100th Post!!!…Can I Get A WOOOO?!

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UPDATE: Awww…thanks Gray for the 100th post gift…my very own listing in Gray Charles’ blogroll. You like me…you really like me.

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This is a big day for TALK! (And, apparently, for graycharles.com…if you haven’t been today…go.)

A. Big. Day.

Today marks our 100th post, and what a ride so far!

To tell you the truth…I never thought I’d make it this far.

When I first started this blog, I didn’t really have much of a direction (and, for the most part, I still lack a clear destination). I knew I wanted a creative outlet and to improve my skills as a writer. I had garnered some much-appreciated attention at Gray Charles.com and, to be honest, gained a healthy shot in the arm to my ego…so this seemed like the natural progression after Gray turned off his comment feature.

But after the first couple of weeks, I began to worry. Coming up with original things to say…and trying to be funny and/or poignant all the time…proved to be pretty damn challenging.

I remember calling my brother, Ben, to confess these worries. He told me that if I was so stressed…I should quit doing it.

But I wasn’t ready to quit.

I e-mailed Gray for advice. He encouraged me to keep writing but told me to figure out what I really wanted from the site.

Initially I had said I wanted to spark discussions and grow a community. But that was not the entire truth because, as more of you came to visit, I began to get a rush in knowing people were reading my work and returning to read more because they were entertained.

I do so love to entertain.

It’s funny how a blog kind of takes on its own life and personality…and, in a sense…begins to control you. I began to understand…in a very, very, very small way…what Gray went through. As a blogger, you want to have your own voice, but you also want to have a fairly broad appeal to ensure that all your efforts are actually read.

After all, it may be personally cathartic to scream from atop a mountain…but if there’s no village below then your message is lost on the trees and the hawks.

It took me a while to reconcile the feelings of wanting to be everything to everybody…but, finally, after hearing the same advice from Ben, Gray, and Bamaborntxbred…I decided to not let the blog control me. I decided that I would dictate what I wrote…even if it seemed kooky or pointless to others. TALK! is my literary “Field of Dreams.” If I write it…they will come (I hope).

And I think it’s worked…for the most part.

mouthguard.jpg Even the most trivial events in my life have sparked the kind of community spirit I wanted out of all of this. As long as I write honestly and without forced efforts…sharing the minutiae of my day-to-day has led to some of the most memorable moments here at TALK!…be it an on-going saga of my dental woes (finally got my mouthguard…see picture at left) or a not-to-be-repeated adventure at the beauty salon.

sadieharness.jpgYou’ve all been wonderful to read and comment on my Lucille Ball-esque shenanigans. From my encounter with Taylor Hicks’ doppelganger to my daily walks with Camo Man (and, starting this week, with Sadie Mae, too…pictured at right!), these posts are fun to write because they reveal a part of me that I love to share…the silliness of my foibles.

Yes, I consider my less-than-graceful stumbles through life to be among some of my biggest blessings…well, at least from my vantage point as a writer. I figure I can either sit alone in the corner and mourn my loss of dignity…or I can run with it and laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of me.

I choose laughter…and am so glad to bring others in on the joke.

Speaking of bringing others in, I have been so fortunate to have not only some loyal lurkers and commenters…but some great contributors, as well. (Quossum, Shrewspeak, and NOLAgirl thanks again for sharing your LMBO and Taylor tales here!)

I also want to give a big thank you to Gray Charles (pictured with me at the top of this post in Birmingham). Gray not only introduced me to the joys (and frustrations) of blogging…he encouraged me by reading and commenting here. He also answered my many questions and offered guidance. (“Figure out what you want to achieve.” “Ease up on the links, Shelley.”)

And, as cornball as this is, I gotta thank Taylor Hicks (’cause I know I don’t mention him enough) for being so much damn fun. Yeah I didn’t get to meet him Birmingham, and, yeah, he probably has never even HEARD of this silly little blog…but he’s a large part of the joy I’ve gotten from this whole stupid adventure.

But the very best part of having this blog has been watching our little Monkbot microcosm of the Soul Patrol develop (props to Bama and Double D for originating the name and concept). I’m very proud of being a charter member of the Soul Patrol/Monkbot Division, Department of Squishy Muffin Bunnies.

And to think that there are folks walking around out there wearing their Monkbot T-shirts (thanks for the pic, Shrew) is friggin’ awesome. (By the way, Ben has promised me that he’s working on the logo…don’t give up hope.)

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Yeah, it’s a great time for TALK!, for Monkbots everywhere, and for me, personally.

Not only did I get my new video iPod in the mail this week (pictured below)…I got a pretty significant e-mail from Shrew, who went to the LMBO performance in Connecticut this past weekend.

