“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” – Jerry Seinfeld
You might have noticed I slightly altered the tagline about this blog. I’ve been debating it since I had a conversation with a good friend a couple of weeks ago. He was interested to learn I had a blog and wanted to know what it was about. We’ve shared many of life’s details that we haven’t shared with our own wives so he wanted to know more about the phenomena of blogs. After I told him, he laughed. We both love the comic, Seinfeld. He didn’t have to say it. He knew what my blog was about….
Below is a work of semi-fiction. The names have been changed (or not). If you followed the show, Seinfeld, this blog entry might sound familiar.
(At a Keith Urban Concert)
BUD: So you write these entries about your life in a blog and people read them? I think that is pretty ballsy. I think that is interesting. Maybe I should write a blog too.
ROUTE53: Really? Well I can help you.
BUD: So, if you have any idea for a blog for me, well, let me know.
ROUTE53: I’m not sure if you can write about your legal clients, but I’d be very interested in something like that.
BUD: Well, that is attorney-client privilege so I don’t think I can. Maybe something else.
[They listen to Keith play “Sweet Thing”]
ROUTE53: Well let me know if you come up with something. Just tweet me.
BUD: Tweet you? Is that like, give you a ring?
ROUTE53: Um …never mind.
BUD: I’ll read your blog and see if it inspires me.
[Two days later BUD and Route53 meet at the local Peets]
BUD: I’ve been reading your blog. Why do you do it? It’s kind of public.
ROUTE53: I thought I’d write down my thoughts. It keeps me honest with myself.
BUD: For what? I mean, it’s kind of boring reading that you ate oatmeal again.
ROUTE53: It’s for me first, but if you find my life interesting, go ahead and read it. You don’t have to.
BUD: So it’s a blog about your everyday life?
ROUTE53: Yeah, I guess so. I’m getting old and have lots of thoughts. Sometimes I want to step back and remember them.
BUD: Yeah, but eating oatmeal. How could that possibly help you?
ROUTE53: Well, let’s say someday I get accused of a crime and the police ask where I was on this day and time? I can read my blog and tell them I remember because I ate oatmeal with Flax seed and that night I was at a country music concert with you. Well, because nobody would ever believe that story.
BUD: Come on, how hard is it to make it all up? It’s all fiction. Look at all the junk that’s on TV.
You want an idea? Here’s an idea. You’re a butcher. And you’re married. And your son is a vegetarian and you’re pushing him into the business. That would be fun to read.
ROUTE53: Why should I care if my son doesn’t eat meat?
BUD: Because you’re a butcher. It’s only natural.
ROUTE53: But meat is not for everybody.
BUD: I know, but he’s your son.
ROUTE53: So what? Besides you hit the nail on the head. Look at the junk on TV. It’s all reality TV. Well my blog is reality me.
BUD: All right, forget that idea, it’s not for you….Okay, okay, I got another one. You’re bankrupt because of the recession and you auction your life treasures on eBay.
ROUTE53: Yeah and…?
BUD: And people buy your junk and you get involved in their lives wanting to know if your items are getting good homes
ROUTE53: What person who runs an auction on eBay gets involved in people’s lives?
BUD: Why not?
ROUTE53: So someone bids on some my old comic books and all of a sudden I’m
getting them to tell me their life stories? I could see if I was a pharmacist because a
pharmacist knows what’s wrong with everybody that comes in.
BUD: I know, but online auctions are very popular right now.
ROUTE53: No they’re not, they used to be. It’s all about Web 2.0 and social marketing
BUD: Oh yeah, like you know.
ROUTE53: Oh like you do, you’re a lawyer [Route53 Tweets the whole conversation]
[STEINBERG enters Peets]
STEINBERG: …And you’re the manager of Cirque du Soleil.
ROUTE53: [Looks at BUD] You told STEINY about my blog?
[BUD shrugs his shoulders]
STEINY: Come on, this is a great idea. Look at the characters. You’ve
got all these freaks on the show. A naked Asian woman who contorts herself into a pretzel? I mean, who
wouldn’t tune in to see a headless man with an umbrella; a mute clown; underwater acrobats.
