Monday, October 6, 2008

I've been discovered!! :-o

OK, so you're just an innocent blogger, minding your business, posting your random thoughts of silly and serious things ... you got your politics, you got your turtles, you got your vacation pictures and you got your wrongly attributed quotes. Pretty much the usual. You go to bed at night expecting things to rattle along as they normally do in your absence. Then the next day you get to work, check your email, and ... what?? You've got more than eighty new comments on your blog! Which has like eleven readers. I mean ... woot??

Right, so then you read some comments and follow some links and basically figure out what's happened. Pretty crazy. I guess I'm glad all these comments and stuff didn't start pouring in until after I'd gone to bed, cause if it had I don't think I would have gotten any sleep last night. ;-) I have no specific idea as to how, but I did post the url for the VG story on a couple of blogs, and on the BookCrossing forum, so who may have seen it I really don't know. And there are what seems to be ... two? other people who have done their bit to get it across the pond too (although I will not accept that this is a better translation than mine ;-). Someone's obviously run with it. There's a link on The Daily Kos and the story has almost 500 comments ... it has 7238 recommendations on and more than 800 comments. :-o And lots of people are saying that they're going to email the story to others. I hope they do, it's a good story. :-) But what total weirdness for this to happen, from where I'm standing. I will never underestimate the power of the internet again.

I normally respond specifically to almost every comment I get here - because I hardly get any, so it's easy ;-) - but obviously I won't be able to do that now. Sorry, guys. :-) I so appreciate everyone who's taken the time to visit and comment - thank you everyone - and special thanks to those of you who posted links and info about how you got here. I would have been kind of confused otherwise, I think. ;-) Keep sending the story out if you want. :-)

I do want to make a few further comments, though, in relation to what I've seen people saying here and elsewhere. Just so I can consider it said. :-) Let's see, where to start. Well, some have been questioning the trustworthiness of VG. My opinion - I don't like that paper, I hardly ever read it, and I'm a little embarrassed now that so many people know that I actually bought it on Saturday. I pride myself on never buying VG. (Except this one time last summer they had an interview with Keanu ;-) ... and then they ran a review of the new Which Witch production recently too ... but ... almost never.) I think VG is a piece of shit, because I don't like gossipy tabloids, the VG style of writing doesn't appeal to me, and I think that being a nation's largest newspaper carries with it a certain responsibility when it comes to educating that nation, rather than dumbing it down. But. VG is a reputable newspaper, their circulation covers over one fifth of the entire population of this country, and I am convinced that they would not run a story like this without thoroughly checking it first. They would be SO INTENSELY MOCKED if they printed this and it was fake. It's not a big enough story to warrant that risk.

Do I think it matters? Yes, I think it does - just not in a big way. I don't think anyone should be voting for a person - be it Barack Obama or John McCain, or Jens Stoltenberg or Siv Jensen. All of us who live in democracies and have the right to vote should have enough appreciation for our own ability to think rationally to disregard the person behind the political platform, and focus on the actual politics being put forward. So ... I really hope no one will vote for Obama because he's such a nice guy. :-) Vote for the political standpoints that you agree with the most. However, these things are intertwined. I think everyone should also try to educate ourselves a bit about the politicans we are considering voting for. Not pry into every detail of their lives. But some things cast an interesting light. In small ways, they may enlighten us as to what we think and believe. What I would wish for in a leader is someone who will practice what they preach.

Beggars In Spain is not my #1 favorite book, but it's pretty high on the list. :-) I'm a big fan of Nancy Kress.

