was supposed to be swimming until midnight or Space Mountain at 2am, whatever they wanted, and that’s pretty much what we did.  Problem is, they all sleep late, and I don’t.  There I was, wide awake at 7am, others snoozing, and me without a laptop.  Speaking of Space Mountain, on one of the first drops, my cell phone flew out of my shirt pocket.  Next day I went to lost and found, and they had it, and it still worked.  It’s severely bashed, the media chip doesn’t work, nor does the camera, but the rest of it works just fine.

I’m sorry, what?  What’s the big deal?  Let’s start with the fact that I missed not one but two Friday Fictioneers.  Writing those assignments is a great challenge, but the feedback alone is like heroin, and although I had withdrawals, it’s not all about me.  I have a lot of fun reading the work of others and trying to give the most genuine and helpful comments possible.  Yes, I really am that full of myself that I think I can give others advice on what they wrote, how they wrote it, and how they can re-write it even better.  Add to that a recent blog post from someone whose name I won’t mention.  I commented on an essay she had written.  It was a topic that I completely disagreed with, but I did so politely, and she replied with this:

I thought you will never post a comment on my blog,I was looking forward to reading one to know your opinion but you left none till today,I’m really happy you did that.  that shows my thoughts are not that boring and provoked your thoughts.

I was truly blown away.  I could not have imagined that someone would care one bit about me or care one bit that I might have something to say about her blog.  And it’s because of those kinds of thoughts that make me think I really need to catch up with reading your blog posts.  I recall about a month ago when I had been away from my computer for almost a week, then I commented on someone’s post, and they replied with something like, “Hey, where have you been?”  Again, I was confused.  Do others really notice when I’m commenting or reading?  Then I realized what I had been doing rather regularly since about January.

My daily routine, when not on a ruined vacation, includes about three hours reading the posts of those I follow, and that’s about 380 or so people.  I don’t just scroll through the list and click “like” for everyone.  Well, yeah, for some people, if I have nothing helpful to offer, but I adore moments when I really have something to contribute to what someone else has written.  And I also adore moments when I get to read some really great work by others.  It might be the hilarious rants by Heather (who keeps changing her theme) Classy, and Gillian (who seems to have disappeared) or the deeply introspective poetry (that I’m usually not smart enough to understand) of DeanAlicia, and Mari.  I’m enjoying the observational humor and more of Becca.  Could be the pot pourri of humor, trivia, and politics (which is often trivial too) from Frank.  Sometimes it’s moments when I need, er, some, uh, “alone time” thanks to Snarky and Dating Bitch or this guy’s well-chosen photography.  I’m not even sure hot to describe what Marian writes without hurting myself.  More artistic photography comes from Ela.  Or maybe the flag-waving rabble-rousing of the hillbilly or the social observations of a hippy.  I can’t find more “good feeling” than you’ll find at Arabian Roses and Soma. I might need to catch up on movies with Andy.  Often, it’s writing advice from Adam, Fresh Ink, or Red Pen.  In case you haven’t noticed, Roxie is bringing you publishing opportunities and more.  Few people are as passionate about life as Renee and Bill.  The unconventional wit – of which I’m greatly jealous – of the White Trash Gourmet.  Still other times, I just need to escape, and that’s where Heidi comes in with her modern/gothic tales.  Or, I might need to either learn from a professional journalist like Broadside, or maybe I need to slow down, get in touch with my humble side, and read the world as observed by Shimonz.

It’s impossible to include everyone, but it’s also impossible to get back what one missed – and I missed a LOT of posting over the past week and a half.

Regardless of whether I was reading what you wrote or vice versa, I did not like being away.  My time with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and the rest was a little less enjoyable because I truly felt disconnected from important people with important (usually) things to say.  Although the words weren’t flowing in, I did manage to keep some going out by drafting about five posts, saving them, and then activating them about one each day through my Smartphone.  The problem with that, however, is it’s not easy to read and comment through the phone.  It’s annoying to type in my name, e-mail, and URL each time I’m asked.  It’s a great drain on both my patience and my battery, which was greatly needed to keep track of the kids and my sister’s family as we chased each other around the Disney parks, secured dinner and other reservations, and even joined some leisure and athletic activities.  It’s also a great way to find out which rides have longer wait times.  Disney had a mobile app that keeps you in touch with everything in the parks.

My main point here is that, as you probably/hopefully know, writing goes both ways.  I can’t expect you to read and comment on my posts if I’m not doing the same for you.  That’s how I got such a pile of followers – and those I follow – in the first place.

