Monkbots Never Really Say Good-Bye

by

Honesty.

What a concept, huh?

A year ago I decided to try a little honesty experiment. I decided to write a blog.

Although I had been in the throws of a mad crush on Taylor Hicks and was deeply rooted in the world of GrayCharles.com…my blog was simply going to be for and about little ol’ me. If Taylor or Gray entered the picture…so be it…but the focus would be me and my interests.

And it was going to be as honest as I could make it.

I wanted to voice my opinion…even if it came across a bit callous. I wanted to curse if I felt like it…even if my mother was reading. I wanted to share events in my life with brutal honesty…even if I embarrassed myself. I wanted to call out the wrong-doing of others…even if I got in trouble for it.

I wanted to be totally honest.

But the problem was…I started with a half-truth.

Sure, I wanted to hone my writing skills and see if I could develop my voice. But even more so, I wanted people to read my words…and to praise me…and to return for more…and to bring their friends…and to think I was the cat’s meow.

I wanted to be a Blog Prom Queen.

And for a while, I really felt like a queen. I was praised and lauded and it felt good.

But the funny thing is about the best of plans…

Now, a year later, I don’t focus on how much my writing has improved…nor do I crave praise or adulation. If anything, I see where I have more improvements to make in my writing and…though the compliments have been lovely…I’m more than satiated by the silent numbers that tick over on the hit counter…especially when I see that 200 plus of those daily hits are return visitors.

And even beyond wrangling my ego somewhat over the last year, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this experience.

I’ve learned that being responsible is more important that brutal honesty. If you were to go back to earlier posts and comments, you would see that I was much looser with my tongue. I felt that being honest meant being free to curse or snark harshly. I felt it made my writing wittier and would draw more people to the blog. But I soon realized that a foul mouth and ugly remarks set a tone for negativity at the site and for other Monkbots. And truth be told, once I started biting my tongue a bit and writing more insightful posts…that’s when the number of regular readers began to grow…slowly…but steadily.

Building on that lesson, I’ve learned that people…all kinds of people…crave to see goodness in the world. Even if that goodness is something as simple as the day-to-day happenings of a silly girl from Mississippi who grows tomatoes and shops at the Kroger and has a sweet little puppy dog named Sadie.

To see that people from almost every state in the U.S. visit Monkbot is enough to make my heart swell with joy. But then to see people from all over the world come here to visit magnifies that joy even more. I routinely see folks from the Phillipines, Israel, South America, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Australia, and the U.K. visiting Monkbot…and I’m humbled.

And seeing all these wonderful people…the comment-makers and the lurkers, alike…has taught me an even greater lesson. There is not a monopoly on this planet by any person or country on the desire for unity.

This gives me such hope and joy and reassurance about all of us who live on this blue and green marble.

Finally, watching and being a part of the microcosm that is the blog world has baffled and amazed me. I will definitely miss so much about it.

There have been so many wonderful people I’ve met along this journey…too many to list, really. But to all who have graced the halls of Monkbot, I thank you. Thank you for opening your hearts and minds. Thank you for putting up with my moodiness and grousing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and time. Thank you for reading my words, listening to my songs, watching my silly videos. Thank you for caring. Thank you.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some special thanks to a handful of folks who gave me counsel and love and guidance and strength on a personal level this past year.

Bamaborntxbred – Truly, “Monkbot” wouldn’t exist without you, my sweet friend. Your silliness and smarts are fierce and wonderful.

Nolagirl – Your candidness and caring are such gifts. When I grow up, I wanna be like you.

Patrickadiddlehopper – You inspire me to be my best. I love you, kiddo.

Bentendo – Thanks for the logo and for believing in me, little brother.

Suzi-Q – Your hair is so silky like a scarf…oh, and you’re the best Mom in the world. Period.

Dr. Bob – You were so often my voice of reason and wisdom. I have such respect for you.

Rowan – I’ve never told you this but, since I’m all about the honesty…your writing amazes me and I’m humbled that you chose my site to be a part of.

Staci – How you didn’t go insane listening to me whine every day…I’ll never know. Oh…and if I had to choose the best Grammar Nazi in the world…it’d be you. You’d make Jane proud.