As for this particular story, I know nothing about it more than any of you who have read my blog post. No point in questioning me, I just read it in the paper. I am not Mary Menth Andersen, nor do I have any connection with her in any way. I believe that the story's true - I see no reason not to - and you can read about my reasoning in one of the top comments under that post. Does it make sense 100%? No. I thought the address in Kansas thing was a little weird too. But I honestly don't know who everyone in Obama's family is and where they live ... and I doubt that those who have commented to that effect know either. ;-) Plus, it's been twenty years, maybe she's remembering it wrong and it was Hawaii and not Kansas. I don't think it's a big deal. Was this woman the sharpest knife in the drawer 20 years ago - um, no, probably not. To be honest, if it had been me, I would have checked ahead to see how much luggage I could bring, and no way in hell would I have gone on a trip across the Atlantic carrying absolutely no money. But on the other hand, what do I know, maybe she had no money to bring. And in any case, no matter what she'd done to land herself in that position, this was an awful awful situation to be in. I'm kind of a pack rat myself so I would have been falling apart. :-) So that's one side of it. And another side is that this is not something that just anyone would do. Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you totally sure that in that situation, standing in a crowd and witnessing a stranger in distress, that you would have been certain to step forward and help, with absolutely no guarantee you'd get your money back or anything in return? Or even with such a guarantee? I think that almost everyone reading this - and me included - are kidding ourselves if we think that we would. It's kind of sad, but it's a pretty safe bet that almost all of us would just have stood there and pretended like we didn't notice.

So. Barack Obama is a pretty special person. I really think he is. I would never have voted for him if he was running for anything in this country, with the political views he has now. Because let's face it, from a Scandinavian perspective, the guy's a right wing nutcase just like every other American politician. (<-- Not a joke.) But for his own country, he could do great things. I hope he gets the chance. I wish him all the best. :-)

What I really want to know is, does this mean that my blog has some actual readers? Who aren't just my RL friends (Paz, I haven't forgotten you, you're a special case ;-)? And does that mean that I'll have to write about serious things and do research and post relevant ... stuff ... instead of just turtle stories and pictures of Keanu and ... random thoughts and ponderings.

Does it?? :-o

Naah ... !! :-D


kccat said...

Congrats on being discovered. I checked out your post to find out how many comments were left on the article and I was surprised to see 105. People were busy commenting since I had originally saw the post. Wow and congrats.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, you've gone viral. :) It's a cute story, despite what its validity may be. Definitely hits home in smaller, slightly different ways. I wasn't quite eloping, but I was certainly chasing down a love. Perhaps I'll get brave one day and write more about my story here.

Anonymous said...

Just keep posting what you like, and congrats!

Truand said...

just keep posting about whatever you want, don't let the readers drive you towards a style you may not like.

Leisha Camden said...

That is exactly what my cunning plan consists in ... !

Leisha Camden said...

Truand, we posted at the same time. :-)

My answer was intended to fit in smoothly with Margo's comment.

I have no style, so following your advise should be easy. ;-) Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Paz said...

way to go, you writing is always interesting, even I am interested in turtles and book fairs, but I have one Quues you say she was not too bright 20 years ago, was this because she married a Norwegian :P, could be worse she could have married an Irishman, we're Elvish folk like Hobbits, but uglier :)
PS the mention BLUSH (but special is this a sympathy vote

Anonymous said...

Leisha: I found the VG post via earlier when it was *only* at 2000. Now it's over 9000. Like you, I found the "Kansas" reference a little odd. I checked his bio on wikipedia and his mother seemed to have been in Indonesia at the time. He was apparently in Chicago. But it's still possible that he gave her an address in Kansas (just as when we were in school, we gave our parents' -- in his case, his grandparents' -- address as our "permanent" address). As you said, it's no big deal. Re Obama being "right-wing," I have a hard time seeing him so, but Democrats here in US have moved so much towards the center that I guess Europeans see them (us) as "right-wing." I also thought, didn't Mary have a credit card? I patted myself on the back when I read your characterization of VG as a tabloid -- the giveaway for me, since I don't read Norwegian, was the ads! You're right -- most of us wouldn't help someone in distress like that. It takes someone special -- we can only hope that when it's "our turn," we would step up to the plate. Thanks, and congrats -- the Web is truly amazing. Nancy from California, on the other side of the world!

Rose said...

Love, love, love ur blog!!! Go girlfriend!!!
Hugs xxx

Leisha Camden said...

