Monday, January 28, 2008

Let the Live-blog Continue!

Without ever really meaning to, I carved a little niche into the world of live-blogging. (And yes, it's okay to think that's an incredibly geeky niche, because it really is.)

I think it started with a Stabenow v. Bouchard debate way back in the days of the '06 Election Cycle when I thought it would be fun. It was fun, but it was also physically draining. Fingers flying a million miles trying to keep up with what's being said and all the while trying to stay somewhat grammatically correct, well let's just put it this way, I was never cut out to be a court reporter.

But live-blogging is a big part of who I am as a blogger and as an activist. Live-blogging from the Capitol during the Budget Crisis was incredibly physically draining, but I was on an emotional high, even when I would have been excited to watch paint dry I was so bored. To be on the sidelines of history, to experience the action, to feel the tension, to capture the decisiveness between the players, to be part of the cognizant Stockholm Syndrome that everyone eventually gave into, the whole thing was incredibly thrilling.

So Tuesday night I'll head back to what I know and a home away from home, the State House. Under the beautifully lit dome stalwart in the crisp air, I'll be live-blogging the Governor's State of the State address. It will probably be hot, stressful, cramped, and very close quarters with the rest of the press, but it will definitely be thrilling and another experience I won't ever forget. Join me next door at MichLib or peek through the curtains of BFM because I'll finally be joined by a fellow blogger and one of my mentors from way back in the day, Christine Barry from BFM. I'm excited for the message, anticipating the atmosphere and ready for this event to signal a new year and a new time in Michigan politics.

Now that the air has cleared...

You might have noticed that there hasn't been much to notice here lately. I was blessed and cursed with a bleeding heart. I'm the type of blogger who finds it very difficult to manufacture posts that aren't born out of inspiration. When I'm good, I'm good, but when I'm not, I'm no where to be found.

For those of you hanging around the Michigan Lefty blogosphere as of late, there's been a lot of drama, ridiculousness, and all-around b.s. Not one to need any additional drama in my life, I stayed out of it. I had the excuse of settling into a new job and the continual job of dealing with my health. The few times when all the drama grew to a particularly egregious level and I attempted to broker peace, I only got burned in the process, so I strayed even farther away. In the process I learned a couple new life lessons for which I'm grateful but could have done without the accompanying mess. The whole episode left me burned out, uninspired, and I really wasn't able to blog. For me, blogging has always been from the heart and something that brought me joy, and while I could have thrown just anything up, that's not who I am, so I refrained.

To be honest, the whole process of live-blogging from the State House back in September/October left me quite burned out. I joke that it is 8 days or so of my life I'll never get back. The truth is the entire thing was an incredible lesson in politicking. To be embedded there, with a front seat ticket to it all, well, that is something that no amount of money can ever buy. I feel incredibly blessed to have been part of it. I'm also honored to have been the first blogger credentialed in the State Capitol.

While I was there I also was battling a huge kidney stone, something that I'm pleased to report has shrunken in size and in the amount of pain it causes thanks to a procedure, but now has been joined by a fellow stone, so it continues to keeps life interesting, which I have also learned to expect nothing but.

Since the Budget Crisis, I've started a new job and gained a new realization. I love my job. Honestly, how many people can say they truly love their job? I also realize I'm part of a very small part of the world that can say that, so not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for the opportunity to continue doing what I love but to also be making a difference while I do it.

With cautious optimism that I hope to say I'm back, and mean it. Perhaps the blogosphere is going through it's petulant adolescent stage, something that I remember going through myself and still amazed that my parents didn't disown me. I believe the concept is called Tough Love. Part of me misses the blogosphere of '06, before the drama, before the b.s., when we were a tight-knit small group of seemingly self-described revolutionaries. Of course, I think about how far it's all come, how many more people are engaged, how practically the entire political landscape of the state has been changed in some way or another by the Internet and I stare in awe. Hopefully we're past these annoying growing pains and on to our next incredible victory. And with that, I'm looking forward to getting back to the clickety-clack of this old keyboard, the worn leather of this old chair, and the experience that is progressive online politics in Michigan.