Ivoryhut – So intelligent and giving and humble and beautiful. I’m so proud to call you friend.

Double D – Humorous, analytical, brilliant…and you look so dang great in person. Shoot. Blow. Holster.

Shrewspeaks – Pass the wine, it’s Shrewbie time! You always knew just what to serve when I needed advice or insight.

Claire, Squeebee, Baby Duck, Texan, Wompuss, Leejolem, Jan – Each of you has made this place all the better because you shared a bit of yourself.

Quossum – What can I say, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal? We’ve talked each other off more ledges than I can count. You’re such a dynamo (and James ain’t too shabby either).

And finally, Gray Charles – I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit you were my biggest inspiration…or that you provided the bulk of my readership pool. It took a while, but this young Padawan did manage to learn some important lessons at your feet:

  • Be cryptic with a purpose.
  • Be aloof for self-preservation.
  • Be protective of all your hard work.
  • Nothing happens unless you beat yourself bloody to make it happen.
  • Sometimes you gotta let go.
  • You’re not always going to understand the masses, so don’t make yourself crazy trying.
  • Always strive to learn and improve.
  • Find the greatness within yourself…then reach beyond it.

And to everyone I didn’t mention…please know you all are so very important to me. This last year has been one I’ll never forget…and I have all of you to thank for it.

But it’s not like I’m retiring and moving to some remote island in the Caymans. I may post here down the road…and probably will. But for now, I want you all to know that this is just the right time for me to kick back and un-commit myself from this part of my life for a while.

Now, I need to take all that I’ve learned and honed and improved upon and mix it with the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met to create something else. My hope is that that “something else” would be a published work of some kind…but I’m not going to place the burden of such a commitment on my shoulders…especially since I’m trying to lighten my load right now. So, who knows what’s next for me…or for any of us, really?

I do ask one thing of all of y’all, though, as I leave the daily grind of Monkbot…I ask that y’all remember the community here…and the Manifesto

I only ask require that you are considerate of others and that you put heart and thought into what you want to say. This blog Life is designed to stimulate conversations…not just comments. Discussions are a vital part of Monkbot Talk humanity. We don’t always have to agree…just as long as we respect one another.

Keep the Monkbot spirit alive around the Internets, your home, your office, your world. Be nice…be thoughtful…be clever and funny…but mostly…just be yourself. That’s how I like you best.

Viva le Monkbot!

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48 Responses to “Monkbots Never Really Say Good-Bye”

  1. Jan Says:

    I love this blog and the people here. I know that I’m not here as often as everyone else but I read every single post even if it is a bit late. My personal favorite post was where you shot video of Marine’s washing your car. I know it’s silly but so funny! You are a talented writer and that’s what makes this blog so great.

  2. aerinphil Says:

    You have done well, Shelley. Thank you and Godspeed.

  3. katja Says:

    You know Shelley…a couple of weeks back my niece Iida was visiting me at my workplace…it’s a campus in the middle of nowhere honestly…only one tiny store about 1 kilometer walking distance. Anyway…we went there everyday to buy ice cream and one day they had new candy on the counter. It was a monkey!!! And all I could think about was you and your blog. I ended up buying one for Iida…and one for myself.
    Next day I bought one more, I’d like to send it to you actually. Of course I was stupid enough to leave it behind when my summer holiday started…I’ll be back at the campus in August..so that’s the earliest I can send it to you…is there a po box address or something floating around? 🙂

    It was one of these (I can’t believe I found a pic from the internet…):

  4. Dana Says:

    No fair! I just found the Monkbot!

  5. rowan Says:

    Aww, Shelley, coming from you, that is a huge compliment. Thank you so much. I admire your skill and candour as a writer a very great deal.

    Hey, you: be happy, and hope very much to see you about! You’ve a special gift for bringing out the best in people. I am also now carrying an invisible salmon with me, which makes its presence felt whenever I think or say something unjust or judgemental, and am about to put it in writing. Hee hee. (narrows eyes at Shelley in a friendly manner.) Count you as a friend, Shells. Yer a braw lassie and huv done us a’ prood.

  6. jenfera Says:

    Bravo, Shelley! Now you have us all verklempt.

    Thanks again for what you created here. Thanks to you and all the other Monkbot sistahs for taking me in here and allowing me to be part of the fun.