ROUTE53: I don’t think so.
STEINY: Look ROUTE53, web blogs aren’t about boring lives. People want to read about the nuts of the world.
ROUTE53: I don’t think people will go for it.
STEINY: Why not?
ROUTE53: Look, I’m not about writing about freaks. I’m writing my everyday thoughts about the people around me.
STEINY: Oh come on ROUTE53, you’re wrong. People they want to watch freaks. Look at Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. This is a “can’t miss.” [Queue laugh tracks and fade to commercial]
[Later that week at The Butcher and The Chef in San Francisco’s South Park]
BUD: So, what’s happening with your blog? You come up with anything new?
ROUTE53: No, nothing.
BUD: Why don’t they have Acai here?
ROUTE53: What do you need Acai for?
BUD: Everyone’s doing Acai in America.
ROUTE53: I know, my wife makes me drink an Acai shake every morning. You know why? Because people like to say “Acai.” “Excuse me, do you have AH-SAH-EE?” “We need more acai.” “Where is the Acai? No Acai??”
BUD: You know its crazy that first it was ginko biloba and now it’s acai.”
ROUTE53: “Don’t you know the difference between ginko biloba and acai?? You can’t order an Acai bagel at Noah’s Bagels.”
BUD: That’s not Acai, that’s Asiago. It’s a Cheese.
ROUTE53: See, that’s a blog entry.
ROUTE53: This. Just talking.
Bud: (dismissing) Yeah, right.
ROUTE53: I’m really serious. This is what I blog about, my everyday life.
BUD: Just talking? Well what’s great about that?
ROUTE53: Yep, that’s what my blog is about. My life. It’s about nothing.
BUD: No story?
ROUTE53: No forget the story. It’s about the people and it’s about sharing experiences with similar people who find me
BUD: You’ve got to have a story, don’t you?
ROUTE53: Who says you gotta have a story? Remember when we drove to Santa Barbara and Herbie broke down and we spent the night in King’s City in that creepy motel? That could be a blog entry.
BUD: And who is in the blog?
ROUTE53: Me, you, everyone. I spend find minutes with someone and I’ll be writing about them.
BUD: Great, but can you fictionalize me?
BUD: Yeah. You could base a character on me, but not write about me, per se.
ROUTE53: So, in my real blog, there’s a fictional character named BUD?
BUD: Yeah. You can call me Art Vandelay, the architect. There’s something wrong with that? I’m a character. People are always saying to me, “You know you’re a quite a character.”
ROUTE53: And who else is fictional in my blog?
BUD: STEINY could be a character. STEINY..
ROUTE53: Now he’s a character. (Pause) So everybody I know now has a fictional side to them? I don’t think so. This is about my REAL life.
BUD: Alright, have it your way. Write about nothing.
ROUTE53: Thanks. You really think so? Nothing? I guess I’ll have to re-title my blog again.
BUD: Absolutely nothing.
ROUTE53: So you’re saying, I continue to spend my days and write in my blog about nothing.
BUD: WE write about nothing.
ROUTE53: “We”? Since when are you my ghost-blogger?
BUD: (Scoffs) Blogger. We’re talking about the web. You think Internet Geek Girl writes all her own material?
ROUTE53: You want to go with me to WordPress?
BUD: Yeah. I think we really go something here.
ROUTE53: What do we got?
BUD: An idea.
ROUTE53: What idea?
BUD: An idea for the show.
ROUTE53: I still don’t know what the idea is.
BUD: It’s about nothing.
BUD: Everybody’s doing something, we’ll do nothing.
ROUTE53: So, we go into WordPress, we tell them we’ve got an idea for a blog about nothing.
ROUTE53: They say, “What’s your show about?” I say, “Nothing.”
BUD: There you go.
(A moment passes)
ROUTE53: (Nodding) I think you may have something there.
(ROUTE53’s explaining BUD’s idea to STEINY)
ROUTE53: So, the show would be about my real life. And one of the characters would be based on you.
STEINY: (Thinks) No, I don’t think so.
ROUTE53: What do you mean you don’t think so?
STEINY: I don’t like it.
