Thursday, July 07, 2011


This is post number 1000 on Bridget of Arabia.

To celebrate, I'm making the 1000th post of my blog, be about my blog.

My first real post said, "Well, here goes. I'm still not convinced it won't be pretentious, but I'll give blogging from America a shot." Almost five years later, I'm still still not convinced it isn't pretentious.

The people who have been reading my blog the longest are Nancy (and by extension possibly Andrew), Crys, Matthew, and my family. I don't claim that they read every post all the time, but they have popped in to comment frequently enough over the years that I know they've read my blog continuously since its beginning at least to some degree. [Edited to add: I think Liz and Jen have been around for almost as long, and remember that I'm going by overt, commenting readers here, not lurkers who have been around since 2006, bless your hearts.]

My most famous post to the world at large (not regular readers) is this one about My Brother, the Extra (Twilight). Ten thousand hits in one day, man.

On an ongoing basis, this post about learning Arabic, this post about having my tonsils removed, and this post about the Woombie get consistently high levels of traffic.

To the best of my memory, I've only ever closed comments on one post: my review of Tom Zoellner's The Heartless Stone.

A very, very little-known secret is that I deleted a post on my blog once. I've only ever done it the one time, and it was almost a year after I'd posted it. The fact that I didn't delete it earlier was an oversight. Actually, the fact that I ever wrote and posted it at all was an oversight. That post was definitely one of my lowest moments, and it hurt somebody I care about. I can't believe she forgave me, and I am so lucky that we remain friends to this day. I know you are dying to know what post it was, but my lips are sealed. All I'll say about it is that it was posted sometime in 2007 and deleted in 2008. It was me being stupid and snarky and snotty.

Which brings me to another little-known fact, which is that I don't like a lot of my earlier blog posts. I think I was often stupid and snarky and snotty. It was hard to find the right tone in blogging at first, especially in the transition from blogging about living overseas to blogging about living in Arizona. I don't think I hit my stride until about 2008...if ever, right?

There's one post I've thought about writing every day for almost two years, in the form of a letter to someone. I never will, though. There are some things you just can't say.

There's another post that I did write, but haven't published. It's been sitting in my Drafts folder for 18 months. There's a chance this one will be published someday, though. I'll be sure to let you know when it happens.

Some of my favorite periods of blogging - times when I really felt like I wrote good stuff - include our summer in Middlebury, our summer in Provo, some of the fall of 2009, some of the spring of 2010, and the ten days I blogged from Syria in May and June 2010.

The halfway post (#500) is, happily, the thrilling conclusion of Flashback Friday: When Bridget Met Jeremy.

Sometimes it's a mystery to me why certain posts get a lot of comments and reaction, while others that I'm sure will be so interesting to everyone go by seemingly unheeded. I know comments aren't the same as readership and admiration, but if I had to name an - in my opinion - underappreciated post, it would be Let's talk versions. Seriously, once every few weeks, I'll think, "Remember that time when I wrote about every single period Austen movie that's ever been made, AND all three versions of Jane Eyre, in a pithy and witty manner, and nobody cared?" and then I go read it again and enjoy it all by my lonesome. Hmph.

A blog post that kept me up at night was this one about Tucson. I felt conflicted and attacked and misunderstood. However, writing this follow-up apology post was like therapy I never knew I needed, so it's all good.

My favorite blog moment was when Ken Jennings commented on my post about across vs. acrosst.

My favorite blog moment that translated into a real-life experience was when I got to meet Tom Zoellner.

Sometimes I think life will never be so exciting again.

Sadly, I don't think I've ever had anyone come up to me in public and say that they recognize me from my blog. I know this happens to people. Heck, I've even been on the other end of that situation...except I chickened out and didn't say anything to her (it was Miss Nemesis' sister).

For the record, I loved loved LOVED writing Flashback Fridays, even though they were almost always among the least-commented-on posts.