  7. Jules Says:

    Shelley – thanks for the song! You have a lovely voice & you are lovely. I’ve already thanked you for this wonderful site but I also have to thank you for the thread you posted on Gray Charles last year(A Post For Shelley). You introduced me(us) to quite a few really great songs on that. The one that I have to thank you for was the Richard Thompson Vincent Black Lightening 1952. I am embarassed to say that I had never heard of him before and because I love that song so much I bought one of his albums(The Capital Years) & have downloaded more recent songs. I love his(& Linda’s) music. I’m sorry I’m just getting around to thanking you for this gift over a year later.

  8. baby duck Says:

    You simply sparkle in the video, Shelley. Sparkly… that’s how I will remember you.

    Thanks for your sage words. The invitation still stands… come visit anytime.

  9. Cahaba Lily Says:

    Since I first met you because of music, I thought it would be fitting to say goodbye to the Monk-bot blog with a song too.

  10. KD Says:

    Although I haven’t been weighing in much lately, I have continued to read daily and will miss you all. Thanks again Shelley, and I know I’ll continue to see some of you around “the internets.” Here’s to a “burden free” summer for all of us!! 🙂

  11. Jax Says:

    Shelley,

    Thanks for everything .. hate to see you go ..

    Take time to enjoy this crazy ride called life, it goes by far too fast.

    Every Christmas I will play “Oh Holy Night”, recorded by you for me, and think of you. Maybe when you hear it played during the holidays you will think of me and how remember what a kick I got out of you taking the time to do that for me.

    Peace

  12. Jax Says:

    Oh, one more thing!

    After I play “Oh Holy Night” you KNOW I will have to play “Taylor Baby” and grin all the way through it!!!

  13. Shelley Says:

    Jules…I have to admit…those songs were from Gray. He put up that post after I had gotten into one of my “sad clown” moods.

    But I’m so happy that because of my moodiness…you found some cool music! And I LOVE that Vincent Black Lightening song…I was listening to it in the car earlier this week.

    Maybe it’s ’cause I was born a red-head…and my pop gave me a healthy appreciation for motorcycles. 😉

  14. notfearingchange Says:

    I can empathize with you 100%!

  15. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Hey ShelleyBot- Waaaah! 😦

    I didn’t think I’d be that sad cuz I’m keeping in touch with mah gurls through emails and I’ll be visiting their blogs (Rowan and Dr. Bob-expect more of me at Stravaigin Aboot! And Shrewbie and DD and Jenfera and Baby Duck too!). And you…with you I’ll be blowin’ up your celly 24/7.

    So, it would seem that I’m all set….except….waaaah! I’m gonna miss the actual Monkbot monkey, and all the new kids, and the anticitpation of a new NOLA trip, and The Office re-caps, and going waaay off topic to talk about food and Creme Egg revolutions, and Monkcopter rescues, and chin-waxing, and birthday card submissions for Da Man, and trying to one-up DD on rainbow-flavored kitten ice cream comment threads, and I’m gonna flat out miss all the crazy, silly, wild, expressive, self-revealing, honest, tooo honest, snarky posts and comments. Waaaaaaaaah!

    I know, I know it’s time. I’m just sad is all. So sad.

    I’m gonna start a blog called BonkMot.

  16. Dr. Bob Says:

    Awww — Shelley … how nice.

    It is funny, but I was actually thinking about this yesterday — about honesty. I think that I shared something on MB that most people don’t know about me and I was considering that. In real life, I am a bit odd. Most things, you can know about me. I am all about the honesty. But there are parts that I keep held very close to the vest, indeed, and I had shared something that was small, but personal with you all.

    What drew me to you (and your blog) was your honesty — I remember being struck by it when I first came by here. You say that you felt a need for honesty in your writing, and that this has changed over time. You said that you needed a dose of what you call “brutal honesty”.

    I wonder if you just needed to find your voice, or to find out what your voice can do. You probably did need to make yourself transparent in some ways. As with all new things, it takes a bit of time to get the hang of it. What you look back at what you have said and think it a little heavy-handed, I think is just trying out something and working out the kinks. I say this, because, in the past (slightly less than a year) that I have known you, I have seen that you don’t have a truly mean bone in your body. A bit of a bite, and a nice edged humor, but meanness, no.