119 thoughts on “FYI – I Hate You All

  1. Wow you really do follow a lot! Thanks for all the great links to other blogs…now I’m going to spend way too much time on my lappie reading blogs rather than out enjoying the sunshine. (note to self, read at night when sun goes down). Welcome back…I’ve missed you 🙂

  2. I’ve been on an extended stay away from America and my beautiful computer and the wonder that is whatever 3G is. I really miss reading (some) of the blogs I’ve grown to love. I’ve had spotty and shady wifi connections from my phone, and the WP app doesn’t have a reading feature, so the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is read all those blogs. Including this one.

  3. All of us see people come and go for many reasons. But hey – vacations are for getting away from the normal routine! Meanwhile, do what you can … and hey … thanks for the mention and the visits.

  4. You left that comment next to an article not a poem 🙂 .Why do you think that no one will notice your presence or absence ,that’s not true and you have to stop thinking of that ,that’s an order, a kind order . To be honest I don’t like it when people follow me because I did . In the beginning I thought it’s good way to make other notice my blog ,but then,after trying that 7 times , I started hating it myself for doing that, it’s like giving someone something in return of something else so I stopped doing that . It’s joy when a blogger finds and loves my blog . I even tell people whom I followed ‘don’t follow me because I followed you that’s not fair” .I remember a poet burst into laugh , he told me he followed my blog because he really loved it . I appreciate all comments and remmeber all of them .It’s joy to know someone somewhere gave you part of his / her time to read what you write and leave a comment for you. I appreciate all those who read it, that when one someone stops doing that I stopped being inspired . You’re great writer and this article shows you’re great person TOO , people who care whether others care or not, are great . =)

  5. Wow, rants and raves and flattery! We did miss ya, sorry your Disney trip sucked, but omg your humor’s still intact. Thankyouverymuch for your kind mention, sir.

  6. I have never been to Disney World, and I probably never will be (of course after having said THAT word… never… something will make it happen).
    Gosh, I follow soooo many blogs, it is difficult for me to read each post on a daily basis (I think I’m at like over 100 WP blogs alone). But I definitely have my favorites, and I read and comment on them when I can.
    You are in the “favorite pile” along with other very amazing blogs.
    I hope you got some enjoyment out of Disney… a picture with Donald Duck mayhaps?


    • i’m usually behind the camera, not in front. just my nature. never had pics taken of me much as a kid, and i think that’s why i’m shy about it. thanks for “piling” me. you’re there too.

  7. Hi Rich,
    Sorry your vacation was ruined, but I think it led to some important realizations on your part, like always take your laptop on extended stays, sleep habits vary, and most importantly, you are important to a lot of brother and sister writers, and they are a community for you. I’m amazed how many blogs you follow. I’ve missed you, especially at Friday Fictioneers, especially the fact that you will give honest feedback, not just find something to be positive about, though I appeciate that too, but negative feedback makes me a better writer. I can’t believe how much energy you put into reading and writing. You’re a dynamo, my friend, a whirling dervish, a force of nature. Glad you’re back.

  8. Aww sorry we spoilt your hols…if it makes you feel any better here in the uk we are flooding so while you might not have had a laptop at least you are not stuck permently wearing wellies and a big waterproof coat.

      • my daughter wants to move to london when she graduates college in about four years. i’ve always been a huge sherlock holmes fan since 30 years ago, so england has always interested me too.

      • We do have some amazing places to visit and fascinating history just really lousy weather to enjoy it in. this summer has been worse than usual. If your daughter does move here you have a wonderful excuse to visit

      • you can get pretty much anything you can think of especially in the big cities like london as well as a few national delicacies which i would only suggest trying if a) you are very adventurous and b) you have a strong stomach. I haven’t visited the states but from discussions with my online friends our portion sizes are a little smaller. I would say you need to visit a greasy spoon and have a full english for breakfast at least once as well as a roast sunday dinner. personally I would stay away from the jellied eels and if you visit anywhere along the coast fish and chips is a must

      • i can eat anything. in fact, this is not pretty, but sometimes in intentionally eat things i don’t like or things that are sort of close to being “expired” in order to strengthen my stomach.

      • then you should be able to handle the jellied eels lol my grandad used to eat tripe when i was a kid just the thought of those types of foods makes me feel queasy

  9. i cannot write however i can read and i thoroughly enjoy reading other blogs, yours very much included, i might not comment a lot but i am always lurking, i used to write little poems in German but translated they just suck , LOL
    Even though i might not be able to relate to you about being away from writing, as a metal artist right now on a 5 day vacation without my torch and power tools i can say i am physically hurting and cannot wait to get back to creating.
    I guess what i am trying to say is that you not only have : fans” that write you also have a fan in me 🙂

  10. A ruined vacation is still a good time. Nice to see you back. I usually stop by for my New York Times caption. I always figure people are busy with their lives.

