Okay, so it???s been decided. Despite my aversion to the word ???blog???  and the fact that I???ve always regarded ???bloggers??? as narcissistic boring people droning to an imaginary e-audience because they???re just not that captivating to actual live audiences, I am in fact starting my own blog. Whatever could have lead you to that decision, you ask? Well, it???s a combo of things. See, whenever I have down time at work (and often even when I don???t), Craiglist occurs. (If you don???t know what that is, go find out, spend a couple weeks checking it out, and then come back here. If you???re not e-savvy enough to do that, just turn off your computer now, it’s not worth the effort to learn, computers will be the downfall of us all eventually).  So anywho, basically, a lot of weird things have happened thanks to a man named Craig and his list. I know, I know, everyone has a frickin stellar Craigslist story ??? it got me my apartment, job, girlfriend, yada yada yada??? well this is MY story, and it???s not as cool, haha. So anywho: so basically during boring downtime at work, I CL ??? a LOT. I browse activities, Rants and Raves (though sometimes those are too harsh for me on thin-skinned days), ALWAYS read best-of when it comes out, ogle the free section for firewood and furniture (alliteration unintentional), etc etc??? and when single, I???ve responded to a couple of personals ads and gone on a couple dates, but nothing special. I even tried writing an ad or two of my own about a year or so ago, but both times I got flooded with SO MANY replies that I just was totally overwhelmed and couldn???t handle it and I never wound up responding to a single one. So what? Well, so, once upon a wintertime (Jan of 2005 to be specific) I sort of posted these rant/rave things about checking out hot people while shopping at Trader Joe???s ??? and all these people responded and it sort of turned into this online group  that turned into this mixer that got all this press and was on the front cover of the PI , and I became pals with the reporter who wrote it, and she told me she???d read my original posts and thought my writing style was really witty and funny and I should write, so I???m like, hmmm, and I???ve sort of run with that since, and written a lot a lot, but it turns out Craigslist is kind of my only outlet with this whole writing thing. One of my posts even made best-of recently  which was quite the triumph ??? and all these people emailed me telling me how frickin hilarious it was, how I should become a writer based on this post, and to please update the story, and to please post more often, and to please send them a link to my blog if I had one, yada yada??? and while both questionable and anonymous, I guess I sorta let all this positive feedback go to my head, because I???ve been determined to find some kind of outlet for this writing aside from Craig. And just recently I posted another ad, just figuring I’d give it another whirl, and I got some cool responses but a kind of funny thing happened: I forgot to post an age range, which was my own ditzy mistake, and this one guy who was about 3 years younger than me wrote and I could tell from his email that I wasn’t interested, but he had specifically written to please drop him a line even if it was just to say I wasn’t interested, so I wrote him back saying thanks but no thanks and basically playing it off as an age thing so as not to be rude or whatever, and he sort of fought me on it and got kinda pissy and defensive and I basically was like look, I’m trying to decline politely because you specifically requested that I do so but you’re making it kind of difficult since you won’t take my “no thanks” at face value, so no word from him after that, but lo and behold, about 5 minutes after sending that last email to him, my ad was flagged as “miscategorized and/or in violation of the Craigslist Terms of Agreement”, neither of which it was, and removed. Hmm, I thought. Must be that guy being pissy and taking out his terrifying revenge on me. So, I just sort of cut my losses and said, well, it actually makes the whole process much less overwhelming since this happened the same day as I posted the ad and so I wasn’t flooded with the usual onslaught of responses that anyone who’s female and not psycho seems to get, and so I figured I’d just count it as a blessing in disguise. Well two weeks and a few dates later, when I sort of realized I hadn’t met anyone whom I considered an iron in the fire, I decided to go ahead and give it another whirl since normally I’d have a bigger pool to choose from if it weren’t for Sir Flagsalot Junior, so I post another ad… and it gets flagged and removed within all of five minutes. A mystery for us to solve! Only one person even had the chance to write me, and he was out of the ole age range (yes, I learned my lesson the first time around). So, I’m like, things that make you go hmmmmmm, you know? So I posted another ad in the w4m section, only it wasn’t really a personals ad, it was titled “To the guy who keeps flagging and removing my posts” – and here are some excerpts from the text of that ad:
“Hey there, so I’ve written two ads in the past 2 weeks that have been flagged and removed very shortly after I posted and received a few emails in response. My posts didn’t violate any terms of agreement, and they weren’t miscategorized. I have a pretty good idea of who it is – I think one guy got kind of bitter and pissed off when I expressed a polite lack of interest (in response to his specific request that I reply to him, even if just to let him know I wasn’t interested – so that’s exactly what I did). But, I could be mistaken, perhaps there’s some other guy(s – girl(s)?) out there flagging and removing my posts. To those folks, hey, it sounds like you’re kind of bitter and angry and upset at the world – perhaps you just need a nice pretty friendly girl to go out with you, chat it over, cheer you up? I’ll tell you what – if you email me and confess and tell me the subject line of both of my posts you flagged and had removed in the past two weeks, and if you solemnly swear to stop doing so in the future, I’ll buy you dinner, regardless of any lack of romantic interests (passive-aggressives aren’t my type – and dinner will have to be cheap – been going on a lot of dates lately, despite your efforts to sabotage, and it can be hard on a girl’s wallet) and hopefully we can part on nice, friendly terms. And if this doesn’t appeal to you, please, at least stop flagging my posts. For whatever reason you seem to want to keep me off the market – but I assure you, it doesn’t serve either of our best interests. Stop flagging me, let’s be E-Pals. Let our common love for Craig unite rather than divide us. …..”
and on and on, basically citing bad karma as a reason why s/he should stop flagging me. And well, being as how I intended the thing to be a sort of tongue-in-cheek FU to whoever it was that was flagging me away and all, I included a few borderline risqu?? references that I might not normally put into a personals ad (I’ve since edited them out, since this is MY blog and all, haha) but let me tell you what: I got 40-something responses in the less than ten minutes before that post was also flagged and removed. That’s a lot for a mere ten minutes. I mean lots were just jackass cut-and-paste “I like traveling, long walks on the beach, here’s my number” replies, but still – it was impressive. I’m not really sure what my point is with that story, but I thought it was kind of funny. OH WAIT no, I think I did have a point, yeah, now I remember… so I was reading Rants and Raves later that day and I saw a guy that had raved my original second-personals-ad saying it was so funny and entertaining he’d actually voted for best of but then was sad that I immediately deleted the post, so I wrote him and was like thanks, but someone flagged me, here’s a link to the response I wrote them, but then he was like, oh, your response got removed too, I’m sorry someone has it in for you, but you are a funny writer and let’s get together and I just looked up your email address and aren’t you the girl who started that whole Trader Joe’s thing?
AND IT ALL COMES BACK FULL CIRCLE. Thanks Craig!
So I guess that???s where this blog leaves us. I think that???s all for today???s Entry Number One. Next entry I will tell you all about a funny recent story about the woes of The Inter Net. I will also update the saga of the neighbor with no curtains who was referenced in the best-of posting. And much, much more ??? stay tuned.
P.S. I think this will need to be a forum in which I improve upon two things: 1) my extreme laziness in punctuation and spelling when I???m typing all stream-of-consciousness style, which is how I generally type when I???m not on the job; and 2) my overuse of profanity, since you never know who you???ll offend, and it would be WRONG for anything published on the Inter Net to be in any way offensive.
 (combo of ???blah??? and ???snog??? which is British and sounds like combo of ???snot??? and ???hog???)
 Ooh pop quiz footnote ??? does anyone know what the MLA rule is for whether the period goes inside or outside of the parenthesis, if the entire sentence is enclosed in the parentheses? I know it goes outside if only part of the sentence is enclosed. Parenthesized. Gold star to anyone who answers this correctly and provides legitimate backup of their answer.