Monday, September 27, 2010

i'm sorry, did i hurt your feelings?

you guys wouldn't stop following, right?


i'm having a bit of a blog crisis. and by crisis, i mean minor issue. (c'mon, exaggeration makes things sound better).

i'd like your advice actually. especially fellow bloggers.

see that little box on the right? come fly with me is where the followers of this blog live. i am hugely chuffed that people follow this blog. when i see that number go up, i smile. and in a funny way, i feel as though it validates all the crazy words you can find here.

that said, i am thinking about getting rid of the 'follow' gadget.

there are a few reasons but it's safe to say the thought process started last week when four (FOUR!!!) followers stopped...ahhhh...following me.

it felt awful.

all i could think is that i had upset someone, written something they were offended by or, worse, had been consistently boring the hell out of them over time.

what i know is, the reality is probably much less dramatic.

what i also know is, even if someone was bored and/or offended, i must learn to accept that because this is my blog with my words and i shouldn't second guess it.

but anyway, that's not the reason i am thinking of booting the follow tool. it was the catalyst for the thought, but there's more to it.

the whole following concept, in my opinion, is (in many cases at least) manufactured popularity. to reiterate, i am stoked people choose to click camelshoes's follow button. but i am quite confident plenty of those followers don't actually read camelshoes. and if you're reading this, i guess i am not talking about you, so that gets me off any potential offending :)

don't get me wrong. i know we're all busy. i often find it hard to sit down and catch up on the blogs i truly enjoy reading too. and i am in no way suggesting followers should read every single post. but do you ever get the feeling people follow you just so you'll follow them back? great trick, i'm sure, but i don't want to play that game.

on the other side of the coin, there are a lot of people who follow camelshoes in the legitimate sense. people who i know and love in the real world. people like this mean the world to camelshoes yet they're not captured by some 'follow' button.

i guess the number in that corner is unlikely to be an accurate indication of who really follows camelshoes. there might be 50 followers, there might be 500, but i will guarantee there aren't 105* (or, in week-old language, 109).

so, get rid of the icon.
yeh, but i don't want to lose those who stumble across camelshoes and would like to stay. well, stop caring about 'unfollowers'. you don't even know them. yeh, but i am kind of neurotic.

help! what are your thoughts on the follow concept?

ever had a similar confidence hit?

got a winning solution?

*a warm welcome and thank you to lazarus who became follower 106 while this blog was sitting in drafts. i certainly needed the confidence boost :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

i like to wear bright socks

you need to watch this. now.



thank you cd for bringing it to my attention.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

three course meal with a side of epiphany

i mentioned in the italy part II post that a few of us took the opportunity to take a cooking class in florence. if i'm honest, i would have liked it to feel a little more authentic. that said, we had a ball and ate some wonderful food.

cookin' up a storm
our teacher was giovanni (of course it was) and, truth be told, he was a bit of a tool. a harmless tool, but a tool all the same. still, he made an off the cuff comment which instantly resonated, for different reasons i'm sure, with each pf us. something which, i very much hope, will stay with me forever.

after opening a can of peeled tomatoes, giovanni proceeded to peel a bunch of the now freed fruit. one of his students commented: 'but they're meant to be peeled'. oh so casually, giovanni replied:

"if it is real, it cannot be perfect"

wow. epiphany. he might have been talking tomatoes, but it meant a whole lot more to me.

these words have already made an impact. i am finding it easier to be forgiving of human error. the best part is, that includes my very own human errors.

this is particularly wonderful because i make heaps.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

my words just won't do

it amazes me to think one year ago i was in krakow, poland. time sure does fly. i intended to blog that experience back then. not so much krakow but the day trip i took to auschwitz.


i never quite got around to it. time wasn't on my side for starters. august slash september 2009 was a mad rush of travel and goodbyes, relocation and hellos. but i guess there was another reason the post fell by the proverbial wayside. i just couldn't quite find the words.

for me, and i am sure most people, auschwitz conjures up horrific and incomprehensible thoughts and images.

and there i was: standing next to gas chambers where millions - millions! - of jews were exterminated; inside horse stables where lives were 'lived' and eventually lost through forced labor, starvation, disease and medical experiments.

wost of all, for me, was the large 'display window' full of human hair which had been hacked off prisoners' heads upon arrival at the camp for the purpose of industry. they found seven tons of it. on the other side of the wall: 'mug shots'. hundreds and thousands of photos of men, women, children - all stripped of dignity, emptiness in their eyes. awful.

it was soul wrenching, no doubt about it, but still: it was a pretty autumn day, the crisp air and light sunshine both flirting with my senses. the place was full of tourists all comfortably dressed, camera in tow and sharing the experience with family and friends.

we were all physically in auschwitz but we will never be in auschwitz.

elie wiesel was. his first-hand account, the following excerpt particularly, will stay with me forever.

