“So”, said my friend Janet, “why are you not famous?”
Janet was referring to this blog which she thinks should be making me famous, but isn’t. Then perhaps she’s prejudiced because I once wrote about the only in the Wild West story of her Great Grandmother’s capture by Indians and murder by an outlaw in Curry County, Oregon.
If longevity were some sort of guarantee of fame, I should probably be enjoying a modest amount of it. After all, I’ve been uploading musings since the summer of 2007. That’s when I took my niece, who had seldom traveled anywhere at the time, on a cross-country roadtrip from Maine to California. I blogged the trip as a way to keep family on both coasts abreast of our travels. That blog died a horrible death when I tried to port it from Blogger to WordPress. All that survived were the accounts of our conversion to the Church of Elvis and my musings on the demise of that great roadside institution of my youth, Stuckey’s. You’d think the latter post would at least have gotten me a free pecan log. Instead, I picked up a few dozen readers and kept tapping the keyboards after the trip ended.
The blog slowly picked up more readers, but despite Roger Ebert calling me “one of the nicest bloggers out there”, I never achieved fame. (Roger just liked my birthday post on the Duke for whom I have a soft spot.)
Here’s the problem, Janet. This blog isn’t really one thing or the other and it certainly doesn’t fit into any of the popular blog categories. When it does skirt those categories, it always just misses the tone that tends to make those blogs popular and monetized.
1. I am definitely not Dooce. I don’t have kids and I don’t write embarrassing posts about their toilet training and how I need vodka to get me through playgroups. I am Godmother to The World’s Most Beautiful Baby who has since transitioned into The World’s Most Beautiful Pre-Schooler. I commemorate her birthdays here (and here and here), chronicle her emerging fashion sense and our shared obsession with The Wizard of Oz. Oh, and I’m introducing her to the joys of roadtrips — so when she was One I took her to Vegas. If you’ll pardon the pun, I expect to get a lot of blog mileage out of future travels with Amelia May. I also have a very stable marriage and wouldn’t write about it if I didn’t. However, I have no problem mocking my English husband’s continued inability to understand the concept of Thanksgiving. Or his misguided affection for the crappy British children’s programs of his youth.
2. This is not a travel blog. I do a lot of travel blogging from places as diverse as Scotland, Beijing, Belize and Oaxaca. But I consider myself the master (mistress?) of the themed road trip. I’ve done a Golden Girls Tour down the Pacific Coast Highway with two octogenarians who were mistaken for aging film stars at every turn. I’ve done a Mission Mission to visit every one of California’s old Spanish Missions. And recently, I followed The Road Less Traveled to see some of the least visited places in the North West. My travel posts are not so much guides , but eccentric riffs. Such as the time I went to Scotland and discovered that the Scots invented everything. Or my strange habit of taking my 83 year old mother to Indian casinos.
3. I’m not a food writer. I do post about things I’ve cooked and eaten. Mostly they are cautionary tales of my canning misadventures. And I can’t seem to stick to the cooking. Like the time I started blogging about making Beet and Orange Relish and ended up on a tangent about abused chimps.
4. This is not a music blog. But I do boast the world’s largest and most diverse collection of Christmas music. I frequently make unconventional playlists like these. Every December it causes my blog hits to spike as everyone who Googles “unconventional Christmas music” seems to be routed here. I also have strong opinions on Cowboy music. At least that has made me Number One in places like Albania.
5. I am not Pioneer Woman. Although apparently, I have just as much — or as little — cowboy cred as she does. After purchasing 40 acres of scrub covered land in a wonderful place called Unincorporated Sonoma County, Andy and I are working to make the long transition to full time country living. But as of now, I only live in Sonoma part time and we’re engaged in what I call George W. Bush ranching. That’s the kind where your only livestock are terriers. Oh, and we did plant vines and have been engaged in a several years long project to become winemakers in an excruciatingly bush league sort of way. We’ve made a fantastic Rose, a passable Cabernet and a few series of really, really undrinkable red blends. We’re hoping we get better at this.
