Oh, you Wrazz. Ninety-one entries in and I still haven’t the foggiest as to who you are. I know I outlined a grand plan in my very first post last November, but let’s face it: neither of us have any interest in staying on course. Where’s the fun in that?
I was miserable after that limiting directive. It forced me to mutter through Twilight, for Edward’s sake, and struggle to hear past the bray of pheromones and preteen snivel only to be rewarded with a middling story about a synthetic emo brat and her asexual Nosferatu squeeze. To satisfy the “wr” in Wrazz, I made bleary-eyed plods through cyberpsace to hyperlink Chris Jericho’s WWE profile for the 600th time at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday so that wayfarers could descend upon my Raw report, stomp past the meddling text, and tug one to pictures of Kelly Kelly. I tried to be wrestling. I tried to be jazz. I tried to gobble pop music like the speed peddled under the counter at a derelict uncle’s bicycle shop. Instead, I lolled in all that lay between. Because I’m Cory Frye, and I was born to amble.
But then, I countered, a successful blog is the blog with a hook. People dig consistency. They’re especially wild about gimmicks. Julie Powell prepared dishes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking night after night for a year, and Amy Adams mowed those million-dollar tresses to portray her on the big screen. Slate editor David Plotz blogged the Bible and just signed a six-picture deal with Lionsgate to merge his resulting bestseller with the Saw franchise. Yesterday afternoon I was shopping and noticed a book by some dude who read the entire Oxford English Dictionary. These folks were inspired, of course, by Kevin Murphy’s daring A Year at the Movies, in which the erstwhile MST3K writer/puppeteer/voice actor warmed theater cushions all over the world, snarfing popcorn and a full Thanksgiving dinner while partaking of the 2000 cinematic season.
Ordinarily, I’d think that’s kind of cheating. It’s just long-form reactions to the creative toil of others. The hard work’s already been done. Which is more difficult: preparing a souffle according to a list of instructions, or coming up with and perfecting that souffle in the first place? And the dictionary? Come on.
But I’m told there’s big bucks in this kind of blogging. So I’ve spent all day, minus the six hours I wasted frantically searching for my mislaid cell phone (it was upside-down in the laundry basket, of all places), trying to find a year-long shtick with universal appeal.
My initial eureka was “I’ll travel the country, bowling in every town.” Then I realized it might not work. What made Powell and Plotz so captivating was that they approached their subjects as neophytes, whereas I have a history with bowling. Although I know little of the sport (the extent: Earl Anthony and Dick Weber weren’t too shabby), I’ve been around ten-pins since I was knee-high to a ball rack. My “aunt” Linda (my real aunt’s roommate) would babysit me between frames in alleys up and down Orange County back in the ’70s. So there’s always been something magical about that symphony of slow rumbles into pocket-clatter — and when it hits just right, the tone is unmistakable. Decisive, even.
Not only that, but because I was left-handed, Linda saw a bright future for me and my natural curve on the pro circuit. So the week I turned 11 I was down at the local center, signing up for the weekend junior league. I devoted two years of Sundays to aiming my thumb at the 1 on an imaginary clock as I sent ten-pound pearl after ten-pound pearl to its destiny. Today I bowl maybe once or twice a year, and while I have yet to break 200, I scoff at anything below 150.
So there’s no grab. All these years later, I remain average at best. Therefore, there’s no discernable arc as I evolve from hapless gutter-hugger to giant of the pine. There’s nothing to keep asses in seats as Seth Rogen, depicting me in the film adaptation, rolled to self-discovery. Besides, the greatest bowling movies have already been made: Kingpin and The Big Lebowski, both released in the late ’90s during the sport’s cultural plateau. Perhaps I could use bowling as a metaphor for America, crossing borders but never foul lines. I could document the cuisine, the Friday night flavor, the feel of a rented shoe in a foreign town. Actually, that does sound appealing. Maybe the PBA’ll offer to underwrite the whole socio-shebang, because God knows I can’t afford it.
What else could I do for a year? Send text messages to random strangers and see what relationships form from wrong numbers. Purchase the same six items at Target every day and keep track of cashier reactions. I could read all the status updates on Facebook. Feign an accent in public. Listen to the same awesome song 152 times a day and chronicle my growing disenchantment. There’s no limit to what I could do.
Or couldn’t do. That’s another possibility: deprivation. The trendy hot big now thing to do is to not do. For instance, every week at least one of my friends trumpets his/her triumphant Web exodus for an extended period so he/she can, I dunno, engage fellow bipeds in healthy social interaction or some such shit. Sadly, that would be impossible to blog in real time, so I must resort to more trivial refusals. I’ve always wanted to protest the excision of vowels in online discourse; it’d be neat to dump consonants for a while. Perhaps I’ll refuse to watch my favorite TV shows or order chili fries with my half-pound Del Taco burritos. What if I didn’t clean my whole apartment for a year? Whoops — already well into that experiment:
[PHOTO REMOVED BY WORDPRESS AT THE BEHEST OF A CIVILIZED PEOPLE.]
Anyone else have ideas? If not, I’ll be down at the alley, honing my natural curve.