The Z to A of A to Z

This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

To celebrate the long anticipated and much yearned for arrival of the letter Z, I hereby declare the Blogging from A to Z Challenge to be my interwebby wonderment of the day. And what makes this challenge so darned special? I’m so glad you asked. Allow me to present my Z to A list on that very topic:

  • Z is for catching Zees now that the challenge is over. I’m Canadian, and we say Zed, but catching zeds isn’t an expression anywhere, so…forgive me, fellow Canadians, and all you other zedders.
  • Y is for You, dear bloggy friends. As I said yesterday, it’s all about you.
  • X is for astonishingly difficult letters. We love you X, but wow, you sure made us dig deep.
  • W is for Writing, writing, writing, and still more writing. This is how we hone our skills and develop fluidity and (we hope) find our blogging groove.
  • V is for Very glad to have signed up and Very glad to be saying hello to Z.
  • U is for Understanding and supporting those who had to drop out along the way. Sometimes life just doesn’t cooperate, and that’s all there is to it. 
  • T is for Thinking our thinky thoughts and sharing them with others. We all have something important (or amusing, or whacky, or fascinating) to say, and the challenge gives us a forum for doing so.
  • S is for Supporting one another, leaving encouraging comments when a fellow blogger starts to flag, letting our bloggy friends know that their unique voice has touched us.
  • R is for Reading. And reading. And reading some more. Twenty-six days of dashing to blog after blog to immerse ourselves in the funny, the sad, the uplifting, the scary, informing, the inspiring.
  • Q is for Quotations, and Quizzes, and Quirkiness–three of my favourite things that manifested themselves in abundance during the challenge.
  • P is for Planning ahead. Ahaha!! If only. I had a very few posts roughly planned out in advance (by which I mean I’d decided on the topic and maybe had one link to accompany it). Composing a new post (almost) every evening left me less time for commenting, which meant less time for getting to know people, which meant missing out on the very point of the challenge. Note to self: don’t do that again.
  • O is for Oh, shoot me now, because we all had those moments, right?
  • N is for the Nerve-wracking panic resulting from not doing P and having to wrestle ideas out of an obstinate brain.
  • M is for Memories of fabulous people and their fabulous posts.
  • L is for Laughter, whether it be the laughter elicited by amusing posts, or the hysterical laughter that bubbles up as we struggle with our beleaguered brains on the 24th day of the challenge to come up with an “X” post that won’t completely humiliate us. (Of course, those of you who planned ahead will be laughing at the rest of us at this point.)
  • K is for Knowing a whole lot more about a whole whack of subjects than I did on April 1. That’s a big A+ for all you knowledge enablers.
  • J is for leaving holier-than-thou Judgement at the doorstep and overlooking the typos and grammatical waywardness of posts composed at two in the morning, and refraining from engaging in political, religious, or any other kind of argumentativeness for the duration of the challenge.
  • I is for Insomnia, or, as I like to call it, who needs sleep anyway?
  • H is for Hello to new friends and Hugs to old friends for putting up with your A-toZ-ing buddies through this hectic month. Oh, who am I kidding? Hugs to all of you!!
  • G is for Gratitude–for your friendship, whether you were part of the challenge or not; for a challenge that’s kept me me on my toes, entertained and inspired throughout the month; for all those who visited and commented; for all those who visited and read, even if they didn’t comment; and for reaching Z with sanity (more or less) intact. t
  • F is for Fun! Come on, now, this was fun, wasn’t it? Much easier to say that as we reach Z than it was when we hit K, but fun nevertheless.
  • E is for the Encouragement that kept us going.
  • D is for :
  • C is for Community, which takes us back to this being all about wonderful, welcoming, supportive you.
  • B is for Bloggy marathons that sap every ounce of our endurance but make us all kinds of happy when we reach the finish line.
  • A is for Acceptance, Appreciation, Admiration, Affection, Attachment, Amusement, and all those other fine A-nouns inspired by spending April in your bloggy company. Oh, and let’s not forget the awesome-sauciness of each and every one of you.

Big squooshy hugs for all of you–unless you’re not the huggy type, in which case, meaningful looks and buddy punches on the arm for you. See you in May!

You! It’s all about you!

This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

Today, dear bloggy friends, it’s all about YOU.

For those of you doing the A to Z Challenge, here we are, closing in on the finish line, one letter to go before bidding insanity goodbye for one more year. (Unless, of course, you participate in National Novel Writing Month, in which case, best not think about that right now.)

For those of you not participating in the challenge, you’ll be heaving a sigh of relief as your Twitter and Facebook streams return to challenge-free normal, and your online friends stop angstifying about whether they’re going to crash and burn before the letter Z shows its welcome face.

Before we get to Z, though, I wanted to take a minute to thank each and every one of you for being the wonderful, warm, generous, talented souls that you are. It’s been a joy (albeit an exhausting one) to visit your blogs, read your comments, treasure your encouragement and enjoy your virtual company.