Aw, thanks everyone! :-)

Paz: Special efforts deserve special mention (and I do mean special and not 'special' ;-). And OK, she wasn't always super smart but she was very clever in one way - marrying a Norwegian and moving to Norway, that was a very good move on her part. So she forgot to call the airline ahead of time, we can forgive her that now that she's one of us. ;-) As for you Irish - don't knock hobbits, a lot of people like hobbits ... ! ;-)

Nancy: You are so right, the intarwebs is an amazing place. Mindboggling how it allows people to connect like this. :-)

About the address, if his mother was in Indonesia, he obviously would not have given her address. And who knows how his family affairs were at that time. None of us know, so to assume that that one weirdness invalidates the whole story is ridiculous IMO. As for the credit card, it sounds weird now that she didn't have one, but then again this was 20 years ago ... were they so very common then that everyone could have been expected to have one? I mean, I know people now, in 2008 (not in Norway but in other countries, like Australia, some European countries) who don't have credit cards. And they are adults, supporting families, running businesses etc. So I have no problem believing that part.

I'm not surprised that you were able to spot VG for what it is when you saw their website ;-) ... IMO they have the worst layout ever, I hate using their website, I hardly ever go there. It's such a visual mess - all the ads, the links all over, the headlines and other text in so many different sizes - it practically gives me a headache. But despite that, they are a serious newspaper when it comes to research and that type of thing. So I trust them, I just don't like them. :-)

And as for Obama being right wing - you better believe it. In the Norwegian political landscape he is to the right of our most right wing mainstream party (the Progress Party, who are pretty awful IMO). From our POV here in western Europe, your entire political scene is rather extremist. It's interesting, because I think that's something a lot of Americans aren't aware of.

Rose: Thank you!! Hugs right back at you!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Am of course very insulted not to be considered an actual reader ;)))

But seriously, don't ever change your (in your words, lack of) writing style!

Leisha Camden said...

Aw, of course you're a real reader ... it's just that you already know me, so ... you kind of have to come here occasionally. :-) Know what I mean? It's only polite. ;-) If you're not nice to me, I can come to your house and ask you why not. ;-) And likewise, of course. It's much weirder to think of random strangers from around the globe reading this.

I don't plan to change any time soon, don't worry. :-)

Paz said...

Findabair I read the comment "If you're not nice to me, I can come to your house and ask you why not. ;-)"
I would be carefull if I were you the wink suggests a veiled treat of menace ;P

D. said...

Heh. Yup. I found you via someone else's blog, but they probably found you from yet another site.

Yes, Kansas was probably the grandparents or a misremembering of the state, particularly since she has since lost the bit of paper.

I travelled for years without a credit card, but I don't believe in checking luggage, and these days I only carry a card in case of emergency serious enough that the cash card won't do. But I don't think that the airlines charged quite that much for additional bags. It was 198something, after all.

It is a nice story, though. I don't expect to see that kind of thing about McCain or Palin.

Leisha Camden said...

Hey, Paz, you better believe it, I am mad, bad and dangerous to know ... !! ;-) Findabair knows to watch her step. ;-)

Nah, I'm very friendly really. But I can go to her house. I'm just sayin' it, don't mean nothin' by it ...

D.: thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Sure, if it's possible to travel with only carryon luggage, that's ideal. But if you were moving - permanently - to the other side of the Atlantic, I think you'd be considering checking in an item or two too. ;-)

Paz said...


Leisha Camden said...

me too! ;-)

Paz said...

as a precaution I will monitor Findabair's live journal to make your no harm has been done ;P

Leisha Camden said...


Anonymous said...


I have to say I'm not very concerned ;)

Leisha Camden said...

You know me too well ... ! ;-)

Anonymous said...

First of all, you translation of his job was close, he was a community organization, but worker is a fine translation (we are well aware of the title, since the McCain campaign, in its infinite wisdom, chose to mock the work he did, little did they know that it was his experience as a grassroots community organizer which would be their downfall). Second, 20 years ago many people did not have credit cards...and it is very likely that someone who was moving out of the country might not have had one, since one would most likely clear out one's bank accounts and start over in the new country. $103 may seem like a lot of money, but we don't know how heavy those bags were, and they definitely charge by weight, so it is certainly possible that the amount was correct.

And just for the record, while it is true that the vast majority of the citizens of the US don't have a freaking clue how conservative our government is, many of us most definitely do. But a lot of us like Obama because of what his election means for african americans and other people of color, as well as for his courtesy and politeness which will make such an incredible difference from the horrifying tone our foreign policy has taking over the past 20 years or so.