    But what I am guessing is that you have held yourself quiet in many ways, and that perhaps this was important to stop. If you lurched a little while finding your balance, that is okay, and expected. I like that you have been brave and I hope that your experience on MB will seep into real life and give you more a sense of your own powerful voice, but with a Shelley-twist. Honesty can be tempered with kindness and humor and compassion, and have a wry overtone — but doesn’t tempering make something stronger, not dilute it?

    Shelley, you have been unflinchingly honest. Look at how your willingness to share yourself has been important to others. It was like Internet-Step-Aerobics for the Soul. So it took a little bit of work to get your timing down … so what? (Rowan says that she falls off the step when doing step-aerobics, which I always find funny..)

    You have never been cruel to others, even when you were brutal. But, if at the end of the day, you find yourself being more balanced, that is a good thing. I think that any needful change feels bad to start with, but as you make it your own, it gets better.

    I hope that you will still come around if something strikes you — because I like your slant on things.

  17. leejolem Says:

    Bama, I’m with ya baby! I’m trying to be brave but……waaaah!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’ll miss all the silliness, the laughs, the tears, DWTS, AI, The Office, any other kind of reality recaps, the progressive story, Shelley’s short stories, new words used across the pond, etc…….

    I know it’s time too, but this monkbot is sad also!!!!!!!!! 😦

  18. Jules Says:

    Shelley – I’m a born red head too! every 6 weeks or so I dye my hair medium golden brown & the red is always there! I can’t get away from it. Well I guess I did when I was 23 & insane & dyed it black! Egads! Won’t do that again! My boyfriend has a Harley too & this year will be my 5th trip to the annual Sturgis rally so I guess it is fitting…thanks then for your moodiness to bring me to my beloved RT!

  19. Mr. Reality Says:

    MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT FOR ALL USERS OF THE INTERNETS

    Okay, I will take over the reigns of Monkbot. Starting Monday . . .

  20. Jules Says:

    I think someone needs a REALITY check 😉

  21. nolagirl Says:

    *comforts Bama with an ice cold margarita*

    Great post, Shelley. And thanks for the kind words – you’re too sweet! Talk to you soon…

  22. Gray Charles Says:

    Once upon a time Shelley actually sent me a video of her thoughts about the GC “experience” and what it meant to her. Without a doubt I can say it was one of the most honest pieces of information I’d ever seen anyone share with someone who was, who are we kidding, a stranger.

    For me that’s what always made Monkbot great – it came from a place of honesty that few of us can reach.

    Shelley, thank you for that – I’ll take it with me.

  23. leejolem Says:

    Here’s some funny moments I’ll share with you guys about my monkbot experience:
    1.Remember Shelley when I confessed to you guys that when I started commenting I assumed you knew Taylor and like hung out with him and everything? What a dope!
    2.Remember when I oh so foolishly and fangirly admitted that I had a TH pillowcase that had printed on it “Sweet Dreams Lisa H”?
    3.Remember when I didn’t even know or care who Jim and Pam were? (oh how that changed when I watched Casino Night and Jim confessed his love and cried that one single, solitary tear!)
    4.Remember when I introduced Rowan to the word “gynecomastic” (in reference to Simon Cowell)?
    5.Remember when I tried to explain to my whole family what my monkbot shirt meant and they all looked at me like I was crazy.
    6.Remember when HC4S and I got TH and Brian Gallagher to sign the MBOS and I almost fainted and was speechless when I stood like 6 inches from Mr Silver Hair?
    7.Remember when Q (I think) posted the pic of TH with the TM in front of the fence and HC4S and I screamed out loud and clapped at home in our office?

    8.Remember when I shared thoughts and feelings that I hadn’t shared with anyone else for a long time and felt like I was truly connecting and making friends? Well that one isn’t as funny, but it’s the thing I will cherish the most from my Monkbot experience.

    Shelley, I don’t know how to say thanks to you for facilitating such a life changing experience for me. Who would have thought a little blog that could could effect so many lives across the world. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished. I hope you feel that in enriched your life and that you got out of it more (or at least the same amount) than you put in.