I wish I had screenshots of what my blog has looked like over the years...but I don't. I think I can remember some of the tag phrases after the title. For My Adventures in Tucson, it was "On being the Oregon-raised wife of a PhD student at the University of Arizona." My Adventures in Ithaca was "born & raised Out West. living Back East." Now (obviously), the tag is "It's a party in the UAE - the adventures of an American family of four in Sharjah." I don't remember the tags for My Adventures in Middlebury, My Adventures in Limbo, or My Adventures in Egypt.

A post that still makes me laugh any time I think of writing it is this one about a streaker at a pool in Tucson. Oh, mercy. Also, this one about hacking my way through the underbrush at almost 9 months pregnant. Also, this one about a late-night miscommunication. I'm not saying they're the funniest posts you'll ever read, even on this blog, but something about them never fails to make me laugh when I remember them.

A post that changed my life was this one, in which I discovered that I am an introvert. Seriously, it redefined the way I live.

Anyway, it's been a wild ride. Here's to the next 1000 posts!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm ur silent reader since a couple months ago, I came across ur blog when I googled 'blog about syria' since we're planning to move to aleppo soon. and I think one day if I met you in Dubai i will say to you "hi, i think i know you, bridget of arabia" :-). congrats for the 1k post, I enjoy reading your blog a lot, i hope you dont mind :-)

yana - turkey

Jeremy Palmer said...

Congratulations Bridget and good job!

I have read every post, minus one or two about Jane Austin or similar. :/


Susanne said...

Congrats, Bridget! I read almost every post and appreciate that you give us interesting things to contemplate about life or just tidbits of random information from your life. Oh, and book reviews.

I enjoyed reading this blog history post and your thoughts about some of the highlights and how your blog has evolved over the years.

The Flashback Fridays were great. I always enjoyed hearing about life in Russia and Syria especially!

Liz Johnson said...

I wasn't sure if I've been reading from the beginning, but I went back and YES - the first posts are totally familiar. Woohoo! I'm adding myself to that club, even if I didn't comment often in the beginning.

And I'm with you on the blogging-being-pretentious thing. And yet so awesome.

I have a post sitting in my drafts folder, too. It's a post I wrote at the end of law school when I was ready to give up on every level. I keep it there so that I can go back and remember how much better I have it now (ha). :)

Also, that post about you hacking through the brush is probably my favorite EVER. It is so hilarious. I still laugh when I think about it.

HAPPY 1,000 posts!!!! Congrats!!

(also, if you include your Syria/Jordan blogs, how many posts do you have??)

Bridget said...

Liz, I thought about you (and Jen) for the longest readers club, but I didn't remember you commenting from the very beginning. I should go back and check. Total number of posts for all blogs is 1285. :)

Yana, you are welcome anytime.

Jeremy, it's AustEn. It's obvious you haven't been reading those posts.

Susanne, if I had a consistent readers club, you would definitely be in it!

Sarah Familia said...

Congratulations, Bridget. What a great milestone. I haven't been reading since the beginning, but I regularly browse through your archives just for fun. Sometimes I feel like commenting, but is it weird to comment on a post that's two years old?

Scotty P said...

I'm a loyal follower. Love the blog. Keep on blogging in the free world.

Jen said...

If Ken Jennings commented on my blog, I'd probably wet myself while I was telling him that I DVR jeopardy and pre-ordered his new book.

CONGRATULATIONS on 1000 posts! I think one of the reasons you've developed such a following is that you're NOT "snarky and stupid and snotty." (Or however you put it). =) You're smart and articulate and funny and well-informed.

And I'm just going to go ahead and say that your blog is so awesome that I feel kind of giddy to think that I know you personally. =)

Here's to 1000 MORE posts!
(Side note: had you considered doing a 1000th Post Giveaway? I'm thinking a trip for 1 to the UAE.)

JosephJ said...

Happy 1K, ol' blog! For the record, when I read the Versions post, I was duly impressed. But I had nothing to say, because I don't know that I had seen but one of the films. I even tried watching one on Netflix due to your recommendation, but the pace was a bit slow [for my mood at the time].

Also: I can brag that I once wrote a post that my wife deleted because she was embarassed for me.

