Feb 8, 2008

bowing out with style

I've written this post a hundred different ways in my head - and the only way to do it that seemed true to myself was to write the way I always write. That being said,

There are a lot of similarities between me and Mitt Romney. Let's go over the obvious first. We are both:
Tall (i'm two inches taller)
Have full heads of well coifed hair
Rabidly Conservative
Liken ourselves to The Great Communicator

I know... all of those are so obvious they should go without saying. But it turns out, we have one final thing in common. A couple of days ago Mitt announced the end of his campaign for President of the United States. While I'm sure it was a hard decision, I know it must also bring a lot of relief and the storm of stress that surrounded him and his family can finally dissipate. He can kick back with his boys from Bain Capital, and go back to swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck. (In my head, that's what rich people do with their leisure time)

Like Mitt, I too am putting a bookend on one chapter of my life. This blog.

There was a time when I was a regular, 2-3 post a week blogger. I had content spewing out of my ears. Not only was I writing like mad, but I was addicted to the stimulus I got in the form of comments. Comments are the currency of blogging. It's what pays the bills.

Every once in a while, I wouldn't get comments on what I thought was a great post, and I'd get in a sour mood. I was constantly checking my statcounter info, who was finding me, where where they reading, how long were they staying... me. me. me.

Like presidential campaigns, blogs are largely about ego. You can argue this point with me, but you won't sway me. Many blogs are about self promotion. The blogger thinks their life, their perspectives, their insights... are so interesting that they will publish them for the good of the internet and people will come by the hundreds to sup at their table. I thought like this, also thinking "maybe one day someone will discover my blog and decide me they want me to write for them."

One of my professors at CU did her doctoral research on the 2004 campaign said some things that really stuck with me. She said that "to be a presidential candidate, you should probably be a masochist." The amount of self inflicted wounds, and scrutiny you go through is unbelievable. Also, she said "you need to have a huge ego. You honestly need to believe that you are the best person in the world for this position."

I get really nausiated when I read blogs where people are like, "how come no one comments?" "I know a lot of you read my blog, but..." grumble grumble whine whine woe is me.

Here's the thing. (ever since I've been in grad school I've been infatuated with economic analogies) The blogosphere IS the epitome of the free market. Blogs come and go. If you have really unique, dynamic, well put together product (blog), the market will respond (comments). If you don't, then they won't. But begging people to buy your product (blog) is not how the market works. People respond to innovation, price... you have to create the supply, because the demand is obviously out there. So write some creative crap and let people enjoy it. If not... your blog/writing probably sucks.

Also like Mitt, I realize that I can't compete with others. There are way smarter, funnier and more dedicated bloggers out there. Its not fair to have a blog post once every fortnight, and then for me to get snippy because there weren't any comments. I read the Freakanomics, Wired, and Malcolm Gladwell's blog and cringe in inferiority. With blogs like these, who needs lowercase numbers?

Additionally... Since I started this blog almost 2.5 years ago, I've changed a lot, but I've tried to keep my blog the same. When I started my blog I was a young professional embarking on a cross country trek to find himself. I found myself, and a lot of other things. I found great friends, a great city, but most importantly, a great woman.

There have been countless times where I've wanted a blog that reflected more of what my life was like now. I know in the past I've kind of dissed biographical blogs before... and also like Mitt I'm now changing my mind so eat crud. What I like about family blogs is that they strengthen ties between family and friends. That's what I'm interested in, and less interested in the pursuit of "comments."

Talking about my new, bicycling/grad school/married life on THIS blog always seemed inconsistent with the tone I had previously established. I think good writers monitor the bigger picture - and how their writing works in concert with its environment. Others may be able to do it, but for some reason it just didn't mesh with me. So I'm not going to do it any more. I want a more biographical blog, one where I can keep in touch with loved ones and talk about funny conversations, trips, friends, and not have to have some clever angle all the time - all in the hopes of getting feedback. I want to talk about my life and not pretend like my blog and my life are two separate entities.

So this, my friends... strangers... is the end of lowercase numbers. It's not the end of my writing. I'm still writing. I write for an organization that I volunteer for where I get to talk passionately about bicycling.

I also have a blog with my siblings/spouses/parents that I've seriously neglected, which I want to re-invest in.

Finally, I want to start writing about my new and exciting life with my wife Ashley. We set up a blog a little bit ago... and are working on some content in the near future. Don't worry, it's not going to be one of those cutesy brown and baby blue themed blogs where all you see are pictures of us caressing each other's face. I want it to be a place where we can talk about work, about school, where we can announce a bun in the oven (not yet), etc. It'll be about our life, which at times is hilarious, exciting, dramatic, sad... but most importantly, it's us.

In case any of you would like to keep tabs on us, you'll want to go here. And just like the URL indicates, it will be rad.

Finally - one last request - if you wouldn't mind sharing one of your favorite lowercase numbers memories/posts on the blog that would be great. I'll keep the blog up, as it will be a handy way to check in on blogs that I already have linked. Also, I'll want to keep it up in case I ever need it for resume material when the New Yorker comes knocking at my door.

adios muchachos...



