From the Does the World Really Need Another Blog? Department

March 5th, 2008 Comments Off on From the Does the World Really Need Another Blog? Department

Once upon a time, I had a writing teacher make me keep an Observation Log, a journal in which I recorded one tiny fact of my day. Something seemingly minor. It’s a habit I’ve followed in fits and starts throughout the years and something I always mean to do more of, as reading back on those observation logs, those tiny details remind me so much more of a moment than my often rather-bland diary entries. For example, from the journal I kept eleven years ago when I was abroad for eight months:

  • In Plovdiv, Buglaria, “I saw a child alone in a bumper car–driving around and around with no one to bump.”
  • On the kibbutz, “When I spray the kiwis, I put a plastic tank on my back, like a knapsack. It holds about 15 liters but I only use 10. I put in 200 ccs of a chemical, a capful of another, and 10 liters of water. I put most of the water in first so it doesn’t foam up. The black straps dig into my shoulders. A black bar protrudes from the left side and it needs to be pumped to make the sprayer spray at full blast. I look like an exterminator.”
  • “To me, the cutting shears resemble a trout, which is strange considering I don’t actually know what a trout looks like.”

These are much more evocative for me than the “Today I traveled with Ivan to Jordan.” Those tiny thoughts bring me directly back into the moment.

Now, to make what will appear to be a digression: As you probably all know (if you know me in person, that is) is that I heart my iPhone. Oh, iPhone! I’d marry you if it weren’t for that evil Adam already living in my house. The thing I love best about my iPhone is… well, there is no one thing. I love checking my e-mail during the kids’ swim class. I love always having my music next to me. And I love, love, love the photos it takes. I take lots of photos on it.

Let’s combine the two. I’ve started documenting my life through my iPhone photos. One photo a day. The tiny details of my life that would otherwise get lost. Right now it’s just photos but I’d love to start including observations, a la my grad school log. We’ll see. Anyway, I have a separate blog I’ve started for this purpose, which you are welcome to check out every now and then, should you so desire: jphone jenny. Yes, more self-indulgent crap on the Web. Did you expect more from me? Well, you were wrong.

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