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Sunday, April 05, 2009


In reading many of your blogs, I notice that some of you are concerned about whether or not you will be able to make it through an entire month of blogging every day. I want to provide you some encouragement, give you a rousing speech. This is why I am thought of as “the Churchill of blogging.”*

Today, Google offered me a link to an owl pellet store. I really don't know why. Google often gets things wrong when it comes to the links it offers me,** but sometimes, it gets things so wrong it gets them right. Like the time it gave me those links to Rat Mart. That turned out TOTALLY AWESOME. So I decided to have a look at this new owl pellet link. My curiosity was rewarded! This was the entire description of the very first product: “Most contain at least a skull and sometimes more. Great for younger students and tight budgets.”

And I can have up to FIFTY of them for 99 cents! Plus, this site has a 24/7 HOOTLINE, which makes me think there is a stiff business in owl pelletry!

Now, I have no idea what owl pellets are. Someone out there will want to tell me—the site itself offers a link of explanation. But will I click it? No. I will not. I want to savor this description with no idea what it all really means. A skull . . . and sometimes more? For a dollar? My mind is filled with joyful images just because I am willfully keeping myself ignorant on the subject of owl pelletry.

Lots of times, I like to be kept in the dark a little bit. I will go out of my way to make sure I don’t find out certain things, even if that means lying to myself. I try to be very honest with other people—especially you, readers—but lying to myself is totally acceptable, and I do it well. I tell myself some whoppers, and I believe them, because I am just that skilled. Or stupid. Whichever.

Sometimes, you have to lie to yourself a little to get to the ULTIMATE TRUTH.

Like in this case of blogging every day. Now, I have seen a few comments where people have said that it is probably easier for me to blog every day than someone not used to writing every day . . . and while there is some truth in that, it doesn’t entirely hold. I am used to writing every day, that’s true. But I was only managing maybe one blog a week (and sometimes one blog every two weeks, and on occasion, one blog a month). That was about the rate I could handle when I was doing other things.

So I was really not ready for this at all. I didn’t TRAIN for it or anything. The blog I am doing every day for this entire month is really a few more miles I didn’t plan on going—a pint of blood I wasn’t sure I had to give. But I LIED to myself and said I could do it, and here I am doing it!

In the past, people did not have blogs as a way of expressing themselves. For example, in England in the early 1980s, you were required by law to wear overalls all the time—and if you had anything you wanted to express, you had to do it out on the street corner, with banjos.*** Instead of writing a blog, you would have had to do something like this:

Also, great cultural discoveries took years to transmit in the days before blogs! For example . . . I have been obsessively watching Flash Gordon for years and years, but if I hadn’t read the Youtube comments on this, I probably never would have noticed that Ming, who has JUST been told the name of the planet Earth****, conveniently has an “EARTHQUAKE” button on his keyboard of doom! And now I can tell you! Because I have to blog EVERY DAY!

“But mj,” you say, because we are friends, “aren’t you just randomly sticking up videos you like to fill up space because you are writing this blog in the middle of the night? Doesn’t that indicate that you are perhaps worried that your blog brain is going to shrivel up and die? I mean, Flash Gordon and Dexy’s Midnight Runners are both totally awesome, but isn’t this just a ploy to buy yourself some time until Monday? Not that you have any plan for what happens on Monday.”

Of COURSE not! Don’t be INSANE! If I was just RANDOMLY sticking up videos, I would put up this one:

I am trying to tell you that you are at a UNIQUE MOMENT IN HISTORY—the dawning days of the internet—where you can record your stories and break through your personal barriers, and in the process, you can make friends and gather readers. Because BEDA simply grew one day—a beautiful flower of about 400 participants out of one little Twitter seed. And only four days in, some of you have already forged new relationships. Some of you have blogged for the first time. Some of you have renewed your commitment to write more, to record more. Some of you are reading the blogs of complete strangers and finding out things you could know in NO OTHER WAY!

