January 15, 2004
Back to school
A guy could get used to living like this. I have had about a month off from school for "Winter Break" and I've spent the time writing about baseball and going to Las Vegas. In between doing those two things, I slept late, hung around with my dog and worked on perfecting my two Diamond-Mind keeper league teams. Sadly, my life of luxury is coming to an end.
I am moving back into my dorm room over the weekend, so the next time you hear from me will be from my tiny little room on the University of Minnesota campus.
Moving back to school brought up something in my mind that I wanted to talk about here. This blog first started way back in August of 2002. The audience was almost non-existent at the time and I often wrote about my personal life, along with baseball. Sometimes I told a story about my family or about my dog, sometimes I shared tales of dorm life.
As my audience has grown to much greater heights than I ever could have imagined, I have pulled back significantly from writing about stuff like that. For whatever reason, it seemed fun and interesting to share a funny story about something that happened to me with the 50 people who read the website in 2002. Now, with thousands of people stopping by here to read about baseball every week, I feel the need to...well, write about baseball.
It's an interesting situation (to me, at least) and one that I imagine many writers have gone through. There is a lot more freedom involved in having a small but loyal following. Technically I have the exact same freedom now that I had then, but there is something about having a much larger audience that limits that.
I still share funny moments from my life or interesting stories from my past, but I do so rarely and only when I am sure they are interesting. Back 10 or 12 months ago, if something funny happened to me it would go up here, whether the story was a "10" or a "7." Now, it's mostly only 10s.
I bring all this up for two reasons. First and foremost, it is something I have been thinking about lately. Hopefully anyone who has read this website for a long time knows me as someone who doesn't hold back thoughts or emotions often, and I didn't want to do so in this case either. It involves my writing and this blog, which means it involves you as a reader, so I wanted to discuss it.
Second, I think I'd like to get some feedback from all you guys out there who stop by on a regular basis to read this blog. Those of you who have been around for a long time, do you miss my stories about dorm life and other stuff? Those of you who have only been around for a short while, would you be bothered if I occasionally stepped away from baseball to share some funny stories or anecdotes?
Anyway, this is just something I've been pondering. If this were a year ago, you would probably be treated to a Monday entry about how my move back to school over the weekend went. But for some reason, stuff like that seems silly to put on this blog now.
I would like to say what I've heard many writers say, which is that they write for themselves. That is true for me to a certain extent, but I still consider the fact that, come Monday, there will be 2,000 people reading this website, not 50. For whatever reason, that makes a difference to me.
In honor of my move back to school and in honor of me thinking about whether or not this blog should be all baseball, all the time, here is a favorite entry of mine from way back on March 7, 2003...
The Ladies Man
I'm one of those people (usually referred to as "writers") who is infinitely more comfortable expressing his thoughts via written word, as opposed to actual speech or human contact. Truth be told, when I'm around people I don't know very well I get nervous and self conscious, so I tend to be very careful with my words, which leads to an inability to express myself in the same manner I do here.
Yesterday was a perfect example of such difficulties...
I was in my non-fiction writing class. We were talking about books we've read recently and I said that I had read Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, by Jane Leavy. So, as I'm leaving class I walk by this girl and she reaches out and grabs me by the shoulder.
Girl: Hey, Aaron right?
Girl: Guess what?
Girl: One of my nicknames is "Koufax!"
Me (having completely forgotten that I had talked about reading the Sandy Koufax book 15 minutes earlier): Koufax?
Me (amazingly remembering the girl's name is Sandee): Oh, yeah...cause you're Sandee, right?
Girl: Yep, people call me that all the time!
Me: [awkward pause] Well, that's cool...um...see ya.
Girl: Oh...ok...bye...have a good day...
Damn, I am soooooo smooth. I don't mind making a fool of myself by saying dumb things as much as I do not being able to think of even a single thing that could possibly keep a conversation alive!
So I leave class with my confidence quite shaken and I hop on the bus that will take me back to my dorm. I sit down next to this cute little blonde and, amazingly, start up a decent conversation. I shocked the hell out of myself, but I figured I'd try to keep chatting as long as possible.
So we are talking, about the campus bus system (she doesn't like it), about her classes (she's an English major) and some other stuff. She's laughing (and not at me!) and I'm "on top of my game." We're approaching 10 minutes of conversation when we finally get to my stop. Feeling confident, I manage to come up with a non-embarrassing goodbye and get up to leave...
BOOM, I smack my head on the metal bar hanging over the seat near the ceiling of the bus! I doubt she even noticed, but I did. Now, the first thing that says about me is that I am tall - which is good, I guess. In addition to that, it was almost like the bus felt the need to remind me that I'm just not that smooth with the ladies. Sort of like saying: "Hey Gleeman, where do you get the nerve successfully talking to an attractive female on me?!"
I would like to apologize to the bus and say that I am pretty sure it won't happen again.
If I could conduct all my conversations with members of the opposite sex via email, I think I would be the most wanted bachelor in the world. As it stands now, I am a guy that bangs his head when he stands up on buses and has absolutely nothing to say to a girl that is obviously trying to be friendly and start a conversation with me!
But hey, I write good blog entries, right?
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