ROUTE53: I don’t understand. What don’t you like about it?
STEINY: I don’t like the idea of a character based on me.
ROUTE53: Why not?
STEINY: Well it just doesn’t sit well.
ROUTE53: You’re my colleague. There’s got to be a character based on you.
STEINY: That’s your problem, buddy.
ROUTE53: I don’t understand what the big deal is.
STEINY: Hey, I’ll tell you what – you can do it on one condition.
ROUTE53: Whatever you want.
STEINY: I get to play STEINY.
ROUTE53: You ARE STEINY.
STEINY: I am STEINY.
ROUTE53: But you can’t act. It has to be the real you. This isn’t fiction.
[ WordPress reception area)
(ROUTE53 and BUD are waiting)
ROUTE53: (To himself) Acai, Asiago. Hey, excuse me, you got any Acai? No, not Asiago, Acai. (BUD doesn’t react) What’s the matter?
BUD: (Nervous) Nothing.
ROUTE53: You sure? You look a little pale.
BUD: No, I’m fine. I’m good. I’m very good.
ROUTE53: Why are you nervous?
BUD: No, not nervous. I’m good, very good. (A beat, then he snaps) I can’t do this! Can’t do this!
BUD: I can’t do this! I can’t do it. I have tried. I’m here. It’s impossible.
ROUTE53: This is just a blog. We don’t even have to tell them. You’re supposed to just write it! Besides, this was your idea to be part of my blog.
BUD: What idea? I just said something. I didn’t know you were going to listen to me.
ROUTE53: Don’t worry about it. They’re just an internet social platform.
BUD: They’re men with jobs, ROUTE53! They wear Crocs and drink way too much Acai.
ROUTE53: I told you not to come.
BUD: I need some water. I gotta get some water.
ROUTE53: They’ll give us water in there. In fact, they have free soda and catered lunches.
BUD: Really? That’s pretty good.
[ WordPress‘s Conference Room]
(The WordPress Network staff are all talking with ROUTE53 and BUD)
Staff Member #1: (To ROUTE53, laughing about one of his bits) The bit, the bit I really liked is your hiding in your cruise stateroom hiding from the horny 65 year old ladies. Now that’s funny.
ROUTE53: Yeah, it’s one of my favorite life events.
Staff Member #2: I was touched and felt for your wife’s battle with cancer and all the stories of other survivors.
Staff Member #3: I like hearing about how you make money on the web with affiliate programs
Staff Member #4: I think your life in San Francisco is worth reading about. And the fact you drive a beetle named Herbie with a big “53” on it.
StaffMember #2: What about you, BUD? You have any funny stories?
BUD: (Quickly making it up) Well, possibly. I wrote an off-Broadway show, “Dos Hermanos.” ..Actually, it was off-off-Broadway. It was a comedy about two Mexican entrepreneurs.
ROUTE53: Oh, it was very funny. There was one great scene with the CTO- what was his name?
ROUTE53: Oh, Pepe. Yeah, Pepe. And, uh, he was making a Facebook Application.
Staff Member #3:Oh, he actually wrote code on the stage?
BUD: No, no, he tweeted it. That’s what was so funny about it.
Staff Member #4: So, what have you two come up with to talk to us about?
ROUTE53: Well, we’d like you to feature our blog. We’ve thought about this in a variety of ways. But the basic idea is I will just write about my life.
BUD: (Interrupting) May I?
ROUTE53: Go ahead.
BUD: I think I can sum up the blog for you with one word: NOTHING.
Staff Member #3: Nothing?
BUD: (Smiling) Nothing.
Staff Member #3: (Unimpressed) What does that mean?
BUD: The blog is about nothing.
ROUTE53: (To BUD) Well, it’s not about nothing.
BUD: (To ROUTE53) No, it’s about nothing.
ROUTE53: Well, maybe in philosophy. But, even nothing is something.
Staff Member #3:What’s the premise?
ROUTE53: Well, as I was saying, I would blog about myself, and, as an internet entrepreneur, living in San Francisco. I have a family, friends, and co-workers, which is all true.