In the wagon where the bread had landed, a battle ensued. Men were hurling themselves against each other, trampling, tearing at and mauling each other. Beasts of prey unleashed, animal hate in their eyes. An extraordinary vitality possessed them, sharpening their teeth and nails.

A crowd of workmen and curious passersby had formed all along the train. They had undoubtedly never seen a train with this kind of cargo. So, pieces of bread were falling into the wagon from all sides. And spectators observed these emaciated creatures ready to kill for a crust of bread.

A piece fell into our wagon. I decided not to move. Anyway, I would not be strong enough to fight off dozens of violent men! I saw, not far from me, an old man dragging himself on all fours. He had just detached himself from the struggling mob. He was holding one hand to his heart. At first I thought he had received a blow to the chest. Then I understood: he was hiding a piece of bread under his shirt. With lightening speed he pulled it out and put it to his mouth. His eyes lit up, a smile, like a grimace, illuminated his ashen face. And was immediately extinguished. A shadow had lain down beside him. And this shadow threw itself over him. Stunned by the blows, the old man was crying:

"Meir, my little Meir! Don't you recognise me...you're killing your father...I have bread...for you....for you too..."

He collapsed. But his fist was still clutching a small crust. He wanted to raise it to his mouth. But the other threw himself on him. The old man mumbled something, groaned, and died. Nobody cared. His son searched him, took the crust of bread, and began to devour it. He didn't get far. Two men had been watching him. They jumped him. Others joined in. When they withdrew, there were two dead bodies next to me, the father and the son.

I was sixteen.

so you see then, where my words fall short.

Monday, September 6, 2010

1000 words


blogtography mondays, a little something i created to get the post count rolling as much as to share wonderful pictures, has been a weekly tradition for more than a year here on camelshoes.

but, all of a sudden, i decided i was over it.

i was going to keep going until i hit some kind of 'significant' sign-off figure. but then i wondered why the hell i would bother. what's wrong with signing off on blogtography mondays post number 56? what makes it worse than 50? 100?

so yes, as you might guess, blogtography mondays will draw to a close today.

i am grateful to have a wonderful catalogue of pictures to look back on. pictures that meant something to me, made me smile or were just damn sexy. and there'll be a lot more great pictures scattered throughout my words as camelshoes progresses.

but that's just it. this is a words blog. i am a words girl.

word.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the house of lame and boring

so, the house of sand and fog is the most boring book ever. at least, that's what i thought. i am (was) more than half way through the 400-odd pages and, for the first time in my life, had decided to give up on a book.

i googled the title. i wanted a picture so i could tell you how i was going to get all arts and craftsy and turn this...


into this...


enter wikipedia and the two paragraph synopsis. seems i was bored because everything, and i do mean everything, happens after page 289.

SPOILER ALERT!

"Out of desperation, Kathy goes to her home and attempts to commit suicide twice, first trying to shoot herself and secondly overdosing on pills. The Behranis manage to stop her both times, and she is put in a bedroom to rest. Lester breaks into the house and locks the Behranis in their bathroom at gunpoint until they agree to sell the house back to Kathy. When Lester takes the Behranis to the county office, Behrani’s son, Esmail, gets a hold of the gun and is shot by the authorities that surround him. When Behrani finds out in the hospital that his son has died, he is overcome with grief and rage at both Lester and Kathy. He returns to the house to find Kathy there, and attempts to strangle her to death. Believing Kathy to be dead, he dons his uniform and suffocates both himself and his wife, who had been asleep in the bedroom."

wow, it's like summer bay. i knew there must have been something coming because oprah wanted to marry this book and i want to marry oprah.

but now i know how it ends so i still think i'll end up turning this...


into this...



so, do you always finish reading what you start?
or are you happy to give a book the flick mid-read?
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