  24. leejolem Says:

    oops I meant “it enriched” not “in enriched” –stupid fingers.

    Mr Reality–step away from the keyboard!

  25. GRITS Says:

    Been mostly a lurker, but I’ve enjoyed the read and I will miss it. I wish you luck with the house selling, buying, and moving…would love to hear the outcome. :o)

    When I discovered Monkbot and found out it was a place for “sane Taylor Hicks fans”, I settled in. The infanity of some of the Soul Patrol had turned me off. I really enjoy your writing…you have great talent and you should continue to nurture it and share it. My favorite story was about the opera singing repairman. BTW, did you see where an opera-singing salesman won the British version of American Idol…and Simon loved him. :o)

    Regarding TH fandom, a previous poster yesterday or today…forget who…stated my feelings exactly: “I no longer feel the need to post, or even lurk for long, at any site I frequent these days. And while I’m still a fan of a certain TH, I am not interested in the minutiae of his life and do not feel the need to comment on it. It’s very liberating, actually.” Thank you to whoever it was for putting my thoughts into words…it IS very liberating.

    Good luck, Shelley, and thank you for the brief respite.

  26. texastaylorfan Says:

    Shelley, I’m really going to miss your blog. I wish you the best of luck in everything. Hope to see you around.

  27. jenfera Says:

    I’ve still been browsing the archives, trying to pinpoint when I started reading regularly. I do remember seeing the little link on GC’s side bar and thinking, “Monbot Division? Whaa?” Sounds a little kooky. I never was one to read all the bazillions of comments on GC, so I wasn’t up to speed on the birth of Monkbot.

    I clicked over here once or twice and must have landed on some posts that had nothing to do with Taylor, which made me scratch my head a little more. Finally, curiosity got the best of me and I read the Manifesto. A-ha! This is a Shelley Powers blog! Not a Taylor Hicks blog. Interesting. Maybe I’ll check back later.

    I am pretty sure now that I started reading regularly with this post. Shelley had me at pie recipes, of course, but then interspersed with the hawtness of TH at the AMA’s, well! This is where I belong! And I totally agreed with this statement of Shelley’s:

    I would so rather hear good music and have my own thoughts about it than to be sold it via sex, clothes, make-up, jewelry, pyrotechnics, Jumbotrons, bangs, and bad jokes.

    Hallelujah, sister!

    I lurked for a month or so longer before finally coming out of the woodwork in January on the Lyric Lover vs. Melody Maven post. Not only did the kind Monkbot sistahs welcome me to the conversation, Shelley even graced me with the OPOTD! Wow! I like this place!

    After that, I was all in. I checked with chat when I could to try to get to know you all a little better. I hope you didn’t think I was nosy or pushy! I just liked you all a lot, like an overeager puppy!

    I still crack up about leejolem’s pillow case! And how nice to find out I wasn’t the only one enthusing over one Mr. Seacrest.

    Here’s another gem of a post. The day Shelley switched from Monkbot Division of the Soul Patrol to Home of Squishy Muffin Bunnies and Rainbow-Flavored Kittens. Nobody complained, everyone rallied around it and had a great time discussing bunnies, kittens, and mottos, like Monkbot, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.

    I was thrilled to make my own contribution here with my write up about my trip to Foxwoods and confirmation that Taylor knew just what a Monkbot was.

    This was a good place to cry in my wine with everyone when GC closed its doors.

    And it was just a great place to hang out, make kun-NECK-shuns (did I spell that right, DD?), and have actual conversations. Wayne Newton to you, Shelley. I’m going to miss checking back here more times than I should during the work day to visit with everyone. It’s been so much fun.

  28. JCTayfan Says:

    WOW!!! Why is it that my two favorite bloggers have deserted me? First, it was GC. Now, Shelley…if you go, where shall I go, what shall I do? As God is my witness…I’m going to live through this…Go! Go!…After all… tomorrow is another day.

    Shelley…best of luck…maybe we will run into each other again. Take care…Joanne

  29. Claire Says:

    GRITS, that was my post you quoted 🙂 It’s nice to know others feel the same, thanks.