6. I might be a Dog Blogger. So far the terriers, Oscar and Lucy, are the only ones who’ve achieved any sort of celebrity out of this blogging mess. They’ve had several brushes with fame, like the time Lucy stole a rawhide chew from T. Boone Pickens Dachshund. Or when they had a Celebrity Blog Encounter with the most famous Smooth Fox Terriers in modern film history. Judging from the fact that Smooth Fox Terrier breeders keep friending me on Facebook, I’d guess most of my readers come here for the dogs.
7. I’m sort of an Eco Blogger. Since our land has never previously been built on and only a corner of it was ever used for grazing cattle, it’s a pretty pristine example of Northern California habitat. Many of my posts discuss our efforts to preserve and restore native plants and animals to our land. We are ably helped in this endeavor by the Ranch Manager we call John the Baptist. He’s almost as famous as the terriers. We co-exist with at least one Mountain Lion (we call her Miss Kitty), a Bob Cat, various raptors, coyotes, foxes, Pileated Woodpeckers, deer, snakes, and a few endangered species that are happily being fruitful and mulitplying here at Two Terrier Farms. So I’m all about respecting wildlife and Nature. Except for that time when I accidentally got a deer drunk on fermented wine skins. Oh, and I got a mouse drunk, too. But mostly I’m really respectful of Mother Nature.
So welcome to my Not Dooce Kinda Sorta Travel Music Food Pioneer Dog Eco Blog. I’m not famous yet. Maybe you can each get two of your friends hooked on the blog. Then leave some comments to prove that someone really reads my ramblings.
Make my friend Janet happy.
Do you not wake in the morning and give thanks you are not Dooce? Or Pioneer Woman? I do. For me I mean.
I haven’t a clue as to who, or what DOOCE is but I do look forward to Ree’s photos and comments on Pioneer Woman. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d use her cookbooks more. I miss your writing when you get tied up in other things and don’t post. Always happy to see your return!
I’m glad you’re not like hat phony Ree. Have you tried any of those awful recipes?
Anyone who would look at the title Left Coast Cowboys should immediately grasp its eclectic nature. Not hard to figure out. Never exactly know where a post will go, but terriers crop up nearly every time.
I love all the Sonoma reclamation projects and challenges from Mother Nature. And the local history, and the wine, and the travel stories. Pretty much everything. I can think about the weather the year before out there when shopping for wine here. Makes me feel pretty smart sometimes 🙂
You had enough fame flak helping your friend Chuck with his website when the book hit the fan. What matters is why you do this. I think you love to share your life with us in words and pictures. Adventures abound. So does history and music. Thank you, Lisa, always.
[Blushes]. No, I don’t have the most readers. Just the best ones.
And I don’t think having the Department of Defense, CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security trolling my site trying to get the goods on my childhood friend counts as readership. Although I did post an incriminating picture of the two of us posed before a giant plastic shark at Knott’s Berry Farm. And for any of you who want to follow that particular adventure, search on Navy SeAL on this site.
Well I agree w/Janet with respect to your blog being famous. But who really wants to be famous in the USA when you can have fame in Albania? OK. KathyB’s comment just caught my eye. What the heck ever happened to Chuck? every now and then I do some searching but as far as I can tell he has yet to resurface. Those were fun times though 🙂
Chuck is doing just fine. He pops up as a talking head every now and then when they need a SeAL. And he’s working on more books and movie scripts.
like, like, like it all
pressing the ‘share’ button now
but as I only have 30 some FB friends.. no fame
turbo boosters here.. (I really must get out more!)
Fame is over rated anyways… I just want to be a really good
piece of the puzzle, and not the weak link.
Also, ‘hi’ to Chuck per previous thread comment.
side note while I’m thinking of it.. printed N.Calif map this week.. guys are
in Long Beach at show w promo of now.. I’ll get you a copy
xxo, susan (????)”
You like dogs travel, wine, and have a place out in the country and have a superb sense of humor…what is there not to like about you?!!!
Whatever it is, it’s damn entertaining!
Hi, I came here from Mrs. G’s DerfRoll (If that doesn’t make you famous, I don’t know what will!) Love the blog, especially this post, so let Janet know that you’ve gained at least one more follower!