Serena Cherry said...

Wow, David, you DO have a lot in common with Mitt! Oh, what a sad post. Although as a family member, I look forward to the biological post. I must admit, when I first started doing a blog I felt so unhip compared to Lowercase Numbers! But recently, mon amor made our blog into a hardcover book and I am so happy about it. For once in my life, I am actually doing family history! It reads more like a book than a scrapbook, and that suits me just fine. We can read all about our daily lives in 20 years and laugh and cry and all that good stuff. So, I will miss your hip blog, but we'll see you on the other side! Adios, amigo!

Oh, and my favorite blog post was probably the one about bad wedding receptions. Some of the comments made me laugh so hard I almost cried! Hilarious!

TK said...

It breaks my heart to see this blog go the way of the 8-track! I will miss your wit and perspective on things. My favorite post will always be the "Awesome David" post. You always have a killer angle on life. Good luck and please repost to this blog if you ever change your mind...

bex said...

RIP. snif.

and welcome to the lowbrow world of biographical blogging ; )

Jenny said...

This is a sad day indeed. Although I am an avid reader of your blog, I rarely if ever comment. I think what you said about the connection with ego and blogging accurately describes me and commenting. I never had enough of an ego to think that anyone wanted to hear my comments. Thus why I read and never spoke up. Maybe if I had higher self esteem, you would not be walking away from this blog. You will be missed lowercase numbers.

Jenny Rogers

PS I think I have a tie for favorite post. Taxonomy and dating, as well as flirting. Pure genius.

kat said...

Ah, David, so sad to hear you're moving on to other endeavors. I'm afraid that your 'counter statistics' are probably thrown way off by my obsessive way of checking to see if you've posted something new. You're a clever guy, and I enjoy/have enjoyed reading the stuff that comes out of your brain. And like the commenter above me, I am a chicken commenter. I fear I am more often clever only in my own mind.

BLANK is the poor man's BLANK entries have always made me chuckle. But that's just one example. Thanks for being one of the more educated diversions in my day!

Blythe said...

I had forgotten about the wedding reception one...that WAS hilarious. One of my favorites was the one with the bad family pictures.

I also remember when I first got really engaged in your blog. It was a discussion about gender roles, and I spent quite some time crafting a response to someone (Mike?) while I was folding laundry.

I like bio blogs, though, so obviously I will follow you to the dark side.

MF said...

tonight i'll pour one out for this blog, but i'll also raise a glass for the pulisphers. your writing is clever and fun. i'll miss it, but it's like a commencement of sorts. the next step. greener pastures. a new adventure. the next frontier? i don't know about that one. but, good for you for bowing out. this is a barry sanders move, for sure.

favorite posts: shooting fish in a barrel (almost every one of them), and poor man's posts. i laughed for hours.

david said...

(holding back the tears)

Ashley said...

You didn’t tell me you were going to do this! I am so sad!

Jenny-- I second your comment and regret having not commented regularly. I am the biggest chicken of all. Now we are all being punished.

In our courting days, I realized David was really funny when I read
this, a definite favorite.

Dawn D. Lion said...

Aww, I too am sad to see lowercase go. You are a great writer, and have way more readers/comments than any blog I've ever seen.
But a bio blog will be great too, I'm sure.
I guess I am a bio blogger as well, and take it from me, if you ever feel like veering off from the personal and stepping on a soapbox, or just musing on names or crossovers or whatever, feel free.
Looking forward to your next writing venture!

Disco Mom said...

dp - i too did love the wedding reception post and also the one about bad neighbors. i always loved checking in here and i'm sorry i didn't do it more. but i'm not really sad to see an end of lcn, especially since it's the beginning of pulsipher, a.d. i always felt a little stupid and unfunnily inferior myself on lcn and i'm hoping p,a.d. will give me access again to my friend dave and also help me get to know ashley better, which i'd love to do, though we are on opposite coasts. i'm still trying to get over the stab of already being every kind of blogger you seem to disapprove of, but keeping my chin up and looking forward to the pulsipher story.

Craig said...

Bro, it was through this blog that I got to know you. While you and Ash were still dating she told me to check it out and check it out I did... from that day until now.

It was your blog that introduced me to what a "blog" was. People would use the word and I'd just kind of nod or go, "yeah, totally," but I had no idea.

It was your blog that inspired me to start my own. (Here's the part where I justify not folding up my blog shop.) Although I do go through periods of obsessions with checking my stats, it's more out of curiosity to see where and how people are getting to it... and how many. While I am very excited about comments, I decided long ago (never to walk in anyone's shadow) that I didn't care what you said about autobigraphical blogs, I would write about anything I pleased. Mostly I really enjoy learning to write better. I used your blog as my touchstone for good writing.

So anyway... while I am sad to see "lowercase numbers" hang up its eternal closed sign, I recognize that there is a time for things to end. I only hope that you will continue to post about your unique observations.