    Shelley, I’ve mentioned before how your truthfulness here at Monkbot makes me trust your emotions and opinions completely. I’ve read very honest, personal and revealing posts of yours, and identified completely with them. (I particularly remember the thread where you admitted to being po’d with Gray for not offering you a Nawlins M&G, knowing that he would read it.) Only difference is, I’d never post them on the Internet! And I really, truly admire you for doing so. It makes ME feel better that someone out there is honest enough to say how I’M feeling. Does that make sense?

    I hope to bump into y’all in the blogosphere. And maybe someday, in real life….I have wonderful memories of my online life this past year – hopefully, my REAL life can match up to it if my planned changes take shape 🙂

    Love to all Monkbots. x x

    Oh, and PS – Vive le Creme Egg Revolucion!!!

  30. leejolem Says:

    Claire, I think you and Rowan and I might have single-handedly been responsible for pushing Shelley to start the food thread with all our Cadbury Cream Egg Revolutionary talk. I will never be able to eat one of those yolky/sugary centers without thinking of you 2 international monkbot sistahs.

    Vive le Monkbot and Vive le Cadbury Cream Eggs!

  31. Claire Says:

    Lee – I think you may be right about the genesis of the Food thread! I hereby make you an honourary Celtic Monkbot. *taps Lee’s shoulders with a shiny sword*

  32. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Claire and Lee- You guys better get in touch w/Ms. Rowan! She needs y’all to help her organize the cause!

    ATTENTION MR. REALITY– I’d read ur blog. I think ur da bomb.

    Jenfera- I’m so glad you de-lurked and joined us! You’ve added so much to the community!

  33. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    Hi everyone! Well im sad that this is (kinda) the end but I understand that people have lives to get on with. Plus the fact that your selling and buying a house which will take up soo much of your time. Im not the biggest poster by far but ive definitely been a reader and love your blog as much as I love grays (even tho its not a blog any more I love reading his weird things he posts now and then, plus the videos) I love learning about new music, old music Ive never heard, or just reminiscing over music I haven’t heard in a long time. I totally enjoyed the videos of you doing every day things, and getting to know you and everyone else.I also loved the recaps of shows I just cant get into, because you made them sound so good lol and even do watch greys anatomy because of the posts. Sorry you still haven’t made me a office person but I still liked reading the play by plays lol. The people here are awesome and I hope some how I can talk to people somewhere , someday. Thank you all for a wonderful ride! hugs to all

  34. Karen Says:

    I read the story about the opera singing electrician, and see what I’ve missed by coming so late to the party. This line is wonderful: “What James taught me was how important it is to share yourself with others.” You have demonstrated something I would never have believed about the internet – that you can find honesty and reality here.

    It made me cry to come here today and see that you are leaving, and see you sing that beautiful good-by. I’m not very good at good-by (something that Gray might know, if he’s noticed).

    I don’t even know why it hurts. I have a wonderful family and circle of friends that love me very much, but there is something so very special about all of you too.

    Best wishes for everything good in your future, Shelley. You deserve it.

  35. texastaylorfan Says:

    Shelley – you’re not heading to Fiji, are you?

  36. Shelley Says:

    mmmm…fiji.

    hand me the sun screen. 😉

  37. Claire Says:

    In honour of Monkbots and Creme Eggs and Food Threads.

    Yum-mee.

  38. jenfera Says:

    awwwwww, thanks, bama! I think ur da bomb!

    🙂

  39. jenfera Says:

    Claire’s video reminded me of this one!!

    It’s time for a little Monkbot Love!

  40. suzi-q Says:

    Shell, I understand, I love you and support you in what you do. May God bless you and all the other Monkboteers, now and forever!!!! Thank you for the compliment about my hair even though yur’s is de bestest evah!!!! I have enjoyed reading your blog and interacting with all the monkbot sisters. I have to say that Shell’s articles and the comments I have read at this blog have made me cry on occasion BUT have mostly enlightened me and given me many hours of delight and laughter to the extent that the laughter would bring joyful tears to my eyes! Thanks to all who have been a part of this blog.

  41. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I told Shelley the other day I was sad b/c I wouldn’t get to see Suzi-Qand Pdiddleydoodlydoohopper around anymore b/c y’all are my secretly adopted cyber-family…whether y’all knew it or not! Especially since I’ve adopted her as my cyber-sister…

  42. KimLoree Says:

    I haven’t been around long, but have read most every day since the demise of GC (the blog). I have to say that this has been the kindest group of people that I have found around the net. It’s obvious that there is a lot of love and respect in your community. Kudos to Shelley for keeping it that way. I’m sure that it’s no easy task.