My consultant, Free Monkey*****, is now translating all of my books into Middle English. I asked him why he was doing this, and he said, “For the Future.” Which is an enigmatic answer, especially considering that Middle English is pretty much as in the past as you can get. But I have learned not to say these things, as he has more than once accused me of linear thinking, or at worst, chrono-fascism. I now see what he means.

In the FUTURE, there may be rules about such things. Maybe blogging will be controlled by our robot overlords and have strict rules and cost lots of money. But today, we are free! Free to blog away, and no one can stop us, my friends!

And sure, some days will be hard. Like today, for instance! Maybe TODAY, some of you just DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT . . . but you sat down at two in the morning and you just FORGED BRAVELY ON, knowing that if you just pushed it a little further, another idea would come. Or you could just put up another video.

Look, just DO IT! We are all with you! Do not fear the blank screen or the blank page. Do not fear the 25 days ahead. Christmas has 25 days****** and that’s not scary, is it? Think of it that way! And think how you will feel when you complete the task—how people will praise you! It may be like this, which encompasses Christmas, praise, and meeting new people!

There is NOTHING random about that!

* I’m not, actually, but I’m totally okay with it if you started going around calling me “the Churchill of blogging.”

** Like dateacougar.com.

*** This is still the law in some towns in the UK, as I understand it.

**** Euuuuhhhuuuhhhhth

***** For more on Free Monkey, read the FAQ section of my site and learn all about him.

****** Or 12.

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Blogger amy said...

This has been inspirational enough to actually get me to add a bit onto my 2008 nano, which is quite a feat. Thanks, MJ, for your encouragement!

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An owl pellet is the fur and bones of the mouse, or the small bird, or whatever the owl wants to eat, that the owl coughed up because it can't eat it.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

owl pellet - bird version of a cat hair ball, sort of...

I think if I were up at 2 a.m. I would write better BEDA blogs!

4:13 PM  
Blogger partyweetow said...

When I was in 7th grade, my science teacher Mrs. Powell made us create pictures out of the bones and fur from our owl pellets. It was really gross.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Owl pellets are basically what happens when owls cough up rodent hair and bones and stuff. It's like a cat's hair ball, only filled with stuff that they make middle school students take apart.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Kylie said...

Four Hobby Horses of the Apocalypse...

Don't think I can even begin to comment on that. Maybe: What?
It's grown on me though; I think I love the sheer random-ness.

And never questioning Free Monkey sounds like a good life philosophy. He's like the Buddha, in primate form.

5:56 PM  
Blogger KatieSham said...

No, no. Christmas definitely has 25 days. That's what ABC Family tells me.

And that's what who trust.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Nadia Murti said...

Um, I've always thought that owl pelltets were just droppings, but it doesn't sound like it...in which case they are used to care for an owl...which you should never do because they have the power to rip your scalp off, which you already know.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Sarabeth said...

Oh yes, owl pellets are for dissecting. I did it in first grade, and I am surprised you've never heard of them, Maureen.

Anyway--you pretty much stole that fifth paragraph from your own Blog Every Day April blog. Ohhh yah, you didn't get away with it!

8:07 PM  
Blogger whitefluffyhat said...

I find it necessary to burst into song now.


10:00 PM  
Anonymous Effy said...

I'm in High School and I dissected an owl pellet (think I did in Middle School, too). It was kinda cool actually, it was hard on the outside and then *poof* feathers! But what's really cool is that my Bio teacher isn't making us dissect animals (i.e. baby pigs, like other classes dissected!) b/c she sees how pointless it is. Yess!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The owl pellets aren't that bad. They completely sterilize them before you dissect them.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Just in case your are still curious...
an example of an owl pellet and it's contents.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Owl pellets are disgusting. Basically, they're owl poop with bones. In fifth grade we had to pick through them and glue the bones to the lid of a shoebox. It was pretty traumatizing. Also, they smell.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Owl pellets are clearly a key component to interplanetary travel ^_^

not really

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Katiekat said...

In middle school we had to sing a song about Owl Pellets that explained what they are and what all's in them, but, alas, I cannot find the lyrics. Interweb, you have failed me.

6:47 AM  

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