To thank you for your astonishing you-ness, I wanted to make you a cake as tall as the Tokyo Skytree, but then I realized a whole bunch of you probably have gluten issues or lactose intolerance, so instead I made this you this Wordle. It doesn’t taste as good as chocolate, but it’s every bit as sincere.

For you:

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 8.00.25 PM

X is for balance. No, really.

This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

X is a nice, reassuring letter, isn’t? Discerning–you can’t make any old word with X, no, indeed. Both feet planted firmly on the ground, both arms raised to greet you with joy and celebration. None of the other letters are ever quite so happy to see me coming. I’m not saying they don’t have their own delightful qualities; I’m just saying that X is pretty special.

Another thing about X is how well-balanced it is. I, T and Y have a pleasing symmetry too, but you don’t get that satisfying feeling of solidity from them as they perch on their pedestals. A strong wind, you feel, might tip them right over. This is even more of an issue with wobbly old V.

There’s always A, but I don’t know. That pointy head smacks ever so slightly of aggression, which is also true of M, I’m afraid, and W with it’s points reversed. You’ll be saying, hey, what about H? Now there’s balance for you. And solidity. True, very true. But there’s something a bit too solid about H’s balance. It’s stolid, isn’t it? A bit too…I don’t know. Uninventive, perhaps. Unwelcoming, even. You get the feeling that H could take or leave you, doesn’t really care whether you show up at the alphabetory gathering or not.

No, X is the clear frontrunner when it comes to balance. And if you’re looking for balance, acceptance, and unfettered joie de vivre, X is your letter.

The only problem with X is that there just isn’t enough of it to go around. We only have to look to the headlines to know that our world, our countries, our cities are clearly out of alignment. War, genocide, rape, torture, police brutality, gang murders, people living in the direst of poverty while others send iPads to their wedding guests in lieu of invitations, teens bullying teens to death, both sides in every “armed conflict” slaughtering civilians like they’re so many bubbles in a Pop-It game, atrocity upon atrocity, hate upon hate.

So, yes. More X, please. Anytime now would be good. Both feet on the ground, arms up and open in celebration, acceptance and awareness. More of that.

I leave you with just one interwebby wonderment today: this short animated film, Balance, by twin brothers Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein.

Who, what, where, when, why, whew!

This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

Today’s post is brought to you by the Big Questions, or, as I like to call them, the Five Ws of the Meaning of Life. (Almost sounds like a Sesame Street jingle, doesn’t it?) These are the questions that keep our existential angst bubbling merrily away on the back burner: Who am I? What am I? Where am I? When am I? and Why am I? I put these questions to the interwebs, and the interwebs have spoken.

“Who am I?”

  • Who am I? – From VisualDNA, here’s a quiz to help you figure out the finer points of your no doubt stellar personality. The test was fairly accurate with my results, although it did make a couple of glaring errors. Or did it? Maybe I
  • Meditation: Who Am I? Or, if you prefer a more spiritual approach to the question, kick off your shoes, get comfy and play this guided meditation led by Alyssa Nobriga, a life coach.

“What am I?”

It’s a fair question. Are we stardust? Are we golden? Are we sacks of  oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and a soup of other chemical loveliness? Are we the products of divine ingenuity or the lucky accident of evolution? Or did Walt Whitman nail it in Book XXIV of Leaves of Grass:

What am I after all but a child, pleas`d with the sound of my own name? repeating it over and over;
I stand apart to hear – it never tires me.

To you your name also;
Did you think there was nothing but two or three
pronunciations in the sound of your name?

“Where am I?”

  • If we’re being literal, Google maps can answer that question in two seconds flat, because they’re just insidious like that.
  • Or, if we want to pop on our philosophers’ caps and dive deep into questions of identity and space, we need look no further than Daniel Dennett’s essay, “Where am I?” [Warning: This is not a light read, and if you’re doing the A to Z Challenge you’ll almost definitely not want to attempt it until after April. If you like the essay, you’ll want to check out the Daniel Dennett’s Brain Gets Removed docudrama.]

“When am I?”

Do you sometimes wonder when you are? Like, for instance, you’re in the middle of one of those déjà vu moments, and for a few disorienting beats you feel like you’ve been sucked into a time warp?

  • According to Albert Einstein, “The distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent. Time is not at all what it seems. It does not flow in one direction, and the future exists simultaneously with the past.” In other words, it would seem that you are then, and now, and tomorrow. Which is kind of cool, because now Present you can can have a rousing game of Calabresella with Past and Future you.
  • Or, if you have an Android phone, just open Google Now and say “OK, Google, when am I?” See? Google knows. (Actually, I think you can do this from the Google app on your iPhone, too, if you have one). I’m not including a link to Google here, because I’m going out on a limb and guessing you’re not going to have any problem tracking their site down.

Why am I?

I’d torture you with another philosophical essay (because, believe me, I can find one in a heartbeat), but I’m not that unkind. Instead, I leave you with Flumpool’s thoughts on the subject. I don’t understand a word he’s saying, and I suspect most of you won’t either, but this is probably as close as the interwebs are ever likely to get in answering this particular question.

Whew! Almost there. Three more posts till the finish line–we’re going to make it, people!