  11. Another great post. That’s for Tbe mention. I am a Conservative Hippy- there’s a difference. I got lost in Celebration once. I had to call my love ones on case I was never heard from again. I live in Orlando. So I never go to the parks.

  12. I appreciate the sense of responsibility you have taken on. I’d like to think that I try, in my limited way, to be a loyal reader and follower too. It is work! But I’m glad I do it. After all, you’re right, it is an exchange.

  13. I used to like going to theme parks when I was a kid but as an adult for many years I lived almost right next door to Six Flags over Georgia and never went once. Because as an adult I just couldn’t endure standing in a line underneath the hot sun for thirty minutes to an hour waiting for a less then five minute ride. LOL

    Hope you and your family had fun. 🙂

      • Your welcome. I work in a plant that can’t be air conditioned about 30 miles west of Atlanta and it got as hot as 107 degrees during our recent heat wave. It was so hot that mike luckovitch {spelling ?} published a cartoon in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper with the Devil saying that it was embarrassing that according to the weather report he was reading Atlanta was hotter then hell. All I know is that I was about to melt!

  14. I think you should do something totally unrelated to writing, it sounds like you need to zone out. I might feel the same way on my big trip to UK tomorrow. We all need a break but some things are so hard to leave behind.

  15. Hah–well you were missed. Last trip to MK, I left my laptop home and was okay with it ;-). However, there is something about feeling disconnected to people you interact with regularly–even if it is in virtual world :-).

  16. I’ve been thinking for some time, about the burden of blogging. And I think that this post really describes the problem in a very colorful and amusing way. But the problem remains there. Okay, the difficulties became extreme when you chose not to take your laptop on vacation with you. It wouldn’t be hard to take it. I used to take more books than the mass represented by a laptop. So as far as that goes, it’s just a matter of choice. But beyond that, there is always the question of how committed we should feel towards the ongoing give and take of social intercourse on blogland. In the past, it was common for a writer to suffer from loneliness… even a successful writer. He or she would spend hours working on a composition. And aside from a few amenities of life (if the writing sold well), the hard work was usually followed by an anti-climax and emptiness. In this new arena, we are able to enjoy instant gratification. Someone loves us; someone was inspired by us… compliments come flying through cyberspace… and one can’t help but feel a warm glow in the chest. If someone likes something we’ve written, a quick jump to the liker’s blog, and… now you know we can’t be too critical of the work of someone who likes us. What’s wrong with sending a like back to someone who likes us. And comments might demand a wee bit more investment… but they’re much like polite conversation at dinner. Except, that there is something addicting about it all. Especially if we watch the graphs of how many people visited (which does not mean that all those people actually read what we wrote). No matter how many people we’ve managed to attract, there is always that disappointment when the numbers go down. Like rats in an experimental lab, we continue to go through the motions necessary to deliver our prize, growing ever fatter on the little candies that come through the trap door. Most of my youth was spent in libraries, filled with fascinating stories and deep thoughts. But there was a limit to how many books I piled on my desk. A person has a limited capacity. There is only so much he can read, or digest… or enjoy, for that matter.

    • perhaps it comes down to immediate versus delayed gratification. I could be working harder at novels right now. instead, i’m working on shorter, mildly entertaining pieces that might get immediate feedback. that’s probably/possibly not a good idea.

  17. It’s so true, keeping up with it all is difficult – I haven’t actually been away for more than a couple of days since I started serious blogging (rather than dabble blogging), but I do wonder what will happen when I do. If I have a few days with not enough time to blog read, then I can never properly catch up, and I end up having to delete some from my email without reading them, and that makes me feel TERRIBLE.

  18. yea I get stressed out when I feel I’ve missed out on posts (not to mention I was wondering if I missed your 100 words these two fridays and checked your blog several times haha)….and yes always look forward to ur comments, its like “oh yay Rich liked it, phew” haha, no seriously 🙂

  19. This really speaks to me because my wife and I are planning a long trip to Disney World for the fall as our last pre-children vacation and one of the first thoughts to pop in my mind was “what will I do with all the blogs I follow?”.

    After just one weekend, I have over 200 new posts in my inbox on Monday morning just from new blog entries. I am always playing catch-up on reading them and sometimes it’s for the benefit of the blog owner (I hate going to a post from a few days prior and seeing no “likes” and no comments on it) but it’s always because I enjoy it. I think some people feel obligated to reciprocate, and I’m OK with that, but that’s not needed. I’m thankful for all the attention my blog has received from kind folks like you, Rich. Oh, and thanks for the shout-out!

    • Nothing to thank me for. you have the hard part. I have to easy part.