As far as favorites... that's like picking a favorite eye, or child. And like everyone else I love both the "Poor man's" and "Shooting Fish IN A Barrel" series. Here are some of my favorites that may have flown under the radar:

Op'ed by a gypsy

Business Casual parts 1 - 3

Blind Leading The Blind

"ckkvbp" I won't miss your dumb word verification.

aisy said...

goodbye lowercase numbers! david, i've been reading since the beginning so i don't even know if i could name a favourite. i still get a chuckle from one of your first posts when (was it pat?) continued to post the most ridiculous comments. good times, good times.

your post reflects so much of my own struggles as a blogger. i eventually went to more biographical because i knew close family and friends appreciated those. i will never be a 'fug' girl or a 'perez.' so i just write when the mood strikes but i think one day it will end too. i look forward to keeping up on your life with ashley.

*sniff, sniff

Blythe said...

I have to add that I had a crazy desire to find the gender roles discussion, so I read your blog and most of the comments. For three hours. There have definitely been some great discussions on here.

Justin said...

Always leave your audience wanting more. It's always better to be Barry Sanders/John Elway and hang 'em up while at your peak. Good work.

My favorite aspect of your blog was the unsuspecting victims of your camera phone.

Thanks for the memories.

clyde said...

All of the shooting fish in a barrel. Too funny. Although I read most every entry I'm horrible with the commenting portion. This will be a great lose to our country.

dave said...

I can see this is all just a ploy to see how many comments you can get...

you're stories and insights will be missed.


Mike said...

Like everyone, I loved the fish-in-a-barrel posts, but an early one you did on journalism cracked me up and converted me to this blog for good. Good luck with the new one.

meghann said...

Umm Going with the consensus here and saying "Shooting Fish in a Barrel" because I am evil too and I like to laugh heartily at unsuspecting victims.

Seriously, 2.5 years??? Have I known you that long? shoot. We are old.

mj said...

this is definitely sad, though i totally saw it coming. this is easily the funniest and most well-thought blog i have ever frequented. and it made me want to be your friend in real life. and sometimes i thought we kind of had parallel lives just because we started dating our future spouses about the same time (mine took a little longer but he was very worth the wait). i can not remember how i found this blog, but i have been in awe of your stamina to carefully craft such entertaining little nuggets complete with clever links and pictures to entertain me every week. though i remember seriously laughing and getting into several of the posts i can't think of a favorite right now, though i plan to take inventory some day when i don't have two jobs.

thanks for the good times.

david said...

everyone... thanks for your kind comments.
it really makes this a sad event... closing this chapter of my writing.

it'd be pretty crappy to pull a "well, now that i have you all paying attention" stunt, but i have to confess i'm tempted.

if only you would've reached out sooner...


but then the next time i did this... it'd totally be the whole boy crying wolf thing. and this my friends, is the wolf.

Angeler said...

I've been reading el blog since the beginning. I'll be sad to see it go. I often referred people to your blog, like a proud pet owner, showing you off (no offense).

But Pultz, I'll be really happy to read your new autobiographical stuff. Mostly because I want to know how things are going in CA and I really look forward to hearing from Ashley. I would say that I'll miss your humor, but I can't imagine your new stuff being any less interesting than what you do now, just different topics.

P.S. One of my favorite posts was the one about those inspirational posters. The Great Wall of China with the Teamwork adage... I still laugh thinking about it.

Mia said...

Wow, so reading your post and all the comments has left me a little weepy. I was thrilled to reconnect with you through your blog. Meeting you and becoming friends with you in Colorado was the beginign of some of the happiest memories of my life. Your wit and banter kept me sane those last few months at the shoe store! You also totally called me on the carpet when I was being a dork or just heading in the wrong direction. You even added me to list of want to be Pulsiphers and totaly let me be a part of your family when mine was so far away. So as much as I will miss you great writing and humor that reminded me of the good ol days I am excited about the today Dave and the new blog. I will be following you along to the new blog. I must admit I am thrilled about the bio blog, about your day to day life, and your family (and some day babies). I am super excited to get to know Ashley, she is already on a pedastal in my book.

John said...


This is truly a sad day and the end of an era, but I respect your self-awareness and introspection. Thanks for the many laughs and great insights.

My favorite post has to be the one about your brief romantic dalliance with Shelley McQuality. I hadn't reflected so fondly on middle school in years (if ever).

All the best,
John Gore

Mike said...

You know, I already left my favorite post, but I figure I'll leave another on behalf of the people who've checked out my blog and given me helpful feedback like, "Yeah, I looked at that David guy's blog, he's really funny".

One friend in particular loved your spot-on description of the feeling of a cheap shave.

Dawn D. Lion said...

You better get that new blog up and running soon, I don't want to retrain my habitual clicking on this link (which is still bookmarked as "Mr Pulsipher goes to Washington.")

Kristi said...

I know I don't even know you, and you may think I'm a weirdo, but I found you through Mia and I just wanted to tell you I thought your blog was truly hilarious. You never ceased to make me laugh. Thanks for the great posts.