    I only came to understand what a blog or a message board was…when I started Googling for “Taylor Hicks”. Before that, I had only used the internet for research and communication. I found myself in some scary places until I found GC (which was only sometimes scary). (Wait now….I’m getting to what makes my post relevant). I am now using the internet (far too much) for following Taylor’s career, learning more about music and new artists, and getting to know people (or strangers) who share similar interests. With all that, I really don’t have time to spend on blogs about other things (like honesty). But I did it anyway…only here. Only becuase I enjoyed the atmosphere that Shelley created.

    You did a wonderful job Shelley. Best of luck to you in the future (I’d almost rather poke sticks in my eyes than to ever move again).

    Oh…and thanks for no fish.

  43. rowan Says:

    Bama – thanks for the vote of confidence, but I nominate either Claire or Lee to head up the revolucion. I am all talk really, and couldn’t organise my way out of a paper bag. Putting creme eggs into a paper bag…now that is another matter. 😀 Nominate one of these fine women of science to take the helm, and I will do my bit with speech-writing and chaining myself to the railings at Cadbury’s. I think there’s way more than a suspicion that we gave cause for the appearance of the food thread. Have slapped myself with my invisible salmon of guilt several times over that.

    (Stands on chair andf announces, “I am Rowan, and I’m a chocoholic.”) 🙂

    Was also a Monkbotoholic – it has been fortifying, getting a daily draught of humour and insight in the company of so many very nice peeps.

    Lee – I am going to be muttering “gynecomastia” now, under my breath, whenever I pass a suitably afflicted gentleman in the street. Monkbot has done this…sparked and fuelled the zaniness which buoys us up and makes us meet stuff in the eye, when we might otherwise look down. It will leave an indelible imprint. As Lee said, the experience has been truly enriching.

  44. Squeebee Says:

    Well, I am not sure what to say. Shel, you have provided us a safe place to fall after GC shut down the first time, and soon, a new home that I enjoyed even more (Sorry, Gray!).

    I was not here from the beginning, but when I started going back in the archives a few months back, this post was the one that affected me the most. I was in tears by the time I had finished watching your video, and it was a good reminder of the devastation still apparent in the region.

    You have done something rare here, Shelley. A place where people can be silly and serious and agree and disagree…all without all hell breaking loose. Be proud of that! I am proud of you, too, for doing what needed to be done when the time came. Sadness is part of the equation, but I will continue to visit often, looking for new posts.

    Thanks for everything!

    Viva le Monkbot!

  45. Laurita Says:

    Dear Shelley,

    For the last few days, I’ve been in a bit of shock since you announced ‘the end’ of your incredible blog in its current form. I realized that for this public fond farewell to your site, the words I would like to share with you (and all the other wonderful Monkbot folks), are not my own, but rather 2 favorite short poems by the amazing Mary Oliver

    As you’ll see, they speak volumes, and also serendipitously address this sad yet liberating moment here at Monkbot.
    More than anything, thank you for your integrity and generosity… they both shine through everything you have shared with us, your appreciative readers… (and gracias for keeping your archives open too! I’m looking forward to reading all I missed from last year…)

    Take good care, Lauri
    ******************************

    WILD GEESE

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

    THE SUMMER DAY

    Who made the world?
    Who made the swan, and the black bear?
    Who made the grasshopper?
    This grasshopper, I mean-
    the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
    the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
    who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
    who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
    Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
    Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
    I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
    I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
    into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
    how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
    which is what I have been doing all day.
    Tell me, what else should I have done?
    Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
    Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?

    ***************

  46. double d Says:

    Life is a matter of courses….paths….forks in the road.

    I end with a song:

    Satisfied Mind

    and a verse:

    The steps of a righteous man are established by the Lord and the He delights in his way.

    Au revoir, mon Monkot.

  47. Phile Says:

    You’ve done good.

    Thank you.

  48. Shelley Says:

    Thank you all…

    Love ya loads.

    o–[:8)]=

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