BTW, when you came to visit last year, I thought, "Wow, Bridget of Arabia came to visit MY HOUSE." A little starstruck I guess. Forget the fact that we were peers 12 years ago, and my wife was one of your roommates.

Becky said...

Congrats! I'm not always consistent in following, but I always enjoy reading and appreciated the woombie post you referred to, since I have heard about them and have wondered whether to buy one for this baby. I think I'm convinced! Keep up the good work, we're reading and enjoying!!

Amber said...

I'm guilty of not commenting very often, but I love reading your blog, and I think I've read almost, if not every, post since I started reading, which was when you lived in Middleburry (is that embarrassing since I don't think I de-lurked myself until quite some time after that?) If I've been away from my computer for a few days, yours is one of the first blogs I check, and I'm always anxious for the next post if it has been a day or two between posts. See, you've spoiled us all by posting so frequently! Anyway, congratulations on keeping up the blogging and for continuing to keep it interesting!

The Rowley's said...

Congratulations on 1000 posts!! I truly enjoy reading your blog and look forward to reading more everyday. Keep it up and good job!


elliespen said...

I would like to take this moment to say that I loved, loved, loved your "Let's talk versions" post. I've pointed it out and shared it with many friends and always enjoy re-reading it. The reason I never commented on it was because I only discovered your blog in August '09 and felt silly commenting on a post that was six months old at that point. So please don't think that NOBODY cared. :)

Congrats on 1000 posts. I'm looking forward to reading many more in the future.

Tia said...

Congratulations. I enjoy reading your adventures. You're a great writer. I look forward to reading your blog. I just wish I could write or tell stories.

Rob and Sara said...

Congrats on 1000 posts! I can't say I was a reader from the beginning but I have read every post since I found your blog from a link on Janae's. When I reread your post about Tucson it makes me sad only because I wish we would have gotten to know each other better while we were in the same ward. I felt like I didn't have any friends in that ward and would have loved to spend some time together.

I don't think any of your posts are snotty or snarky. I enjoy living vicariously as you travel the world. As my blog sits there for months sometimes without a post I think to myself, if only I had as much to say or going on as Bridget did! Keep up the great work and I promise to comment more often! :)

Katie said...

I really liked this post about your blog. I'm excited to read the next 1000. You are such a good writer and whenever I read it, I think "I wish I could write like Bridget"

For the record, "Let's talk versions" is a post that I read and enjoyed and still think about sometimes. You wrote it right when I decided to read a few Jane Austen books and compare them to the films. Your post was critical to helping me pick out which version of movies to watch, especially Persuasion. I'm planning on reading Jane Eyre and seeing the movie and I know I will check your post when I finally get around to it.

Mikael said...

Bridget, you are amazing. WOW! I love the links you included, I read all those blog posts (most I missed... I blame my twins for taking me away from your blog at times.. haa).
LOVE the introvert post- I, too, can't stand the institution of visiting teaching. Forced friendships are just too weird for me! hate it... and I love another post about being misunderstood through a blog. You are right, a blog is a snapahot of our life, not our actual life. I have been misunderstood many times on my blog (maybe that is why I went private, I was sick of offending people who didn't know my unique oddities)....
Anyway, you are awesome. LOVE this blog and love YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up!!!

breanne said...

Maybe your dream of being recognized from your blog will come true one day. I have actually always wanted to meet you and say "Hey! I read your blog!" and I am moving to Jerusalem in September for graduate school. If I ever make it down to the UAE (or if you guys ever stop by Jerusalem) maybe we will run into each other and make this happen!

I found your blog when I was searching for info about Jordan but I got sucked in and read it every day you post now. And just for the record, I love the Flashback Friday posts and read the archives when I need a laugh!

Katie said...

Haha! That post about the late night note still makes ME laugh whenever I think of it too! And I think of it at least every couple weeks or so. Hahaha.

You are an excellent blogger! (And everything else-er.)

So impressed that you're up to 1000!

Crys said...

Wow I've been there from the very beginning. I feel quite honored. Weird we've only lived in the same place for 3 months but 1000+ blog post later I feel like I've known you forever :) Keep up all the great blog post!


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