Posted by: Mark | November 17, 2009

Live-Blogging the Crap out of Something

Live-blogging is a fascinating concept. You sit down at a computer, and you blog about an activity as it happens. I’ve toyed with the idea of live-blogging. There are some events that I would live-blog the crap out of. There are the hilarious events that I would live-blog the crap out of, like hot yoga, or post-hernia surgery constipation. There are other serious events that I would love to live-blog the crap out of in a more philosophical way, like a surf session in big waves at Ocean Beach, or a barefoot run at night wearing a headlamp.

However, the truth is, that by calling live-blogging a fascinating concept, I really mean that it is pretty dumb. Live-blogging is a running commentary on a specific event…and as a historian, I say you always go for the primary source (the event itself) over a running commentary. Live-blogging tends to be thoughtful in sporadic bursts, but is otherwise relatively lame and lacking insight. Why? Because the event hasn’t been fully completed, it’s still going on, and so the author has not yet taken the time to think through all of the various elements to synthesize. And live-tweeting…don’t get me started. As soon as someone goes to a conference and starts live-tweeting it, I temporarily (sometimes permanently) unfollow while wishing that the person hates the conference.

So to prove my point, I have live-blogged my evening on the couch. Because let’s be honest, in order to live-blog, you need to be sitting somewhere with your laptop up and running for a long period of time (see these “cool guys” above)….usually in the audience of some speaker, or else on your couch watching a TV broadcast that apparently is so important that you need to live-blog it. (In fact, I got this idea after seeing someone update on twitter various live-blogs that were live-blogging the Oprah/Sarah Palin interview. How fascinating! And by fascinating, I once again mean pretty dumb.)

Now of course, my live-blog is the exception to the rule. It’s fascinating, and you know what I actually mean. So delve in and enjoy my night with me as I live-blog the crap out of my night on the couch.

5:35pm arrive on couch with Chinese food. Devour it. My fortune: “Don’t be discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
5:55pm Augustus is waking up and wants to play. He seems to be inclined to chew his nasty rope on our couch and cover it with his slobber.
6pm Feed the fat bastard. (Augustus.) (The other fat bastard just ate Chinese food.)
6:09pm I’m off to pick up my wife from yoga. It was raining so I drove her, rather than have her take the scooter. I’ve also decided that I need to start running commentary of my thoughts more, and not just my actions. I’m looking forward to tonight: The Office mini-marathon on TBS, just like every Tuesday.
6:58pm Back on the couch, and Jeopardy! is just about to start. The middle contestant is hilarious, Rob with a green jacket on. I love this show, mostly because I typically tear it up.
7:03pm Green jacket Rob listed his job as a custodial supervisor. I’m starting to launch a theory that he is in character…the glasses, moustache, and suit just all seem too perfectly goofy, and so a character may be a fresh new way to be on Jeopardy! I should also add that I’m working on a bad-ass idea for Daraja whil watching Jeopardy! (God I love ending a sentence with Jeopardy! so that I can excessively use exclamation marks!!!)
7:20pm Green jacket Rob seems to be down and out. He is in third going into final Jeopardy! and has less than half the cash that the leader has. It looks like we won’t get to learn more about Rob in future rounds of Jeopardy!
7:53pm I have gotten immersed in Mashable’s HOW TO: Set up a Facebook Fan Page, which I’m working on for Daraja. I think there is good potential to actually make our fan page more functional, and also to spend this time on the couch a bit productively tonight by doing just that.
8pm It’s go-time for the TBS Office Mini-Marathon. Hell to the yeah.
8:02pm My wife moved onto the couch next to me. Augustus, who had been sleeping on the other couch, in his incredibly adorable way, jumped down from his empty couch, slowly sauntered across the room, and then jumped up into my wife’s lap. He is in a cuddly move, and we both love it.
8:09pm I love “The Office.” I’ll be honest: I at first kind of semi-boycotted the American Office. I had religiously watched the British Office on DVD, and when I heard that the American Office was coming out, I was not that thrilled…especially when the first few episodes were more or less exact replicas of the British Office. However, I have lately changed my views. In thinking about this quite a bit–the British Office truly was incredible, but the show was almost exclusively about David Brent, the boss character. Yes, there was the love between Tim and Dawn, and Gareth Keenan was pretty hilarious, but the supporting roles were very much supporting roles. I don’t think we ever learned the names of more than half toe employees of Wernan Hogg, or whatever the company was named. Meanwhile, David Brent was a caricature. Hilarious, but a bit one-dimensional. In the American Office a) all the employees get their part, and have pretty complex characters, and as a result b) you love and hate all of them. Of course I love Pam and Jim the most, I mean who doesn’t, but Michael Scott is likeable just as much as he is despicable, and so on and so forth. And so in conclusion: I actually think that after giving this much thought, I like the American Office more than the British Office.
8:17pm There’s the TV commercial with Payton Manning and Justin Timberlake sitting on the panel of experts who approve the TV. First off: who gives a crap if they approve it? Second: who is the third panelist? I keep waiting for a new commercial to come out that reveals the identity to be a different celebrity.
8:56pm 2 episodes down: Jim and Pam are re-united after her time in NYC, I’ve added youtube videos and our blog to the Daraja fan page, and Augustus is snoring quite enthusiastically.
8:58pm I just made a huge mistake by going to’s support page. They have pictures of their Help Center employees, and now I want to vomit directly onto the faces of Dalas Verdugo and Andreas Allen.
9:01pm Why does Michael Scott hate Toby so much?
9:14pm Dwight is fricking hilarious. Too bad Rainn Wilson on Twitter is actually not that funny at all, and is in fact more annoying than funny.
9:25pm Once again, I love Jim and Pam.
9:26pm My wife is totally asleep. I am not sure how long she has been asleep, but she’s totally out.
9:31pm I’m going back and bolding all of the times from this entry. After that, I will switch to HTML view and get rid of the spaces between entries.
9:39pm I just noticed that my wife is snoozing with her face resting on her left hand, and my dog is snoozing resting his face on his left paw. HOW. CUTE. IS. THAT.
10:02pm I just wrote the introduction to this blog entry, and I’m starting to fade. Starting the fifth episode of The Office, holy crap my Tuesday nights are exciting. I also just remembered that Twitter shuts down in an hour, so I want to wrap this up before then so I can post this up there.

How much of a nerd am I becoming???



  1. Achingly familiar. 😀

  2. Nice live-blogging homie. Just a quick tip (to save you from having to go into HTML mode), if you hold Shift while pressing Enter/Return to start a new line, it’ll only drop a single line instead of a double.

  3. This is simply hilarious. HILARIOUS.

  4. I caught Jeopardy! as well, and enjoyed hearing Green Jacket Rob’s autobiographical snippet of going as Alex Tribek for Halloween and “not having to do much to compete the ensemble.” You could see the horror in Tribek’s face when he realized his resemblence to this man.

  5. Rainn Wilson went to Tufts!

    Is it sad that my life as a college student is only marginally more exciting than yours? And I don’t have a dog, so that knocks me down a few spots.

  6. but Mark, the fact that the event isn’t over yet adds a whole new perspective that, as a historian, you should totally appreciate! history happens in the moment. and you get a sense for how people feel about things that are going on before they are able to fill in context and do a historical re-write of the situation, which skews the event because you can always say in retrospect, “it was clear well in advance that this event would happen.”

    as a former blogger, i like the live blogs — it’s refreshingly honest and gives a great view of who we REALLY are when we’re sitting on the couch, rather than an introspective re-interpretation of our lives when we’ve had time to put a clever spin on it.

    love the blog. can’t believe you have so many twitter accounts.

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