BUD: Yeah, but nothing happens on the blog. You see, it’s just like life. You know, you eat, you go shopping, you read. You eat, you read, You go shopping.
Staff Member #3: You read? You read on the show?
ROUTE53: Well, I don’t know about the reading. Maybe blog about blogging.
Staff Member #3: All right, tell me, tell me about the blog entries. What kind of stories?
BUD: Oh, no. No stories.
Staff Member #2: No stories? So, what is it?
BUD: (Showing an example) What’d you do today?
Staff Member #3: I got up and biked to work.
BUD: There’s an entry. That’s an entry.
Staff Member #3: (Confused) How is that an entry? If you Tweet that, will people read?
ROUTE53: Well, uh, maybe something happens on the way to work. And yes it would be more of a Tweet than an Entry.
BUD: (scratching his head) No, no, no. Nothing happens.
ROUTE53: Well, something happens.
Staff Member #3: Well, why am I reading it?
BUD: Because you’re following me and you’re my “Friend”.
Staff Member #3: (Threatening) Not yet.
BUD: Okay, uh, look, if you want to just keep on doing the same old thing, then maybe this idea is not for you. I, for one, am not going to compromise my artistic integrity. And I’ll tell you
something else, this is the show and we’re not going to change it. We’ll just put this on Blogger (To ROUTE53) Right?
(A moment passes)
ROUTE53: (To Russell) How about this: I manage Cirque du Soleil……?
[Later at Peets]
ROUTE53: I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. What were you thinking? What was going on in your mind? Artistic integrity? Where, where did you come up with that? You’re not artistic and you have no integrity. You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn’t even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That’s the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That’s what I’m talking about because that’s the only way you’re going to get better.
BUD: . . . I thought the woman was kind of cute.
ROUTE53: Hold it. I really want to be clear about this. Are you talking about the woman in the meeting? Is that the woman you’re talking about?
BUD: Yeah, I thought I might give her a call. I, I don’t meet that many women. I meet like three women a year. I mean, we’ve been introduced. She knows my name.
ROUTE53: IT’S COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE!
BUD: Why? Maybe she liked me. I, I mean she was looking right at me. You know, I think she was impressed. You know, we had good eye contact the whole meeting.
ROUTE53: Oh, I forgot to call STEINY.
BUD: Wait a minute let me call her.
ROUTE53: No, no this is more important.
BUD: She might be leaving to work any minute.
[BUD and Susan enter]
BUD: Hello, oh, hello. You remember, … Susan, from WordPress
ROUTE53: Of course. How are you?
SUSAN: Fine, it’s good to see you.
BUD: And this is STEINY.
BUD: All right go ahead Susan, tell him.
ROUTE53: Tell me what?
SUSAN: Well, I, [phone rings]
ROUTE53: Uh, sorry, Excuse me one second. Hello.
TEL: Hi, would you be interested in switching over to TMI long distance service.
ROUTE53: Oh, gee, I can’t talk right now. Why don’t you give me your home number and I’ll call you later.
TEL: Uh, I’m sorry we’re not allowed to do that.
ROUTE53: Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you at home.
ROUTE53: Well now you know how I feel. [Hangs up]
BUD: Well, go ahead, tell him.
ROUTE53: STEINY, are you drinking that milk?
ROUTE53: What’s the expiration date on that?
STEINY: April 1st.
ROUTE53: The 1st?
BUD: and SUSAN: The 1st?
STEINY: Um, Uh, ugh, …
SUSAN: Noooo… [STEINY throws up on Susan]
BUD: I never should have brought her up there. Should have known better. Should have seen it coming. I didn’t see it coming.
ROUTE53: I think SHE saw it coming.
BUD: You know she was behind the idea. She was going to champion your blog. That’s what I was bringing her up there to tell you. And she liked me.
ROUTE53: Look just because STEINY vomited on her doesn’t mean the blog is dead. I can still write the blog.
BUD: What, are you crazy? It’s a traumatic thing to be thrown up on.
ROUTE53: Vomiting is not a deal breaker. If Jobs had vomited on Wozniak, Wozniak still would have given him Apple.
BUD: Well, write your blog about nothing.