The clever Shrew had prepared some TALK! flyers to pass out at the show…and held one back to present to Brian Less. The coolest part was that Brian said he knew of the site and was happy to take a flyer to keep. (Maybe he was being polite…but I’m choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt.)

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So, adding Brian to the number of hits thus far here at TALK!, we get a count of nearly 4,200 folks who have visited at least once.

And of that 4,200, there’s a group of about 24 who take time to visit TALK! almost daily. Some of them post but a good number are just lurking.

Little by little I’m learning who these lurkers are…and it’s pretty exciting. Brian, Gray, and Patrickadiddlehopper aren’t the only guys who’ve clicked here. I learned just today that a past co-worker of mine visits routinely…and I’ve even drawn in spouses of some regular commenters (hope you keep comin’ back, Trey).

I’d love to see that group of 24 remain…and, hopefully, even expand. I encourage y’all to share the site with folks who you think would enjoy reading and sharing what I have to offer.

With the AI tour finally over and Taylor heading to the studio, I hope we can keep alive the soul of the Monkbot. I hope Taylor will visit. I hope Brian will come back (and bring Sam, Zippy, Mitch, and Jeff). I hope all of you stay on board. I hope more people join us. And I hope I can keep entertaining y’all…with at least another 100 posts…and, hopefully, maybe even with a few more.

Viva le Monkbot, babies!

Viva le friggin’ Monkbot!

—-

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26 Responses to “100th Post!!!…Can I Get A WOOOO?!”

  1. Holeigh Says:

    Woo-hoo! I refuse to believe that this blog is 100 posts old, it all still seems so new and exciting, haha. I love your recap, you didn’t miss a beat (except for a little John Mayer mention, hehe). Its amazing how much ground you have covered in 100 posts, I think the thing I’ve noticed most as a result is how much closer I feel to you all, especially Shelley, and everyone who regularly posts here. The family started at GC and I’m so glad it gets to live on through the Monkbot Division. 🙂

    (Postscript: Sorry if a couple sentences don’t read too well, I’m gonna be late for class, lol!)

  2. TALK! Says:

    I loves ya, Holeigh. I thought about mentioning Johnnie…but then I thought I’d save that for another day. 😉 (If it makes you feel any better…I bought the album last night and have been listening to it all day.)

    Have a good time at class, sweetie.

  3. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Awww…a tear glistens in the cornhole of my eye.

    I almost freaked when I saw that first pic! Then I looked a little closer and thought, “Hmmm, Taylor’s head is HUGE!” So, I decided to go ahead and read your post before I crawled through my computer to get to you and shake you senseless until you told me every detail.

    Good thing I did. That would have been really embarassing! Ha!

    I have been so thankful for you, Shelley. You are my hero. You do things I wish I could do…And you are a magnet. You draw people into your world.

    I, like you, manage to get myself in silly situations all the time. I can verbalize these things really well, but I have no ability to write. I lose my honesty. I write in a way that I don’t talk or think. Not when I’m writing casually, like with you guys, but if I try to write formally. You, though, you are a natural. What a gift!

    I talk about Talk! all the time. Besides prime-time, it’s the best part of my day!

    I’m so glad to have formed this “relationship” with all the other Monkbots here. You all add so much life to this blog!

    Please come out to play lurkers! We play nice….

    Vive le Monkbots!

  4. nolagirl Says:

    Flyers?? Damn Shrew, you are on point, girl! That is so cool.

    Lurkers are good, but now I am thinking back hoping I didn’t say anything *too* stupid. (I know I did, but I am OK with it – I will consider it a quirk and move on)

    Shelley – the new iPod looks sweet. Does this mean you can watch crazy monkey dancing WHILE on your morning walks?? (watch where you’re going though – don’t need Camo Man slapping you with a law suit after you knock him off the curb)

    Taylor’s giant head on Gray’s body looks scary. Like Kat McPuke trying to dance scary.

    That’s all I got, end of the day, brain fried …

    P.S. Oh, and I love your blog. 😉

  5. TALK! Says:

    Awww…Bama and NOLA…y’all make me feel great.

    Yeah, I can take Taylor with me in my pocket now…so I can ditch the life-size cut out I usually carry in my car.

    Glad y’all got a laugh at the pic atop the page…I was hoping it would spark curiosity and wonder. LOL

    I have to admit…I did it LATE last night and was a little punchy. At 1 a.m., shit like that looks friggin’ hilarious…sorry if it scared anybody.

  6. double d Says:

    Yeah for Shelley!!!

    Thanks for making this place so much fun and for being accessible and posting. It means so much to be acknowledge and have our big-ass egos stroked. 🙂

    Monkbots rule! Love you guys…and the kittens say “hi”.

  7. TALK! Says:

    back at ‘cha, DD.

    this place wouldn’t be near as fun if it wasn’t for all of y’all.