      Are you going to disney for the fall food and wine festival? It is a lot of fun then.

      • That wasn’t our reasoning, but we will be there for that time.
        We want to spend Halloween at Universal and then were planning being at Disney for another week and see their Christmas decorations (which go up on Nov. 9th, I believe)

      • what’s interesting about christmas decorations is that they go up overnight. amazing. we go for about ten days each year and have always had a great time. i’d be happy to give you some tips if you either haven’t been there in a while or very much at all. one thing i’ve learned is to stay away on new years eve. this past july 4th was a mess, but it wasn’t my idea to be there. a sister’s request.

      • I may be calling on you for tips on hotels and things, we haven’t been in about 5-6 years but I’m sure enough has changed in that time.

        Two years ago we made the mistake of booking a trip to Las Vegas for 4th of July. Never again. I’ve heard that Disney from December until February is just insanity but we wanted to see decorations, so November it is!

      • double check to be sure when they go up. i was there a few years ago right after obama was elected, and i don’t remember any xmas decor. but then i was back again between xmas and new years to see them. maybe they started putting them up earlier.

        have you been there since they’ve instituted the “fast pass” system for their rides and attractions?

      • I thought the date seemed really early, but I’ll doublecheck before booking anything.
        Fast pass was brand new the year we went. Loved it. Was there any major construction for you? I had heard Tomorrowland was totally down.

      • test track is being renovated, unfortunately. i think they’re turning it into a simulator, which will suck compared to the open car driving that it was.

        tomorrowland is only affected in an area you likely wouldn’t go to, which was where mickey’s and minnie’s houses were. that’s being turned into like a big top circus. the area behind the castle is where major renovation is taking place. the dumbo ride is over in the new circus area. the place behind the castle is becoming a whole princess village area, mainly focusing on “beauty and the beast.” you can see it all coming together now, and it’ll be very pretty im sure when it opens around december.

        i’ll talk to my kids about other changes that might be taking place.

      • space mountain has likely been renovated since you were last there. there’s some interactive stuff to play with while you’re waiting. the problem is that the line doesn’t stay put long enough to really enjoy it. same with “soarin’ over in epcot. some visual/interactive stuff.

        also, about the fast passes, they claim they’ve modified that. it used to be that you could come back to the ride any time after the one hour window starts. so if the pass said 3pm to 4pm, you could really return any time after 3pm. they say they’re only allowing an extra 15 minutes after the 4pm. i haven’t heard of anyone being shut out of anything, but it’s what disney has stated.

      • which resort? any idea? i like the boardwalk because you can walk to the epcot and hollywood studios. my second choice is old key west.

      • Oooh good to know. We hadn’t plotted that out yet, last time was Wilderness Lodge which was nice. I had looked into the New Orleans themed ones just because they were fairly cheap and I knew nothing about them. I’ll look into Boardwalk though, I would love to be that close to Epcot.

  20. Oh boy, I feel like the ultimate follow-slacker now! I have no idea how you even keep up with 380 bloggers! I find much less than that very difficult! 🙂

    • i don’t keep up well. not all of them post every day. some of them only post photos, so there isn’t much to read. some post chapters and chapters of works in progress, and that’s impossible to keep up with.

  21. Yes, we notice. We are all stalking you, duh. Then again I am probably not supposed to tell you that. Either way, I am going to have to attempt going through the same issue next week for my trip to Boston. I definitely do not like neglecting my bloggy friends and their posts. I don’t like that I just typed bloggy.

  22. I was in my early twenties the first and only time I made it to Disney. To be honest, it didn’t live up to the hype for me. It was nice and all, but I’m a thrill ride kind of guy. I love the big, fast, loopy roller coasters. Disney doesn’t have much in that department. I’m sure it will be better when I eventually take my daughter there and see how she reacts to everything, but my first and only time was just kind of bland. Speaking of vacation… I could use one myself. Glad you got the chance to get away.

  23. What a delightful and honest post, it is a wonderful community out there and an interesting exchange among people we may never meet but whom it feels natural to follow and share with. I think you articulate the thoughts of many of us – I never could have imagined that deciding to write a blog would result in me following (among many, many others like you) the daily dramas and decisions of a beekeeping woman, but its as fascinating as any novel and comes with pictures and the contributions of other equally fascinated followers, some who comment and others who just look.

    Are these the books of the future perhaps, interactive accounts of people’s lives and imaginations with commentary – no wonder you felt deprived, its the modern equivalent of going on holiday without any books 🙂

  24. MGM is the best in my humble opinion. I’m so short that I can only ride the kiddie rides but it was at MGM where I got let into the Tower of Terror despite not hitting the 42in mark.

    Your absence was felt and your humor missed!

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