  8. TKls2myhrt Says:

    Shelley,

    I love you! I love your blog! You have done very well. I also follow the philosophy of owning the blog and making it your own.

    I love the photo of Taylor and you. I think he should see a doctor, though. The tour must have gone to his head…

  9. TALK! Says:

    LOL…thanks TKis2myhrt.

    Actually it wasn’t the tour…ever since Taylor met me…he’s gotten the big head. But then…I am fabulous. ;P

    Glad you enjoy the blog.

  10. double d Says:

    heh, heh…that was good tkls…

    Taylor has a “big head”….REALLY!

  11. double d Says:

    Joey was good tonight….

    But I still say,

    “M-IT! M-IT! M-IT”

    and BTW, NolaGirl…

    HOW ‘BOUT DEM SAINTS!?!

  12. TALK! Says:

    Emmitt was great…but how hilarious was it that Monique lost her skirt?!

    Poor girl…gotta hand it to her…she really bounced back.

    I loved Joey tonight.

  13. NOLAgirl Says:

    DD: I know! I can’t believe we are 3-0! It still doesn’t make me feel any better about LSU’s loss to Auburn. That still burns me up! Stupid War Eagles ….Grrrr….

  14. suzi-q Says:

    Happy Birthday Dear Talk, Happy Birthday dear Talk, Happy Birthday Dear Taalll- aallllkkkk! Happy Birthday Dear Talk, and many more!!!!!!!! Shell what a great job you have done and I know how much it means to you to have input! I can honestly say I have never grown tired of reading your blog but also in reading the hilarity among friends on TALK. TALK Rulz AND how bout them Saints!!! Like others I tend to remain like my mom (your namesake) who used to say, “Can’t think, brain dumb, inspiration won’t come, poor ink, poor pen, best wishes, AMEN! So to you dear TALK author I will always say, BEST WISHES for 100 more and counting:)

  15. TALK! Says:

    suzi-q…i love you. you’re so great…you remind me of my mom. 😉

  16. Shrewspeaks Says:

    100 posts…and this is just the begining!

    MonkBot Division is proud and strong.

    More importantly, Shelley…this needs to be in black and white…your courageous honest writting style is enviable. Stay true to you and TALK! will always be on point, funny and poignent…in short if is about you and your view on life happening to and around you, it will always be great!

    Viva le MonkBot!

    Ps- thanks to all my MonkBot brothers and sistas fo the comments here…I lerve you guys…now pass the scotch dammit we gots some celebrating to do!

  17. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Awww…look at all the love yer gettin’ Shell. We Monkbots are a supportive bunch, huh?

    P.S. I died laughing when Monique mooned the audience last night on “Dancing With Those People”. But she was so classy the way she pulled off the rest of the dance. Emmitt and Joey are still my faves. I predict Willa goes home tonight. At least she got Maksim out of the deal!

    P.P.S. My office mate had to put her sweet little dog to sleep yesterday and it has been a cry fest here ever since. We only have around 20-25 peeps that work here and we are all some serious pet lovers…So sad…Here’s to Rocky Dog Johnson! May he chew golden bones in heaven while waiting for his Mommy and Daddy!

  18. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Oh, and: HOW COOL IS IT THAT MONKBOT DIVISION IS LINKED/NAMED ON GC!!

    That’s super-duper-super cool. Wow!

  19. TALK! Says:

    Bama…that’s so sad.

    I know when I think about Sadie one day passing on…I start crying…and she’s only 1.5.

  20. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I know. That’s been one of the hardest things for me over the last couple of days b/c Magoo is 12 and Jasper is 13. I can already see them declining and I know that I’ll be going through this sometime soon. I’m terrified…and the idea of putting them to sleep is so much worse than a natural death. Oh! I’ve got to stop!

  21. TALK! Says:

    Bama…let’s not talk about it…I’ll start crying. 😦

    I put up a new post so we can start a FUN discussion! 😉

  22. nolagirl Says:

    Bama – Hug Magoo and Jasper for me. I bet they are a pretty cute duo. 🙂

  23. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Awww..thanks Nola! They are the cutest little poopers ever! They will be happy to get a hug from their Auntie Nola via me!

  24. nolagirl Says:

    I wanna see, I wanna see!! Magoo and Jasper, where are you???

  25. bamaborntxbred Says:

    They’re at home lookin’ out the window waitin’ on their momma to come home and take them outside for a potty break!

  26. Quossum Says:

    Love you, Shelley! And congrats on keeping us entertained! =)

    Yeah, I almost freaked too, when I saw the pic–I was all, “Damn, she met him! I can’t wait to hear about it! And DAMN, Taylor is fuckin’ borrowing SHIRTS from Gray, now!”

    Keep it goin’ on, girl!

    –Q

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